LGB - a control - handheld


The control station

Any kind of handheld in the form of a PDA, MDA or Palm can be used if you prefer a wireless device for outdoor usage. Hardware and operating system are irrelevant. The handheld just needs to be equipped with a WLAN interface and a webbrowser.

Renouncing the "boundless cable-freeness", also any network-equipped computer with a webbrowser installed can be used. Operating system and hardware do play a role neither here.

Since there are innumerable devices on the opalescent handheld market and as the market is affected by continous changes, a recommendation for a particular device cannot be given.

The picture on the left shows the first handheld bought in 2003, a HP iPAQ5450.

Here are the features of a handheld which are relevant for operating a garden railway:
Exchanging files with other computers should be as easy as possible too, since one most likely won't edit the control files (see illustration on the right) on the handheld. Exchanging files may be accomplished using a "syncronization" mechanism (like with ActiveSync in a Microsoft environment) or "network drives" incorporating a WLAN connection.

A handheld's other or further features are at most a matter of taste or worth reviewing only in case additional applications are planned.

To make use of the handheld as a control station for the garden railway, its IP-address needs to be adapted once to the local network's requirements. The files for the graphical user interface and the control are stored in a directory the user is free to chose. The number of these GIF files for graphical purposes and HTML files for the control is within manageable limits (see picture on the right).

The same files can be stored and used in the same way on other computers.

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