Groov USB Ports

Hello All,

I am curious bout the usb ports on the front of the groov-ar1.

What exactly can I use them for?

Can I hook up an external harddrive to the groov box and use node-red to put data on there?

Is there a mapped location for the usb ports? (I would like to use node-red to put information onto an external hard drive if possible using the file node as I believe its called.)

See this post on using the USB port for 232 communication…

Right, I should have mentioned I know about the usb to serial port usage. But I was wondering if there is other functionality I can use with the usb ports. Indeed that is a recent development, but I believe AR-1’s have had usb ports for a while now. Is there no other use I can use those ports for other than the usb to serial?

I wanted to take the time to do some testing before I answered… So hence the delay…

In short, there are three uses for the USB ports on the groov AR1.

  1. Wifi. You can plug in one of three supported Wifi adapters and configure them in groov Admin.
  2. Backup/restore groov projects. Plug in a USB memory stick and go into groov Admin. From there you can select that drive to back up your groov project to, or restore a groov project from a file previously written to the memory stick. I did not test how much current the USB port is configured for, so cant really comment on how using a USB hard drive would work vs I know every USB memory stick I tested worked.
  3. USB to serial adapter via Node-RED.

Is that all there is ever going to be? No. We are expanding the use of the USB ports slowly. We want to make sure each new feature (driver if you like) is tested and stable.

If you have some use case, other than the one you mentioned - which is interesting, I will pass it onto the software guys - please let us know.
We want to be sure that we implement what our customers need.

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To give a bit of context, my company is working with an agricultural firm. The firm must submit a database showin information on temperatures etc for the month to the FDA.

My boss wants the automation side to be in it’s own world of sorts as much as possible.

In theory we would like to be able to run groov in a box, node-red in groov to move information from groov data stores into an sql database with the database running on a separate external harddrive connected to the AR1.

I do understand I can do this fairly easily using Groov Server on a windows computer running SQL Server Express and Node-RED all on the same computer, however my boss would like to see if we can do something like this without having to depend on a possibly non-industrial standard machine.

Long story short, It would be cool if the groov ar1 could back-up more than just it’s project to the USB ports.

If I could interact with the USB drive using Node-RED to move files around that would be cool too (I know I can do this with a regular computer and Node-RED and an USB Stick etc. But the drive has to be mapped to a letter so I can use the drives location, I dont think groov AR-1 does this.)

Phew… sorry for the wall of text. I could think of tons of stuff I would want to beable to do with Node-RED and the USB ports, but just having them mapped to a drive letter would be amazing.

For what it’s worth, the Trend gadget might be your friend here.

Set one up to track temperature (I’m assuming here you have a device/tag that reports it), and periodically (once a day?) download the data from that trend using curl or something similar. You’ll get a CSV file full of (timestamp, temperature) pairs and you can import that into a database however you like.

The timestamps in that CSV file are in Java/JavaScript form: milliseconds since January 1, 1970 UTC.

That is an option. My problem is that my boss wants to take things out of the equation not add them. He essentially wants to in the long run be able to hook a device right up to a Groov AR1 via usb and have logging occur to a database on that device. No computers involved.

I get what your boss is after, and why, but the challenge is two fold.
1. A USB drive is not a database.
2. You need to do a truck roll to get the data off the drive.

Is the AR1 on a network with Internet access? If so, you might be better using Node-RED to put the data to a cloud database where you can access it from the office as and when needed. Just one option.
Another option, there is an FTP Node, you could use Node-RED to FTP a file every hour or so to a remote server.
Another option, there is an email Node, you could use Node-RED to email the data to a address as needed.
Another option, there is a DropBox node, you could use Node-RED to put the log file into a DropBox location.

Yes, totally hear your last post, you don’t want to add another ‘box’ into the mix. I am just not sure the USB drive is a sustainable solution… The data is still trapped on the AR1. Node-RED is not really helping to set it free or make it visible by writing it to a USB stick??

Yeah I would honestly prefer using Node-RED with the cloud or to put it on a different computer. I’ve used it to do both to great success, however, it is not

Yeah I could plug in a SSD with a SATA adapter using usb 3.0 and have the database logged on the drive. Which is what I assume they would want. Honestly though, I don’t think that would be possible through the groov box. It would be easy from the windows computer though.

I believe my boss wants to assume that the customer’s Opto Network may not have internet access, so I’m trying to work around that too.

Also he wants to be able to do this through the groov box I’m sure because he’s worried the windows computer may fail.

Anyways, I’m completely ok with this not being possible, Just was trying to gain some clarity. There is nothing in the user guide that explains that the USB ports are only used for specific things so I just thought I’d shoot some ideas out there.:upside_down:

Which user guide/version do you have? Check out appendix B:
(and let us know where you expected to see, but didn’t find, that info). We’re updating some things now for the next release so type fast. :wink:

Le Gasp I believe I have been ninja’d. It’s there clear as day under appendix B.:cold_sweat:

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Actually, glad you brought it up, because that part needs a little clarification. All 3 USB ports can do the same stuff, but it’s a little murky in there now, so thank you for asking!

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I think that at the moment, the only practical use for the two main USB ports on the front of the groovBox
is to connect external usb-serial convertors for Node-RED device connectivity. Don’t forget that they must incorporate the FTDI Chipset in order to work.

Some witty person I know, once said that the 2 USB ports on a groovBox allow you to charge 2 mobile phones at the same time!