Beginning with StormVue NGX suite V2.5 you can get instant close lightning alert and all clear notification messages to your mobile device or computer by using the free Telegram Messenger service.
Telegram is available on Windows Phone, Android and iPhone/iPad, as a native Windows, Mac OS and Linux application and even as a web browser app. More information can be found on the Telegram website
This section of the manual will show you how to configure Telegram option in StormVue NGX Data server and also how to connect your mobile device to a lightning alert bot that you create. Screenshots from the Telegram mobile app are taken in Windows Phone but the configuration steps apply to all platforms.
Bots are Telegram services that receive alert messages from NGX Data server and forward these to your mobile device. The text content of Telegram alert messages sent from NGX Data server is identical to the E-mail alerts and configured under E-mail settings.
TIP! You can include web links in the message text with no special formatting required. Links will be automatically parsed which enables you to open a web page directly from Telegram alert notifications.
Your first step is to install Telegram by downloading from the app store for your device. After this has been done open NGX Data server configuration options (Ctrl+C) and select Telegram messenger tab.
Here we see two fields that require some data. Bot token is an unique identifier string that identifies your bot. Destination ID is a unique number that identifies the chat your bot will use. It is sometimes also referred to as chat ID. These two fields will be different for different bots. You can only use one bot at a time in Stormvue NGX. Please note that you cannot use the identifiers or numbers shown in our examples.
Obtaining a Bot token
To create a bot we need to ask BotFather, the father of all Telegram bots.
1. Make sure Telegram is installed and that your mobile device is connected to the Internet. Open the following link in a web browser on your device: http://telegram.me/botfather
This should make the Telegram app open automatically and initiate a chat with BotFather. Now we need create our bot. In the chat dialog, type:
2. BotFather will reply by asking you to name your bot. We’ll call our bot NGXTestBot but you should choose a more suitable identifier for your own bot. Note that the name does not have to contain the word ‘bot’. This identifier is used when your bot is shown in the Telegram contact list, once you have added it there. Choose a relevant identifier, enter it in the chat dialog and send.
3. You will now be asked to provide a username for your bot. The username must end in ‘bot’. We will name ours AstroStormBot but you must choose a different name. If the name is taken you will be notified of this and asked to provide a different name. Enter your chosen bot name in the chat dialog and send.
4. If the bot was created successfully you will receive a long message with some general information and your Bot token which is a long string consisting of numbers and letters. A recommendation is to copy this message, paste it into an e-mail and send this to an e-mail account that is accessible on your Windows PC. This way you can copy-paste the Bot token easily into StormVue NGX Data server and as required in steps outlined below.
Obtaining a Destination ID
1. Before configuring NGX Data server we also need a Destination ID. This is obtained by adding our newly created bot to our list of Telegram contacts. To add it, go back to your mobile device web browser and open a direct link to your bot. In our example case the link is http://telegram.me/AstroStormBot
2. Telegram app will now open again and show our NGXTestBot with an empty chat. Make sure to press Start button to begin a chat session, or enter the command /start in the chat dialog and send. Bots cannot be the initiators of chats so we must tell our bot that we have joined the chat.
3. To obtain the Destination ID we need to open the chat in a web browser. This step can be done on your Windows PC assuming you have copied over the Bot token there. Open the following link and make sure to replace the part highlighted in green with your own bot token:
4. A page with some JSON formatted data will open. You can ignore everything except the Destination ID which is found where the arrow points in this image. In our example the ID is 259550017:
Configuring and testing Telegram in NGX Data server
With all the hard work done, all we need to do now is to copy the Bot token and Destination ID to NGX Data server configuration. Enter this information into the respective text fields in Telegram configuration options dialog.
Do not forget to always click Apply button after entering or changing settings!
A word of caution: Copying text from web pages may cause invisible non-ASCII characters to be included in the copied text. Destination ID must contain numbers only and neither this nor the Bot token field can contain invisible characters. For this reason it is strongly recommended that you do not copy-paste Destination ID but instead type it in manually. For advanced users you can opt to ‘view source’ on the JSON formatted web page in your web browser and copy the Destination ID number from the source code.
One alternative option is to use an online text cleaning tool such as this:
Now you can send a test message by clicking the Test button. NGX Data server will notify you that a test message was sent or, if an error occurred while trying to send the message, the error message will be shown instead.
If you followed the steps outlined above correctly you should shortly see/hear a notification blip on your mobile device.
Enabling Telegram alert messages in NGX Data server
The last step is to enable Telegram alerting and all clear notifications which is done under the Alarm settings tab, where you also set the close alarm distance and other settings common to E-mail and Telegram alerting. General function of Telegram alert messaging is identical to E-mail alerts.
TIP! Multiple users can receive alerts from your lightning detection system by simply adding your alerting bot as outlined in step 1 under Obtaining a Destination ID section and start a chat with it. This of course assumes that your NGX Data server Telegram alerting is already configured and operational.