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ABT's Wireless Sunset Synch?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by irrig8r, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    Anyone using this or know what the real range is?


    They say 100 to 500 ft... but over what kind of terrain? Signal losses or blocked by house or trees?

    So, on the property where I might want to use this, most of the TFs are around the perimeter of maybe 1.5 acres... slightly curved on one side pie shaped lot with the house in the middle...

    I'm wondering how many might I need to synch 8 transformers... across the front of the lot is probably 160 ft. Depth on one side is at least 300 ft.

    BTW, If it's "not a photocell" then how does it work? And do all the ABT products work together?
  2. Mayor_tx

    Mayor_tx LawnSite Member
    from Austin
    Messages: 62

    I've installed several of the ABT zone control set ups and we always use the remote sunset option now. They have a pretty decent range, but I've never had to install one more than 100 ft. or so from the zone control.

    I don't exactly understand how you intend to use it in your scenario. You said you were needing to sync 8 transformers, but do you have one of the trans set up for the zone controller remote? You could have the rest of them come on in sync using Unique's sequencer.

    I don't know if you have installed the zone controller yet but it's a little tricky at first, but other wise a great product.

    Good luck!
  3. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    My plan is to see if I can install the Zone Controller in the next week on at least some of the existing TFs. I'm adding two new Vista TFs and 10 or so uplights in a dark corner of the yard and on some oaks along the ceiling of a 12 ft. wide octagon gazebo. The other 6 existing TFs are Nightscaping... I seem to recall seeing a wiring diagram for use with a NS Powercenter someplace... not in the downloadable ABT manual though.
  4. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Hi Gregg. How many zones of lighting control do you need? If you need all 8 transformers to be controlled independantly, then I would suggest you go with a UPB control system rather than the ABT. If you only need 3 zones of lighting, then consider the ABT controller in a master transformer, tied into the other 7 transformers using relay modules (NS Islander and Vista RM150)

    The ABT system is pretty good, but also quite limited for larger scale, complicated installatons. Remember that there is no "range limit" on the UPB systems. As long as you can access a power circuit on the property's electrical service, you can install a control point that will control pretty much anything you want it to. UPB is easier to program with complex, multizone, timed scenes too, as the ABT system provides you with no feedback at all as you program it. The only thing that UPB is missing is a remote control transmitter, which apparently is in the works.
  5. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    James, this isn't complicated. My client wants some control over which areas come on... front yard, entry areas currently come on at dusk and turn off at 11PM.

    I'm adding 10 uplights on two sides of the property that border the street (behind an iron fence) Maybe adding a motion sensor would help with security issues. I want to give them the option of running these all night long. Maybe lights along the driveway (inside the gate) could be retrofitted with a motion sensor.

    Meanwhile the gazebo will share one of the new transformers with lights on some of the trees by the front/ side fence. They only want to use the gazebo on nights when they are home, and be able to turn them on from inside the house. Much of the backyard will only be in use when they are entertaining, so they want the option of turning sections on and off.

    Until now, I've only used timers, sometimes analog in combination with photocells, sometimes the Aube.

    The Nightscaping Powercenters on this job are of varying vintages... some with module bays some not.

    I went to one UPB seminar, and I ended up more confused when I left.... too many options for my clients I think... and then how reliable is the software... how often do you have to reset or troubleshoot systems?
  6. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180


    Joel is on task here, I did a similar scenario. What i did was use the integrated timer with the ABT to turn on and off. ABT does not recommend remote mounting of the antennas but I got it to work from a quarter mile out by mounting an antenna 20 ft up in a pine tree (be sure to provide a ground plane per Greg at ABT) allowing the client to switch on secondary zones and even turn the primary back on after the timer shuts down.

    Another zone on a seperate trans is straight photocell controlled running some background lighting that stays on all night. The multiple transformers (in this case 8 gambino magnums) were simply controlled with 12v relays (kichler or unique makes them) I did this because I needed to exceed the 300w capacity of the ABT channels so I simply made the ABT trigger the relays in additional transformers.
    Took some planning and alot of colored tape but it does EXACTLY what the client wanted and it is simple to use.

    The range is based on what the range of anything is. Obstructions, Weather, interferance, battery level etc.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2010
  7. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    I had a good conversation with Greg Hancock about this by phone today.

    The only thing I haven't figured out is whether.. or how.. I can use their system with older Nightscaping Powercenters... the generation immediately before they went to the module bay, that is not considered field serviceable.... at least three of the existing TFs on this job are that version.
  8. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    if the client wants a newer technology such as RF remotes it may be well worth the investment to just upgrade the transformers. with ABT you must be able to accsess the photocell connection or install the ABT inline with the 120v hot in order to turn the transformer on and off. You also need a 120v constant hot in order to feed the ABT power supply

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