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Thread: Auto matrix

  1. #1
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    Auto matrix

    Came across an auto matrix controller the other day. Never seen them before, anyone know much about these controls, what are they like?
    Easy to use, reliable etc.....

  2. #2
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    Yep, I know them - been dealing with them for 10 years - they're quite reliable, and work well as standalone controllers (with built in timeclock and scheduling) and in fully networked installations (some of my biggest customers are Auto-Matrix sites with many hundreds of these controllers)...however, unless you have the manual for the particular controller you're dealing with, and the software to set it up, your only choice for looking into its configuration is a late-80's vintage plug-in tool that requires you to know the hexadecimal addresses of all the software channels. And then you'll still need the manual to know what all the subchannels are all about - after all, FE01;CV or FA02;CS isn't exactly intuitive...

    Since you have to be a dealer to access Auto-Matrix's documentation, well, e-mail me with what you're dealing with, and I'll let you know how I can help.

  3. #3
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    ok i fixed the prob sort of by talking with a lady 700kms away and she switch (via modem i guess)all the relay and i found out that ralay k3 was stage 1 cooling which was stuffed, so i wired into stage 2 to get it going. I have a laptop but don't know what sort of software or leads i need to plug into these suckers.

  4. #4
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    If she was able to fix the problem remotely, that means that the controller is wired to either an SF1 telephone gateway (which is actually more than a gateway - it provides a decent menuing structure, scheduling, alarming, etc.), or to a SAGE, which used to be Auto-Matrix's primary supervisory controller. Regardless, if there's remote access, I'd ask for the phone number so that you can Hyperterminal into the system yourself. By looking through the database of either device, you can learn a bit about how Auto-Matrix structures their addressing and points.

  5. #5
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    How do I go about Hyperterminaling into the system?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by hos View Post
    How do I go about Hyperterminaling into the system?
    Hos, you haven't said what you've got on site. Pretty hard for Davem or anyone else to help you without that info.

    As pointed out, if the gal who helped you before dialed into the system remotely there is a Sage or an SF1 on the site. Get the phone number, set Hyperterminal to use that phone number, set up your communications parameters as 9600,8,N,1 and then dial in.

    But this is going to be little help to you by itself. The Sage or SF1 can be set up to provide you with some fairly simple to understand and use text based group menues. Those are completely customizeable ... and optional. If existant, they'll show ONLY what the tech who set up the system decided to put into the menues. Such menues are normally set up for the use of a casual user, as in a site owner/operator. And will typically show such things as set points, space temps, etc. And if you can see it, you can change whatever setpoints tech decided to display in the menues.

    BUT ... for anything NOT displayed in those simple menues ... you're probably not going to want to try to change anything ... if you're smart. Not unless you've studied the books on the various controllers and have come to grasp at least the basics behind how they work.

    I happen to like the Automatrix line of stuff. Pretty rock solid, reliable, flexible, etc. The company for whom I work has got AAM controllers out there still which have been installed for a decade, or more, which still perk right along doing their job just fine. Having survived power surges, unconditioned power lines, high temps, low temps, high humidity, low humidity, use and abuse.

    And, if you've spent time with the books to learn to understand the innards ... you'll find that actually they're pretty simple to understand ONCE YOU'VE LEARNED the basics of them. They're line of products is pretty durned consistant in logic and implementation from one controller to the next. And from one generation to the next. Learn to understand one, and the others are a piece of cake.

    But for a newbie to try to jump in and understand what's going on inside ... other than whatever is presented on the custom made text menues ... without the manuals and without a knowledgeable person guiding you ... is probably gonna be fruitless. In all honesty.

    Davem gave you a hint. Emailing one of us who work with such devices, providing some sort of information about what kind of controllers and front end device (Sage or SF1 or whatever) you have would be a good start. From that point one of us would have at least a beginning idea of what more we could do to help you.

    Your asking for how to Hyperterminal into the system right from the start is pretty much a matter of putting the cart before the horse.

  7. #7
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    ok thanks guys, i don't know much about these controls so i haven't fiddled with them.
    The part # on this one i saw was SBC ASCE REV A 2005

  8. #8
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    Good news is that your SBC controller is one of the new line of unitary controllers (and your particular model can be reflashed to be a rooftop, heatpump, or fancoil controller), but the bad news is that you can longer use the plug-in tool, nor can you use the DOS version of SoloPro (which had the benefit of being...uh...um....easily copied). You'll have to procure a copy of SoloPro for Windows, with its USB key, to examine/change the configuration.
    Since you mentioned only the unitary controller, I'm guessing you don't have a supervisory level controller (Sage or SF1) attached, otherwise that would be another avenue to check out its points (provided the installing contractor built enough points into the Sage/SF1 menus).

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