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Chris J
08-27-2007, 08:49 PM
Had a power failure this afternoon, and realized tonight that my UPB controller from control scapes lost the time of day. At 8:30PM, my timer was reading 1530 (3:30PM). Therefore, no lights on tonight at the appropriate time. I don't know why I haven't questioned this before, but Control Scapes does not have a battery back up. Why? Thought I would vent here because I can't call them until tomorrow, but this is a serious problem. I guess we are supposed to reset time clocks after every power outage now?
Somebody tell me what the deal is. I thought this technology was supposed to make our lives easier, not harder.

NY Landscape Lighting
08-27-2007, 09:43 PM
It does have a battery backup. We had one and when installing we noticed something floating around inside, battery popped out of its housing inside. I bet if you unscrew the desktop module the watch type battery is lose in its pronged holder.

Chris J
08-28-2007, 01:01 AM
It does have a battery backup. We had one and when installing we noticed something floating around inside, battery popped out of its housing inside. I bet if you unscrew the desktop module the watch type battery is lose in its pronged holder.

Nope, that wasn't it. I took the back cover off and every thing was in place as it should be. Funny thing though; I unplugged the unit to do this, but when I plugged it back in the time of day was still correct. Now I don't understand why it would lose the time of day because of a power failure but not lose the time of day when unplugged? Also, Why wouldn't it also lose its programs along with the time of day?
Either way, it's all starting to sound like a bunch of headaches to me, so what's the freakin point? I think my days of using these devices are beginning to be limited.

JoeyD
08-28-2007, 10:18 AM
Nope, that wasn't it. I took the back cover off and every thing was in place as it should be. Funny thing though; I unplugged the unit to do this, but when I plugged it back in the time of day was still correct. Now I don't understand why it would lose the time of day because of a power failure but not lose the time of day when unplugged? Also, Why wouldn't it also lose its programs along with the time of day?
Either way, it's all starting to sound like a bunch of headaches to me, so what's the freakin point? I think my days of using these devices are beginning to be limited.


Chris-

I could give you the numbers of about 4 or 5 guys who returned every Control Scapes unit they bought becuase of failures. They were having the same problem as you, they also were having probems with the fuses blowing. Another problem they were having was the controller not recognizing zip codes and so on and so forth. I think they still have some glitches in the software. That is exactly why they discontiued the LCD touch screen they had.

I learned how to use and program Simply Automated controllers for UPB. It does require a computer interface but once you do it a few times it's a piece of cake. They have customer support that will walk you throught the programming as well. The cool thing is that you can sit at your office and program your entire system as long as you know what time you want each transormer to go on and off at. I programmed a few 4 and 5 tranformer systems for a couple of local Unique contractors here in CA, they told me the times they wanted to go on and off and I numbered the modules and did all the programming right here. They then just took the programmer/clock and modules and went and plugged them in and the system has worked without a hitch since then.

NightScenes
08-28-2007, 10:52 AM
Sounds pretty interesting Joey, please email me with more information and costing. Did you get my other email?

JoeyD
08-28-2007, 11:18 AM
Sounds pretty interesting Joey, please email me with more information and costing. Did you get my other email?

Paul I did get your email, I am sorry I havent returned it. So you know I am gathering and putting togeather allt he information on our October Advanced UU.

http://simply-automated.com/

http://www.homecontrols.com/cgi-bin/main/co_disp/displ/pgrfnbr/2/sesent/00

Simply Automated is the manufacturer for the UPB products I discussd and Home Controls is a place that specializes in home automation products, they sell the Simply Automated and other UPB products.

Eden Lights
08-28-2007, 12:18 PM
Chris-

I could give you the numbers of about 4 or 5 guys who returned every Control Scapes unit they bought becuase of failures. They were having the same problem as you, they also were having probems with the fuses blowing. Another problem they were having was the controller not recognizing zip codes and so on and so forth. I think they still have some glitches in the software. That is exactly why they discontiued the LCD touch screen they had.

