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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Andover Controls AC256M

    Sorry for posting twice, just signed up and not sure if should have posted under new member introduction.

    Hi, just took on responsibility of our very old Andover Controls AC256M a couple of months ago and the thing had been running fine for over 20 years but over the weekend, somehow, lost all it's programs. We did get Catalyst Pro when I took over and did a backup but having a very hard time restoring. Sometimes, system just disconnects randomly during restore but did get it to complete a couple times even though got some bad reload block messages but then after 10 or 15 minutes the programs get erased again. We are looking to upgrade but that can take some time so looking for some help. We are in NJ so does anyone know anyone that can service or repair?


    Also, does anyone know the restore process. Using modem with Procomm or HyperTerminal at first to login and set iou's and lcu's and time then catalyst pro to do restore. Not sure of this process but when first go in after programs are lost, it prompts for iou's which I believe we have 6 then prompts for lcu's which I am not sure of but enter 1 then after entering that 1, it kicks me out of the system and disconnects. Then I go back in and and says to set time which I do and then system options but not sure what to do there? Then, I go into catalyst pro and restore and it worked twice out of about a dozen tries but with the bad reload block messages but then program gets erased after a little while. I'm not sure how to direct connect, I might have a cable and tired connecting to S Port which is only one that it will fit but doesn't seem to be communicating. If anyone has any instructions? I've tried from multiple computers with different phone lines and modems and even a different line going into ac256 itself but didn't seem to help.

    Sorry if too much information and if not correct forum but am kind of lost here so any help or recommendations would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Joe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Your first problem is the number of IOUs. If I remember correctly a AC256M plus could support 2 IOUs and 32 LCUs. But that was along time ago. There maybe a few Andover guys who might remember hanging out on this board.
    In case of malfunction-Reconnect brain BEFORE starting mouth.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2013
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    Thanks, hope there are a few Andover guys out there. Been up and running for about 24 hours now. Been slowly turning things back from override to auto to allow AC256 program to control and so far so good. I have about 6 more things to switch but going to leave it on until Friday so hopefully will hold for Thanksgiving holiday. I had gotten to restore again yesterday and did try turning things back to auto every few minutes and looked good but after about an hour, program was gone again. So this time giving it more time between turning things back on to try to narrow it down.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2007
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    When Was the last time you changed the Batteries? There should be 2 each 12 volt 7AH batteries in the enclosure wired in series connected to the power supply.
    In case of malfunction-Reconnect brain BEFORE starting mouth.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2013
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    They hadn't been changed in awhile but we did change the other day. Our HVAC guy though that might problem too. Well. it worked for about a day and a half then crapped out again. Weird because after that, it just would not let me connect and kept show No Comm error on panel then later yesterday without me doing anything, it did let me in but still giving me a hard time restoring or even kicking me out after a few minutes. Thanks Joe

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    I don't have a lot of experience with the AC256 stuff, but I had a class on it a few weeks ago. One thing they mentioned is that the higher your baud rate is set for the reload, it is more likely you will have missing program blocks. I believe they recommended 9600. It is also important that the number of IOUs and LCUs is correct.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2013
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    Thanks, played around with baud rates but doesn't seem to help. Found another unit in storage but looks like username and password for these are based on units themselves. Anyone know how to figure it out? Thanks, Joe

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Ok, this is what I dug up from a page in the notes I was given:

    "Beginning with a blank terminal screen...type in the correct device password. All AC256 passwords are six characters long and begin with "&NE". This is followed by three numerals which represent the serial number of the controller. The correct device password is printed on a tag attached to the keys shipped with the unit. After the correct device password has been entered, the controller will respond with:

    P>

    ...The P> prompt indicates that the controller is waiting for you to enter a valid personal password, in order to gain access. One personal password is assigned to each AC256Plus when it is built."

    As far as I know, the default personal password is "santa", "froboz" or "bugger", depending on the revision of the controller.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Hampton Roads, Virginia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milkman Spawn View Post
    Ok, this is what I dug up from a page in the notes I was given:

    "Beginning with a blank terminal screen...type in the correct device password. All AC256 passwords are six characters long and begin with "&NE". This is followed by three numerals which represent the serial number of the controller. The correct device password is printed on a tag attached to the keys shipped with the unit. After the correct device password has been entered, the controller will respond with:

    P>

    ...The P> prompt indicates that the controller is waiting for you to enter a valid personal password, in order to gain access. One personal password is assigned to each AC256Plus when it is built."

    As far as I know, the default personal password is "santa", "froboz" or "bugger", depending on the revision of the controller.

    Personally I would not put this information in this public area of the forum, but since its here now.

    I believe that all the above is correct, however I believe that I have seen passwords beginning with "&nc" as well, I have always used lowercase letter but not sure if that makes any difference.

    Kevin
    When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new. - Dalai Lama


  10. #10
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    Nov 2013
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    Thanks for the info but still can't get it going. I am familiar with the &ne and connecting because we have been using Procomm and HyperTerminal to connect to our original system in the past so I think I am doing that correct. Order a rs232 cable last night so can try connecting to c-port directly, We did have an hvac guy here who wasn't too familiar with the ac256 but he did have a cable and when he plugged into c-port, it did light up on display as if it knew it was connected but he basically had same problem, where after typing in the &neXXX, it would never come back with P:> prompt to enter password. Tried with our original modem and also the one that came with new board but both doing same thing. Still trying different numbers but not sure it locks out after certain amount of tries? The little white sticker on board had just "E128" then a 6 character what I was hoping was password but can't get to prompt to even enter that. I looked all over our original board and panel inside and out and don't see any reference to what we used on that system &ne064 but that did work in the past.

    Unfortunately, no keys with unit so no luck with having any information with keys.

    Thanks, Joe

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by klrogers View Post
    Personally I would not put this information in this public area of the forum, but since its here now.

    I believe that all the above is correct, however I believe that I have seen passwords beginning with "&nc" as well, I have always used lowercase letter but not sure if that makes any difference.

    Kevin
    I did consider that before posting, but after googling it and finding a previous AC256 thread on here with some of that info I went for it anyway. Any mods who feel that is sensitive info, feel free to edit it.

    Gentrad, I work for an andover dealer in your general region, if you can figure out how to message me I can send you our contact page.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    I'm new here. I have two AC256s with one attached PCU which use the '&NE' controlling a York 2000 ton chiller each. The password for one of the '&NE's was the serial number on the label on the eprom on the ciu board. I'm not familiar with Catalyst Pro, but have used York's ISN software. It required the Login and Password to be declared in the software for it to connect. Should be able to find those in the Catalyst Pro Software.

    All attached PCUs or LCUs are considered LCUs. CIUs are the IOUs. If the OPTION's setup declaration of the IOUs and the LCUs is not correct, I've been told it can cause problems when the program is loaded.

    As far as connecting with Procomm to the 'C' port, the cable needs to be a Null Modem Cable not a straight serial. When trying to login using terminal mode: if you think you've mistyped, just press the ESC key and start again.

    I have notes on my laptop at work, with the Procomm Login and Reload procedure that works for me. Interested?

  13. #13
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    Nov 2013
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    Hi, thanks for the reply. Which is the eprom chip. I had my magnifying glass out but don't see a 3 digit number on chips. Here is a picture, maybe it is cover by stickers on some of chips. I was hoping it would be that E128 sticker on board but that doesn't work.

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