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CoachProxy shipments have resumed!

That’s a great attention-getting headline, but before I get to “the good stuff”, I have to take a moment to tip my hat to the amazing work Michael Kidd has done in creating CoachProxy, and in helping me get up to speed on the hardware, software, and business aspects of the project. His #1 goal has been to ensure that CoachProxy lives on and continues to be available to motorhome owners at a reasonable price. We both view CoachProxy as filling a surprising technology gap that still exists from Tiffin and other manufacturers, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to continue serving CoachProxy customers going forward.

Now, on to the news…

Wait list and deliveries

I’m excited to report that last week we resumed CoachProxy shipments to customers on our wait list! There are quite a few people on the wait list dating back to October 2017, so to ensure fairness we’ve been contacting people in the order that they joined the wait list. We have enough CoachProxy units built right now to catch up on October, November, and some December wait list customers. But don’t worry, we have a big new shipment of parts arriving in less than two weeks that will enable us to build enough units to satisfy everyone on the wait list, and have units to spare!

Working the CoachProxy assembly line in our 2018 Phaeton.
Completed CoachProxy units awaiting orders.

CoachProxy 2.0 and 2018 Tiffin features

2018 thermostat controls. Click to view a brief demonstration.

As Michael discussed in his previous news update, there are some big changes in CoachProxy 2.0, including support for some new 2018 Tiffin features. One of the most long-awaited improvements arrived in 2018 coaches: Tiffin has replaced the clunky old RVComfort thermostats with all-digital, Spyder controlled thermostats! It wasn’t long before we had CoachProxy controlling nearly all the features of the HVAC system. It’s now possible to choose heat/cool mode, heat pump vs. furnace, fan mode, and each temperature set point. Yes, you can now turn on your air conditioner and monitor your indoor temperature remotely, if you have a 2018 Tiffin and CoachProxy’s Remote Access service!

Another great addition to the Spyder network in 2018 is the Surge Guard Automatic Transfer Switch, or ATS. This now enables CoachProxy to monitor shore power voltage, real-time amps used on each 120V leg, and detection of shore power loss. In addition to displaying this information on your screen, we’ve added the ability to send e-mail notifications when your coach loses shore power! Unfortunately, Tiffin only included ATS monitoring on the Phaeton, Bus, and Zephyr, so other 2018 coaches will not be able to monitor shore power.

Change Log

Speaking of changes, we have a brand new page on our CoachProxy web site: the Change Log. We’ll update this page as we make changes to CoachProxy software, so you’ll always know what’s new and improved.

What’s Next?

Right now our top priority is catching up on builds and orders so we can clear out our wait list and get CoachProxy into the hands of those who have been patiently waiting for months.

Since a lot has changed “under the hood” in CoachProxy 2.0, we’re also trying to get it tested on as many coach configurations as possible. Each year and model of Tiffin requires slightly different software to interface with the Spyder Controls system, making testing quite a challenge since we only own one coach–our 2018 Phaeton! We now have CoachProxy 2.0 installed on the 2015–2018 Allegro Bus, 2017–2018 Phaeton, and 2015 and 2018 Allegro RED, and have had to make a few changes based on feedback from those customers. Fortunately, Kathie and I will be visiting Red Bay in April for our 6-month repair visit and I’ll be collecting data from every rig I can find, including the Wayfarer if I spot one.

As always, if you have questions or problems, don’t hesitate to use our Contact Us page to get in touch. We’re using a new customer ticket system now as well, so if you try replying to an old CoachProxy support ticket (one from a “@kiddbott.com” address), it won’t work any more.

Can’t get enough CoachProxy news? You can also join our CoachProxy Facebook group to get more frequent, more casual updates, and to chat with other CoachProxy customers.

Until next time, thanks for your support, and safe travels!

Mike

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Ch..ch.. ch.. changes

While the web-site has seemed to be fairly dormant for a while, there’s been a lot going on behind the scenes. We’re now ready to share some of these details.


CoachProxy software version 2.0

  • Support for 2018 model year is almost done.
  • The work on the 2018 model year has been performed on a Phaeton 40IH, so newly shipped CoachProxy units for 2018 coaches may need some small amount of tweaking for other models and floor plans.
  • The details page has been updated to reflect the current state.
  • BIG DATA SAVINGS!
    Prior to 2.0, if a CoachProxy tab was left open and remained active, it could use as much as 820mB per day! While this was an extreme case ( mobile browsers will suspend the tab after a while to prevent this level of usage while you’re not actively using the tab ), it was still something that I wanted to make better if I could.  With the release of CoachProxy 2.0 software, we’ve reduced the daily usage from the maximum of 820mB to only… 129kB!!
    Yes, you read that correctly, only 0.01% of the former usage! There will be more data usage as status changes are pushed to the device. A few examples:

    Update Type Data used (bytes)
    Tank level update 134 bytes
    Non-dimmable light toggling on or off 226 bytes
    Dimmable light toggling on or off 277 bytes
    Open or Close a Vent Lid
    Larger because the data is updated in multiple places in CoachProxy
    464 bytes

    The process to get and apply the 2.0 upgrade is documented in our Upgrade FAQ. While it’s not available *just yet*, it’ll be good to familiarize yourself with the process before its release.


New CoachProxy units getting ready!

  • In our previous update, we hoped to have more stock available before the end of February.
  • This is still the current plan, so stay tuned for an update to those on the waitlist for CoachProxy devices!

