TECHNICAL SUPPORT
RETURN BACK TO MAIN SCREEN

INSTALLATION and OPERATION

NOTE: IF YOUR COMPUTER IS NOT PLAYING EVENTS AS SCHEDULED, OR MISSING EVENTS, ETC., YOU MUST FIRST SETUP YOUR DATE AND TIME FORMATS! To set this:

In Win9x- Go to Control Panel, and then click on Regional Settings . Click on TIME,  Then select TIME STYLE to hh:mm:ss:tt.
Then click APPLY. Click on DATE, and select SHORT DATE STYLE to mm/dd/yyyy. Click APPLY, and close panel.

In Win Xp- Go to Control Panel, then click on Regional and Language options . Click Customize, then pick the Time tab. On Time format drop down, select hh:mm:ss tt. Then select Date tab . On Short Date drop down, select MM/DD/yyyy. Then click on the Apply button, and close.
 

Automatronix is a self-installing format. It will add the program to the default :
C:/Program Files/Automatronx directory. It is recommended that the program be installed into C:/Automatronix. You can change this in the initial setup screen. That way it is much easier to locate, and eliminates the accidental erasure of the /program files folder by a hacker.

AUTOMATRONIX FILES- These files are frequently accessed by Automatronix, and are listed here for reference only. YOU SHOULD NOT MODIFY THESE FILES IF YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW OR WHY YOU ARE DOING SO; otherwise Automatronix may produce unexpected results, or even stop working!

1) Automatronix.exe- Main program- IF YOU MODIFY, IT WON'T WORK ANYMORE!

2) Events.mdb- The events database in Microsoft Access format. Any other Automatronix saved event database will contain this same extension. For technical purposes, the file format is as follows:

TABLE NAME: main

Field #    field name     field type     field size     explanation               required              allow 0 length

0            ID                   Auto Int        2            internal record    #        *
1            StartDate         Date/Time    8            event start date            *
2            StopTime         Date/Time    8            event start time            *
3            StopDate         Date/Time    8            event stop date
4            StopTime         Date/Time    8            event stop time
5            Immed             Integer         2            Immediate flag
6            Hourly             Integer         2            Hourly flag
7            Sun                 Byte            1            Sunday Flag
8            Mon                Byte             1            Monday Flag
9            Tue                 Byte             1            Tuesday Flag
10          Wed                Byte             1            Wednesday Flag
11          Thu                 Byte             1             Thursday Flag
12          Fri                   Byte             1             Friday Flag
13          Sat                  Byte             1             Saturday Flag
14          Comm             Text             32            Event Comments                     *
15          FileName0       Text             127          Event Filename 0                    *
16          FileName1          "                  "              "         "          1                     *
17          FileName2          "                  "              "         "          2                     *
18          FileName3          "                 "               "         "          3                     *
19          FileName4          "                 "               "         "          4                     *
20          FieName5           "                 "               "         "          5                     *
21          FileName6          "                 "               "         "          6                     *
22          FileName7          "                 "               "         "          7                     *
23          FileName8          "                 "               "         "          8                     *
24          FileName9          "                 "               "         "          9                     *
25          FileName10        "                 "               "         "         10                    *
26          FileName11        "                 "               "         "         11                    *
27          FileName12        "                 "               "         "         12                    *
28          FileName13        "                 "               "         "         13                    *
29          FileName14        "                 "               "         "         14                    *

INDEXED FIELD
Date--- +StartDate; +StartTime (not unique)

You must maintain this format for Automatronix to properly utilize this database. You may compact, remove, or modify from Access 97, but DO NOT SAVE or CONVERT as an Acess 2000 database.

3) OPTS.FIL- This file will store the options in fields with the following text, sequential format:

Field         name                 value                                             description
0             OVLT                 0.1-30                    playlist system overlap time in seconds
1             OVLT1               0.1-10                    event list system overlap time in seconds
2             LogsOn                1/0                        1= logging enabled
3             ClrEvtOpt             1/0                        1= gives ability to clear all events
4             dimlevel                0- -1000                the more negative, the greater the dim level
5             PLLoadOnStart    1/0                        1= load default playlist (pldef.lst) on startup
6             AutoMode            0-4                        mode on startup
7             Plyidx                   0- 9999                 play index to load players at startup
8             OpenMax             1/0                        1= open maximized
9             Def1Dir                text                       path/directory for default #1 button
10           Def2Dir                  "                             "         "                       #2     "
11           Def3Dir                  "                             "         "                       #3     "
12           Def4Dir                  "                             "         "                       #4     "

Please do NOT modify this file if you do not know what you are doing!

4) *.LOG- The log file with the file prefix defined using the YYYYMMDD format. Every item that successfully plays logs the date, time, and filename of each file played, in the order it was played. It also logs startup, end, and program close times. This file is automatically created for each day the program is run, and is updated when the enable logging  is selected in the options screen. and creates a new file daily. A text editor can be used to read this file type, and the SEARCHER program is useful for selecting/saving program data from the log files.

