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Any Interest in a 788T Windows Based (Maybe Android) Control App


jawharp

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Hello people,

 

A while back I posted about the hardwired CL-Wifi that I made that works much better than the wireless one, and people seemed to like the idea but it was pretty hacky.  In setting up an ethernet network on my cart, I realized that the IP address of the CL-Wifi is hardcoded into the app, so I couldn't get it to reliably be a part of my cart's network.  I wanted to see if I could write a Windows Forms app that controlled the 788T via the C. Link port, and in the process discovered that all of this can be done over a hardline on the 788's usb port.  

 

I've been able to successfully send commands to it and get responses from it using nothing more than a usb cable from my laptop.  I was tossing the idea around of basically re-writing the CL-Wifi app for windows to use on my cart PC via remote desktop on my ipad.  This isn't the most plug and play setup, but it works for me.  A more plug and play type of setup would be a native android/ios app that can control a 788T via usb directly.  The app would be able to do everything the CL-Wifi app could do.  I guess my question is does anyone still use their 788 besides me who would be interested in something like an app that controls a 788T via a tablet/ipad?  

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No, mine's not web based it's all uart over the usb connection. 

 

Though, the CL-Wifi is basically just an ethernet to uart converter that hosts a wireless network.  Once I plugged my hardwired CL-Wifi into my separate wireless router, I was able to run the CL-Wifi app on my ipad connected to that router's wifi and that worked basically as well as a hardline.  I think the main issue with the CL-Wifi's poor connectivity was the wifi module they chose for the hardware.  It seemed like it couldn't keep up, or would just go to sleep/disconnect for no reason.

 

If the ambient box connects to the 664 by a usb port, I wouldn't be surprised if it's using something similar to the 7 series' C. Link standard to communicate with it.  I don't have one to test with, though so I can't speak for the 664.

 

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I think there’s still enough of a market out there for people using the 788 that would love to have an app for it. I still use mine, I know a few people that do, and I know that abroad lots of folks are using them. But I think you’d have more of a demand for an iOS app than android overall. 

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God knows that I tried. I lost my coms with both Ambient (who had the bluetooth app for a moment, then stopped investing time into it) and also tried with Sound Devices if memory's good. 

I got these coms too, with New Endian and Timecode Systems. 

There definitely was a tie there... If that can help. I'd jump on any solution regarding this.

 

2019- To the guy who created Lectro RM and Freq Finder... 

 

Hi , thank you for your kind words. 

I did explore the CL-Wifi protocol at one point. At the time, there was a 
huge technical limitation imposed by Apple. It would seem that there is now 
an avenue around that limitation. 

The CL-WiFi used a WiFi mode that was awkward and rarely used, which means 
that manufacturers could change it, and screw up support for the CL-WiFi 
device. A replacement for the CL-WiFi would likely use Bluetooth in a 
similarly off-spec way. The protocol (the only one Apple allows without 
buying their MFi license) is not designed for streaming data (the Low 
Energy protocol). A generic adapter is available to bridge a serial line 
(like the 788 data port) to bluetooth low energy. Testing would be required 
to determine if the Low Energy protocol can handle the 788s data (which 
does include streaming timecode) 

When I tinkered with it before, I borrowed a friend's 788 when it wasn't on 
a job. I don't own one myself. At the time, when I considered writing a 
separate CL-WiFi app, there was no way to support both Android and iPhone, 
since Android no longer supported the ad-hoc mode that the CL-WiFi uses, 
and Apple didn't support the Serial to Bluetooth bridge that was available 
at the time. 

The 788 is a great device. I bet at this point Sound Devices might even 
just give me the spec. But I'd still need an actual 788 (and the bluetooth 
bridge) just to test to see if it's worth pursuing. 

Best, 
James 

 

 

Wow, I didn’t realize it involved these kind of protocols for the non-initiated to programming people I am part of..! 

I even thought of a physical remote that would work once and forever to be able to operate the 788 without the constraints of constantly upgrading/developping but I’m useless at programming, like I said . 

 

Yesterday again, a guy sold two 788s on our private soundpeople group here in Montreal. In a snap. I’d so much like to encourage you in some way to keep on looking at an alternate solution for us who still use this *still stellar* machine; it’s got its age, sure, but it still rocks ! 

