The Cortex user interface (or dashboard) is accessible using a web browser or DavLink 6. It is highly customizable and can be tailored to suit user needs and preferences. Menus are accessible by mouse clicks or right-clicks.
The actual user interface (where all the graphic elements are disposed) is called the workspace. A workspace can contain many screens, and each screen has its own tab. These tabs are called panels. The workspace can reside inside the remote unit, but it can easily be transferred to your PC and shared among units or uploaded back to the original unit.
IMPORTANT: In order for the on-screen I/O boxes and meters to be “live” showing colors, text, and measurement values, the actual I/O’s must first be configured. Otherwise, they will appear as empty or grayed-out.
MORE IMPORTANT: The Cortex menus and screens are dynamic, meaning they will show more or less items based on a user’s access level, and if the user is in control of the unit or not. Therefore, if you note that configuration buttons or control/command buttons seem to be missing, first check if you are (still) in control, or make sure you have proper access levels/rights.
The screen-shot below shows the display with a typical configuration and the default workspace. Depending on your actual model number, the display may be different.
The upper top line of the screen contains the main menu. It provides access to all of the unit’s configuration, settings, and views.
Each of the 6 top menu categories gives access to visualization screens for: Inputs, Outputs, Devices, System, Logs, and About. Within each of these visualisation screens, a configuration icon allows direct access to the item’s setup screen.
INPUTS – Everything that is considered or defined as an input is found here: Metering (or analog) inputs, Status (or digital) inputs, Virtual Logic Gates (VLG), SNMP GET (read), SNMP Traps (receive), Math Functions, Pings (receive), Schedulers (timers), Commands Flags inputs (to receive UUC’s or Unit to Unit Commands), as well as several others.
OUTPUTS – Everything that is considered or defined as an output is found here: Relays, Virtual Relays, SNMP SET (write), and Unit-to-Unit Commands.
DEVICES – This section provides access to the setup of external equipment, accessories, and I/O expansion that can be connected to a Cortex unit.
SYSTEM – This section allows administration and management of settings such as: access, views, rights, and commands related to the unit itself and to its users.
LOGS – This section contains everything for setting up, managing and viewing the different logs as well as the current user connections.
ABOUT – Provides the unit’s software and hardware version.
The other menu line, just below the Main menu contains the workspace tabs from which the different panels can be accessed (note that this menu may be absent if you don’t have any workspace panels configured). This is usually where all the I/O activity is visualized. Each and every workspace panel can display any I/O or Flag using different shapes and colors. Screens can easily be added, edited, or removed. Below is an example:
At the left of your screen, in the upper-middle area, a small arrow is visible. Clicking on this arrow brings pulls-out the Edit toolbar, allowing access to graphic tools for building custom workspaces, as shown below. The Workspace transfer window may also appear. If it doesn’t, just click on the Gear icon.
The upper right corner menu shows an general alarm-status LED, a data-download refresh button (not to be confused with the web-page update button (F5 function) on the browser), two buttons to put the unit into Pause or Local modes, an alarm-call enable/disable button, and a button to logout of the unit.
Your current user-level and Control status are also shown. This last information is important because without control, a user cannot access several areas of the GUI.
The small bubble icon at the bottom of this part of the screen opens a Chat window so that different connected users can exchange information. This feature is particularly useful when a technician is working at the site, with no cell-phone or other communications channels available, and there is a need to exchange information with another person at the NOC or studio for example.