I learned how to use and program Simply Automated controllers for UPB. It does require a computer interface but once you do it a few times it's a piece of cake. They have customer support that will walk you throught the programming as well. The cool thing is that you can sit at your office and program your entire system as long as you know what time you want each transormer to go on and off at. I programmed a few 4 and 5 tranformer systems for a couple of local Unique contractors here in CA, they told me the times they wanted to go on and off and I numbered the modules and did all the programming right here. They then just took the programmer/clock and modules and went and plugged them in and the system has worked without a hitch since then.

Joey, Your comments are very misleading and you should correct them. You can not program the Simply-Automated timer (SAUSC) by computer interface (Upstart), it requires the timer to be in hand and all programming is done with the unit buttons or a serial interface. You can program the UPB network by computer interface (upstart), modules, dimmers, and etc. but you must then manually program the SAUSC to send the proper links to your already configured modules. To my knowledge the PCS TEC timer is the only unit that can be programmed in the network with upstart anywhere on the powerline. (Outside, inside, and etc.)

Eden Lights
08-28-2007, 12:34 PM
Sounds pretty interesting Joey, please email me with more information and costing. Did you get my other email?

Paul, if you want maybe we can hook up while in Ohio. I bet we are going to be at the same place soon. I can give you a real world, unbiased, installed them all training session if you like. Let me know and I will pack a extra bag?

JoeyD
08-28-2007, 12:35 PM
Joey, Your comments are very misleading and you should correct them. You can not program the Simply-Automated timer (SAUSC) by computer interface (Upstart), it requires the timer to be in hand and all programming is done with the unit buttons or a serial interface. You can program the UPB network by computer interface (upstart), modules, dimmers, and etc. but you must then manually program the SAUSC to send the proper links to your already configured modules. To my knowledge the PCS TEC timer is the only unit that can be programmed in the network with upstart anywhere on the powerline. (Outside, inside, and etc.)

Well when I meant program the system from my desk that is what I meant. You do have to have the clock and the modules and any other push botton devices you also want to control. But I did not mislead anyone Eden. What I said is 100% true and has worked without a flaw. I would be willing to give the contractors name i set the system up for for anyone of you to call and confirm. When programming the system I set everything up on the same network ID and did all of that from my desk. It is a complicated program at first but is very simple once you learn how to navigate and you know what needs to be done. But I did not miselad anyone Eden, we all know you are the UPB pro here, I have seen your posts on this subject on other forums but you need to know I am not misleading anyone. Maybe I leave out some details but in the spirit of my reply what i said was all completely true.

Eden Lights
08-28-2007, 12:48 PM
Joey, So many people think that with the SA and CS unit they are going to be able to service the unit from anywhere on the powerline and that is not the case. This can cause maintenance nightmares down the road and should be considered when choosing a system for your client. I wasn't getting after you, I just thought you should clear a few things up. I am not a expert by any means, but I have learned alot the hard way. Right now I am setting up in home appointments with customers that have SA timers that need a new firmware due to unexplained lockups and PCS units that have to be replaced due to DST and actual time issues. All in all it will cost me about $1500 in labor, gas, and etc. not even figuring in lost revenues.

JoeyD
08-28-2007, 01:23 PM
Joey, So many people think that with the SA and CS unit they are going to be able to service the unit from anywhere on the powerline and that is not the case. This can cause maintenance nightmares down the road and should be considered when choosing a system for your client. I wasn't getting after you, I just thought you should clear a few things up. I am not a expert by any means, but I have learned alot the hard way. Right now I am setting up in home appointments with customers that have SA timers that need a new firmware due to unexplained lockups and PCS units that have to be replaced due to DST and actual time issues. All in all it will cost me about $1500 in labor, gas, and etc. not even figuring in lost revenues.


Ok Eden, so your problem was not with me mis leading your problem was with me not being thorough. This information however is new to me so you could have just put this post up and not made a stink about me trying to mislead. I too am here to learn and your information in beneficial to me as well. I know you are not to fond of the company I represent and that is cool but please try to respect me as an individual "lighting professional" and not someone who is trying to mis lead people or give bad information.

What other UPB systems do you have experience with and would you mind discussing some of the possitives and negeatives to these systems with me perosnally. We are looking at potentially developing something to work with UPB, along the lines of a controlscape controller where all intelligence is housed in one componenet as to eliminate the computer interface.

