Designing and Planning the WNC1800/ZFR182x Pro Series Wireless Field Bus System - Metasys - LIT-12012319 - Wireless Device - WNC: Wireless Network Coordinator/Gateway

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

Product name
WNC: Wireless Network Coordinator/Gateway
Document type
Reference Guide
Document number
Revision date

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 W NC1800/ZFR182x Pro Series Wireless Field Bus System Technical Bulletin (LIT-12012356).

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

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

  • WNC1800 Gateway— Wireless Network Gateway (WNC Gateway)
  • ZFR1820/ZFR1823— ZFR Pro Coordinator Radio
  • ZFR1821/ZFR1822— ZFR Pro Router/Repeater
  • TEC30xx— ZFR Pro Thermostats
  • WRZxxxx— Wireless Sensors (each model variation is supported on both ZFR and ZFR Pro wireless networks)
  • WEFC— Wireless Enabled Field Controllers (FEC, FAC, IOM, VMA, TEC30xx)
Note: The devices within the WNC1800/ZFR182x Pro Series Wireless Field Bus System are designed for indoor, intra-building applications only.

Any of the following Metasys field controllers can be wirelessly enabled when paired with a ZFR Pro Router:

  • Field Equipment Controllers (FEC)—FEC16 or FEC26
  • Advanced Application Field Equipment Controllers (FAC)— FAC26 or FAC36
  • Input/Output Module (IOM)— IOM17, IOM27, IOM37, or IOM47
  • Variable Air Volume (VAV) Modular Assembly (VMA)— VMA16
  • 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 ZFR/ZFR Pro Series Wireless Field Bus System.

The total number of ZFR Pro wireless devices on any one PAN or managed by a single Network Automation Engine (NAE) is dependent on several factors. A typical ZFR Pro Series system consists of these limits:

  • up to eight WNC Gateways for each Network Engine (NAE dependent)
  • up to 35 Wireless Enabled Field Controllers (WEFCs) for each WNC Gateway
  • up to 200 WEFCs for each network engine, depending on the network engine
  • up to nine WRZ Sensors for each WEFC, depending on the controller type
  • up to 100 total WEFC and WRZ Sensors for each PAN
  • Additional ZFR1821 or ZFR1822 Pro Wireless Routers used as Repeaters can be added as required without reaching the limit of the100 total WEFC/WRZs. As a best practice, keep the number of Repeaters on a PAN to less than 10% of the overall wireless device count.
    • 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/ZFR182x Series Wireless Field Bus System, and for estimating the number of ZFR Pro Routers needed as repeaters for extending wireless transmission range, refer to the WNC1800/ZFR182x Series Wireless Field Bus System Technical Bulletin (LIT-12012356).

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

  • Every WRZ Sensor should be within 15 m (50 ft) (recommended) of at least two ZFR Pro Routers. (WRZ Sensors communicate only with routers.)
  • Every ZFR Pro Router should be within 15 m (50 ft) (recommended) of at least two other ZFR Pro Routers.
  • The ZFR Pro Coordinator Radio should be within 15 m (50 ft) (recommended) of at least two ZFR Pro Routers.
  • The ZFR Pro Coordinator should be at the center of the mesh network.
    Note: Using extension cables, the WNC1800 may be located up to 100 ft from the ZFR Pro Coordinator.
  • Every wireless TEC3000 should be within 15 m (50 ft) (recommended) of at least two other TEC3000 or ZFR Pro wireless devices.
  • The maximum distance between the ZFR Pro Coordinator and the farthest ZFR Pro Router/Repeater should be less than 76.2 m (250 ft).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 ZFR network allows for 30 hops, but this would not be a well-designed system. Such a system may work under certain circumstances but is not recommended 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, which are ideally kept below 5.
    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 the distance may need to be decreased.

The effective 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 for this reason.

Transmission ranges between ZFR Pro products must be less than the maximum distances shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Indoor Line-of-Sight Transmission Ranges
Range Type Transmission Range
ZFR Pro Coordinator Radio, ZFR Pro Router/Repeater TEC3000 Series Controller 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 WRZ-SST-120 Wireless Sensing System Tool with any model WRZ Series Sensor as a site survey tool to determine the wireless signal strength between potential locations of ZFR Pro system devices to survey your application. Adjust ZFR Pro device locations for optimal performance before permanently installing the devices. Refer to the WRZ-SST-120 Wireless Sensing System Tool Installation Instructions (Part No. 24-10563-55) for more information on the tool.