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Introduction

The Fusion® Series is our fourth generation relay controller offering the ultimate relay control solution . . . without exception.

Fusion controllers have many ways to control relays, one of the most powerful methods of relay control is based on a time schedule.  Fusion Taralist is our third generation of Taralist controllers.  The first two major revisions were released as Taralist controllers beginning in 2009.  We have had lots of time to refine Taralist, working out the bugs along the way.  Fusion Taralist is a further refinement of the already mature Taralist controllers, extending the capabilities significantly while retaining the reliable core processing engine.

Taralist runs as a background task of Fusion Series controllers.  Every second Taralist runs through a user-created list of events looking for a time match.  When a time match occurs, relays are activated or deactivated according to the schedule.   Taralist is also capable of triggering Reactor events when a time match is detected, greatly extending the capabilities of the Fusion controller.

Fusion Taralist features are configured using Base Station software.  The use of Base Station is absolutely essential to configuring Fusion controllers.  The Taralist features of Base Station software make it easy to build a list of events, allowing you to load, save, and test events during the configuration process.  Base Station Taralist configuration sports a new interface with two operating modes, Simplified and Expert.  The default mode of operation is Simplified mode, allowing you to build schedules and examine only what is essential for basic schedule editing.  Simplified makes it a lot easier for anyone to build a time schedule, as there are fewer features to sift through.  The Expert mode adds more user interface functions, helping you tune your event list along the way.  Expert mode is for advanced users who need the full feature set of Taralist at their disposal.  Base Station now automatically sorts events as you build your schedule, so you can always see the exact order of event processing.

Fusion Taralist has very low priority control of relays.  The theory being, a time schedule can control relays, sensors can override Taralist relays (using Reactor features), and computer control (ProXR) overrides Taralist and Reactor.  Despite its low priority of the relays, Taralist has high priority over the Fusion CPU, rebooting the CPU or automatically resetting the priority levels based on a time schedule.  So Taralist does have provisions for taking control when absolutely necessary.

Taralist and Reactor are also capable of working together to control relays instead of prioritized relay control.  Using the Fusion Relay Status and Usage Map, Taralist and Reactor can be linked so that a sensor can only activate a relay if the time schedule allows it.

The TLEE expansion module is required to use Taralist features.  The TLEE module includes the Real-Time Clock as well as non-volatile EEPROM memory used to store the time schedule.

Getting Started

To begin using the Taralist features of your Fusion controller, download install our Base Station software:  ncd.io/start

Once you have established a connection to the Fusion controller, a screen similar to the one shown below will be displayed.  Click on “Taralist Enhanced Event Controller” to begin configuring your Fusion controller.

Taralist Event Controller

The Taralist Event Controller is used to build a schedule of events to be processed by the Taralist processor.  There are many elements to this interface that can help you build and test your schedule.  The most important rule to adhere to when working with Taralist is the order in which the schedule is processed.  All events shown in this list are processed every second.  Once the events have been processed, Taralist may automatically elect to refresh all relay banks depending on your event settings.  Most importantly, items shown in the top of the list have the lowest priority while items at the bottom of the list will be processed last, so the last events have the highest priority.  Just keep in mind, Taralist processes the entire list before refreshing relays. 

As you build your list of events, the priorities are assigned in the order created.  Users may adjust the time of the event to help control the priority of the list.  Using the Advanced interface display unlocks more options for moving events up and down the list (which may not actually change position depending on time settings).

Event Summary

The Event Summary box displays the time and event, along with its active status.  Events may be edited by double-clicking the events in the list or by highlighting an event and clicking the “Edit this Event” button.  The Event Summary displays time match data as shown on the following page.  The Dark Blue background indicates the time data requires a match for an event to be triggered.  For instance, in the image shown below, the event will be triggered only on December 25 at 12:00 AM.  Since the year and day of the week are not shown below, the event will be triggered every year on December 25 at 12:00 AM.

More

The ‘MORE’ button will display commands associated with Taralist along with direct access to this guide.  The More button also reveals access to the User Interface selection box that controls the complexity of the user interface.  The default user interface is Simplified mode, allowing you to create schedules suitable for most applications.  Users should work with Simplified mode and become familiar with Taralist processing before moving to Expert mode.