ControlScape
08-28-2007, 01:40 PM
My name is Doug Hill. I am the owner of ControlScape.

I usually try to stay out of these discussion forms, but I think I need to set a few "facts" straight.

First of all, the ControlScape Landscape Timer DOES have a battery backup. If it did not, you would lose the time, each time it is unplugged.

Secondly, early versions of the clock did, in fact, have a firmware problem. The problem was not with power outages, as these are the same as pulling the plug. The actual problem had to do with "Brown Outs". For those not familiar, it is a momentary drop in voltage, but not a conplete loss of power. In some power outages, when power is re-instated, the load on the transformer is heavy and voltage may very and simulate a "brown out". The Time Clock begins to restart quickly before the clock chip had re-established from battery to power, and an error registered in the hour portion of the memory.

This was very difficult for us to find. Our ability to simulate a "Brown Out", under the special circumstances required to cause a failure, was near impossible. HOWEVER, we did find the problem and corrected it.

We have subsequently replaced those early versions of the clocks or brought them back in for new firmware,as best we could. The problem has been rectified for some time.

If anyone has a clock where they have seen this problem, call us. We will take care of it. We are here to make each and every one of our customers happy with our products.

Thirdly, I have only seen one TimeClock with a blown fuse, since we started building production clocks. All the prototypes blew fuses and were repaired or replaced at our cost.

Lastly, I would like to address the comment in this thread regarding the "Discontinued LCD Display". The display was not discontinued, it never went to production. I built 15 prototypes and put them out there to get a feel for the market. It became my opinion, that I could not produce the product at a price point that was acceptable, so I just parked the idea.

Just wanted to set the facts straight.

Thanks for reading.

ANYONE....feel free to contact me directly with any concerns or comments

NightScenes
08-28-2007, 02:26 PM
Doug, it is great to see you on this forum. I was planning to call you today to discuss a different issue (not related to your product). I will call you in a minute at your 800 #.

JoeyD
08-28-2007, 02:41 PM
My name is Doug Hill. I am the owner of ControlScape.

I usually try to stay out of these discussion forms, but I think I need to set a few "facts" straight.

First of all, the ControlScape Landscape Timer DOES have a battery backup. If it did not, you would lose the time, each time it is unplugged.

Secondly, early versions of the clock did, in fact, have a firmware problem. The problem was not with power outages, as these are the same as pulling the plug. The actual problem had to do with "Brown Outs". For those not familiar, it is a momentary drop in voltage, but not a conplete loss of power. In some power outages, when power is re-instated, the load on the transformer is heavy and voltage may very and simulate a "brown out". The Time Clock begins to restart quickly before the clock chip had re-established from battery to power, and an error registered in the hour portion of the memory.

This was very difficult for us to find. Our ability to simulate a "Brown Out", under the special circumstances required to cause a failure, was near impossible. HOWEVER, we did find the problem and corrected it.

We have subsequently replaced those early versions of the clocks or brought them back in for new firmware,as best we could. The problem has been rectified for some time.

If anyone has a clock where they have seen this problem, call us. We will take care of it. We are here to make each and every one of our customers happy with our products.

Thirdly, I have only seen one TimeClock with a blown fuse, since we started building production clocks. All the prototypes blew fuses and were repaired or replaced at our cost.

Lastly, I would like to address the comment in this thread regarding the "Discontinued LCD Display". The display was not discontinued, it never went to production. I built 15 prototypes and put them out there to get a feel for the market. It became my opinion, that I could not produce the product at a price point that was acceptable, so I just parked the idea.

Just wanted to set the facts straight.

Thanks for reading.

ANYONE....feel free to contact me directly with any concerns or comments

Doug, this is more information and honesty then I heard all last year while trying to help launch your product with Mr. Sperry. I was told by him that your guys had tested and installed over 100 jobs with that LCD time clock which is obviously incorrect. I was the guy who got my biggest contractors using these products only to find out we were the guinnea pigs. So is there no more problems with the products. Blown fuses are not occuring, zip codes are being recognized, and times are holding???? I will begin reccomending it again if I am sure it is working, I loved and still do love the concept.

