Wish: The user manual (LED color meanings)

Here you can post all things you think are missing within in the app – we really appreciate your input.
Unfoolishly
Posts: 207
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

August 11th, 2020, 2:51 pm

Hi All,

My wish is that a user manual is provided. Even if it is in status "draft" and "work in progress", I am fine by that. Anything better than nothing :(

My real question is this: what are the LED color meanings and blinking states of the Unleashed. Because I have seen the rainbow already:
- green
- green with red
- red
- green + red blinking
- blue
- ?

What are all these different LED color and blinking meanings?

I sure would like to know what the Unleashed is doing based on these LED colors.
Any schematic overview is more than welcome.

TIP: maybe an extra forum topic thread called "MANUAL topics" could be created in which users can discuss their information needs, instead of "polluting" the other forum topic threads?

Greetings,
Unfoolishly
Caution: I am an extremely well pleased Unleashed customer. So I might be a bit biased here 8-)
Andy
Posts: 227
Joined: October 4th, 2018, 4:18 pm

August 11th, 2020, 3:48 pm

I'll try to break it down.

Turquoise: Connected to your smartphone.
Light blue: Connected to an accessory.
Yellow: Not Bluetooth connections active.

If the LED is pulsing slowly (as in a wave, dimming on and off), that means that the Unleashed is idle, not talking to the camera.
If the LED is always on, the Unleashed is actively talking to the camera.
If the LED is blinking fast three times periodically, the Unleashed is working on a timelapse/autoramp.

In between any of those sequences, there may be a single red blink. That means that something is wrong, and you should open your app to see what's going on. So far we only have GPS related alerts, so every time you see a red blink that means that there's something wrong with the geotagging feature.

While you're performing a firmware update, the Unleashed will blink blue.

There are some other LED sequences that a user should never really see, which we mostly use for debugging purposes when something is really wrong (i.e. your Unleashed is not working at all).
Andy
Firmware developer at Foolography
Andy
Posts: 227
Joined: October 4th, 2018, 4:18 pm

August 11th, 2020, 3:54 pm

I forgot to mention, if the LED is off the Unleashed is sleeping :)
Andy
Firmware developer at Foolography
Unfoolishly
Posts: 207
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

August 11th, 2020, 4:30 pm

Hi Andy,

Thanks for the explanations of the LED colors.

I have two DIFFERENT startup color situations:
1) when I turn ON the camera after it has been idle for days (turned OFF) is starts to light up green/red-dish and slowly dims and lights up again. It does this 12 times in a row when no camera activity is performed.
2) when I turn ON the camera after it has been idle for days (turned OFF) is starts to light up green/red-dish and slowly dims and lights up again PLUS in between a red light blings quickly. It does this continuesly when no camera activity is performed.

I think the difference between 1 and 2 is that I have set the Unleashed on camera 2 to receive GPS data from the smartphone, but I have not started up the Unleashed App to send the GPS data.

Is this assumption on my side correct?

Greetings,
Unfoolishly
Caution: I am an extremely well pleased Unleashed customer. So I might be a bit biased here 8-)
Unfoolishly
Posts: 207
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

August 11th, 2020, 5:18 pm

Hi Andy,

There is another situation after startup:

When I turn two camera's ON, wait for the Unleasheds to go to sleep (no LED light anymore), then start up the smartphone Unleashed App, the Unleasheds and smartphone do not connect to each other? Strange.

When I then turn OFF one the camera's, pull out the battery, push it back in, turn ON the camera, the smartphone Unleashed App and Unleashed connect instantaneously! And the Unleashed LED turns green immediately, same as in the App (turquoise). But the other camera, of which I didn't pull out/pushing in the battery still stays "black" (no LED light) for a very LONG time. Then really some time ahead, the other camera/Unleashed also seems to connect to the Unleashed.

I am not sure if this is a bug, but it seems that this only occurs when all three Unleasheds are sleeping and the camera's are ON and aren't touched for a while. I have to pull out at least on one camera the battery to make it work with the smartphone.

Is this something in the App, or something in the Unleashed?
My question is this: why the difference when pulling out/pushing in the battery seems to work instantly, but not when you do not pull out / push in the battery? Strange.

