Understanding Device Roles in an Echoflex System
What roles do different devices play in an Echoflex system? How do they interact with another, and who holds the programmed settings?
There are 4 main components to an Echoflex system:
- Control devices: sensors and switches (and some interfaces).
- Output devices: load/lighting controllers (and some interfaces).
- Power sources for the devices: mainly the circuit the output device taps into and solar panels/batteries/kinetic energy for the control devices.
- Data/communication path: EnOcean wireless radios and antennas built into each device.
Let's look more closely at the control and output devices, specifically what roles each plays.
Echoflex devices communicate via wireless radio messages, otherwise referred to as telegrams. With this form of communication, you have the following roles:
- Transmitter: device that sends telegrams.
- Receiver: device that listens for and receives telegrams.
- Transceiver: device that can both send AND receive telegrams.
In an Echoflex system, control devices are transmitters and output devices are transceivers (although there is only one use case where we use these devices to transmit so you may hear them referred to as receivers as well). The sensors and switches send telegrams to the controllers, which interpret the messages and respond based on their programming.
This ties into the fact that controllers hold all of the programming in an Echoflex system. Sensors and switches just detect things like occupancy, light levels, and button presses and send these readings along to their linked controllers. The controllers read the incoming message, look to their internal programming on how to respond to that data, and perform the appropriate action.
- A room has an RCS Occupancy/Vacancy sensor and an ELED1 LED fixture controller. These devices are linked so they can communicate.
- Someone enters the room and the RCS detects occupancy.
- The RCS sends a wireless telegram to the ELED saying the room is occupied.
- The ELED is programmed to turn its load to full in case of occupancy, so it sees this telegram and turns its load on to full.
When linking devices together, the control transmitter sends a TEACH telegram and the output receiver listens for and LEARNS that telegram, creating the link. Therefore, when in doubt on if a device is a control transmitter or output receiver, a good rule of thumb is to check for whether it has a TEACH or LEARN button.