Products, Materials + Tools | Feb 29, 2012

ETC Introduces New Unison Paradigm Central Control Server™

ETC is introducing a new product that unleashes more power and functionality in their Unison® Paradigm architectural line, greatly expanding its scope of lighting control. The new Paradigm Central Control Server scales up Paradigm® systems to master the most complex lighting venues. By integrating a native BACnet® communication system and incorporating exclusive new ETC Virtual Touchscreens, Paradigm Central Control Server achieves the most comprehensive building-wide control while also benefiting even single-processor installations.

What ETC learned from years of handling some of the most sophisticated and demanding lighting venues is that “the best control system thinks globally and acts locally,” as ETC’s Architectural Marketing Manager Joe Bokelman puts it, “allowing internal subsystems to act independently, at the most granular level, while one command center monitors it all — simultaneously logging, overriding, driving, and managing the components.”

With Central Control Server, multiple Paradigm systems can be programmed independently of each other and consolidated into a single system. This provides essential systems-management for multi-venue theme parks, cruise ships, performing arts centers, casino and resort venues, museum complexes, and the like, where lighting operations can now subdivide from facilitywide control down to even one preset lighting scene.

The Central Control Server supports up to 48 Paradigm Architectural Control Processors in multiple subsystems that may contain up to twelve processors each. “The unique quality of the Paradigm Central Server,” says Bokelman, “is the division of labor it performs. If one processor is taken offline in the system, the other processors continue performing their programmed functions for their area with no impact on the overall system. But they can also report on that inactive processor and communicate actively with the command center. This is a fundamental attention to keeping everything running that can be running and acknowledging and reporting on something that isn’t functioning. This is a decentralized, central control.”

Designed from the outset to interface with what many consider to be the gold-standard of building-systems protocol, ASHRAE’s BACnet IP, Paradigm Central Control Server synchronizes and stitches together separate systems. ETC Architectural and Networking Product Manager Bryan Palmer says, “Paradigm Central Control Server is not merely triggered by BACnet, as other-brand lighting control systems may be, it bi-directionally listens, registers, and replies to event-scheduling, ensuring that the system runs its events even if connection to BACnet is lost.”

Paradigm Central Control Server’s Virtual Touchscreen stations and large-format touchscreen integration puts customized control at the fingertips. A Virtual Touchscreen may be a touchscreen computer or a conventional computer with monitor and keyboard/mouse control. Configured by ETC’s new LightDesigner™ and ControlDesigner™ 2.0 software, the interfaces are configured to the desire of the end user. Again, used locally as a single system station or globally by a facilities manager at the helm of central control, the Virtual Touchscreens allow multiple venues to be configured separately or at a single large format screen or computer. The Virtual Touchscreens access the local picture and big picture of a vast system — its multiple distributed subsystems of lighting and its total lighting and building-system landscape.”

The Paradigm Central Control Server is available now. For more information on that, as well as other ETC products and systems, and to locate an ETC dealer, go to