Take Manual Control of Reactor

At any time, a computer may monitor the Reactor, trigger events, activate relays, or change configuration settings.  This RS-232 version will allow easy access to the board using a standard DB9 or direct wire connection.  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.

RS-232 Still the Best Choice

While RS-232 is not built into some of today's motherboards, there are many applications where RS-232 is still the best choice.  Using a simple USB to Serial Adapter allows you to use RS-232 devices with ease.  This combination is actually better than using a device with a onboard USB port, because it eliminates most of your EMI problems while maintaining compatibility with today's computers.

Mounts as a COM Port

This ProXR series controller connects through an onboard DB-9 connection or a direct wire connection to your computer and requires a 12VDC Power Supply.  This ProXR series controller connects to the serial port of your computer and will mount as a COM port on your PC.  Once powered up, the controller waits for a command.  A command consists of a few bytes of data in numerical format usually between 2 and 6 bytes.  Once the command has been received, the controller processes the command, and sends you back ASCII character code 85 to signal the completion of your command.

ZRS ModulesRS-232 Relay ZRS Module

This board is equipped with a ZRS Module.  The ZRS communications module adds RS-232 communications to the board.  The ZRS module is powered from the serial port of your computer.  The board itself will require 12 volts of power and can be hard wired or you can purchase a "wall wart" type transformer at checkout.

Three ZRS Modules Available

There are three RS-232 connection options available for this controller.

Wire It Up
Plug It In

Choose Your Connector

Choose the connection that fits your needs. The ZRS-A connection is recommended for applications where hard wiring directly to the board is needed. ZRS-B has the full 9-Pin DB-9 connector on the board. The ZRS-AB Has the DB-9 connector but is is located off the board for applications where the board may be place inside an enclosure an the RS-232 connector needs to reach to the side of the enclosure.  You can choose one of these connection options at checkout.

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.