Take Manual Control of Reactor

At any time, a computer may monitor the Reactor, trigger events, activate relays, or change configuration settings.  This ZBMesh version will allow you to integrate the board into your existing Mesh Network.  A computer can take over a Reactor or a Reactor can operate autonomously (without a computer).  The Reactor Configuration Utility (part of Base Station) provides over 100 pre-set configurations that will help you understand the capabilities of the Reactor and provide you a starting point for your own application.

For the Advanced User

ZigBee Mesh networking is pretty slow, but extremely powerful and very reliable when you follow all the rules. We highly recommend you purchase a ZigBee Development Kit from www.Digi.com before attempting to use this communication technology...ZB Mesh is for the advanced user. But it has the distinction of offering a low-cost Mesh networking protocol...which means wireless data hops around the wireless network until it reaches the destination device...very cool! Very powerful, very long range, but NOT for the timid.

Data Travels Over Mesh Network

The latest Buzz in Wireless Technology is ZB ZigBee.  ZB ZigBee is a great way to communicate data throughout buildings (or even across town) because it uses all the devices in the area to make sure your data arrives at its intended destination.  ZB ZigBee automatically hops your data all over the ZB ZigBee Mesh Network,  transparently forwarding your data to its intended destination.  The beauty of ZB ZigBee is that you don't have to do anything except tell it where you want your data to go.  The ZB ZigBee Mesh Network handles everything else for you.  We have created a page dedicated to helping ZB ZigBee Mesh Network users understand this technology.  So if you are a first time user of ZB ZigBee and you are looking for a great place to get started, see our article!

ProXR Command Set

By combining the power of ZB ZigBee Mesh Networking with our ProXR series relay controllers, you can take advantage of our powerful ProXR command set for data collection and control, in combination with many wireless ZB ZigBee Mesh Networking features.  ZB ZigBee is a perfect integration of good speed and excellent reliability, and for the first time, you can now improve data reliability by adding routers between the computer and far away devices.

Here is a quick rundown of what you should expect from ZB ZigBee Mesh Network:

Plug a ZB ZigBee Coordinator into the USB Port of your computer.  The Coordinator will be used to communicated to your wireless ZB ZigBee Mesh Network.  The Coordinator will mount as a COM port on your PC.  Open the COM port and start sending data to the Coordinator.  The Coordinator will forward your data to any or all devices on the ZB ZigBee Mesh Network.

A ZB ZigBee Mesh Network consists of up to three components: 
Mesh Networking Coordinator Icon
Mesh Networking Communications Icon
Mesh Networking Router Icon
Mesh Networking Communications Icon
Mesh Networking Router Icon
Mesh Networking Communications Icon
Mesh Networking Endpoint Icon
A Coordinator is Required because it allows your computer to talk to the ZB ZigBee Mesh Network.  Use only ONE coordinator in your ZB ZigBee Mesh Network.
A Router allows data to hop to another part of the ZB ZigBee Mesh Network.  It helps contribute to the network, and it can serve as an Endpoint device.  In other words, if a relay controller has the Router firmware installed, you can talk to this device directly, or data can be forwarded from this device to another device that may be too far away for the Coordinator to reach directly.  Routers are slower than endpoint devices, so use routers wisely.
An Endpoint device can also be a relay controller or many other types of NCD devices.  However, endpoint devices cannot forward data to other parts of the ZB ZigBee Mesh Network.  Endpoint devices are faster than router devices, so it is always wise to use Endpoint devices when possible, and router devices when required.
Learn More: Introduction to ZB ZigBee Mesh Networking.....

Once Configured

Once a Reactor is configured, the Reactor monitors inputs. When inputs reach user-defined limits, relays can turn on or off.  Reactors allow much more than simple relay control.  Reactor inputs can trigger timers and rotations.  A timer allows a relay to activate over a duration of time.  A rotation is a simple counter, in which relays can be assigned to each "count".  This allows powerful functions such as relay activation sequencing, flashing, and stepping.  Event Piping allows timers and rotations to trigger other timers and rotations.  This is very powerful for setting up complex relay activation sequences.

8 Inputs Available

Reactor Inputs play a vital role in the use of a Reactor controller.  Analog inputs are simply inputs that are sensitive to voltages.  Analog Inputs are capable of reading switches and sensors operating in the 0 to 5VDC range.  Once configured, the Reactor CPU is constantly monitoring external sensors using 8 analog inputs that can read switches, resistance changes, or voltages from 0 to 5VDC.  Inputs can be configured to trigger relays, relay timers and relay activation sequences.

Input Voltage Changes

Analog Inputs are very special in that they are sensitive to voltage changes.  In the case of a Reactor controller, analog inputs have an 8-bit resolution, meaning the voltage input (from 0 to 5VDC) is interpreted as a value from 0 to 255.

So if you divide 5 Volts by 256 possible steps (0-255 for 8-Bit resolution), the Reactor controller is sensitive to voltage changes as small as 0.0195 Volts.  A Reactor controller has 8 inputs.  Each input is capable of reading a separate voltage from 0 to 5 VDC, provided all voltages can share a common ground.

Who's Qualified to Use the Reactor Series?

Some computer skills required.  The Reactor Relays do not require programming, simply configure the device with the included Base Station Software.  While programming is not required and simple functions can be done rather easily with basic computer skills, complex events can be configured which will require some understanding and patience.

Induction Capacitors

Induction CapacitorPerhaps the most overlooked aspect of relay control is proper handling of inductive loads. Inductive loads can best be defined as anything with a magnetic coil, such as a motor, solenoid, or a transformer.  Controlling a inductive load using this relay controller requires the use of induction suppression capacitors.  The purpose of this capacitor is to absorb the high voltages generated by inductive loads, blocking them from the contacts of the relay.  Without this capacitor, the lifespan of the relay will be greatly reduced.  Induction can be so severe that it electrically interferes with the microprocessor logic of our controllers, causing relay banks to shut themselves down unexpectedly.  In the case of USB devices, customers may experience loss of communications until the device is reconnected to the USB port.  Capacitors that we offer are available at checkout, for more information view our Induction Suppression Video.