Pydon Software Reference

After you have installed Pydon, you can use Pydon to interface with your Sense/Stage network using Open Sound Control (OSC) messages.

There are two options for using Pydon, through a GUI interface, or through a command-line script.

GUI version

The GUI can be started in the following ways:

  • On Linux and OSX from the command line with
  • On Windows by double clicking on the file start_pydon.bat

A window will open that looks something like this:

The window offers you a number of settings that can be adjusted before you actually start your Sense/Stage network. Some of the most important settings you should know about are:

  • Communication mode: this defines the format of OSC messages that will be used to communicate with your sensor network. Which one you choose largely depends on the type of messages that are easiest to work with in the program that will be receiving data from your network. The Choices are:
    • osc – This is one option for communicating with your network using simple OSC messages. Incoming data from your network is sent using the message ‘‘/minibee/data’’ where the first data element is the unique id number of the minibee, followed by its sensor values.
    • junxion – Uses a slightly modified version of the ‘osc’ option above. Incoming data from your network is sent such that the id number of the minibee is part of the message address, for example, if your minibee id was 2, you would receive the sensor data from this minibee via the message ‘‘/minibee/data/2’’.
    • datanetwork – Uses the SenseWorld DataNetwork to transfer the data to multiple clients using the DataNetwork framework. If you don’t know what this is, then don’t use it.

    As you switch between the different communication options, settings that are relevant to these options will become enabled.

  • MiniBee configuration file: this is an XML file containing information on what kind of sensors are attached to your minibees. Examples are provided in the download of the pydon package. For documentation on the format, read this page. You can browse to the appropriate configuration file using the […] button.

  • Serial port: here you need to select the serial port to use. The dropdown menu provides all ports that are found on your computer.

  • OSC communication: here you can define the target host and port to send OSC data to. For most cases this will be your local host with a port that is specified in your client software.

  • Verbosity: these options provide more detailed output messages as the program is running; they are mainly meant for debugging, or recording data in a raw format. In a final production you would leave these options off.

  • Autostart: this is an option to automatically start with the last used settings the next time the program is started. This allows for a somewhat quicker start-up time once your project settings have been finalized.

In the [Options] menu, you can select the [Advanced] mode, which will allow tweaking advanced settings. The settings are described in detail here. In most cases you will not need to use the advanced settings.

By clicking [START] you start the communication between your computer and the Sense/Stage network, you will also begin to receive OSC messages. At this point your current settings are stored to a file named pydondefaults.ini in the directory from which you start The next time you start it will read the settings from this file and use these as defaults. The program will look for the last used settings in the directory from which you start

Command line interface

Alternatively you can use the command line interface:


Options are taken from the file pydondefaults.ini that should be in the same folder as from where you call the script. If no pydondefaults.ini file is chosen, sensible default values are used instead.

If you provide additional command line parameters, these will take precedence over the parameters defined as default and stored as the new defaults in pydondefaults.ini.

To see which parameters are available you can type:

$ -h

To start it you would do for example:

$ -P osc -c configs/example_hiveconfig.xml -s /dev/ttyUSB0

/dev/ttyUSB0 is the address of your serial port, on a Mac it will be something like: /dev/tty-usb.serialASSFADF0002332:

$ -P osc -c configs/example_hiveconfig.xml -s /dev/tty-usb.serialASSFADF0002332

If you want to send the data to another machine:

$ -c nameofconfigfile.xml -d

where is the IP address of the other machine.

If you need to figure out what is going on, there is a verbosity switch, which will print more output:

$ -c example_hiveconfig.xml -s /dev/ttyUSB0 -v True

Available parameters on the command line interface

Output of $ -h:

Usage: [options]

MetaPydonHive - Create a client to communicate with the minibee network.

  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -P PROGRAM, --program=PROGRAM
                        Which program/infrastructure do you want to use?
                        options: datanetwork, osc, libmapper, junxion
  -s SERIAL, --serial=SERIAL
                        the serial port [default:/dev/ttyUSB0]
  -a APIMODE, --apimode=APIMODE
                        use API mode for communication with the minibees
  -v VERBOSE, --verbose=VERBOSE
                        verbose printing [default:False]
  -u IGNORE, --ignore-unknown=IGNORE
                        ignore unknown minibees [default:False]
                        create new files for unknown minibees [default:True]
  -x XBEEERROR, --check-for-xbee-error=XBEEERROR
                        check whether xbee-error occurred [default:False]
  --auto=AUTOSTART      autostart [default:False]
  -l LOGDATA, --logdata=LOGDATA
                        log data to file [default:False]
  -c CONFIG, --config=CONFIG
                        the name of the configuration file for the minibees
  -n NAME, --name=NAME  the name of the client in the datanetwork
                        [default:pydonhive] (needed for datanetwork or
  -b BAUDRATE, --baudrate=BAUDRATE
                        the serial port [default:57600]
  -m MINIBEES, --nr_of_minibees=MINIBEES
                        the number of minibees in the network [default:20]
  -o MBOFFSET, --minibee_offset=MBOFFSET
                        the offset of the number range for the minibees in the
                        network [default:1]
  -d HOST, --host_ip=HOST
                        the ip address of the datanetwork host or osc/junxion
                        receiver [default:]
  -t HPORT, --host_port=HPORT
                        the port on which the application that has to receive
                        the OSC messages will listen [default:57120] (needed
                        for osc or junxion or default for datanetwork)
  -i IP, --ip=IP        the ip on which the client will listen
  -p PORT, --port=PORT  the port on which the client will listen
  -N LOGNAME, --logname=LOGNAME
                        log name (default pydon.log)
  -V LOGLEVEL, --loglevel=LOGLEVEL
                        logging level (debug, info, error)
  -L LOGDIR, --logdir=LOGDIR
                        log DIRECTORY (default ./)
  -Q, --quiet           do not log to console
  -C, --clean           remove old log file