Project ownership change

  • I’d like to introduce Mike Fischer!
  • Mike will be taking over the CoachProxy project moving forward.
  • He has a great background in development and lives full time on the road with his wife in their 2nd Tiffin coach, the 2018 Phaeton 40 IH.
  • Mike has done practically all of the 2018 code changes himself and now has an extremely good understanding of how CoachProxy works, not just the device, but also all the server side glue that holds everything together.
  • I’ll still be around to help Mike with any questions he has for the foreseeable future, but expect that to be far and few between due to his level of knowledge and skill.
  • Note that Mike will continue to honor the existing warranty and support of all who have purchased CoachProxy.
  • For those with Remote Access service:
    • Since we have to change payment processing to go toward Mike’s business account, we will need your help to transfer your Remote Access subscription billing.
    • This is a fraud prevention measure and will only occur one time.
    • We do apologize for any inconvenience on this.
    • A separate email will be sent to all current subscribers with further details.
  • Please give Mike a warm welcome and follow him, Kathie and Opie (their dog) on their personal blog, Life Rebooted

Going Open Source!

  • As Linux nuts, both Mike Fischer and I (Michael Kidd) are very big on Open Source projects.
  • We both agree that open-source is the way of the future and will be pushing CoachProxy device code to a repository near you, very very soon.
  • We’ll make another announcement providing further details on this once it’s available

As you can see.. quite a bit of work has been going on. CoachProxy will still be commercially available for those who just want a solution, but will also be easier for those who like to tweak and tinker themselves in the open source realm.

Thanks for all the interest in CoachProxy, now and into the future!

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Where’s CoachProxy?

We know it’s been a while, but we’re still alive!  And, we have new inventory inbound. There is a bit of lead time for some parts, but we hope to have new units available before the end of February.  If you’re on the wait-list, you’ll be notified when the new units are available.  If you’re not on the wait-list, please be sure to go to the CoachProxy product page, select your year and make, and join the waitlist from there.

 

Thanks for your patience and your interest in CoachProxy!

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But my remote access shows a blank page!

The technical part:
– We identified a bug in the remote access service which permitted a confluence of browser cache and authentication redirection to get stuck.

What this means:
– It’s possible that while using the CoachProxy Remote Access service, you could be met with a simple blank page instead of your CoachProxy interface.

Good news, we’ve fixed it!

Bad news, if you are experiencing the blank page still, you’ll need to manually clear the browser cache to get around it. For instructions on how to do this, please see this FAQ.

If you need help with this, please use the Contact Us page and let us know you’re seeing the issue and provide the operating system ( Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, etc ) and the browser ( Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc ). We’ll reply back with specific instructions to get your browser un-stuck.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your patience while we got it resolved.

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New Server! (and data savings)

CoachProxy’s web presence is now on a new server!  On top of being newer and more secure, we’ve also moved to a new web server technology which allows for LESS traffic to be used between your CoachProxy device and your web browser when utilizing the Remote Access Service.  This update reduces the status updates that are flowing back and forth by 40% on average.

Please let us know if you notice anything… odd…

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I want my CoachProxy!

We’re working on getting the production release of CoachProxy ready and hope to have it out very soon. We currently have a few remaining items that must be finished prior to release:

  • We found some issues with our current round of circuit boards and are working with the manufacturer to get those straightened out
  • We are finalizing a ‘self-configuration’ capability so it’s easy for Coach owners to fully customize the organization and naming of the controls for their coach.

These are our last two hurdles for release. Taking a bit longer than anticipated, but we really want to make sure a quality product goes out the door instead of rushing things.

We appreciate everyone’s patience and believe you’ll be very happy with the end product when available!
Michael

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Feeling Talkative?

The beta program is going very well and we did something you may not have expected this soon. We think this is really cool and wanted to share it.

No better way really to show this other than a video. So, here you go!

Voice Control is really for the advanced users, but it does show what we are able to do with CoachProxy in a Tiffin motorhome. I just had to get away from the normal development and do something fun. This capability does require a CoachProxy, an Amazon Alexa enabled device (Echo, Tap, Dot (must be ordered via Echo), Fire TV, etc), and an always-on Internet connection (required by Amazon Alexa devices).

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Set Your CoachProxy Alerts to Send You A Text!

Did you know you can send CoachProxy alerts to your phone via text message? You can and it is a better way to get an alert as you get it right away vs needing to check your mail.

Below are some address formats to use for major cell providers for sending text message alerts that you can setup in CoachProxy. NOTE: Your coach MUST HAVE Internet access and CoachProxy needs to be on the network providing the Internet access for alerts to function!!! (We are not responsible for usage charges.) For a full list of cell provider text message address, please see http://www.emailtextmessages.com

AT&T
10digitphonenumber@txt.att.net
Bell Canada
10digitphonenumber@txt.bellmobility.ca
Boost Mobile
10digitphonenumber@myboostmobile.com
Cellular One
10digitphonenumber@mobile.celloneusa.com
Rogers AT&T Wireless
10digitphonenumber@pcs.rogers.com
Sprint
10digitphonenumber@messaging.sprintpcs.com
T-Mobile
10digitphonenumber@tmomail.net
US Cellular
10digitphonenumber@email.uscc.net
Verizon
10digitphonenumber@vtext.com
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CoachProxy Beta Units Shipping!

CoachProxy Beta sign-up is now close.. and Beta purchasing is open.   We selected 20 recipients from the 60 that applied and have sent a notification email sharing the purchase specifics.

We’d like to thank all of the applicants for the Beta Program!  We promise that the production units will roll very soon!

Yesterday, we shipped the first 8 units!  Two more will ship in the coming days (held at the request of traveling Beta testers).  Here are some commemorative shots of the event!

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