Budget-tip: Poledisplay using Android device

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Johann
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Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:11 am
Location: Jember, Indonesia

Budget-tip: Poledisplay using Android device

Post by Johann » Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:58 pm

Guide to using your Android device as Pole Display

Introduction:

Hello all,

I'm Johann from Indonesia (in a continent/timezone that this forum does not acknowledge?) an i'm new to DHPOS.
I run a small toko from my home together with my wife and as i'm writing this i am in the process of setting up a POS.
Instead of giving Dale headaches with my questions today i thought i'd try to contribute a little by sharing on this forum something neat i found and made working for my setup.

This is mostly a tip for those budget users like me who would like a secondary/pole display without shelling out the bucks for the extra hardware and have an extra Android phone/tablet laying around.

With the help of a Android phone or tablet you could easily set up your own custom wireless pole-display using freely available software.

Pros:
* Cheap and or free (depending you have an Android phone/tablet laying around)
* wireless, no strings attached. This setup works on your own private WiFi network
* Easy to setup

Cons:
* Uses additional software
* You might be upping the total system requirements of your POS setup (depending on your current setup, minimum Windows 7 is needed in setup described below)
* There is a slight delay on your secondary display (phone or tablet), however this is a minor issue when using it as your Pole-display
* Your POS computer and phone/tablet must be on the same network
* Depending on the screensize/resolution of your Android device some scaling and/or stretching will apply
* On every new use, you must drag the BIGPOLEQ window back to the screen on the Andoid device and set it fullscreen(see below)


Requirements:

For this setup to work you will need the following:
-Your current POS setup running on PC/Laptop using Windows 7 or higher -referred to as POS-computer in this guide
-Any Android 4.1 device (phone/tablet) running Jellybean (4.1) or higher
-A WIfI network
- Additional free software (links below)

My personal setup:
- Laptop running Windows 10 (although the needed software claims to run on Windows 7 and up)
- DHPOS 7.1j running in DOSBox 0.74 with slightly teaked configuration (explained below)
- Blackberry Z10 for secondary display (technically NOT a dedicated Android phone, but supporting Android 4.1)
- WiFi home network
- Spacedesk Multi Monitor Software Server((Current version: Beta III v0.9.9z.23), PC/Windows) and Client(Current version: Beta v0.9.4, Android)


Setting up:

Ok, lets get started.
I'm trying not to make this in a full blown tutorial, but at least i'm going to tell you what i used and how i did it. My method and chosen software will certainly not be the only solution for this type of setup, but if it works for me then why should it not for you

1- I'm assuming you already have your DHPOS installed and up and running on your PC/Laptop
2- Make sure you also downloaded Dale's BIGPOLEQ software and you extract this software in your POS-folder OR set the correct path in the BIGPOLEQ software

NOTE: I would advise you at this point to test and make sure you got the BIGPOLEQ program setup correctly, you won't need two screens for this and can just open POS.EXE in a window and BIGPOLEQ.EXE in a second window. For instructions and setup refer to Dale's page at http://keyhut.com/bigpole.htm . When you're sure your install is working and your sale-data get's shown on the BIGPOLEQ window you can exit and close both POS and BIGPOLEQ and continue setting up the budget Pole-display

3- Make sure both your POS-computer and Android device are connected to the same WiFi-network
4- Go to http://spacedesk.ph/download and download the FREE driver for Windows (SERVER) and install it (requires a reboot!)
5- On your ANDROID device, go to Google Playstore and search,download and install Spacedesk
6- On your ANDROID device open the Spacedesk app, enter the network location of your POS computer with the server-driver (you can use automated search which in my case worked fine) and press CONNECT
7- Back on your POS-computer, open Windows screen-properties which should now report 2 screens
8- Set up the screens to EXTEND your desktop, while keeping your POS-computer monitor as the main screen

NOTE: at this point your client-app on your Android-device should be connected and show the extended desktop. You could move your mousecursor right off the POS-computer screen and see it (albeit slightly delayed) appear from the left on the screen of your Android device

