Chapter 30. Remote control of MagicQ

MagicQ supports the remote control of other MagicQ consoles and PC/Mac systems. Any MagicQ console or any MagicQ PC system can be controlled from any other MagicQ console or MagicQ PC system on the network. This enables complete remote management of any system from any other system. The remote system appears exactly as if it were running on the local system.

Remote Control must be enabled on the console that is to be controlled – by default it is disabled. It can be enabled in Setup, View Settings, Multi Console settings, Enable Remote Control.

30.1. Remote mode (PC/Mac)

When you install MagicQ on PC or Mac there is a MagicQ Remote option under the ChamSys menu that enable MagicQ to run in remote mode.

In remote mode MagicQ acts only as a remote control system; it does not transmit any network traffic (e.g. Art-Net, ACN, Pathport etc…) except for the control of the remote MagicQ system.

When you start up MagicQ in remote mode it will scan for MagicQ consoles on the network and give a list of the available consoles to select from.

To stop remote control of a MagicQ console click on “Quit”. Select “yes” to quit from MagicQ or “no” to return to the list of MagicQ consoles to control another console.

30.2. Remote control from MagicQ

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The remote control function can be accessed from MagicQ in Setup, View System, View Monitors. To control another MagicQ press the Remote Control soft button. MagicQ then presents a list of all the other MagicQ consoles / MagicQ PC systems it can find on the network and you can choose which one you wish to control.

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You can tell which system you are controlling by looking at the system name in the Status Display (above PB1 to PB5). When MagicQ is remote controlling another console it indicates “REM” at the start of this status line.

To end remote control of another system press CTRL 1 on the keyboard of the controlling system. Alternatively press QUIT or CTRL CLOSE on the controlling system. The status line will change back to be the normal line without “REM”.

When a remote system is under remote control it is still possible to control the system locally – the normal system interface is still fully operational. We recommend that you only use one interface at a time – having two operators will cause confusion!

This function is only enabled when the target system (i.e. the one you wish to control) is a MagicQ console, or it is a MagicQ PC system with a MagicQ PC Wing or MagicQ USB interface attached. There are no restrictions on the MagicQ system that you use to control the remote system – for example, this can be MagicQ PC running on a wireless tablet.

30.3. iOS / Android Remote

MagicQ systems can be used together with an Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Android smart phones for remote control.

All MagicQ consoles support remote control. On MagicQ PC systems remote control support is only unlocked when connected to a MagicQ Wing or MagicQ Interfaces (not MagicDMX).

In order to use the remote with a MagicQ console connect an external wireless access point to the console via network cable.

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The MagicQ Remote application can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple App Store. For Android it can be downloaded free of charge from the Google Play Store.

To enable support for the remote application, set Setup, View Settings, Multi Console, Remote Control to “Enabled”.

30.3.1. Setting up an access point

In order to use a wireless access point with MagicQ you must configure the access point with a SSID, IP address, subnet mask and if required encryption.

Most access points have an inbuilt web server that enables configuration from a PC or Mac using a web browser. The web server generally has a username and password – you will need to consult the instruction manual for your particular access point.

Access points usually default to a standard IP addess such as 192.168.1.1 and subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. Most acess points have DHCP support – i.e. the access point will attempt to give out IP addresses to other computers on the network. DHCP may be enable or disabled by default depending on the type of access point. Consult the manual for your access point to determine how to configure it.

In order for the wireless access point to work correctly with MagicQ, the access point should be in the same IP address range as the MagicQ console / MagicQ PC/Mac.

For example, if the console is set to IP address 2.0.0.5 then the access point should have an IP address on the 2.0.0.x network – e.g. 2.0.0.1. Note that many access points only support subnet masks of 255.255.255.0 instead of the normal ArtNet subnet mask 255.0.0.0. This can be overcome by simply making sure that all your devices are on the same subnet – i.e. all devices have a 2.0.0.x address.

The remote device (iOS/Android) should also have an IP address on the same same network.

The access point can be set up with DHCP to provide a range of IP addresses to wireless devices – this removes the need to set the IP address manually on the remote device. For example, you could set up your wireless access point to give out IP addresses in the range 2.0.0.100 to 2.0.0.150.

Security settings should be set up on your access point to avoid unauthorised control of the console.

When using a wireless acess point the wireless settings in MagicQ are not used – these are only used when using a USB Wireless device directly connected to a MagicQ console USB port. Ensure that Setup, View Settings, Network, Wireless Mode is set to Disabled.