Eden Lights
08-28-2007, 04:43 PM
Ok Eden, so your problem was not with me mis leading your problem was with me not being thorough. This information however is new to me so you could have just put this post up and not made a stink about me trying to mislead. I too am here to learn and your information in beneficial to me as well. I know you are not to fond of the company I represent and that is cool but please try to respect me as an individual "lighting professional" and not someone who is trying to mis lead people or give bad information.

What other UPB systems do you have experience with and would you mind discussing some of the possitives and negeatives to these systems with me perosnally. We are looking at potentially developing something to work with UPB, along the lines of a controlscape controller where all intelligence is housed in one componenet as to eliminate the computer interface.

It's been great to have you here Joey, I do not have any problem with you or your company. I have made very positive comments about Unique's customer service in the past. I have said that many of Unique's products were of poor quality and function at any price level. I do think unique is very forward thinking and I always look at your new products. I will answer your questions about UPB in an older thread ASAP.

JoeyD
08-28-2007, 04:45 PM
Thanks Eden, no sweat!!!

Pro-Scapes
06-19-2008, 12:30 AM
I think I have 2 bad time clocks in the field now with the old firmware. 1 I will check on tmrw. The other today was reading 09:31 when in fact it was 14:31. Both are in same nieghborhood and they had a series of power flickers and a brief power outage.

Lite4
06-19-2008, 11:13 AM
Good grief, I am almost considering staying with sequencers on multiple transformer installations. Uhh, then again that is a lot of extra digging.:hammerhead:
I am glad to hear some of the bugs are getting knocked out. I am still on the fence about which product to go with, Control scape or SA.

NightScenes
06-19-2008, 11:34 AM
Tim, I would go with ControlScape. The SA is still using generation 1 technology and will become more and more unreliable. I have started using or at least offering the controlscape on just about every multi transformer project. I have also offered it to integrate the exterior home lighting into the lighting system. It's been very well received.

Pro-Scapes
06-19-2008, 04:44 PM
Paul I know you do alot of the UPB too. Have you had any issues with the CS holding time ? When my computer crashed I lose dougs email addy so if you can drop me an email or text with it I would appreciate it. I need to see what I need to do in order to get the updated clocks installed for my clients.

NightScenes
06-19-2008, 05:22 PM
Billy, just go to their website or follow the link on the AOLP website. I haven't had any problems with them keeping time but if I do I'll let ya'll know.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
06-19-2008, 11:21 PM
Tim, I would go with ControlScape. The SA is still using generation 1 technology and will become more and more unreliable. I have started using or at least offering the controlscape on just about every multi transformer project. I have also offered it to integrate the exterior home lighting into the lighting system. It's been very well received.

Hi Guys. I did a pretty thorough investigation into UPB Gen I Vs. UPB Gen II about a month or so ago.

In a nutshell this is what I learned from talking to tech support at SA, PCS and HAI.

UPB Gen II does offer some advantages when dealing with line noise, however it does this at the sacrifice of signal strength (measured as distance the signal will travel through the circuits) In a 'typical' single dwelling application the Gen II would be the way to go as signal strength will be adequate and noisy items like baby monitors are less of an issue.

However, in large sized properties, when you are dealing with multiple services, panels, sub panels etc, located in different buildings across a property (estates and the like) then the Gen II will have issues with signal strength, and most if not all line noise issues with Gen I can be sucessfully dealt with using filters etc.

This is the info that I have recieved. I have not run into any issues with Gen I on my systems (yet). and my distributor (who is very well versed in these systems) assures me that Gen I is the best choice for most of my applications.

Have a great day.

Eden Lights
06-19-2008, 11:46 PM
Hi Guys. I did a pretty thorough investigation into UPB Gen I Vs. UPB Gen II about a month or so ago.

In a nutshell this is what I learned from talking to tech support at SA, PCS and HAI.

UPB Gen II does offer some advantages when dealing with line noise, however it does this at the sacrifice of signal strength (measured as distance the signal will travel through the circuits) In a 'typical' single dwelling application the Gen II would be the way to go as signal strength will be adequate and noisy items like baby monitors are less of an issue.