5) HOTKEYDEF.HKL- The list of files in the Hotkeys in the order 1-6. Blank spaces between files indicate the corresponding HotKey is NOT loaded with a file.

6) PLDEF.LST- The default playlist file that is created when the program exits. Whatever is in the Playlist window will be written to this file. If LOAD PLAYLIST ON STARTUP is enabled in OPTIONS screen, then this file will load into the playlist on startup.

7) RND.FIL- The Random file list. Created when saving RANDOM Files.

8) PLAYLIST FILES- Any text file with the  *.LST suffix will load into the Automatronix playlist window. With painstaking effort, you can open these files in a text editor and modify as you see fit. All playlist files must contain the full path and file extensions to be valid. You can open playlist files in a text editor and modify as you see fit, or you can use the file editor in the main screen (OPTIONS/MAINTAIN PLAYLIST FILES) menu.

9) SUB-PLAYLIST FILES- Any text file with the *.MPL extension is valid.  The files in the sub-playlist will play in the exact order as listed when selected by the main playlist, and will auto-load into the SUB PLAYLIST window..

10) RANDOM PLAY FILES- Any text file with the *.RPL extension is valid. The files in this type of file will be selected at random the files in this type of list when accessed by the main playlist.

11) ROTATION/ROTATION-RANDOMIZE FILES - Any text file with the *.ROT extension is valid. The files this type will rotate in sequence through the list, while maintaining an index inside the list. The Automatronix will rotate through the list, and return back to the beginning. A text file with the *.RNR extension will do the same, but randomize the list when it reaches the end, and start over from the beginning.

12) HOTKEY FILES- Any text file with the *.HKL extension can be used. IMPORTANT- If you modify a list the LAST entry (after the 6th HotKey) must say the word "END", otherwise your file will NOT load.

13) RESET FILE- If you create a text file (no data necessary) with an 'RRR' extension, and insert into an event, it will force Automatronix to reset the play position back to the begining of the playlist. This is useul when wanting to force resetting of playlist.

14)- LICENSE.LCF- DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ATTEMPT TO MODIFY OR DELETE THIS FILE!  It contains the registration data for your licensed copy of Automatronix. IF YOU DO, IT WILL CORRUPT THE FILE AND RENDER AUTOMATRONIX USELESS.

15)- SATELLITE MODE FILES- These files are used to start/stop the satellite mode.- The file content can be a standard text file with any file length, named *.SAT or *.CLR.

16)- RS-232 DATA FILES - Useful when wanting to send data to the RS-232 port from either a playlist, or eventlist. The file content can be any standard text file with any file length (longer files will take more time to buffer the RS-232 port), named *.RS2. Useful when controlling satellite or remote switches.

ACCEPTABLE DATA FILE TYPES- These are the audio data file formats that are supported by Automatronix:   wav, mp3, mpe, aiff, au, aif, aifc, wma, mid, midi, mp2, wm

Any other file format will not function in Automatronix. Remember, when Automatronix is operating in Auto (or live assist) mode, it will kick out any invalid file. If in Manual mode, player view screen will turn RED.

SETTING UP SPECIAL FEATURES

1- AUTO-STARTING AUTOMATRONIX ON BOOTUP- In order to allow Automatronix to auto start when your operating system is booted, a modification to the Win.ini file must be made.  For Windows 9x, click on START-PROGAM FILES-ACCESSORIES-SYSTEM TOOLS-SYSTEM INFORMATION . This will open the system info (MSINFO32.EXE file) (for xP, Click START-RUN- then type MSCONFIG [ok]). Then click on TOOLS-SYSTEM CONFIGURATION UTILITY. Click on the WIN.INI  tab. It will open the win.ini file. Double-click on the WINDOWS folder; it will open other check boxes. Look for the RUN= box, and click on it. Either right-click and press EDIT, or click on the EDIT button at the bottom of the window. Now change it so that it reads 'run=c:\automatronix\automatronix.exe' or whatever the FULL PATH of Automatronix program resides, followed by the '\automatronix.exe (use BACKSLASHES). Then save and exit this screen. You can restart if desired.  When the computer re-starts, it will automatically run Automatronix. You can also add the Automatronix program to the Start Menu on the Desktop.

DIAGNOSTIC WINDOW

Included with Automatronix is a diagnostic window, under the HELP- ENABLE DIAGNOSTIC SCREEN dropdown menu item. Each section of this window has a specific purpose, and is used for debugging for technical support.

KNOWN ISSUES

OPERATION
 

ABSOLUTE MINIMAL SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS-

1) Pentium 200 MMX processor.
2) Windows 98 first edition.
3) 64 Mb RAM.
4) Hard drive with sufficient storage space for songs ( 1 MB/min).
5) PCI-series Sound-Blaster or equlvalent series soundcard (16 bit).
6) Windows Media Player 6 or higher installed.