30.3.2. MagicQ Pro 2010 Console with USB to Wireless interface

It is possible to use a USB to wireless interface directly from a MagicQ Pro 2010 console. The currently supported interface is the Edimax EW-7711UAn. Please note these interfaces are not supported on Pro2014 or Compact consoles (MQ40N, MQ60, MQ70 and MQ80) We recommend using a wireless router connected via network with these consoles.

On MagicQ the Console Wireless settings should be set to Ad-hoc with an IP address of 169.254.1.20 and a subnet mask of 255.255.0.0

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The Wireless channel defaults to 0 indicating that the Edimax device will automatically pick a channel. If you wish to force use of a particular channel enter a number between 1 and 11.

Enter a name for the Wireless SSID – this will be the how the WIFI appears on the remote device – on iPhone go to Settings, Wi-Fi to select connection to the network.

The iPhone should be set to an IP address on the same same network – e.g. 169.254.1.1. Some iPhones/iPods use 169.254.1.1 automatically as their default address.

On iPhone 4 and iPad 2 it is often necessary to set up a static IP address on the iPhone/iPad. In addition on the iPhone/iPad set up the router IP to the IP address of the console.

So for example, if the MagicQ console is set with

Wireless IP address: 169.254.1.20

Wireless subnet mask: 255.255.0.0

Try the following settings on your iPod/iPhone/iPad

IP address: 169.254.1.30

Subnet mask: 255.255.0.0

Router IP: 169.254.1.20

On iOS it is often necessary to set the Router IP to be the address of the MagicQ console.

Choose the encryption type. For secure encryption use WPA or WEP and set the passphrase in the Wireless Encrpytion field. When you try to connect to the network, the remote device will request a passphrase.

The MQ encryption keeps the wireless open (so anyone can connect to the wireless device) but puts a password on the iOS/Android application so only people who know the password can control the console. The MagicQ console will be hidden (no connection shown) until the correct password is entered on the iOS/Android device.

Note that MagicQ versions 1.5.4.0 to 1.5.6.0 had problems with the Edimx interface. 1.5.6.2 supports it ok, but it is necessary to upgrade the kernel first to kernel version 3.9.2.0. Note that before updating the kernel you must set the Wireless mode to None.

Making a connection to MagicQ

  • Turn on your remote device and select the required wireless network to connect to – the network name (SSID) of your access point or of your Edimax USB interface.
  • Check the WiFi settings for the remote device to ensure that it has automatically received a correct IP address. If it has not automatically received an IP address then enter a static IP address manually – see above sections for how to configure the IP address, Subnet Mask and Router IP.
  • On the iPhone/iPad click on Settings, select WiFi and then click the > to the right of the required network.
  • Once you have a wireless connection with correct IP address, start the MagicQ remote application.
  • In the remote application, go to the connection tab. You should see a list of all the available MagicQ consoles. Select the required console so that it has a tick by it.
  • If you have enabled password protection (by setting Setup, View Settings, Network, Wireless Encyption = MQ) then you will need to set the password in the Con tab on the remote device. The MagicQ consoles will not show until the password is correct. If you have not set encryption (Setup, View Settings, Network, Wireless Encyption = None) then the password should be blank (no characters).
  • You should now have control. Change to the Key tab (iPhone) or Focus tab (iPad) and try selecting a Group (e.g. GROUP 1 ENTER).

Modifying palettes with the remote app

It is easy to modify palettes with the remote application.

In the Focus tab (Key tab on iPad), select your heads (e.g. GROUP 1 ENTER) then select the position palette (e.g. POS 5 ENTER). If you cannot remember the numbers then change to the Windows tab and select the Pos, Colour or Beam Windows.

In the Focus tab use the enoder wheels to modify the look on stage. On the iPhone use the Bank button to change the attributes controlled by the wheel. On the iPad you can press the Pos, Colour, Beam buttons.

When you are happy with you look then record over the palette (e.g. REC POS 5 ENTER). MagicQ will ask for a confirmation. Press 1 to confirm yes. Press 0 to cancel.

Using the Execute Window

We recommend you use the Execute Window on the remote app for shortcuts, group selections, focus test, etc… Items from the Group, Position, Colour, Beam, Cue Stack Store, Cue Store, Playback and Macro windows can all be copied into the Execute Window for immediate access from the remote device.

On the MagicQ console press the Execute Window and then press SET GRID SIZE to create grid 1. We recommend a grid size 5/5 for the iPhone/Android phones. For iPad 10/10 or 12/12 is good.