The screen shot above demonstrates the Fusion Taralist configuration using the Simplified User Interface.  The simplified interface limits the user experience to the essential buttons that are necessary for setting up a Taralist event schedule.  Use the “MORE” button to reveal access to the Advanced User Interface option, which will provide the user with a more powerful set of tools for building and customizing the time schedule.

HINT:  It may be necessary to set the Year, Month, Day of Month, or Day of Week to force the event to sort in the correct order.  You do not need to match on these items, but these items are taken into account as Base Station tries to keep your events sorted in chronological order (which is essential for Taralist processing).

Getting to Know the Interface

The Taralist Event Controller has many interface elements that need to be clearly defined prior to setting up a schedule.

Relay Status

The Relay Status column contains 32 boxes that allow you to see which function is controlling which relay.  These color-coded boxes are clearly defined in the Fusion Override Controller Quick Start Guide.  Relays highlighted in blue are controlled by Taralist (time schedule control).  Relays highlighted in red are controlled by Reactor (sensor control).  Relays highlighted in green are controlled by ProXR (computer control).  Click the ‘Detail Map‘ button to see all relay control possibilities.

Add Event

The ‘Add Event‘ button is used to create a new event in the event list.  Once created, the event may be edited by double-clicking on the event.  Keep in mind, as events are added to the schedule, their location in the list is controlled by the time settings.  Base Station will automatically sort the list when an event is added, deleted, edited, or moved (advanced feature).

Test Selected Event

The ‘Test Selected Event‘ button changes the time on the Fusion controller clock to the time recorded in the event so you can test processing.  Before this button will work properly, it is necessary to save your events to the controller.  Unsaved events will not test properly until saved.  While the test button is helpful, some events cannot be effectively tested because they may rely on events that may have been processed on previous days.  It may be necessary for users to trigger events in the order they are displayed to ensure proper interaction of events across days.

Copy Event

The ‘Copy‘ button is used to duplicate an event in the event list.  Simply highlight the event you would like to copy and click the ‘Copy Event‘ button.  The event will be sorted after an event is copied.Delete Event

The ‘Delete Event‘ button is used to delete a highlighted event.  The list will be sorted after an event is deleted.

Load Schedule

The ‘Load‘ button is used to load a time schedule from a file into Base Station for editing.

Save Schedule

The ‘Save‘ button is used to save your event list and notes into a file.  Once saved on your computer, you will be prompted to save the schedule to the Fusion controller.

Setting the Time

Click on the clock to set the time.

Click the ‘Sync Time with PC’ button to set the clock on the Taralist controller to the PC time.  Enter a manual time in each of the white boxes and click the ‘Set Time’ button to manually set the time.  The Taralist controller has an integrated battery used to keep the clock running if the power is lost.  The charge level is set to the lowest setting for extended battery life, but it is safe to charge the battery at the highest charge level for the first few days to get the battery up to specification.  Remember new batteries will need to be charged.  At the lowest charge level, this may take several days, which may affect the behavior of the controller if power is lost.

Add DST Events

The ‘Add DST Events‘ button is used to add a list of Daylight Savings Time Events to the Taralist time schedule.  The DST button adds daylight savings time events from 2009 to 2030.  You may delete events from past years.  Daylight Savings Time Events will automatically move time forward and back one hour according to the current laws and will be updated as the laws change.

Remove DST Events

The ‘Remove DST Events‘ button removes all Daylight Savings Time events from the event list, this helps reduce the size of the list making it a little more manageable during editing.  You can always add the events back to the list after editing.

Erase All Events

This button erases all events in the event list.

NOTE:  If the window is closed and then re-opened, the last saved schedule will be reloaded.  Make sure to save your schedule periodically, but keep in mind, if you move your schedule file, Base Station will display an empty event list.

Taralist Advanced User Interface (Expert Mode)

The Advanced User Interface adds more features, allowing users to tune up their schedule and the controller.  The Advanced User Interface is not required for most applications, but it is a good idea to review the capabilities just in case you run into a situation that may require a little more fine-tuning.

The Taralist event schedule is shown above using the Advanced User Interface, which reveals many new options for customizing the time schedule.
Note that more data about each event is shown in the Event Summary box using the Advanced User Interface option.

