Schedules

Schedules add functionality to task created in Tasker because it gives them the ability to place a time for when the tasks should occur. This post will explain the different types of schedules that can be created, and how they can configured.

Creating a Schedule

To start, we’ll go to the Schedule tab of the Tasker application in order to create a schedule.

After going to the Schedule tab, the first thing to do is add a schedule in the Schedule tab. After giving it a name, the new schedule will have 3 parts to it, the name, the rules, and the task to be executed from it.

The Name section already has the name you gave it when it was created, but that section also gives you the options to edit the name, have the schedule enabled or not by checking the checkbox, or delete the schedule.

The Task Name section allow you to select a task from a drop down list or manual enter the name of a task that will execute at when the schedule is set.

Adding Rules to a Schedule

The Schedule Rules section is what allows the schedule to determine the times that which the Task selected in the Task Name section will execute. Clicking the “Add Rule” button opens the rules dialog box.

When adding rules to a schedule, there are 4 types of rules you can add, reboot, sunrise, sunset, and schedule. The first three are similar, where you simply click on the Schedule Type and select sunrise, sunset, or reboot from the drop down list. This will make it so that the task you set with that schedule will run at either sunrise, sunset, or on reboot, depending on which one you picked and no other options need to be selected. 

Picking the Schedule option in the Schedule Type, lets you set the custom options for creating a schedule. The first option after the Schedule Type is the Start On option. This lets you select what day the schedule will begin to activate. Once the date reaches the day you selected it will run that schedule from then on. 

After that is the Start Time option. This allows you to select from the hours and minutes in a 24 hour format when the scheduled task will begin. 

Next is the Repeat Every option, which lets you how often in a time interval you want the task to reoccur. It adds a End Time option once a value has been added to the Repeat Every option. It can be set similar to the Start Time option that will decide when the Task will stop repeating by. 

After that is the Date Selection Type option, which lets you choose between letting the task execute None (Which is one time), Daily, Weekly, or Monthly. Depending on what option you choose, this changes the Recur Every option. Picking the None option  will make the task only run on the Start On date you picked. The Daily option will let you choose how many days between the task should run. The Weekly option will let you choose what days of the week the task should run. The Monthly option will let you choose what days of  month the task should run.

With this, you should be able to assign schedules for any task you have created.

Tasker is able to perform many different things, one of which is the ability to log information. Tasker contains a Logger tab that can create Logger profiles to record data. These Loggers tell what needs logged and which file it should be stored in when used in a task. This post will show how to record temperature values from an environmental sensor using Tasker.

In order to setup Tasker to record temperatures from a environmental sensor, there are a few step we need to take:

  1. First we need to create Signals in the Signal Tab. These will be used in the Logger tab to record their values.
  2. Next we create a Logger in the Logger tab. Here we use the Signals to document their values in log files.
  3. After creating the Logger, we now go to the Task tab and create a task that includes the Logger that was just created.
  4. Finally, once the task is created, in the Schedule tab we create a Schedule that runs the task for however often we wish to record the environmental sensor values.

Creating Signals

Signals are Input/Output values from the JNIOR or from expansion modules compatible with the JNIOR. In this example we are using a environmental sensor expansion module to record these values. First we’ll create a new workspace using the File Drop-Down. Then in the Signals tab, After clicking the “Add Signal” button, we’ll create a new signal called Temp_1. After the Signal is created, it has three value fields to fill out. The first one is the Signal drop down value, where you will pick where we are getting the Input/Output values from. As stated previously, we are grabbing these values from a environmental sensor, so we’ll select it from the drop down options. Next is the channel for the environmental sensor. Each channel represents a different environmental sensor. Since we are only using one sensor, we’ll select channel 1. Lastly is the variable type, and while the values you can get are either Celsius, Fahrenheit, or humidity, we are going to be logging the info in Fahrenheit, so that’s what we’ll chose.

Creating a Logger

Now that the Signal is created, we can create a Logger to record those values to a file. We’ll go to the Logger tab and select “Add Logger”. After naming the Logger, three values fields need filled in. The first is the Log File Path, which is the where in the folder directory of the JNIOR the files  recording the Signal information will be saved. In our example, we used the file path /flash/tasker/logging/temps-{{date(YYMMDD)}}.csv. The ending of the filepath is to specify the date as the name of the .csv file being saved. After this is the Columns field which create columns of the recorded information in the log file. This example will just have {{Temp_1}} which will specify the Signal we previously created as the information being logged. Lastly, is the file retention count. All this does is decide how many files of information Logger will create before overwriting previous files, so if the number is set to 10, once Logger has created 10 files of information, next file it create will overwrite the previous 1st Logger file. This example uses 30.

