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UPB Device Status Not Updating

When the status displayed in eKeypad is “out of sync” with the physical UPB devices, the root cause can be caused by a number of different things. Complicating this diagnosis are a number of common misconceptions concerning status of a UPB network. Often the issue is comprised of multiple causes. It is helpful to review the most common causes to determine how best to resolve the issue.

  • UPB Device Types.  There are two types of UPB devices. Only one of these actually has a state. A physical UPB light switch can be either device type and in some cases both at the same time. Note that some physical light switch are actually two UPB devices in one; a standalone controller on the front plus a standalone responder on the back.
    • Responders. A UPB device is at its core a responder. It responds to commands to turn a load ON or OFF. The status of this load is what we refer to as the state of the device.
    • Controllers. Some UPB devices are controllers. They only send UPB messages to responders. They have neither a load or a state.
  • UPB Message Types. These are the messages that are sent over the UPB network. Messages do not represent physical devices. They have no state.
    • Direct Command. A direct command is a simple message that only controls a single responder.
    • Link Command. A link command is a special message that can control one or more responders at once.
  • Local Control. For responders that also have a physical button or paddle it is critical that they send out a status update message when they are controlled locally. This is often an optional setting that must be turned on. The presence of a physical button/paddle does not indicate support for local control.
  • Equipment Setup. Some automation equipment tracks controllers, responders and links separately but some equipment does not. If this distinction is not made then all of three items will be represented as responders.  This can cause controllers and links to have a phantom status parameter. This phantom status is always undefined and should never be used. Unfortunately some equipment forwards these phantom statuses to eKeypad.
  • Equipment API. Some equipment informs eKeypad as to which devices are responders and which are controllers. Some equipment does not. If it does not distinguish between them, links will be represented as a responder exposing possible phantom statuses.

How eKeypad Manages Device Types

If the automation equipment identifies the device types (responder, controller or link) eKeypad will keep them separated. eKeypad is aware of the difference capabilities of the UPB device and message types and will only show the appropriate controls and/or status for them. However, in scenarios where the automation equipment does not identify the device types, eKeypad will be forced to treat everything as a responder  which can expose the phantom status parameter found in some automation equipment.

With proper setup of the UPB network, automation equipment and eKeypad, all of the above causes can be effectively managed and in most cases eliminated. Based on our experience helping end-users, here are some of the most effective strategies.

  • Send Status On Local Control. By default, most UPB devices do not send status updates when they are controlled locally. It is important to make sure this feature is enabled on all switches that support it. If your UPB device does not support sending status update when controlled locally, consider replacing it with one that does.
  • Send commands to the right place. Commands to control a single device should be sent to the actual responder. Sending a link command should only be used to control multiple responders at once.
  • Special Switch Designs. Some UPB switches consist of a paddle that is actually two devices in one. The front side with the paddle is only a controller. The back side of the switch is only a responder. Because these switches are actually two separate devices, they require a dedicated link to work. The link is controlled by the paddle and the back side of the switch is the only responder to the link. For these devices, it is important to monitor and control the correct components.  In eKeypad, status and control commands should only be sent to the “back side” responder. The controlling paddle, its dedicated link should not be used from eKeypad.
  • Use Distinctive Names.
  • Hide unneeded controllers and links. It can be very hard to distinguish between devices and links when the automation equipment does not separate them for eKeypad. Without a well organized naming scheme it can be nearly impossible. We recommend using a unique tag for the names of controllers and links that should not be controlled from eKeypad. This allows you to use a feature in eKeypad to hide them automatically.
    • This setting is located on the Config -> “Advanced Settings” screen under the section labeled “GUI Restrictions”.
    • Use the “Hide If” option.
    • Entering the unique tag you want hidden in the “Name Pattern” field.
    • Be sure to save this change using the “Save” button in the top right of the screen.
    • This setup will hide any item on any eKeypad screen where the name parameter contains the unique tag.