I was "expecting" a little yellow (or another color?) blink of the LED every 10 minutes (6 in a hour) in the Unleashed, communicating to the user that the Unleashed is still keeping a "listening ear" to a smartphone that wants to connect to the idle Unleashed/camera.

Sometimes you are far off from the camera, and thus don't want to walk up to the camera, to pull out/push in the battery, but you just want to connect to the Unleashed/camera that is idle for some time. Scenario: waiting for some exotic bird to land on its nest. But you will always see that once you can't connect with the App to the idle Unleashed/camera and walk up to the camera to pull out/push in the battery, that fantastic photo moment in messed up because you just pulled out the battery :(

Somehow this is "expectation management" or some unwanted side effect of an idle Unleashed/camera?? I don't know.
I was expecting a LED blink every 10 minutes just to signal to the user: yes, camera is idle, Unleashed is NOT communicating to the camera, BUT the Unleashed keeps listening to Bluetooth signals anyhow (coming from the smartphone App). Thus I was looking for a LED color indication telling me just that.

Could this be a (known) bug? Is it related to having only multiple Unleasheds?
An extra LED indication would be cool to have. An indication that says: "Everybody is asleep, but I am still listening" or "All communications are OFF, except for one: Unleashed listening to possible smartphone BT signals".

Greetings,
Unfoolishly
Caution: I am an extremely well pleased Unleashed customer. So I might be a bit biased here 8-)
Andy
Posts: 227
Joined: October 4th, 2018, 4:18 pm

August 11th, 2020, 5:53 pm

I think the difference between 1 and 2 is that I have set the Unleashed on camera 2 to receive GPS data from the smartphone, but I have not started up the Unleashed App to send the GPS data.

Is this assumption on my side correct?

Yes.

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My question is this: why the difference when pulling out/pushing in the battery seems to work instantly, but not when you do not pull out / push in the battery? Strange.

The difference is that the Unleashed knows that neither the camera nor the Unleashed app has been used in a while. When that happens the Unleashed "goes to sleep", meaning that it enters a low power mode, turns off the LED and, if the app wasn't connected, it starts "advertising" (sending messages over Bluetooth to allow connections) in much longer intervals in order to save power.

If the app is connected, they just start talking "slower", also to save power.

When you do the battery thing, the Unleashed loses power and when it powers on again, it doesn't assume that it should be sleeping.

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I was "expecting" a little yellow (or another color?) blink of the LED every 10 minutes (6 in a hour) in the Unleashed, communicating to the user that the Unleashed is still keeping a "listening ear" to a smartphone that wants to connect to the idle Unleashed/camera.

I don't see how this would help. It's very likely that the user would miss the LED blinking for 214 ms every 10 minutes.

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Sometimes you are far off from the camera, and thus don't want to walk up to the camera, to pull out/push in the battery, but you just want to connect to the Unleashed/camera that is idle for some time. Scenario: waiting for some exotic bird to land on its nest. But you will always see that once you can't connect with the App to the idle Unleashed/camera and walk up to the camera to pull out/push in the battery, that fantastic photo moment in messed up because you just pulled out the battery :(

This is why the emphasis on if the app wasn't connected. The Unleashed never terminates a connection with the app, even if it's sleeping. It's more power efficient to keep a connection alive than to advertise that the Unleashed is available for a connection. In your use case, you can just never "kill" the app and the Unleashed should always be responsive. If the app wasn't open, then you will have to wait a bit for the phone to catch one of the messages of the Unleashed in order for it to connect.

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Could this be a (known) bug? Is it related to having only multiple Unleasheds?

This is expected behavior, not a bug. I will look into the possibility of Android phones being susceptible to missing advertisement packets on certain intervals (which would be the reason why it takes so long to establish a connection), but it's not a priority at the moment.
Andy
Firmware developer at Foolography
Unfoolishly
Posts: 207
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

August 11th, 2020, 7:12 pm

Andy wrote:
August 11th, 2020, 5:53 pm
Sometimes you are far off from the camera, and thus don't want to walk up to the camera, to pull out/push in the battery, but you just want to connect to the Unleashed/camera that is idle for some time. Scenario: waiting for some exotic bird to land on its nest. But you will always see that once you can't connect with the App to the idle Unleashed/camera and walk up to the camera to pull out/push in the battery, that fantastic photo moment in messed up because you just pulled out the battery :(

This is why the emphasis on if the app wasn't connected. The Unleashed never terminates a connection with the app, even if it's sleeping. It's more power efficient to keep a connection alive than to advertise that the Unleashed is available for a connection. In your use case, you can just never "kill" the app and the Unleashed should always be responsive. If the app wasn't open, then you will have to wait a bit for the phone to catch one of the messages of the Unleashed in order for it to connect.

