Step-by-step instructions on how to set up email notifications with ControlByWeb products.

TUTORIAL DETAILS:
Product Demonstrated: X-301
Estimated Completion Time: 15 minutes

Getting the Message

ControlByWeb products can generate email messages, notifying the end user that a monitored action has just occurred. If you have not set this feature up, or have set it up incorrectly, you will not receive email notifications.

Below is a short tutorial explaining key terms such as SMTP, server port, DNS, and so forth. It also walks through some basic steps on how to obtain this information.

What is SMTP???

Many of us send emails everyday? We send them from home, school or work, using a PC, or smartphone. But do we know what really goes on when we hit send?

When you compose an email and press the send button, lets take a look at what is going on:

  • When you hit the send button, your email client (Outlook, Eudora, Apple Mail, Thunderbird) will use the DNS (Domain Name Server to lookup the IP address of the outgoing mail server, also known as the SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) Server. Your username and password (if required) will be used for user authentication
  • Once a connection to the SMTP Server has been established, your email client will send the email message on port 25. You can think of a port as a “door” into the server, if you send it to the wrong door you won’t get an answer.
  • Your SMTP Server communicates with the recipeint’s SMTP server, passes off the email message, which is then transfered to the proper recipient’s inbox.

Email Client OperationsIn order for the X-301 to send an email, the proper email settings will need to be configured. Once setup, the X-301 will act similar to your email client.

Fill in the Blanks

Now that we know the basics, lets take a look at where we enter these settings, and how we can find them in order to send email notifications using a ControlByWeb product.

Note: Many ControlByWeb products do not support SSL encryption (as found in most free email accounts such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo!) you will need to ensure that the SMTP server you plan to use does not use SSL encryption. Keep in mind that you don’t need an email account (because you are not receiving email), you just need an SMTP server. Most ISPs that we have worked with offer free access to their un-encrypted SMTP server for their customers who are accessing the server from inside their network. Contact your ISP or Network Administrator for more information on non-encrypted SMTP servers. Please check to see if your ControlByWeb product supports SSL encryption located in the product’s users manual.

When you access your X-301 (or any ControlByWeb product), you will see a series of tabs at the top. Click on the Network tab (Figure 1a).

Now all that needs to be done is enter the required email settings.

Below demonstrates where they can be found, and alternate methods of obtaining them.

Figure 1a


Preferred DNS Server / Alternate DNS Server

If you are using Windows, open the command prompt, and type ipconfig/all, then look for the DNS entry. You should be able to use this in the preferred and alternate DNS server fields. (Figure 1b). If you are using a Mac, go to System Prefences > Network (Figure 1c)

Alternate Method:

Use a Public DNS server such as Google’s Public DNS.

Preferred: 8.8.8.8. Alternate: 8.8.4.4.

Figure 1b

Figure 1c


Mail Server / Mail Server Port

If you are not sure what the name of your mail server is, you can obtain it from your ISP or Network Administrator.

Alternate Method:

If you already use an email client such as Outlook or Thunderbird. Look for the Outgoing Mail server under Tools > Account Settings

Figure 1d


Username / Password

If a username and password is required by the SMTP server, you can obtain this informations from your ISP or Network Administrator.

Alternate Method:

If you already use an email client such as Outlook or Thunderbird. Look for SMTP Authentication Username and Password under Tools > Account Settings.

Note: Some email clients will not display the password.


Return Email

ControlByWeb products cannot receive emails, but you can specify an email as a return email incase a message is returned, or in case the SMTP server requires a return email for spam protection.


Email 1 – 5

Enter the email addresses of up to five email recipients of your choice.

Does it Work?

Once you have successfully submitted the settings, you can send a test email to ensure your settings are correct. To do so, open your web browser, and type the following:

http://IP_Address/state.xml?testEmail=1

Replace “IP_Address” with the current IP address assigned to the X-301.

Example: http://192.168.1.2/state.xml?testEmail=1

Note: The testEmail command is only supported on the following products: X-300™, X-301™, WebRelay-10 Plus™, WebSwitch Plus™, Five-Input Module, Analog Module, Temperature Module.

Figure 2a shows an example of a test email sent by a ControlByWeb product.

Note: ControlByWeb products that do not support the testEmail command will have to be manually triggered.

Figure 2a

If you do not receive an email, you can check the system log file in order to get some insight as to what might be happening. To access the system log type the following address:

http://IP_Adddress/syslog.txt

Replace “IP_Address” with the current IP address assigned to the X-301.

Example: http://192.168.1.2/syslog.txt

At the bottom of the log file, you might see one of the following errors:

05/10/2011 10:06:32 92.0F, –.–, 4.5V EMAIL: Failed DNS Lookup.
05/10/2011 10:10:02 92.0F, –.–, 4.5V EMAIL: Bad Username.
05/10/2011 10:12:00 92.0F, –.–, 4.5V EMAIL: Bad Password.
05/10/2011 10:13:15 92.0F, –.–, 4.5V EMAIL: Authentication Required.
05/10/2011 10:17:42 92.0F, –.–, 4.5V EMAIL: No Response.

If you get one of these errors, go back through and double check your settings, starting with the errors mentioned in your syslog file. After following the above steps, and your email still doesn’t work, please feel free to send our support staff an email.

Note: The syslog.txt command is only supported on the following products: X-300™, X-301™, WebRelay-10 Plus™, WebSwitch Plus™

Inbox (1)

Once you’ve received the test email you can configure your relays and inputs to send emails based on certain conditions, or state changes.

Congratulations, you have now successfully setup email notifications on a ControlByWeb product.