Dash Quick Guide
6 January 2023
The simplest way to take a look at how the Dash IoT Dashboard app works is to create an account and connect to the Dash Test IoT Device. Go to Getting Started with a Dash Account.
If you already have an IoT device with the Dash Protocol enabled, go to Getting Started with Dash enabled IoT Devices.
More information is available on the Dash website: dashio.io
To get started with the Dash app you need to purchase Device Credits. These can either be purchased them with an in-app purchase or they come free with a Dash account.
- In-app purchase Device Credits allow you to setup devices on your Dash app, but they will not be able to connect to dash, the Dash MQTT server.
- Dash account Device Credits allow you to setup devices on your Dash app which can connect through dash, the Dash MQTT server.
One Device Credit is required for every IoT device you would like the Dash app to communicate with. This gives you the ability to use all three Dash Protocol communication methods with that device (Bluetooth LE, TCP and MQTT).
You can create a free Dash account that includes one free Device Credit. When you need more Device Credits, you can either buy more throug ip-app purchases or upgrade your Dash account.
Getting Started with a Dash Account
A Dash account gives access to dash, the Dash MQTT broker and services such as alarms (push notifications), sharing and automatic device detection (discovery) along with Device Credits for the Dash IoT Dashboard app.
Tap the Dash Account button to Login or Create & Authenticate a Dash account. Choose the free account that includes a free Device Credit so you can evaluate the Dash app. You can upgrade to another plan with greater capabilities at any time. A Test IoT Device is available on the Dash server and is shared to all account holders to test and get familiar with. To connect to this device, see the next section; Getting Started with Dash enabled IoT Devices, Shared To me On Dash.
Getting Started with Dash enabled IoT Devices
To get a list of all your IoT devices, tap the All Devices button. If you haven’t yet connected to any IoT devices, this list will be empty. To find IoT devices, tap the Find New Device button which will present you with a list of options:
- My Devices on Dash: select this option to find your devices that are already connected through dash.
- Shared To Me On Dash: select this option to find devices that have been shared to you by other Dash account holders. Here you will find the Dash Test IoT Device that has been shared to you by Dash.
- Group Devices On Dash: select this option to find devices that have been shared by members of your group. This option is only available for group accounts.
- BLE Scan: select this option to scan for nearby BLE enabled IoT devices operating with the Dash Protocol.
- TCP Discovery: select this option to discover TCP enabled IoT devices operating with the Dash Protocol on the local network your mobile device and Dash IoT Dashboard is connected to.
- Manually Connect: select this option to manually connect to an IoT device. You can then select the connection type (BLE, TCP or MQTT) and enter the connection details.
After you have selected one of the above options, you will be presented with a list of IoT devices that are available for you to connect to. Select one of the devices and, when prompted, make sure you download the Device View(s) and Controls layout to show the device’s controls on the dashboard.
The Controls (or widgets) of an IoT Device are displayed on one or more Device Views on the Dash app. Use the Left and Right buttons to scroll between Device Views or select a Device View from the Device Views selector button.
If you would like to change the layout, colors and behaviour of the controls, you can edit the device view by tapping the Edit button in the top right hand corner of each device view. From here you can:
- Edit Device View: Change the Device View settings by taping the Edit Device View button in the footer of the Device View.
- Edit Controls: Tap any Control to select it. The Control Settings Menu button will appear in the middle of the Control. The Control can then be dragged and resized (pinch). Tapping the button allows you to edit the Control settings where you can setup the style, colors and other characteristics of your Control.
- Add Control Manually: Tap the Add Control button and select the Control from the list that you would like to add.
- Quit editing: Tap the Edit button again.
Digging A Little Deeper
This article shows the Dash app functionality in a little more detail.
Tap the Settings Menu button for the following:
- Buy Device Credits through in-app purchases
- Change features of the the layout of the dashboard and all controls
- Change the units of measurement
Tap the Dash Account button to:
- Create an account.
- Login to an existing account.
- Change Account Settings.
- Make Payments and Upgrade your account plan.
- Use Dash Cloud Services.
A Dash account gives you access to:
- Dash MQTT Broker to communicate between your IoT devices and the Dash app through the Internet.
- Alarms (Push Notifications) that allow your IoT devices to message you when an important event occurs.
- Share your IoT devices with other Dash account users.
- Group accounts that can have many users working with many IoT devices. This is particularly useful for business.
- Cloud Services for managing your Dash app on different phones and tablets and IoT devices.
Dash Cloud Services include the following:
- My Dashboards: manage your Dash apps that are registered on the Dash server.
- My Devices: manage your IoT devices that are registered on the Dash server.
- Shared Devices: manage your IoT devices that you have shared to other users.
- Save and Load Layouts: backup and restore the complete layout configuration of your Dash app.
- Manage Groups: if you are the owner of a Group account, you can manage the group members.
Device and Connection Details
Tapping the All Devices button gives you a list of the IoT devices you have connected with. From this list, you can tap on a device name to select and manage the IoT device. You can:
- Manage your alarms and their alarm sound.
- Share the device with another user.
- Delete the device.
- Setup the device name and network information according to what the selected IoT device allows.
- Download the Device View and Controls layout information in a JSON file format.
- Manage connections: Select a connection to manage the connection and view the connection messages.
Design and Build You Own Dash Enabled IoT Devices
Building you own Dash enabled IoT devices is easy. There is a detailed document for the Dash protocol and software development guides and examples available on the Dash website downloads page: dashio.io/downloads
The Dash app enables you to design your own IoT device controls layout:
- Add a Device View by tapping thebutton Settings Menu and then then Add Device View button in the footer of the Settings menu.
- Edit the Device View by tapping the Edit Device View button and make sure your select a Device to attach the device view to.
- Add Controls to the device view by tapping the Add Controls button and selecting from the controls menu.
- When your design is complete, tap the Edit button to quit editing the Device View. You can then select your device from the Devices menu button, then tap the Export Layout button. You will be prompted to send your deivce layout configuration data in an email message.