RECOMMENDED SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

1) Pentium 3- 800 processor, 256M RAM.
2) items 2-6 above on ABSOLUTE MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS.

BEST SYSTEM:  Anything better than the above.

OPERATIONAL HINTS:

1) Remember to allow 1 Mb/min of storage space for mp3 files.
2) Try to avoid no-name mother boards. This will save you many hours of undue suffering.
3) It is not recommended to run Automatronix with other resource-hogging software.
4) If you change the path and/or file names of any files saved in a playlist, remember to change the
    modified paths/filenames, otherwise Automatronix will think it is a 'bad' file, and skip it. If you change
    several files in a row, it will skip all files it cannot recognize.

A- OPERATIONAL ISSUES

 1) Sound playback warbles or cuts up-
   a) Be certain you do not have the XING player installed. If you do, REMOVE IT.
   b) Be sure your system meets the recommended requirements.

 2) Audible 'click' sound when playing files from one format to anothe r- This occurs when playing a .wav file into an .mp3 file (or vice versa). This condition is that of some sound card characteristics (particularly the newer ENSONIQ PCI sound card). It is an inherent design flaw in this particular card. This same problem occurs with older sound cards. See  audio sound card issues for more information on this problem.

3) Some .mp3 files have a 'swishing' sound- This occurs when the file was converted from a .wav format to the .mp3 format. Some of the encoders (like AudioCatalyst), utilize a fast encoder. In the process of fast encoding, some high frequency information is compromised. If you utilize the AudioCatalyst program, it is recommended that the 192 kBps rate be utilized. Please read the specific instructions provided by the AudioCatalyst program for changing this information. It is recommended you utilize the SIMPLE mp3 encoder supplied with your installation disk.

4) An .mp3 file shows that its playing, but no sound is heard.-  It is most likely that the file was recorded at too high (greater than 240 kBp/S rate) of a bitrate. Re-save the file between 192kBp/S and 128 kBp/S rate. A test can be to pause the player, advance the player bar, then press play. You will now hear sound. If this occurs, your sample rate is too high.

5) Sound intermittently stops between selections- See # 2 above. Also, a slow processor (120mHz) can cause this.

6) Audio seems to switch to mono and stay there until a stereo file is played- This occurs from slow processor speed, inferior sound cards and/or resource issues. Stick with the RECOMMENDED settings to aviod this problem.

7) Players operate erratic; one at a time, skip players, out of sequence - You have an old version of Windows Media Player. You MUST install Windows Media Player 6 or higher (supplied with installation disk). You can download from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/download/
or use the supplied Windows Media Player install on your Automatronix installation CD.

8) Clicking NEXT button in AUTO mode causes GPF in ac3audio.ax module - This is caused by the KRISTAL STUDIO application- rename ac3audio.ax to ac3audio.a1 and rename decaudio.ax to decaudio.a1. These files are located in /windows/system folder.

9) On program start,  message "Component MSDXM.OCX not correctly registered; file missing or invalid" appears- Be sure Windows Media Player version 6 or higher is properly installed. You can download it from this Microsoft link.

10) Files appear to skip in the playlist- This is most likely caused by renaming, removing, re-tagging, or re-locating files in a playlist or location on your drive. Verify the questionable file with the actual specified filename and location.

11) My Digital Audio "CARD-D" will not work with Automatronix- This is a known issue with this particular card, due to the fact that it is not compatable with the Windows Multimedia mixer. Automatronix makes 'calls' to the multimedia mixer as part of it's process. Unfortunately the only solution here is either install on a different machine, or replace CARD-D with Sound-Blaster compatable sound card.

12) Automatronix just shuts down by itself- This is most likely caused by a third party MP3 player such as Music Match Jukebox or a similar program. Check your startup files, and remove any other MP3 player (OTHER than Windows Media Player) that is in your computer. Windows Media player must remain in the computer for Automatronix operates properly.

13) I am using a CRYSTAL sound card and the program starts with the controls set to off- This is a known issue with Crystal Semiconductors, Inc. , and can be corrected two ways-
    1- by using the CRYSTAL select item under OPTIONS-SET DEFAULTS- SPECIAL OPTIONS tab (enable the check under
     USING CRYSTAL, then save options and restart progam), or
    2- using an updated driver.

NOTE- The SPECIAL OPTIONS feature only allows the Crystal sound card to un-mute upon program start; if you use the line/mic file input features of the program, it will mute the main audio, and require the control panel to be reset. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THE USE OF CRYSTAL SOUND CARDS, but we provided a provision for this unusual card type anyway.

AUDIO SOUND CARD ISSUES
Not all sound cards respond the same with Automatrionx/Windows operating environment. Problems such as cut outs, audio delay, drop-outs, and even file load issues. Listed are specific issues with known cards:

CREATIVE ISA CT2290, CRYSTAL (ALL), Most ISA sound cards.

RETURN BACK TO MAIN SCREEN
 

updated 11/05/08