QuickStart Roll off Roof Controller

AstroMC Roof Controller Quick Start
October 2016
AstroMC Roll off Roof Controller
Quick Start Guide
October 2016
AstroMC Roof Controller Quick Start
October 2016
Here are some pointers so that both your installation and initial
startup are smooth.
1. The AstroMC Roof Control and Hub comes with an RS-232 serial interface, so if you need a
converter to USB, you can get one from our website or from a number of computer supply sites.
If you ordered your controller as a USB unit, it came with a converter that we’ve tested. A note
on converters: Not all converters are created equal, especially with Windows 7 and Windows
10. Our converters are tested with the USB driver on our site; they work in all Windows
versions, except Windows 8, from Win XP through Win10 64bit. If you prefer your own
converter, separately test it for full duplex operation (send and receive simultaneously).
2. Shown below is a pictorial of the Roof Controller circuit board. Let’s describe each connection
terminal in a clockwise direction beginning at the upper left of the board.
The connector marked J2 is for future use, so we’ll just skip that one.
The next, J7, has 4 sets of terminals. The first is used for common Roll off Roof garage door
openers; it simulates a push button—push to open, push to close. In this configuration, the
AstroMC Roof Controller Quick Start
October 2016
garage door opener performs its own stopping, just like a regular garage door. The next is
marked Dew; it is a contact closure (no power) to cycle your OTA dew heaters; the AMC PC
software (SW) allows you to set the duty cycle of the dew heaters, turn them on constantly or
off. The next two sets of contact closures. These are general purpose contacts, controlled by
SW, for accessories and in some instances for roof control. For example, if you have a PierTech
motorized pier, Aux1and Aux2 are used to raise and lower the pier.
Now moving to the right edge, there are a mix of single contacts, pairs, and a 4contact set. The
first of these is the AtPark Safe Loop. It is an electrical circuit that connects to Common and
allows you to determine whether your OTA is in the Safely Parked position. Normally, people
use magnetic switches to sense the OTA position. If this loop is not closed, the roof won’t
move! Next is the Open and Close sense circuits; these are Normally Open circuits, connected
to Common. These sensors can be magnetic or mechanical; there are a number of choices.
Next is the Common terminal, described above. Next is a contact closure for Aux4, another
general purpose SW controlled pair. Next is a hardware sense Weather Unsafe pair, designed to
connect to your weather monitor; exercise caution in the use of this pair as it cau cause a
hardware induced roof closure. The next 4 contacts are set up to interface directly to our AtPark
Sensor, an optical version of the Safe Loop. Many customers use both.
Lastly, at the bottom right corner, there is a socket for our Temperature/Humidity/Dew Point
sensor which measures these weather parameters inside your roof. Take note of the small icon
at the edge; it shows you the orientation of the plug-in sensor.
Now moving along the bottom edge, there is a connector with 4 pairs of contact closures. First
is a set of Master Power contact closures (e.g. 12 vdc, 5 vdc). These are not powered
themselves. They are just contact closures. Next is Aux3, another general purpose contact
closure. Aux3 is used for large roofs that require both an open relay contact and a close relay
contact. Next is the Security pair; this is a traditional security alarm type feature that can send
you a text message if the observatory door is opened. The bottom edge is completed with a
power supply terminal pair.
On the left edge, there is a small socket for the Prime Power Monitor adapter and a large one for
a 12 vdc power adapter.
3. Your hub has jumper wires on the Security and Unsafe terminals. These are the Observatory
Security Loop and the Unsafe Loop respectively. If these are not jumpered, you will get alert
messages. Also, your shutter will not move when the Unsafe Loop is “open circuit”. Customers
sometimes install small magnetic switches on their OTA, Mount and/or Pier to assure that the
scope is in Park Position prior to roof movement; this is for protection purposes. By placing the
jumpers, you BYPASS these features.
4. Install the hub in a convenient place in your building. If you have purchased (or plan to
purchase) our Temperature/Humidity/DewPoint plug-in module, keep in mind that it will read
the conditions where the box is placed.
AstroMC Roof Controller Quick Start
October 2016
5. If you prefer using a 12 VDC power adapter, plug it into the 2.1 mm connector on the board. If
you have a Power Monitor adapter, plug it into the 1.3 mm connector on the board.
To review, wiring to your roof motor control:
a. Single Roll-off-Roof with pushbutton control (e.g. garage door or gate opener type) –
Connect the pushbutton wires to the RoR terminals of the board.
b. Dual pushbutton controls – Connect one pushbutton to the RoR terminals and the other
to the AUX3 terminals.
c. Large Roof control – Connect one set of control wires to RoR and the other set to Aux3.
Check the setup window to identify which combination opens the roof and which closes
the roof. These connectors are for low voltages and low current only. Use an
intermediate relay if your roof is controlling high voltages directly. See enclosed sketch.
d. Pier Tech—Connect the RoR terminals to your roof as in a, b, c above. Connect the Up
motion wire pair to Aux1 and the Down motion pair to Aux2. Adjust the time (secs) that
these connections will be closed to achieve full up or down. (You may need an adapter
to complete integration of your PierTech motorized pier. Contact us for assistance.)
7. To review, wiring Open and Closed sensors:
a. Using either our magnetic switches or your own Normally Open (NO) switch, place 2
switches so that they close when the roof is stopped in the Open or Closed position. In
the case of magnetic switches, the magnet would be mounted on the moving part of the
roof. The switch parts are located on the fixed structure at the Open or Closed position
b. Connect these wires to Open or Closed and Common. These switches are in addition to
whatever limit or safety switches you have installed to prevent motion beyond the safety
limits of your installation. We strongly recommend that you install separate limit
switches to assure that your roof stops if there is an unsafe condition.
8. Once you have made all the desired connections to the controller board, apply power to your
controller enclosure. You should hear the fan cycle, followed by a rapidly flashing LED which
is located just inside the enclosure (as seen from the connector end).
9. If you do not have a software CD, go to our Download Center at
http://fostersystems.biz/downloadcenter.html and download the Installation Package for a Roll
off Roof. Unzip it and copy the content into a separate directory. Install the software first.
a. If you have a USB interface, locate the USB driver installer and run it. This driver is the
latest compatible Prolific driver which we have tested up through Windows 7 64-bit.
b. Locate the AstroMC Dashboard installer and run it. The installer should guide you
through the process.
10. Now connect your RS-232 cable or USB cable to your PC and observe the COM port that the
PC assigns to your system.
11. Once completed installation, double click on the AstroMC icon on your Desktop.
AstroMC Roof Controller Quick Start
October 2016
12. On the AstroMC Dashboard, use the Communications pull down to select the assigned COM
port. After a short delay, the communications activity indicator should start to flash. This
means that you are communicating with the controller hardware.
If you have questions on your operation please do not hesitate to contact us at:
Foster Systems, LLC
AstroMC Roof Controller Quick Start
October 2016
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