The 4.0 firmware release introduces a brand new product called the COBRA Control Panel. This is an Android-based app that provides a full touch screen user interface to your 18R2. Alongside the new COBRA Control Panel, this release includes a handful of new minor features and improvements.
Major New Improvements
Alternate Event Firing
You can now define alternate events in your cobra.csv script file. An alternate is a specific channel and cue combination you wish to fire to produce “filler” in a black sky situation. For example, if you are firing a pyromusical and a specific effect (for example a 45-second cake) fails to fire or ends prematurely. Simply press the alternate button on the 18R2 or Deadman Handheld Switch to fire the first of your defined alternate events. By pressing the button again later in the script, the next alternate event will fire until all alternate events are fired. For more on using alternate events please see What is an alternate firing event, and how do I use it within my script?
COBRA now has the ability to require a user to either press a defined 18R2 button (1-18) or hold a newly introduced physical deadman switch.
- 18R2 Button - The script confirmation button has been replaced by the Deadman button. You can specify any number button (1-18) into this argument. When the script is started, the user is required to press and hold the Deadman button on the COBRA 18R in order for the script to file. If the button is not pressed, “Pau” is displayed on the 18R2 telling the user the script is paused. By pressing the Deadman button, the script will resume. To view the new script header format, please reference the Important Changes section earlier in this document. You can also download a sample cobra.csv file for 4.0.
- Deadman Handheld Switch - You also have the option of purchasing a physical deadman switch. The deadman switch has a deadman lever and two buttons on the top of the control. Pressing the left button is the same as pressing the STEP button on the 18R2. Pressing the right button fires one of your pre-defined alternate events. Alternate events are part of a few Alternate Firing Event feature explained later in this document. For more information on using the COBRA Deadman control in your script please see What is the COBRA Deadman Control?
COBRA Control Panel Integration
The COBRA Control Panel is a downloadable Android app that provides a comprehensive, digital user interface to the 18R2. The Control Panel is a platform for growth that will expand and improve with new features alongside our core product expansion. Included in the license fees are upgrades to new features as they become available. For more on the COBRA control panel please see What are the general features/benefits of the Control Panel?
A complete list of all connected devices including the 18M Firing Module and COBRA Audio Box. For all devices, the applicable channel, address, key position, mode, signal strength, battery life and detailed continuity including event descriptions are displayed. The device list also finds any device exceptions such as low signal, low battery, or missing continuity and displays them to the user. This saves the time of having to find issues by toggling back and forth between channels on the 18R2. Filtering and color-coding make the device list easy to use.
A detailed view of your show as it's firing! Simply select your script, view event details, and press Play when ready to begin your show. As events are fired, the event list auto-scrolls and tells you exactly what will fire next. You can even disable autoscrolling and view past or future events while your show is playing. Pause, resume, and even "Jump to" a specific event mid-show.
Disable Firing Functionality
You now have the ability to define a Disable Firing Button in the cobra.csv script header row. By defining this button (1-18), you can disable firing on all 18M firing modules while the script is running. If you are using the COBRA Audio Box, your audio will continue to play. When pressing the Disable Firing button, “nO” and “Fir” will display on the 18R2. Simply press the Disable Firing button again to resume module firing. If you are using the COBRA Control Panel, the firing status will also display on the UI. This is our first step into disabling modules/effects. In future releases, we will extend this functionality to disable specific modules and groups of effects. For more on the Disable firing feature please see Can I disable modules from firing while my script is running?
Firmware version 4.0 also includes a myriad of minor improvements. For a comprehensive list, please see below.
- Multiple Audio Files
- 30% More Battery Life
- Low Signal Warning
- Improved Low Battery Warning
- 18R2 Default Channel Changed to 00
- Force Un-Sync Removed from 18M
- Force Un-Sync Time Extended on 18R2 to 30 Seconds
- Loading script requires USB to be inserted at the time of the 18R2 powering up
- Script header arguments changed
Firmware version 4.0 introduces a few bug fixes to some of the issues customers were experiencing with past firmware versions.
- Manually fire cues while the script is running
- Reinforced wireless security
- Fire multiple scripts without disarming