However, in large sized properties, when you are dealing with multiple services, panels, sub panels etc, located in different buildings across a property (estates and the like) then the Gen II will have issues with signal strength, and most if not all line noise issues with Gen I can be sucessfully dealt with using filters etc.

This is the info that I have recieved. I have not run into any issues with Gen I on my systems (yet). and my distributor (who is very well versed in these systems) assures me that Gen I is the best choice for most of my applications.

Have a great day.

Noise will get you with GENI and GENII devices, lost about a hour to a hour and half just Tuesday on a very simple Controller and one UPB device job, thank goodness the client didn't buy anything else. I had to put all the UPB devices on one phase and the noisey circuit on the other. Filters would have taken hours and cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars for someone. If your going to use UPB it will be a love/hate relationship. Most guys have developed pre-install tests and developed contract disclaimers in there warranties.

Eden Lights
06-19-2008, 11:49 PM
Oh, Doug and Caleb will hook you right up with your clock issues. www.controlscape.net

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
06-20-2008, 12:23 AM
I prefer the modules, funcionality, look, fit and finish of the Simply Automated and PCS lines. That Controlscape table top unit threw me for a loop when I recieved it. I wouldn't leave that behind at a client's home if they paid me to. It reminds me of HeathKit from the 1970's

Eden Lights
06-20-2008, 12:31 AM
I think we have all hashed this out before, everyones receiver's are they same except for subtle differences and firmware. As far as the timeclocks:PCS, Web Mountain, Control Scape and PCS TEC are all ugly and my clients never know where it's even located, all they see is this.

Eden Lights
06-20-2008, 12:37 AM
Oh, I almost forgot. How's this do you James? Remember you have to adapt, change, and stop wasting time on those ugly LEDS. Congratulations on the big job, very impressive, is it the big grounds with the large white inn that you showed us?

The PCS TouchScreen Timer is available in wall-mount or tabletop versions.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
06-20-2008, 01:32 AM
and stop wasting time on those ugly LEDS. Oh if you could only see the error of that statement... They are amazing and are working out very well for me! :dancing:

Congratulations on the big job, very impressive, is it the big grounds with the large white inn that you showed us? Nope, that is Windermere House (Circa 1870) and we are just about finished the first phase there... Will be lighting it up on Monday Night. Photos will follow for sure.

The "large job" is a private residence... to be installed late July. Photos might follow if the client allows it.... not sure yet.


Just got the lead on a new 'compound' being built... largest private residence in north america apparently... over 125,000 square feet of interior space and a $130 million dollar build budget! This should be a fun one...

Eden Lights
06-20-2008, 02:02 AM
If it is a 125K ft house it will be all over the net for sure, so should be some great exposure. Sounds like it's just about finished if install is in July? Was lighting a after thought? Who is the Landscape Architect on the job?

As you may know Trumps place is listed at 125 million and you only get 80K ft in palm beach for that. Can you imagine what it would cost today to Build the Biltmore at 174K square ft or even Oheka castle in Huntington at a mere 109K ft.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
06-20-2008, 02:27 AM
I just got the lead onto the job. Have not seen it, have not met anyone yet. As such I am giving out no details... would be foolhardy to do so. Should be a fun process though.

Eden Lights
06-20-2008, 02:36 AM
I don't blame you there, remember don't sell with your pocketbook. I just did a 30K job and I thought I was somebody until I meet the interior Lighting designer. For the recessed plan, keypad locations, load and lamp schedules his fee was 30K alone plus expenses. No parts or labor, just design. No wonder the client thought our proposal was a great deal. " I knew I had sold short when the husband asked "Does that 30K include equipment and install?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
06-20-2008, 02:55 AM
I am with you there EDEN my man.... I had one of those last year... Outdoor lighting was $25K... the interior I didnt get but was done very well... I understand the designer of the interior commanded a $50K fee.... I was blown away, but it opened my eyes to the possibilities. So I have opened another company to handle such things: James Solecki Lighting Design. So far all of my work in that division has been commercial.

Baby Steps.

Lite4
06-20-2008, 08:21 AM
Eddie,
From what I have seen of your work that you have posted here, you should be getting fees like that for what you do. Your lighting scenes are incredible brother. Congratulations on a nice sizeable job. I hope you can keep lining those kind up.