  

Thanks a lot for answering, that cleared up questions regarding why both Sound Devices (wifi) and Ambient (Bluetooth) had to leave it there at some point, which is so sad. 

  

Have a good day 

 

 

 

2018- Development dept. at Timecode Systems 

 

Hi, I just got three USO units and they're great. Now, I see a wifi Master unit for sale and the price is nice except I don't know if both will work together ? My guess is they'll communicate for TC (using the :master in my bag to send TC to USOs on set) but I'll be limited to using the older Timecode Buddy App on my iPhone to get functions from the :master right ? Blink app won't work with :Master, am I right ? 
Also: is there any development concerning bridging the system to a Sound Devices 788 ? they abandonned development for their CL-wifi app and lots of sound people are kind of caught with that lack of support… there's still a lot of those machines on the market so that's why I'm asking. 
Thanks 

 

Thanks for getting in touch ! 
 
The WiFi Master will communicate over RF to the UltraSync ONE's this is correct 
 
The Blink HUB app is for :wave and :pulse only , the WiFi Master can be used with the Timecode Buddy App  
 
Unfortunately there is not any development bridging the system to a 788 , i will pass this on to to developers to find out more  
 
Thank you  
 

Regards 

Tom Fawlk 

Timecode systems - Product Support 

 

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Crap.  Yeah looking at it now, it looks like Apple doesn't allow direct serial communication through an iDevice's lightning/usb port.  While I am unsurprised, it is still frustrating.

 

I think an external device using a serial to ethernet module would work fine and you could just connect the 788 to a wireless router.  Once you connected an iPad to the wireless network, thr app could be able to find the 778 on the network no problem.  That's exactly how I'm doing it now with my hardline cl-wifi.  Once I get my library for talking to the 788 done, I'll look at what's involved in making an iOS network app.  

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While I don't own a 788t I think they're great machines worth preserving functionality into the future. Another idea which would make it device agnostic is hosting a web app on something like a raspberry pi zero W. The RPi could do all the serial communication and create an ad hoc network with it's on board wifi while hosting a web server. Then any device the user chooses can connect to the network and pull up a browser to control the 788t.

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jawharp: would you have a video showing your setup by any chance ? If it works, that's great nonobstant the steps to make it work !

 

I'd say, in the end, anybody coming with a good & solid solution would be more than welcomed.

I'd gladly pay for that option.

It's such a shame that the 788 fell into that crack and nobody carried on.

 

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Okay cool.  It seems like I'm not the only one looking for a solution to this.  I've started writing a library in C# for interacting with a 788T over usb and so far it's been pretty successful.  Using the USB disables the C. Link In jack on the back but it seems like the C. Link Out still sends "Broadcast All" messages to other machines attached to it.  So theoretically, you should be able to not only roll/cut all of them, but also sync settings like Date/Time, file names, recording specs, etc. to the whole C. Link network.  I don't think accessing each machine seperately works over C. Link though if you're going through USB, you can only send commands to all of them at once.

 

Once I get it working I'll write a small windows test app I can post here to see if it works anywhere besides my desk haha

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I'd be down for an app like this, especially if you could control multiple machines.  I currently have one 788t but am contemplating picking up a second as I've created a workflow with a 2nd unit summing through the link port of my Solice and it's sounding great.  These things are workhorses and the only real negative things about them is that you do have to dig through the rotary menu vs a modern app that could speed things like metadata up.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 5 weeks later...

I'm almost done with a windows version of the app that controls a single 788 via usb.  Multiple unit control over USB is limited to basic CLink broadcast commands like roll and cut, but I currently have a way I could hook up the 788's CLink port to a router with a $50 RS232 to ethernet/wifi adapter so it could be discoverable by an iPad/Android Tablet and you could control multiple linked units with it.  I don't currently have a Mac to write an iPad app on though.

 

Once the Windows usb app is done, I can post it here as a basic test app for funtionality/bugs before writing the actual iOS/Android versions cause those would take a bit longer since I'd have to learn their platforms a bit more.

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