System Structure

//Customization Guide - House Manager / System Structure 
Customization of levels, floors, rooms and subsystems
To customize the internal structure of Arloid Automation system, you should first add all components in the House Manager mode: Levels, Floors, Rooms and Subsystems. Each of the components will be further filled with all the necessary devices and equipment: e.g., sensors, thermostats, switches, controllable sockets, air conditioners and many other things that make our life comfortable. The task of a.Systemouse system is to make Smart Home operation easy and user friendly. 
Such division into levels, floors and rooms is nominal, i.e. they serve as filters for convenient display and control of devices. In any case, there must be at least one level in the system. Those filters are visualized as raster images of layouts to be displayed in User Interface mode.

We recommend adding items in the following order. It will be the optimal way for further binding of new devices to real rooms and equipment, once you have added them to the system. 

  1. Level (area, building)
  2. Floor
  3. Room
  4. Subsystem (climate, lighting, etc.)
  5. Devices (sensor, lamp, AC, etc.)
Thus, it's better to create a building and territory first, then add layouts for different floors and rooms, and eventually you'll create subsystems of devices. This is how you'll establish step by step the virtual Smart Home system, using the a.Systemouse software package. This system is fully functional now: you can control the devices and create unique scenarios as soon as you've added the concerned devices. To learn how to match/bind virtual devices with real ones, refer to this Instruction and System Startup Guide. 
Arloid Automation software package is really versatile; it allows addition and adjustment of levels, floors and rooms at any time when you are creating the Smart Home system and later, when you are operating it. The user will not need any programmers or designers to assist him with accomplishing this task, because with the tools featuring the Arloid Automation software and with this guide the user has everything to complete such tasks.

Fig.1 The levels of the smart home system - General view


To add items, use the functional keys in the bottom line of the screen: Add (+), Remove (-), Edit (pencil image) and arrows to move the item up/down the list.



We recommend creating the following levels: area adjacent to the main building and each floor with a detailed layout of each room. If necessary, a  floor that covers a large area (e.g., in a shopping mall) can be divided into several nominal "Levels", and visa versa, several floors with small areas can be depicted together as one "Level" (using one image). By default, the Arloid Automation system is supplied with "Ground Floor" demo level. The installer has to create and add all the necessary levels here. The house designer would normally provide beautifully designed detailed plans. The higher is detalization, resemblance and quality of the images, the better is the visual comfort and the faster will the user navigate through Arloid Automation system.
As shown in Fig.1, Levels are given in a tabular view. Each line should be filled with the following data:
  • ID — this is individual number for the level. The system assigns level IDs automatically, so there is no need to change those.
  • Level — user-defined text of one or more words. This is how the name will appear on the graphical plan. All the level names can be in the language the user will prefer.
  • Image — graphical plan of the level or floor. When you create or edit the level, please upload an image file.
  • Sound message (optional) - it's a signal or voice sound recorded as *.wav file. The name of a sound message file would normally contain the name of relevant location (e.g. "Ground floor"); you can use it in Scenarios, so that the system will also announce the area of an event (e.g. smoke detection).


Fig.2 Creation of levels and floors.



Installers can use rooms to group Smart Home devices according to their location inside one Level. One floor may include several rooms, such as a living room, a kitchen, a storage room, etc. (Fig.3). In Arloid Automation, rooms serve as filters for displaying devices in List view: for instance, if the user chooses Kitchen, the system will show only the devices pertaining to the kitchen (all the other devices will be hidden). 
Such grouping is especially useful for large systems. Let's say, an occupancy sensor (in Kitchen on Ground Floor) triggered, then the system can give a sound alert specifying the sensor type and location.

Fig.3. Rooms, Primary Interface




 Fig.4 Rooms, Mobile Interface (in this case through Android OS)

It is not necessary to have rooms for fully functional operation of a.Syste. Rooms are used solely for more comfortable configuration and operation. 

In HouseManager mode, all rooms are displayed as a table which includes the following data: 

  • ID — individual level number. The system automatically assigns IDs, so there is no need to change them.
  • Room name — user-defined text of one or more words. This is how the name will appear on the graphical plan. All the room names can be in the language the user will prefer.
  • Image — graphical plan of the level or floor. When you create or edit the level, please upload an image file. 
  • Sound message (optional) - it's a signal or voice sound recorded as *.wav file. The name of a sound message file would normally contain the name of relevant room (e.g. "Study"); you can use it in Scenarios, so that the system will also announce the area of an event (e.g. smoke detection).


Fig.5 Configuration of Rooms in HouseManager mode



Subsystems allow grouping devices according to their functional purpose. Arloid Automation system is by default supplied with Lighting subsystem. The installer should add other subsystems according to the particular project specification: Climate Control, Security, Guarding, etc. To customize subsystems, use the functional keys in the bottom part of the screen: "+" to add, "-" to remove, "pencil" icon to edit and "up"/ "down" arrows to change the order of how the subsystems will be displayed. You can freely define the list of subsystems, likewise the content of each subsystem.

In HouseManager mode, all Subsystems are displayed as a table including the following boxes (Fig.6): Image, Subsystem name; Show on plan:


Fig. 6 Subsystem setting in HouseManager mode.


Image — a graphic icon symbolizing the subsystem. When creating or editing a subsystem, select the relevant file from the dropdown list

The selected icon will be displayed on the lower bar in Main Window of the system (Fig.7,8). You can choose icons from the collection of preset files or upload your own one.

Image requirements:
File format: *.png (preferrable);
Size: 40 x 40 dpi.

