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UPB Problems

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Chris J, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    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.
  2. NY Landscape Lighting

    NY Landscape Lighting LawnSite Member
    Messages: 121

    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.
  3. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    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.
  4. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933


    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.
  5. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,209

    Sounds pretty interesting Joey, please email me with more information and costing. Did you get my other email?
  6. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    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.



    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.
  7. Eden Lights

    Eden Lights LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 805

    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.)
  8. Eden Lights

    Eden Lights LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 805

    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?
  9. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    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.
  10. Eden Lights

    Eden Lights LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 805

    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.

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