Copy items from the Group, Pos, Colour Beam windows into the Execute Window. You can copy multiple items in one go, by using SHIFT and the cursor keys in the source window to select multiple items. Press COPY. If it says “select source” then press COPY again. When it says “select destination” change to the Execute Window and select the place in the grid to copy to.

This latest version allows the Execute Window images to be shown on your iPhone or iPad as images instead of boxes. Custom button images will be automatically downloaded to the iOS app from MagicQ.

Idiot user mode

The apps now supports an “Idiot user mode” which forces the app always to run in full Execute Window. This is set up in the MagicQ app settings in the iOS / Android settings menu. A particular console IP address can also be specified to ensure the app always connects to the correct console.

30.4. Remote control via web server

MagicQ includes an in-built web server for enabling access to MagicQ from web browsers on external computers, pocket PCs and mobile phones with web browsers. The web server includes web pages for monitoring of the status of the MagicQ, remote control, and access to the MagicQ windows such as the Patch window for downloading complete patch lists / cue sheets.

By default the web server is disabled – enable it in Setup, Network Settings. The default port is 8080 although this can be changed in the Network Settings.

To browse to the console enter the console name followed by the port number, e.g. for chamsys176, enter the URL in your browser. Note that by default most browsers use port 80 – so you must explicitly specify port 8080 in the URL or it will not work.

chamsys176:8080

or you can use the IP address of the MagicQ (e.g. 2.0.0..5)

2.0.0.5:8080

This URL will get you to the home page on the MagicQ console - a general system overview and a main menu of items, including Remote, Execute, Windows and Network.

On some browsers / PDAs you may need to enter the full http line:

http://chamsys176:8080/index.html

or

http://2.9.200.5:8080/index.html

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The Remote page is a simple remote focus for setting channel levels. It can also be accessed by adding “/remote” to the URL. This is useful for Pocket PC and mobile phones to go directly to the remote control page.

chamsys176:8080/remote

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In order to set up a PC, Pocket PC or mobile phone to connect to MagicQ you must ensure that there is a physical connection to MagicQ – either directly via network cable, or via a wireless router. The IP address of the PC, Pocket PC, or mobile phone must be set to be on the same network as the MagicQ – this is generally the ArtNet IP addressing scheme – so the device must have an IP address starting with 2 (e.g. 2.0.0.2) and a subnet mask of 255.0.0.0.

The Execute page is very similar to the Execute Windows on the console but accessible through any PC with a browser on the network – it enables users to remote manage the console via the Execute window.

The Windows pages enable users to view all the windows on the console remotely within a browser. This is useful for checking the status of a remote console or for easy printing of console show data.

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The Network page shows all the MagicQ consoles and PC systems on the networks and enables easy selection of particular consoles for remote control.

The Remote and Execute functions are only enabled when connected to a MagicQ console or a MagicQ PC System that is itself connected to a MagicQ wing or MagicQ interface.

30.4.1. Custom Web Server pages

There is now support for user HTML pages. These pages should be stored in the web folder and their name should start with “user” e.g. user1.html, user2.html. The MagicQ remote commands can be sent from the HTML using the button/input types to submit.

<html>

<head><META NAME="HandheldFriendly" content="True"><META
NAME="MobileOptimized" CONTENT="240">

<title>MagicQ User HTML Page</title>

</head>

<body>

<!-- User forms must start with the name user - e.g. user1, user2 -->
<!-- Remote commands can be found in the MagicQ manual -->

<FORM ACTION="user.html" name="user" METHOD=GET>

<!-- Remote commands are sent using input types -->
<!-- Place the command in the value and set the name to "cmd" -->

<input type="submit" value="1T" name="cmd">
<input type="submit" value="1U" name="cmd">
<p>
<!-- Or as button types -->
<!-- Note for Internet Explorer to work the value
feature below is not used and you must put the remote
command in the name after "cmd" -->

<button type="submit" name="cmd1T" value="1T">PB1 act</button>
<button type="submit" name="cmd1U" value="1U">PB1 rel</button>

30.5. Remote control using Magic Wand simulator

MagicQ supports a Magic Wand simulator which acts like the MagicQ Playback Wand.

To use the Magic Wand simulator start MagicQ with the command line argument “wand”. MagicQ will run just a simulation of the Magic Wand controlling the first 4 playbacks from the first Wing.

If you wish to restrict the Wand simulation to only connect to a specific IP address then include the required IP address as the second command line argument of the IP address.

The MagicQ Wand simulator must be run on a separate system to the one running MagicQ.