------------------------------------------
Could this be a (known) bug? Is it related to having only multiple Unleasheds?

This is expected behavior, not a bug. I will look into the possibility of Android phones being susceptible to missing advertisement packets on certain intervals (which would be the reason why it takes so long to establish a connection), but it's not a priority at the moment.
I do think there is something strange going on when you have mutiple Unleashed (and one smartphone):
When ALL camera's are OFF for a long time (= a day), then are turned ON (all at once or later in time) and have become idle (same as the Unleasheds also have become idle) AND the smartphone Unleashed App is turned ON, it takes REALLY long before any connection is made to the Unleasheds from the smartphone. No shutterbuttons in the App will become available (for any camera) UNTIL I pull out/push in at least ONE battery of a camera. Then the App starts to pick up the BT signals. And then ALL camera's/Unleashed get connected to the App and all shutterbuttons in the App get enabled. Strange. I wasn't expecting that.

I have to make a video out of it to record what is really happening, but I can tell you this: it takes REALLY REALLY long (or won't happen at all !!!) that the connections are established between smartphone App and Unleasheds. My guess is that it is ONLY the case when multiple Unleasheds are paired/bonded.

I will try to video record it, after the temperature is dropped below 36 degrees Celcius. I am going now back into the freezer if you don't mind ;-)

Greetings,
Unfoolishly
Caution: I am an extremely well pleased Unleashed customer. So I might be a bit biased here 8-)
Unfoolishly
Posts: 207
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

August 12th, 2020, 2:53 pm

Andy wrote:
August 11th, 2020, 5:53 pm
Unfoolishly wrote:I was "expecting" a little yellow (or another color?) blink of the LED every 10 minutes (6 in a hour) in the Unleashed, communicating to the user that the Unleashed is still keeping a "listening ear" to a smartphone that wants to connect to the idle Unleashed/camera.
I don't see how this would help. It's very likely that the user would miss the LED blinking for 214 ms every 10 minutes.
I think you're right about that. The user will probably miss the blinking of the LED anyhow in an interval of 10min versus the 214ms of blinking. But I gave this suggestion because the user is now not aware in which state the Unleashed is (when the Unleashed App is not connected). Is the Unleashed fully asleep, or almost asleep but still listening to BT connections coming from the App?
What I mean is: why should the Unleashed listen to incoming BT connections when the camera is put away into the cabinet for days and is not being used at all (this only applies to Nikon camera's because the Unleased gets power supplied even if the camera is OFF). This is addressed in an other forum post also: making the Unleashed configurable through the App so that the Nikon users can tell the Unleashed when to stay asleep with listening for BT connections (when the App is not run or terminated) AND when the Unleashed really needs to go into the deepest form of sleep, not listening to BT connections at all. The difference is this: camera is turned OFF because of the user temporarily turned OFF the camera, OR the camera is turned OFF because the user no longer is interested in taking photo's (and thus puts the camera in the cabinet). This has to do with battery draining of the camera, when the Unleashed should be in the deepest state of sleep, not listening to BT connections at all UNTIL the Unleashed is "kissed awake" because the camera is turned ON again (after several days).

The problem is: in which state is the Unleashed when the LED is "black"/off all the time: is it in "listening mode for BT connections" or in "fully asleep, not listening mode for BT connections". Because why would you keep the connection alive between smartphone and Unleashed when the camera is in the cabinet all month, while another camera is being used all day?
There is no distinction between these states in terms of LED communication. Maybe a yellow LED in wave form lightning could do the trick to indicate that BT connections are still possible, even if the camera is not used for [amount of time configured through the App] so that the App can connect anyhow? When the camera is OFF for more than [amount of time configured through the App] it is also not useful to listen for BT connections because the user REALLY doesn't have any plans to use that camera at all for days, weeks, months.

