Rangecast FAQ
[FAQ-1240] Checking Webswitch status



The status of a WebSwitch rebooter in the field can be checked via the status page. This can be useful for checking that a WebSwitch is operational, or diagnosing why a PC connected to a WebSwitch did not restart as expected.


1. Access the status page for the hub operating the PC/scanners

2. In the navigation bar on the top right, select Advanced

3. In the upper-right of the Advanced options, select "power switch controller"

4. This brings up a report listing each PC associated with this hub.

For each PC, if a WebSwitch has been configured, the WebSwitch serial number will be shown in the "Switch ID" column, and the outlet number (which power outlet from WebSwitch provides power to this specific PC) is shown in the "Outlet" column.

On the row relating to the PC of interest, if either field is blank (Switch ID or Outlet), then the system is not aware of a WebSwitch powering this PC. If this is incorrect, follow the instructions for registering a WebSwitch

[FAQ-1229] WebSwitch setup (remote power switch)

To setup a WebSwitch remote power switch, first set configuration options for the device via a web browser, then connect the device to your PC, and finally associate the serial number of the device with the PC.

5. The "MIN-AGO-PC" and "MIN-AGO-SWITCH" report how many minutes have elapsed since these two devices most recently checked into the Rangecast power control system.

(Note: If there has been no communication in the past 10,000 minutes - approximately one week - the elapsed time will be shown as X)

In normal operation, WebSwitch checks into Rangecast about once a minute, so the MIN-AGO-SWITCH value is normally 0 or 1. Any larger value indicates that WebSwitch is offline. This could be due to a loss of power or internet connectivity.

In normal operation, PCs check in about once every six minutes. However, there may be longer gaps while a PC is rebooting, or other similar conditions that do not indicate a problem. If MIN-AGO-PC is greater than about 20 (there is no specific threshold) the PC is likely offline, or the Rangecast software has stopped.

For reference, the PC communication is performed by the Rangecast Watchdog software on the PC (automatically launched when the Rangecast software is started). If the Rangecast software is stopped for any reason (including maintenance or configuration work done manually on the PC), the PC will not register with the system and MIN-AGO-PC will increase during this outage.

6. The MIN-BEFORE-ACTIVATE column gives the number of minutes until -- if the PC has not communicated first and reset the timer -- the automated system will activate WebSwitch (if available) in an attempt to reboot the PC and re-establish normal operations.

This is normally within an hour. (PCs are not rebooted immediately when they do not communicate, since there are normal reasons for short outages, such as on-site maintenance. We do not want PCs to reboot under IT if they are checking the system or performing normal work that may take a few minutes with Rangecast stopped.)

If there are indications that the PC might attempt a Windows Update on bootup, this interval is extended to several hours. During a Windows Update there may be an extended period without network communication from the PC, and it is important to not reboot the PC during this time.

7. The STATE column gives the rationale for the present value in MIN-BEFORE-ACTIVATE. Common values include:

"1-WATCHDOG-NORMAL" -- the Rangecast Watchdog advanced the reboot-on-outage timer (to 1 hour).

"6-POSSIBLE-UPDATE" -- the Rangecast Watchdog advanced the reboot-on-outage timer (to 3 hours, because of indications that Winows may attempt an Update, so in the event of an extended outage, this could be due to an Update and automated rebooting should be delayed to give Update time to complete before considering a power cycle.)

If a PC is offline, and you would expect a reboot but (within the first three hours) it does not happen, check that the delay is not due to STATE being in this condition.

There are other possible states, less commonly seen, including:

"0-WEBSWITCH-SILENCE" -- WebSwitch has not been in communication for long enough to appear offline. Since this could happen due to a power failure on site, and the PC may reboot automatically when power is restored, an automated reboot should not be commanded when WebSwitch first resumes internet communications.

"2-REBOOT-LOCAL" -- Rangecast software on the PC is attempting to reboot the PC, and automated power cycles are inhibited during this time.

"3-REBOOT-REMOTE" -- The automated system has commanded a power cycle of the PC, and additional power cycles are inhibited while seeing if the PC returns to service.

"4-REQUEST-REBOOT" -- A power cycle of the PC through WebSwitch has been manually requested through the power switch controller online UI.

"5-RC-STOPPED" -- The Rangecast software was manually stopped on the PC, and automated rebooting is inhibited since this may be due to normal maintenance or decommissioning of the PC.

8. If the MIN-AGO-SWITCH value is higher than MIN-AGO-PC (including X as a large value), then the PC has been in communication with the system while WebSwitch has not. This is a sign of a configuration problem, and the WebSwitch system will not work to power cycle this PC. Possible causes:

a) The serial number of the WebSwitch may not have been entered correctly

b) The WebSwitch may not have a good internet connection

c) The customization of WebSwitch (entering the internet address of the Rangecast power control system) may not have been done correctly, resulting in WebSwitch not knowing where to communicate, or not using DHCP with the customer LAN

If the PC is powered through the WebSwitch (as is necessary to use this service), then this cannot be due to a problem with the power connection to the WebSwitch, or power at the facility, since in either case the PC would not be operational.

9. Clicking on the switch ID, you can see a more detailed report about the switch conditions and history.

The event log lists prior reboots conducted by this WebSwitch, with the associated outlet ID, and the STATE at the time (the cause of the timer activation, for example "1-WATCHDOG-NORMAL" means the timer started by a normal Watchdog interaction timed out to trigger the reboot after one hour of no further PC communications.)

The sessions log lists periods when the WebSwitch was in regular communications. Gaps may be due to power or internet outages. Since WebSwitch is expected to communicate with the server once a minute, this log is sensitive to even short outages

The sessions log will show when the WebSwitch was last in communication. If there is no sessions log, then there has been no communcation at all.

Note: information on this report, both MIN-AGO-SWITCH and the sessions log, only reports communications since the power switch controller system was most recently launched. The date of the most recent launch can be found by Rangecast administration by accessing the systemwide Power Switch Controller report on the KEY page, going to Technical Report, and doing a ctrl-F for Power Switch Controller until you find the following report, then see the Launched time.




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