Designing the WNC1800/FX-ZFR182x Pro Series Wireless Field Bus System - Facility Explorer - LIT-12012397 - Wireless Device - WNC: Wireless Network Coordinator/Gateway

WNC1800/FX-ZFR182x Pro Series Wireless Field Bus System Quick Reference Guide

Product name
WNC: Wireless Network Coordinator/Gateway
Document type
Reference Guide
Document number
LIT-12012397
Revision date
2019-03-22

About this task

Ensure that the system is well-designed with good line-of-sight communication paths and distances, according to the guidelines in the WNC1800/FX-ZFR182x Series Wireless Field Bus System Technical Bulletin (LIT-12012396).

One FX-ZFR Pro Router is required for each field controller. This pairing of an FX-PC controller and FX-ZFR Pro Router is a Wireless Enabled Programmable Controller (WEPC). A WNC1800 and FX-ZFR1820 or FX-ZFR1823 are paired to create a WNC1800/FX-ZFR182x Pro Wireless Network Coordinator.

The WNC1800/FX-ZFR182x Pro Series Wireless Field Bus System consists of the following wireless components:

  • WNC1800 Gateway—Wireless Network Gateway (WNC Gateway)
  • FX-ZFR1820/FX-ZFR1823—FX-ZFR Pro Coordinator Radio
  • FX-ZFR1821/FX-ZFR1822—FX-ZFR Pro Router/Repeater
  • TEC30xx—Thermostat Controller
  • FX-WRZxxxx—Wireless Sensors (each model variation is supported on both FX-ZFR and FX-ZFR Pro wireless networks)
  • WEPC—Wireless Enabled Programmable Controllers (FX-PC paired with an FX-ZFR Pro Router or a wireless TEC30xx)
Note: The devices within the FX-ZFR Pro Series Wireless Field Bus System are designed for indoor, intra-building applications only.

Any of the following Facility Explorer® (FX) controllers can be wirelessly enabled when paired with a FX-ZFR Pro Router

  • FX-PCA
  • FX-PCG
  • FX-PCX
  • FX-PCV
  • Thermostat Controllers—TEC30xx (these models have a built-in ZFR Pro Router)
Note: This list of supported field controllers is always growing. Check specific field controller literature for support of the FX-ZFR/FX-ZFR Pro Series Wireless Field Bus System.

The maximum number of FX-ZFR Pro wireless devices on any one PAN or managed by a single FX Supervisory Controller consists of the following:

  • Up to eight WNC Gateways for each FX Supervisory Controller.
  • Up to 35 Wireless Enabled Programmable Controllers (WEPCs) for each WNC Gateway.
  • Up to nine FX-WRZ Sensors for each WEPC.
  • Up to 100 total WEPC and FX-WRZ Sensors for each PAN.
  • Additional FX-ZFR1821 or FX-ZFR1822 Pro Wireless Routers that are used as repeaters can be added as required without adding to the 100 total WEPC/FX-WRZ limit. A best practice is to keep the number of repeaters on a PAN to less than 10% of the overall wireless device count.
    • FX-ZFR Pro Repeaters extend the wireless transmission distance of the wireless data communications by providing additional paths (hops) through the mesh to fill in gaps within the wireless mesh network and provide multiple wireless data transmission pathways.
    • For detailed information on placement guidelines for a WNC1800/FX-ZFR182x Pro Series Wireless Field Bus System, and for estimating the number of FX-ZFR Pro Routers needed as repeaters for extending wireless transmission range, refer to the WNC1800/FX-ZFR182x Pro Series Wireless Field Bus System Technical Bulletin (LIT-12012396).

In designing and planning the system, pay special attention to these points:

  • Every FX-WRZ Sensor should be within 15 m (50 ft) (recommended) of at least two FX-ZFR Pro Routers. (FX-WRZ Sensors communicate only with routers.)
  • Every FX-ZFR Pro Router should be within 15 m (50 ft) (recommended) of at least two other FX-ZFR Pro Routers.
  • The FX-ZFR Pro Coordinator Radio should be within 15 m (50 ft) (recommended) of at least two FX-ZFR Pro Routers.
  • The FX-ZFR Pro Coordinator Radio should be at the center of the mesh network.
    Note: If you are using extension cables, locate the WNC1800/FX-ZFR182x Pro Coordinator radio up to 100 ft away from the WNC Gateway.
  • Transmissions may use up to 30 hops to transmit a message to the coordinator. A hop occurs when a message (information) moves from one wireless device in the network to another wireless device in the network. The FX-ZFR Pro network allows for 30 hops, but this would not be a well-designed system. Such a system may work under certain circumstances; however, we do not recommend 30 hops for the amount of network traffic likely to be experienced. In a well designed system, the layout design should minimize the required hops to the recommended transmission ranges, ideally kept below five hops.
    Note: If the walls between any two radios have a very high metal content (for example, if there is an I-Beam in the wall), then you may need to decrease the distance.

The effective coverage range and signal quality vary because of wireless signal absorption and reflection due to metal obstructions, walls, ceilings, floors, and furniture found in typical building interiors.

Transmission ranges between FX-ZFR1820 Pro Series products may be less than the maximum distances shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Indoor line-of-sight transmission ranges
Range type Transmission range
FX-ZFR Pro Coordinator Radio, FX-ZFR Pro Router/Repeater TEC3000 Series Controller FX-WRZ Series Sensor
Recommended 15.2 m (50 ft) 15.2 m (50 ft) 15.2 m (50 ft)
Maximum, Line of Sight 76.2 m (250 ft) 30 m (100 ft) 30 m (100 ft)
Note: Use the battery-operated FX-WRZSST-120 Wireless Sensing System Tool with any model FX-WRZ Series Sensor as a site survey tool to determine the wireless signal strength between potential locations of FX-ZFR Pro system devices to survey your application and adjust FX-ZFR Pro device locations before permanently installing the devices.