Subsystem name — user-defined text of one or more words. This is how the name will appear on the graphical plan and lists. All the subsystem names can be in the language the user will prefer.

Show on plan — information about preference for subsystem show/hide on the graphical plan. If  there is a check mark, the selected subsystem will be shown on the a.System system plan; without check mark, it will be hidden.



The system is designed to ensure parallel operation of connected devices with different protocols. Arloid Automation system can control a practically unlimited range and number of devices. The Smart Home system can be expanded at any time, with a new module or new devices.
Arloid Automation system effectively integrates both wired and wireless technologies. One a.Server can be equally efficient when used for small-scale projects, such as automation of an apartment, and huge shopping malls comprising hundreds of spaces and thousands of sensors and devices. While in operation, the system can be easily supplemented with new devices or multiple groups of devices.

To add new devices, follow the two-stage procedure below (after the necessary levels, floors, rooms and subsystems have been created):

Stage 1 — Add virtual devices and configure Smart Home system 

Stage 2 — Bind real devices with virtual ones and test Smart Home system

Virtual devices can be added remotely, based on the design documents and terms of reference.  Arloid Automation enables to create a fully functional virtual system, arrange devices inside rooms, and set up their behavior through scenarios. 
To add devices to a.System, use functional keys in the lower part of the screen:  "+" to add, "-" to remove.

Fig.9 List of devices added

  1. Button shutdown mode HouseManager;
  2. Functional keys.
After a click on "+", the system will offer you to select a type of device (e.g., binary actuator - Fig.10). The list in the pop-up window will include pre-set devices, so you should select the relevant one (in this case, a fan):

Fig.10 Adding a new device


To ensure appropriate operation of the devices, please fill in properties for the device in the pop-up window:




Fig.11 New device parameters.



ID — system assigned name of the device: we recommend using the name as it appears in your design documentation.

Name — user assigned name of the device: here you should type in the name you prefer or leave the default name without change

Subsystem — select the relevant subsystem for the new device from the list you've created. 

Level — select the relevant level from the list you've created.

Device type — leave without changes.

Image — the system contains all icons you might need, and you will be offered the most suitable of them.


Log all switchings of devices

Each device can have two or more statuses. For instance, Lights will have "On" and "Off" statuses, reed sensors can be in "Open" and "Close" condition. If the function "Log all switchings of devices" is active, entries will be made in the log about the swithing time and what to which status the device eventually switched. 
Example of Journal for Reed sensor SGERKON1:
20.12.2013 10:14:32 Window in Living Room Ground Floor — Open.
20.12.2013 12:48:55 Window in Living Room Ground Floor — Closed.
20.12.2013 18:51:09 Window in Living Room Ground Floor — Open.

Log all changes in device parameters.

Mark this button with a flag if you would like all data about changes in device operation to be logged.

Hide from plan and list — if necessary, this function will prevent the most important devices from accidental changes.

All the listed parameters can be edited in HouseManager mode during operation. 

Now you can save the changes by pressing "Save" button, and the system will scroll to the added device, so that you could continue setting the device behavior. 


Setting automatic mode for devices

This setting is for activation / deactivation of the relevant scenario template. E.g., let's add a fan in the bathroom on the ground floor and set the cursor on the line corresponding to the fan in the general list. Now press "Auto". To see the list of scenarios press "+". The system will offer you a list of available scenario templates to turn on the fan on event: in this case, let's select the event "activation on motion sensor". Then select the specific motion sensor, whose signal will trigger the automatic scenario when a person enters the specified room. To save this selection, press the "Save" button.





Fig.13 Logical adjustment of device behavior



"Hardware" key

At this stage, we proceed to binding the real devices to the virtual ones.

Use the "Hardware" key to bind the added real device to Arloid Automation system: the system will match the virtual device to the physically connected item. If there are modules and free channels available, it's enough to simply highlight the virutal device and press "Hardware" key, then select the relevant module from the list and save settings. Now that binding is completed, the system can give commands to real devices and read their condition. Binding is carried out through Modules, where the method of binding will depend on the Module type. There is only a slight difference between the procedures for binding different modules and different devices.


System values

System values ensure operation of certain scenarios, security and energy efficiency of the subsystems of devices. 
"CONNECTIONS" value is used for activation of security scenarios, e.g., to announce multiple user connections to the system.
"DARKNESS" value contains the parameters for sunset and dawn based on the geographical coordinates of the property. It helps implementation of useful scenarios bound to time of the day. E.g., the scenario for outside lights automatically turning off after dawn will reduce energy costs and extend the lighting equipment life. 
"REGIM" value will ensure implementation of the majority of scenarios bound to the user schedule. Arloid Automation system has three default modes: Day, Night and Economical. The latter mode is used for a period of long-term absence from home (vacation or business trip or other cases). If necessary, you can rename those three modes in the same dialogue box and assign icons, e.g. for a shopping mall or office building, you can have the modes "Open", "Closed", "Weekend", etc. The settings you've made will be immediately reflected in User Interface. 
You can apply the function "log all switchings in the journal" to each value. To do so, use the functional key "Edit" at the bottom part of the screen.


Fig.14 System values a.System



Different control devices use different protocols. Arloid Automation system is capable of operating all those devices through Modules. 

Modules are actually drivers matching the USB or Ethernet gateways. Modules ensure communication between a.Server and control devices via protocols; control devices give commands to and receive data from sensors and devices. With the modules, you can create versatile and multifunctional configurations of Smart Home systems. 
Arloid Automation system should have at least one gateway for communication with real devices.  


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