External vs internal GPS data LED communication.
What I also do miss in the LED communication is the source of the GPS data: how can the user know for sure that an external GPS device is the provider of the GPS data? Can I hook up an external GPS device AND the smartphone as GPS device (refering as "internal GPS" from the smartphone) at the same time? What if the GPS data interfere? What if the external GPS device battery runs dead?
I see no LED indication/pattern that communicates which GPS data source is being send towards the camera from the Unleashed. The camera only tells me if there is a GPS fix, not which source it is coming from: external or "internal" (= App)? I think it is important to see in the LED blinking the difference between internal or external GPS data. For example: 3x blinking blue = external; 2x blinking blue = internal, while green is fully on when the smartphone is connected.
Does the "internal" GPS take over from the external GPS device (assuming that the smartphone App is running and connected to the Unleashed) when the battery runs dead of the external GPS device?

These are just my suggestions. I hope you take this into consideration.

Greetings,
Unfoolishly
Caution: I am an extremely well pleased Unleashed customer. So I might be a bit biased here 8-)
Andy
Posts: 227
Joined: October 4th, 2018, 4:18 pm

August 13th, 2020, 2:35 pm

The problem is: in which state is the Unleashed when the LED is "black"/off all the time: is it in "listening mode for BT connections" or in "fully asleep, not listening mode for BT connections".

There is no "fully asleep" state, therefore there is no need for a separate LED sequence/color/etc. The Unleashed is always ready to connect. As Oliver said, we have thought about implementing a completely off mode, but we haven't implemented it yet.

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Because why would you keep the connection alive between smartphone and Unleashed when the camera is in the cabinet all month, while another camera is being used all day?

If you are not using your Unleashed and you are not happy with it being connected, you can always just disable it in the app.

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how can the user know for sure that an external GPS device is the provider of the GPS data?

If you set up an external GPS data source, you can be sure that that is the data source. If there's something wrong you will see the Unleashed blinking red from time to time. If you don't see red, everything should be working as you expect it to.

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Can I hook up an external GPS device AND the smartphone as GPS device (refering as "internal GPS" from the smartphone) at the same time? What if the GPS data interfere?

Does the "internal" GPS take over from the external GPS device (assuming that the smartphone App is running and connected to the Unleashed) when the battery runs dead of the external GPS device?

Yes, if you selected the external + smartphone fallback GPS source. If the external GPS runs out of battery, you will see a red blink, but your photos will still be geotagged (as long as the smartphone is connected and has a GPS fix). It's up to you to open the app and check what's the red blink for. If this happens and you don't want to see the error anymore, you should change the source to smartphone only.

The data does not interfere as the Unleashed only requests GPS data from your selected data source, not both.
Andy
Firmware developer at Foolography
Unfoolishly
Posts: 207
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

August 13th, 2020, 4:31 pm

Andy wrote:
August 13th, 2020, 2:35 pm
Unfoolishly wrote:The problem is: in which state is the Unleashed when the LED is "black"/off all the time: is it in "listening mode for BT connections" or in "fully asleep, not listening mode for BT connections".

There is no "fully asleep" state, therefore there is no need for a separate LED sequence/color/etc. The Unleashed is always ready to connect. As Oliver said, we have thought about implementing a completely off mode, but we haven't implemented it yet.
This is indeed a requested (open) feature by users. When this is implemented, the extra LED coloring does have its use, just to indicate that the Unleashed is still approachable by the smartphone when the Unleashed is in "asleep" state. When in "fully asleep" state (= requested feature) you cannot connect to the Unleashed anymore from the smartphone, but must "kiss" the Unleashed "awake" by turning ON the camera at least once. That would be nice to have. Then it is no longer needed to toggle on/off the Unleasheds in the smartphone.