9- Now on your POS-computer start BIGPOLEQ.EXE which opens in a new window
10- DRAG this new window RIGHT untill it fully appears on the screen of your Android device
11- With the BIGPOLEQ window still active (just drop it and don't click anywhere else) press ALT-ENTER to make it show fullscreen
12- Move your mousecursor all the way back left untill it appears back on your POS-computer screen
13- Open POS.exe, you are now done with the setup and ready to make some sales


Some issues i encountered:

On initial install as described above i got DHPOS windowed on the POS computer screen and BIGPOLEQ fullscreen on the Android, however when i tried to make DHPOS go fullscreen too, the Android screen jumped resolution and messed up my poledisplay, showing a combination of a scaled down desktop and half BIGPOLEQ screen

I fixed this by opening the DOSBox folder and running DOSBox 0.74 Options
This opens a configuration file, and i changed fullresolution=original to fullresolution=1600x900
NOTE: 1600x900 is the resolution that my POS-computer is set to use, if yours is different then change accordingly

Then when i started DHPOS again in DOSBox and switched to fullscreen all was fine on my Android but no scaling was applied to the POS-computer screen resulting in a small window in the middle surrounded by a big black border

So i opened the DOSBox option again and changed output=surface to output=ddraw

NOTE: depending on the capability of your video card you might need a different setting, available options are explained in the DOSBox configuration file

After these small configuration changes i enjoyed Dale's POS fullscreen on my POS-computer and BIGPOLEQ fullscreen on my Android

I hope this can be of some use to any of you, here's a pic showing that i made it work:
Image

FINAL NOTE: For above setup i used Spacedesk, currently in BETA and free to download. However i cannot guarantee that future versions remain free and if the BETA remains functional after release of newer version(s). I myself am in no way affiliated with Spacedesk or its developer(s) and so can not be held accountable for any issues,damage,sleepless nights or (temporary-)insanity that arise using this setup. Spacedesk has it's own License Agreement, i suggest you look it up at http://spacedesk.ph/download/ . If you like and use their software, show them some support. That being said, i'm fairly sure that ANY such of this kind of software you can find to extend your desktop to Android (possibly other platforms too) which works for you will work with above described method. There are plenty of free and paid solutions claiming this feature, i am just using this specific one. Do not hassle Dale for techsupport on this specific setup. Use at your own risk. Only you can prevent forest fires!


Links:

Datronics Spacedesk website: http://spacedesk.ph
Spacedesk Licence Terms and Download page: http://spacedesk.ph/download/
DHPOS: http://keyhut.com/pos.htm
Dale's BIGPOLEQ software (32 and 64 bit versions): http://keyhut.com/bigpole.htm

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daleadmin
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Posts: 1276
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2003 9:47 pm

Re: Budget-tip: Poledisplay using Android device

Post by daleadmin » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:14 am

Johann,

Neat-o

However let me restate your warning about others bugging me with requests for help with this by stating that my total knowledge of anything "Android" is how to spell it. I have never even touched a tablet of any kind and my cell phone is a flip phone that almost never gets used. My monthly cell phone bill comes to $5.00 USD per month because that is the minimum and I cannot even use that up.

So since there is a photo involved in this we can believe that you got it to work. "How" is completely beyond my understanding.

Dale

Johann
Occasional Poster
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:11 am
Location: Jember, Indonesia

Re: Budget-tip: Poledisplay using Android device

Post by Johann » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:31 am

Hey Dale,

Not only a photo but now even a short video on youtube, made for the Android barcode scanner thread but also showing the second display in action:

Click the following Youtube link for a small demonstration with DHPOS:
https://youtu.be/uUlD2X9jwJE

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daleadmin
Forum Owner
Posts: 1276
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2003 9:47 pm

Re: Budget-tip: Poledisplay using Android device

Post by daleadmin » Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:34 pm

Johann,

I looked at the video this morning when I checked the Facebook feed. Great work.

Dale

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