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About Events

Events offer a way to take actions in a HAL System using a time of day clock. The Event Manager interface is intended for Halogen programmers (not end users) to create and configure all events.

Events allow actions such as an automatic preset recall at 8 am every Sunday for a traditional church service, and then a second event recalls the 10 am contemporary service preset. Or turn up the background music and turn on the neon sign for happy hour from 4 pm to 6 pm weekdays.

If school lunch is in the cafeteria weekdays from 11:45 to 1 pm, but at all other times the room is for band & choir classes, a toggle event that sets up the HAL system for lunch at the proper time, but otherwise provides the band class settings could be another event.

If the lunchroom is used in more than just two ways, maybe as a homeroom from 8 am to 8:20, and detention from 3:30 to 4, you’d set up several consecutive command events that follow each other: homeroom, band, lunch, band, detention, Thursday evening choir practice and Saturday yoga class.

note: Note: If you need actions that never relate to a clock, date, or a timer, such as simply pushing a button somewhere to change settings, you don’t need events at all – you can link directly to the button action – see About Control Links.

What is an event and why would I use one?

An event is a way in Halogen and HAL to activate an action using a date and time, a time interval, or a button press followed by a timeout to undo the button action. After activation, an optional inactivation of the action can be set using time. Some examples of action activation or deactivation are toggling one or a group of parameters (e.g., mutes, audio matrix cross points). Or an action can activate a preset (a set of parameters to apply then later remove).

When should I use events?

Use an event when you want do something on a specific or recurring date and/or time.

How do I create events?

The Event Manager in Halogen software is used to create, configure and test events.

What does the Event Manager do?

The Event Manager in Halogen is the dialog in which all events are created, configured, edited and optionally linked to other controls such as toggles, commands, or selectors.

How do I give the end users control over an event?

In addition to using the clock to drive the activation and/or deactivation of events, you can also link to an event’s Active Trigger and/or Inactive Trigger buttons.

note: Note: giving end users control of an event, means that BOTH a clock/time AND an end user button on a Digital Remote or web page or 3rd-party touch screen are driving the activation and/or deactivation. If you need actions that are only triggered by direct end user button presses, and do not need a time of day at all, you do not need an event. You need a control link. See About Control Links.

What differences are there between the date and time when using Halogen versus the date and time when Connected live to a HAL device?

When you are Disconnected (offline) using Halogen, the Event Manager always uses your computer’s date and time. This allows testing events in every way by either manually triggering events, or by changing your computer’s time and observing that events trigger as expected – even while offline.

When you are Connected with a live HAL device, the Event Manager in Halogen uses the HAL’s internal date and time which can be set in a few ways. See the next couple questions for more details.

Can the HAL’s date, time & time zone be different than my computer’s date, time & time zone?

Yes. They can be different. This difference is needed when you bring your computer to the job site and it is in a different time zone than your office is – you jet setter, you.

As an example, lets say your office is on the east coast, but the HAL install you are working on is destined for the west. To set things up properly, first connect to the HAL at the office, then using the Adjust HAL Date/Time dialog set the time zone for your office location. While in this dialog, choose between setting the HAL time manually, Sync to your local PC time every time you connect or apply, or Sync to an NTP server to automatically keep the HAL date & time current. Once the HAL configuration is complete and you are satisfied all is working properly, re-open the Adjust HAL Date/Time dialog and set the time zone for your west coast location. The HAL is now ready to ship.

note: Remember, even if date & time is set to sync on connect/apply, or via NTP server, time zone adjustment is still a manual step and must be done each time the HAL is installed in a new time zone.

How do I set the HAL’s date and time or clock?

There are three ways to set a HAL’s time, all of which require a live HAL connection to configure:

  1. Manually enter a date and time for the HAL.
  2. Synchronize the HAL’s clock to your computer’s clock. This is the default action that happens each and every time you Connect/Apply.
  3. Synchronize to an NTP (Network Time Protocol) server. The server can be on the local network, or the Internet as long as the HAL’s Ethernet settings are set to appropriate IP, DNS and Gateway settings.

warning! All three options for setting the HAL clock are for date and time only. Time Zone is never automatically set. By default every HAL ships with the Time Zone set to Unspecified (UTC) or Coordinated Universal Time (UTC/GMT). Setting the HAL Time Zone is a manual adjustment that must be done on initial HAL configuration or any time HAL is installed in a new time zone.

What controls can I link to events? What are the differences between the three types of events? What event type should I use and why?

There are three types of events: toggle, command and 2-position selector events. Toggle events link to any toggle. Command events link to any command. And selector events link to any 2-position selector.

In addition to linking directly between the above control types anywhere in Halogen, events may be linked to toggle presets, command presets and 2-position selector presets. Linking to presets allows an event activation to set values for any number of blocks and controls. See About Control Links and About Presets.

