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Electronic Theatre Controls Inc

Echo System Explanation and Guidelines

Introduction to Echo

Echo is an architectural focused lighting control system.  It is a similar use case to to the ETC Paradigm architectural system, but designed for simpler systems that do not need the large feature set of Paradigm.  

The Echo system uses a number of terms and definitions that you may be not familiar with.  Please click this link for a list of Echo System Terminology and Definitions.

What is an Echo system?

An Echo System consists of 3 necessary elements:

  • Echo Control Products
    • Unit that tells the output products what to do, such as telling them what preset to go to.
    • Ex: button stations, occupancy sensors, light sensors
  • Echo Output Products
    • Unit that relays instruction to a circuit(s) or load and stores level data such as what level the circuit(s)/load should be for Preset 1.
    • Ex: relay controllers, phase adaptive dimmers, Echo Room Controllers
  • Echo Station Power Supply
    • Supplies power and communication for the Echo communication bus, called EchoConnect.
    • Note: Each Echo system can only have one Echo station power supply.


An Echo System has 16 spaces and can have up to 16U across those spaces.

  • 1U is equal to 1 Control product and 1 Output Product.  16U is equal to 16 Control Products and 16 Output Products
  • Note: How many U's an Echo system supports depends on the power supply (see Echo Station Power section below).


You can put all 16 control and output products in one Space or across multiple Spaces as needed.

  • Correct setup: 16 button stations and 16 relay controllers all in Space 1.
  • Correct setup: 6 button stations and 6 relay controllers in Space 1, 10 button stations and 10 relay controllers in Space 2.
    • Even spread across two different Spaces, this adds up to 16U total.
  • Incorrect setup: 10 button stations and 10 relay controllers in Space 1, 10 button stations and 10 relay controllers in Space 2.
    • In this setup, you have exceeded the 16U limit by using 20 Control Products and 20 Output Products.


Echo Station Power

Not all Echo Station Power Supplies are equal. There are two different sizes.

  • 16U Station Power Supply
  • 6U Station Power Supply

The max size of an Echo System is 16U, but if there is no need for that amount of gear, you can use a small strength Station Power Supply that is only capable of supplying voltage and communication to 6 Control Products and 6 Output Products.  All Echo Station Power supplies are proprietary and must be purchased from ETC.

Auxilliary (Aux) Power

Some Echo products require additional power to perform their functions.  To provide this additional voltage, we use Aux Power.  Aux Power is an additional 24v dc that is connected to the device alongside the EchoConnect wiring from the Station Power Supply.  Aux power supplies are simple 24v dc power supplies and can be supplied via third party brands, but can also be sourced from ETC.

  • Basic Rule to Remember: Echo devices might need Aux, but will always need EchoConnect.  

For more information about these pieces and their relationships, reference the Unison Echo Products Quick Info Guide


Echo System Guidelines

Following are some basic principles that apply to Echo systems.  These principles are some of the base tenants of what an Echo system can do.  Adhering to these tenants will ensure and fully functioning Echo system.

  • Echo Systems can have a total of 16 Spaces.  You can use less, but cannot use more.  If additional Spaces are required, it will have to be a completely separate Echo System with its own Station Power supply and not linked to this original system in any way.
  • Echo Space can only have a single preset active at a given time.  Activation of another preset in the same Echo Space with simultaneously deactivate the current preset.
  • Each Echo Space can have a total of 16 Echo Zones.  You can have less, but cannot have more.  Multiple Output Products can be set to the same Echo Zone, but will respond to commands together as if a single unit.  
  • Echo is a Distributed system.  This means there is no central processor that holds information for all devices in a single location or configuration.  This makes it flexible and easy to expand or put together.  However, it also means that the information for the entire system is spread out among all connected devices.
    • Each Echo Device stores information about itself locally on that device.  Echo devices only store their on information and do not store information for other devices.  
      • This means that if a device is restored to factory defaults, or replaced, it will not have the same programming as before, or as the previous device, but the rest of the system will remain unchanged.  
    • Presets and Zone assignments are stored in Output Products.  Control products store information on what commands they send through EchoConnect.
  • Some Output Products can host one or more sequences.  Sequences are separate from presets.  Playing a sequence does not necessarily deactivate a Preset, nor vice versa.
  • Every Echo Device has an Address.  Each device within the same Echo Space must have a uniquely assigned Address.  Some Control Products, button stations and sensors, must have those address manually assigned on the device itself.  Other Echo Products have their Addresses auto assigned based on what Addresses have already been used when that device powers on. 
  • Space Lockout is a Space-wide command.  The Echo system is not designed to accommodate a lockout to some stations in a Space, but not to lockout others in that same Space.


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