Creating a Task

With the Logger being created, we now need a task that uses our Logger so it will activate and record the data we want. In the Task tab, we’ll select the button “Add Task”. Once the Task is named, click on its name and select “Add Action”. The Action Dialog box will appear which has all the actions a task can perform. Here we’ll select the Log Profile action, which we can use to call the Logger we created in the Task. Once the action is added, the only value to enter is the name of the Logger we just created. This will now make the Task activate the Logger each time its run.

Creating a Schedule

Lastly, having a task activate a Logger is good, but it will only record when you activate it. Adding the task to a schedule will allow us to record these values on a time interval. Going to the Schedule tab, you’ll click on the “Add Schedule” button. After naming the Schedule, there will be two options to fill out. The first one appears by selecting the “Add Rule” button, which will bring up the Rule Dialog box where you can configure when the schedule is timed. For this example we will set the Schedule type to schedule so we have more options rules to pick from. The start on date is  the date for whenever you want the schedule to begin activating the task you set with it. Next is the Start Time, Repeat Every, and End Time options (End Time appears after you edit Repeat Every). We set both the Start and End Time to Midnight so that the interval is always running. Repeat Every is set to 2.5 minutes so that with the Start and End time set, the task will run every 2.5 minutes for an entire day. For the Date Selection type, we used daily in this example so we can set the Recur Every option to 1. This will make the task run every day. Lastly, after completing the Rules for the schedule, we add a task that we want the schedule to activate based off the rules we set for it, which will be the task we created in the Tasks tab.

Once the Schedule is completed, the Logger will now record the Signal values of the environmental sensor as values in a .csv file from a task that is scheduled to run every 2.5 minutes, every day.

Sometimes you may want something to occur at a specific time of day or sometimes you may want something to occur with certain events during the day.  The “events” in this case are the Sunrise and Sunset events.  These events occur at different times during the day based on the time of year and your geographic location.  Tasker grabs the location from the JNIOR registry, and uses it to calculate the time of sunrise and sunset for that day.

We had written a custom application called the SunEquation Application to accomplish the following before implementing the logic in Tasker.  You may ask, “What is the SunEquation application and can Tasker handle the same logic?”  The answer is that Tasker is a heavyweight application that uses more processing power than a simple custom application that was designed to do one thing.  The SunEquation application was written for someone that was already running two other applications and the addition of Tasker might slow those other applications down.  Specifically the DMX application is sensitive to performance and that application is one of the two applications that were in use.

Below is an example to send commands to the Cinema Server Client  in Cinema to run macros. This requires having the support tool downloaded along with the applications Tasker and Cinema updated on to your JNIOR.  There are several steps that will need to be configured to get this to work.

  1. Create Macros in the Support Tool that you wish to have run at Sunrise and Sunset.
  2. Create a Task that will perform the action of requesting that the macros get run in Cinema. The action in these Tasks will depend on a Device object that will need to be created as well.
  3. Create Schedules that will execute the Tasks based on Sunrise and Sunset.

Create the Macros

To start, we need to create the macros in the support tool that will be run in Cinema as requested by Tasker. Opening the Support tool, under the macro tab, we can create a macro for sunrise and sunset, and we’ll rename them to that as well, adding whatever actions the macros should perform. This then needs to be published to the JNIOR.

Create a Device

After creating the macros, we need to create a device in Tasker. We first need to create a new workspace using the File Drop-Down before creating a device. After that we’ll go to the device tab in Tasker, and click on the “Add Device” button. This will add a device in Tasker. Now all you need to do is set the IP Address of the JNIOR and the Tcp port number to the same value as the Cinema Server Client port number registry key under AppData/Cinema/CinemaServerClient.

This is an example picture, the values required differ between JNIORs

Create Tasks

The next thing needed to have the macro request sent to the Cinema application is to create TCP send tasks. To create a task you go to the Task tab in Tasker, and select “Add Task”. Once you’ve named the task, you’ll click on the task and select “Add Action”. This will make the action dialog box appear, which contains all the actions you can make your task perform. There you’ll select the TCP Send action. You will then add the device that was just created, and the message should be “run” followed by the name of the macro that was created in the support tool. The macro names also have an \r\n on the end of them to signal where the end of the command is when its being sent. Since we created two macros in the support tool for sunrise and sunset, we’ll create two tasks for them, one for sunrise, and one for sunset. Both of these tasks will be using the same device.

Create a Schedule

To setup macros to run at sunrise and sunset, you’ll now want to go to the schedule tab of the Tasker application. Once you add a schedule, name it, and select the task to run in that schedule, you’ll want to click on “Add Rule”button . As in the example below, since we previously created two tasks for sunrise and sunset, we’ll want two schedules for those tasks, one for sunrise and one for sunset.

Once you’ve clicked “Add Rule”, the Rule Dialog box will open. Here we’ll want to select the Schedule Type option, which will present 4 options. Two of those options will be Sunrise and Sunset.

After selecting the sunrise option for the sunrise task, and the sunset option for the sunset task, those tasks will now run at those times.

