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Frequent Questions

The Reliable Controls system consists of hardware and software products that are technical in nature. This FAQ section addresses a number of general technical questions and will be helpful to new comers and veterans alike.

 What is the Reliable Controls system?

The Reliable Controls system is a computer-based system of hardware and software products that are designed to control the comfort and manage the energy consumption of the environment with commercial buildings. The system consists of: programmable controllers which have inputs and outputs that are connected to sensors and actuators used to measure and control the environment; network communications to network the controllers to facilitate sharing data and archiving data; PCs to run the various software programs used to program, operate and backup the system.

 What is BACnet and are your products BACnet compatible?

BACnet is an acronym for the Building Automation Control network protocol standard which is developed, maintained and published by ASHRAE, the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers. The BACnet protocol is simply a set of rules that govern how building automation data and services can be communicated and shared between competing vendor products. Reliable Controls has implemented the entire line of Reliable Controls products are BACnet compatible.

For further information, visit our BACnet products page.

 What is peer-to-peer architecture?

All the controllers in the Reliable Controls system are peer-to-peer on a common network. This means there is no communications hierarchy between controllers on the same network and controllers have equal communication ability or are "peers" on the network.

 What is interoperability and how does it relate to Reliable Controls products?

Interoperability refers to the ability of one vendor's products to communicate with another vendor's products. The Reliable Controls system controllers communicate using one proprietary vendor protocol (Reliable) and one standard open protocol (BACnet). By supporting multiple protocols, the Reliable Controls system can interoperate with other vendors' systems.

 To what standards and certifications are your products tested?

All Reliable Controls controllers are tested to the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) standard 519 and are certified for use in energy management and heating ventilation and air-conditioning control applications. The BACnet Testing Labs (BTL) have officially recognized all controllers as meeting the requirements necessary to bear the BTL mark. To verify our products visit the BTL Listings website. The BTL designation means these the controllers are recognized as being 'BACnet compliant' for use in interoperable or native BACnet installations.

 What are the minimum system requirements for the RC-Studio software?

The minimum system requirements for the RC-Studio software are available on the RC-Studio product page.

 Does Reliable Controls Corporation offer temperature sensors and other controls peripherals?

Yes. We offer a full range of temperature, pressure, humidity and current peripherals, which are manufactured by Automation Components Inc (ACI). We also offer a full range of hydronic valves, actuators and damper actuators, which are manufactured by BELIMO Air-controls.

View our I/O Devices page to see which products and vendors we represent.

 What are universal inputs and universal outputs?

All of the Reliable Controls controllers have universal inputs and universal outputs. This standard feature allows inputs and outputs to configured as digital/binary or as analogue/modulating in software, and allows setup to be changed in the future without the need to purchase different or additional controllers.

 What is the programming language used to write the control strategies in the controllers?

All of the Reliable Controls controllers use a very simple and flexible compiled language for control strategies. The language is called Control-BASIC and is modeled after the popular Beginners All Symbolic Instruction Code (BASIC).

 We have jobs that must have the DDC system integrated into other building systems. Does Reliable Controls offer its proprietary protocol for use in these situations?

Yes. We publish our Reliable Controls Protocol and Implementation Guidelines under license to assist with integration into other systems. View our PICS documents in the BACnet International BTL Listing of Tested Products.

 Will RC-Studio software work with other BACnet systems?

Yes. RC-Studio works with controllers that utilize the BACnet protocol. Analogue and binary values can be written to and read. Programming, scheduling and other functions can not be preformed.