To get your “how to use events” juices flowing:

Toggle Events

Toggle events both look and behave like checkboxes – they are either on or off, active or inactive. Any or all toggles (checkboxes with links) within Halogen can be linked to a toggle event. This includes:

  • Toggle preset Active checkbox
  • Toggle checkbox on a DR2, DR3, DR6, Web Control page or 3rd-pary control screen
  • Relay output on a HAL1x or HAL2
  • Logic output on an EXP3x or DR4
  • Mute control link found on Input, Output and many other Level blocks elsewhere
  • Paging Station input Talk buttons on the Paging Station & Pager1 blocks
  • Input or output mute on Auto mixers or matrix mixers (regular or Gain-sharing)
  • Cross point Enable checkbox on a mixer or matrix mixer
  • Cross point Priority enable on a Gain-sharing mixer or matrix mixer
  • Paging or Emergency zone active indicator (Paging Manager or Paging Zone block)
  • Room combine or conference room combine “movable” wall - use time to combine a room or virtual room (e.g., overflow).
  • Off @ Min on every linkable Level block or cross point
  • Force duck (Ducker block)
  • Ramp pink noise up or ramp pink noise down controls on the Pink Noise: Ramped block, for noise masking applications
  • Audio active or inactive above a user-defined threshold in the Voice Detect block
  • Audio cross point enables between rooms/destinations in the Conference Switchboard block
  • The AEC’s Ambient Noise Reduction, or for testing-only, the AEC Enable in the AEC block
Command Events

Command events have a start time, but no end time. They simply activate at the configured time, and that is all. You can either think of command events as completely independent, autonomous and unique events that do their own thing on their own time. Or mentally think of them as a group of actions that follow or stack upon each other. Any command in Halogen can be linked to a command event, including:

  • Command preset Assert
  • Command button on a DR2, DR3, DR6, Web Control page or 3rd-party control screen
Selector Events

Selector events always have an active and an inactive state with a corresponding start time (Active) and end time (Inactive). They are always presented as a 2-position selector and therefore can only link to other selectors that are either already 2-positions, or once linked, will become and always remain 2-position selectors. Since selector events are always displayed and presented as 2-position selectors they always display a unique name for their two states or switch positions; they have two radio buttons labels.

Selector vs Toggle Events

Unlike single text label toggle events, selector events offer end users insight to two unique event states, not just on or off as toggles offer. Thus, selector events are useful when your school cafeteria is also the band rehearsal room where two event labels display “Lunch” and “Band” modes. Both labels would be visible, but only one at a time is active. For this application, the Event Manager is configured to change between these two event states and linking the event Active to a web page or DR6 would allow end users to view or monitor the current state. To allow end users to change the event status, provide an additional control to activate (Lunch) or deactivate (Band) the selector event.

Any 2-position selector in Halogen can be linked to a selector event, including:

  • 2-position selector preset
  • 2-position selector or router block in the Processing Workspace
  • 2-position selector on a DR2, DR3, DR6, Web Control page or 3rd-pary control screen
  • 2-position selector in a Paging Station or Pager1 (to select one of two Scenarios using time of day)
What is the difference between a toggle and selector event? And why, where and when would I use each?

Toggle events are always presented and displayed using a checkbox. If your event can be easily understood by end users using a single term with a checkbox next to it, use a toggle. Or put another way, if the end user label easily suggests an on and off state, or an active and inactive, use a toggle. Examples are:

  • Open
  • Applause
  • On Air
  • Happy Hour
  • Worship In Session
  • System Power On
  • SPL exceeded
  • Emergency
  • Intermission
  • Recording
  • Caution, Bridge Up
  • Sorry, We’re Closed
  • Chairman Override On
  • Quiet Please
  • Page Active in Zone 6
  • Room 105 A&B Combined
  • Noise Masking On
  • Stage Door Locked
  • Overflow On
  • Balcony Open
  • Time Out, Dude

However, a selector event always displays two terms along with two radio buttons – each with a text label. One radio button and its text label is selected when the event is active or on. And the second button/label is selected when the event is inactive or off. Thus, a selector event is used to indicate or show an end user that there are two possible conditions where on and off do not make sense. Examples include:

  • Lunch / Band
  • Worship mode / Rehearsal mode
What’s the difference between the four linkable controls in each event?

Each toggle and selector event has four possible links. Each command event has three possible links. Here’s how they differ:

  1. Event Value link – The event value/status is always grayed-out because it is a read-only control. This means that it only shows you if the event is active or inactive. When checked or selected, it means that there is a match between the current clock settings and the settings configured for the event. Therefore, when you link to the Event value, you are providing an indicator or monitor that displays an events status. Since the clock settings and event settings are the only thing that drive the event active checkbox, you can't use this link to allow an end user to activate or inactivate an event; this is what the Active Trigger & Inactive Trigger links provide.
  2. Active Trigger link – Since the event value link is solely and always a monitor showing an event’s state, to allow both the clock and end users to activate events, link to the Active Trigger link. This is useful when end users need to start events before the configured event time – this provides a “start the meeting now” button to activate the event.
  3. Inactive Trigger link (not applicable/available in command events) – To manually end an event that is active, link to the Inactive Trigger link. This allows event deactivation from a button, DR2, DR3, DR6, web control page button or a 3rd-party button.
  4. Event Enable link – The Enable link conceptually unplugs the clock from the event. This is useful to skip or ignore a given event because it turns off the clock feed so the event is disabled from knowing the time. You might need this when configuring or testing events – especially when making changes or tweaks to a live HAL system that is in use.