Once this is all done, whenever it is sunrise/sunset for the day, Tasker will send commands to Cinema that will execute the macros created in the support tool.

To monitor the environment you will need 3 things. First, either the envrionmental sensor or the Rugged External Temperature Sensor. Second, the Tasker application that will read that sensor and log the values. Third, the Grapher application to graph the data logged from Tasker.

INTEG resells an environmental sensor from Embedded Data Systems. The sensor itself wont work directly with the JNIOR until it is wired. They have several different models that provide different environmental metrics. Temperature and humidity have been the consistent requests. INTEG also sells a rugged external sensor that tracks just temperature.

NOTE: Only the Environmental Sensor records humidity.

Set Up

The first thing to check when setting up is the sensor module you connect to the JNIOR. In the Console Tab of the JNIOR Web Tool, commands you can use to see what sensor is connected are the extern command to tell you what modules you have connected, and the extern -r command to remove a module on your device that is no longer connected. To tell which sensor module you have connected, look at the ID of the device from the extern command. If it ends with 7E its the Humidity Sensor, if its 28 its the Rugged External Temperature sensor.

After that, you’ll want to make sure that you have the applications to graph the data logged.

Name Version Release Date Size MD5
Tasker v3.3 Jul 30 2020 1 MB 5783b3bda071222b48775e5ffb9e4b3d
Grapher v4.1 Jun 18 2020 788 KB 75e992513636e0c45c7aa7f71d8c1303

You’ll want to do an update project one at a time, publishing these to the JNIOR you have the sensor connected to. After that, to get to the Grapher application, you can either type (JNIOR’s IP)/Grapher into the URL or you can select it under the tools tab of Tasker to take you to the application. There you can create the graph to monitor your Temperature. 

Once on the Grapher application page, you’ll want to go to the Grapher Configuration page to enter settings for creating a graph. To start, you can go down to the Graphs section and add a graph.

At the top, you can define the directory path of the file you want monitored, but keep in mind whatever path and file name is set here should match what you set in the Tasker application. The column values represent the different data points that can be pulled from Log that will be created in Tasker. The Date format can be set to MM-DD-YY HH:mm:ss.SSS. The file count is specified to how many files you want added. After setting this, you can configure the chart data described below that will be monitored for the graph.

Here you can create the chart name, and then set the range of the chart and also the time range being charted. Below that you can create the lines that go into the graph that are tracked. You can add their names, what the units they are measured in are called, and the color of the line. Once this is all set you’ll now want to open the Tasker application by typing in the URL (JNIOR’s IP)/tasker, or by clicking the link for it from the JNIOR Web Page in the applications section of the configure tab.

In the Tasker application, the first thing we’ll want to do is create a Logger using the Logger Tab. Once on the Logger Tab of Tasker, clicking the “add Logger” button will create an empty Logger in the Logger Tab, which you can name. This is where the file will be create that Grapher pulls the data from to graph.

Like in the picture above, you’ll want to set the log file path. The one in the example is called temps-{{date(YYMMDD)}}.csv, just like the one named in the file section in Grapher of this example. (The date.format part of the file name auto inputs the date when creating the file). The columns are defined as separate values that will act as the lines we created in the graph section of Grapher.

For how the column values work, the double squiggly brackets and comma between each value are needed to separate each value. The env_ is what you have to preface each value with in the text if you are using the environmental sensor. Otherwise you’ll use temp to preface each value for the rugged external temperature sensor. The “.fahrenheit” has to be replaced with “.celsius”, “.humidity”, or each words first letter like “.f”, “.c”, or “.h” depending on what type of value you are trying to monitor. The number surrounded by brackets represents which module is getting that value so if you only have on module you’d label every bracket with a 1. An example of the column values from Grapher would be {temp[1].fahrenheit}}, {{temp[1].celsius}}. (These values would get the temperature in Celsius and Fahrenheit from a Rugged External temperature sensor you have plugged in.)

After defining the values for the Logger in Tasker, we’ll now want to create a Task in the Task Tab of Tasker. Once in the Task Tab, we’ll select the “add Task” button. This will add an empty Task to Tasker that you can name. Once we do that, we’ll want to selcet the “add Action” button to add an action to the Task to run the Logger we just created. In the action submenu we’ll want to select the Force Log Profile action. Once its added, we’ll enter the Logger name we created earlier to the action so it’ll run that Logger every time the Task runs.

Once that is done, we’ll now add a schedule that runs every two minutes so the graph is constantly getting more data every two minutes.

Going to the schedule Tab, we’ll click the “add Schedule” button to add an empty schedule to Tasker. We’ll then select the “add Rule” button to open the rule submenu. Here we’ll set the Schedule to run every two minutes, every day, from Midnight to Midnight like shown in the picture below. We’ll also set the schedule to run the Task that activates Logger to every two minutes.

Once this is all set up, going back to the Grapher application should now give you a graph of the logged temperatures!