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Andy wrote:
August 13th, 2020, 2:35 pm
Unfoolishly wrote:Because why would you keep the connection alive between smartphone and Unleashed when the camera is in the cabinet all month, while another camera is being used all day?
If you are not using your Unleashed and you are not happy with it being connected, you can always just disable it in the app.
JACKPOT! Now you have hit the hammer on the nail: I have three Unleasheds paired/bonded using one smartphone. All Unleasheds are connected to 3 Nikon D7100 camera's. So what I am seeing in the Unleashed App is this:

N2: 004550
N2: 004551
N2: 004552 (serials are fake, you get the idea)

or:

N2: D7100
N2: D7100
N2: D7100

Now you tell me: which one of these Unleasheds should I disable, because I only plan to use two camera's this week, and leave the third camera in the cabinet. Which one is the camera with the not-in-use-Unleashed?
Yes, you COULD argue that you must turn each camera on first, one by one, and then determine which camera is staying at home. Only to know which to disable in the App. But what if I stay at home and only plan to use one camera for a week, and leave two camera's/Unleasheds in the cabinet? I find that somewhat the opposite around: first turn on the camera to figure out which Unleashed pops up in the App to green, so I can disable it. It's more like unlocking your car in the parking garage, just to find your car. Why turn ON the camera to figure out which Unleashed is connected to the camera. Unlocking your car to find it in a parking garage, I understand, but turning ON/OFF the camera to figure out which Unleashed to toggle is actually the opposite of what you want to accomplish: leave the camera OFF until you REALLY need it weeks later. Why open the cabinet to grab the camera you DON'T intent to use at all, and then turn it on just to know which is which Unleashed??? I really do like the Unleashed and camera to STAY "fully asleep" for weeks, not draining the battery.
In the current situation, the App and smartphone WILL connect to EACH Unleashed, even those residing in the cabinet for weeks, which drains the battery without any use at all. That is what other users also experienced: dead battery after a few weeks of not using the camera at all. Unpleasant surprise when you packed your bag to go to the beach without a spare (fully charged) battery. That's a bummer.

It is not really a "big" problem, but it isn't practical also. I would prefer a physical identifaction on the camera (someone suggested to me to use 3 different colors of nail polish because that sticks on the camera body pretty good) and a software identification in the App (like giving the Unleashed a name, by which the App then stores that name in the Unleashed itself permanently, so when you connect with a different smartphone, these names show up in the App of that smartphone also). I sure know I am holding a Nikon D7100, I am not retarded ;-)
The App doesn't have to tell me that. For users with differnt types of camera's, this is not an issue. But for those with identical camera's, the distinction between the Unleasheds become hard to guess from the App. Having the option to give the Unleashed an unique name, solves this problem for good. And also other problems I won't go into details right now. Even with pairing/bonding an Unleashed to a new smartphone would be more meaningful if you could read the custom name in the "tap here to bond/pair"-screen.

Then you would get something like this in the App:

N2: ALPHA
N2: BETA
N2: GAMMA

or:

N2: RED
N2: GREEN
N2: BLUE

The problem is also at hand when you have two smartphones, but the camera's are in operation by another person, but within BT range (< 40m). Person A has camera 1 and 2, person B has camera 3, and ALL operate the camera through the Unleashed App (on different smartphones).

You could argue, just pair/bond the Unleashed only to the smartphone you use, and the other person only the other Unleashed. But I do prefer pairing/bonding all Unleashed on all smartphones and toggle them ON/OFF whenever I need 1, 2 or 3 camera's, either operated by 1, 2 or 3 persons/smartphones. Especially when the smartphones are used in the field for geo tagging and are further away than the BT range.

It is much much much more easier to have some kind of custom identification (like a name) in the App than to turn ON/OFF each camera/Unleashed to figure out which camera/Unleashed I am suppose to disable because I don't now the serial number of the Unleashed (although I do know the color of the nail polish on the camera. It is just so much easier).

It is so much beneficial to give the user of the App a possibility to name its Unleashed, so when multiple Unleasheds are used in timelapses, you can quickly switch between the different kind of timelapses, or other settings. Do you know which of the D7100 camera's is doing which timelapse, if they are all having running timelapses, but different positions? Can you distinct between them, I can't? Therefore: a name setting would be cool to have.

It also makes the Unleashed more personal, because I like to give names to things I have a warm heart for, like a personal tamagotchi. It's called emotional bonding/pairing ;-D

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Thanks for clearifying the GPS subjects too. I understand it now much better. Should be mentioned in the MANUAL too. Hint hint hint ;-)

Greetings,
Unfoolishly
Caution: I am an extremely well pleased Unleashed customer. So I might be a bit biased here 8-)
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