Reboot Fusion CPU

The ‘Reboot Fusion CPU’ button is used to restart the Fusion controller.  The reboot button is useful during schedule testing.

Midnight Backup

The Midnight Backup Buffer is absolutely essential to the functionality of the Taralist controller. Without it, a simple power interruption could result in some relays failing to activate according to a past schedule. A constant power supply is recommended for all Taralist controllers and a UPS style battery backup system is also recommended.  However, no matter how many precautions are taken, at some point a Taralist controller will lose power.

The Midnight Backup Buffer is used to help protect from simple power interruptions.  Here’s an example of how the Midnight Backup Buffer helps protect your time schedule: Imagine a scenario where a relay is turned on by an event on Monday, and turned back off on Friday.  However, power is lost on Wednesday for a few minutes.  Without the Midnight Backup Buffer the relay will not turn back on until the following Monday.  With the Midnight Backup Buffer, a backup is made of relay settings and is used to help recover the relay state just in case power is lost.

Every night at Midnight; 0 hours, 0 minutes, 0 seconds, the controller reads what the status of all relays are at that exact second and stores that information into the Midnight Backup Buffer. If a controller loses power momentarily and is powered back up, it will scan through all events from midnight to the exact moment it is powered up. It will also take into account the status of all relays at midnight to determine what the status of all relays should be at that current time, effectively restoring your relays to the correct state.

You can read the status of the Midnight Backup Buffer at any time by clicking the ‘Midnight Backup Buffer‘ button. You may also modify the status of the Midnight Backup Buffer stored inside the Taralist controller. This is helpful if you need to store a default power-up status of a Taralist relay that is modified by the time schedule.  Editing the Midnight Backup Buffer is also helpful if you accidentally took control of a relay using ProXR, but forgot to return control back to Taralist before midnight.

Time Compensation

The Time Compensation buffer automatically adjusts the time a few seconds forward or backward to help keep the time calibrated.  It is normal for the time to drift a few seconds each day, depending on power supply and temperature of the controller.  The Time Compensation control panel helps automatically re-adjust for time drift.

Automatically Reload Last Saved Schedule

The “Automatically Reload Last Saved Schedule” checkbox tells Base Station to automatically reload the last schedule saved to the hard drive.  If you move the schedule file, the Event list will be empty, even though the controller may have a schedule stored.  Keep in mind, the controller is not capable of storing the notes that help you follow the schedule, so it is very important to keep the original schedule file on your hard drive.  It is possible to download a schedule from the controller, but this download will not include your notes and, therefore, cannot be edited (See Fusion Master Control Panel Quick Start Guide).

Editing an Event

Editing an event is easy once you understand the layout of the interface.  In the screen shot shown on the following page, 0001 along with a check is displayed.  The 0001 represents the event number, which is subject to constant change as events are automatically sorted in chronological order.  Do NOT plan on keeping track of an event by its event number.  Up to 999 events are supported by the Fusion controller.  The “Event is Active” check indicates the event will be processed.  If you uncheck this event, the event will remain in the list, but it will be ignored.  The text field that says “Holiday Mode OFF” can be used to help you keep track of what each event does.  Enter any information that will help you understand and remember the function of each event.  These notes are NOT stored in the controller.  It is absolutely essential that you save your data file on your computer to keep your notes.  The data file contains both the notes and the event list.  It will not be possible to edit your schedule if you forget to save your schedule to your computer.

Time Matching

The Event Editor has several check boxes that may or may not be checked.  If the box is checked, the drop-down list becomes active, allowing you to customize the exact time match requirement for your application.  The hours, minutes, and seconds check boxes are always active.  Taralist requires an exact time to trigger an event.  However, you may choose to match on the Day of Week, Day of Month, Month, and Year.

Triggering an Event

Users have their choice of many events to trigger when a time match is detected.  Some event types are processed constantly so that if power is lost, the Taralist processor can resume where it was at the time of power failure.  Such is the case for relay control commands.  Keep in mind, the Taralist processor needs power at midnight to back up current settings.  Other events are labeled ETMO or Exact Time Match Only.  These events required the current time of the Taralist controller to match the time recorded in the event, and will not be triggered if power is lost and then later restored.

To better understand standard processing vs. ETMO processing, it is necessary to give an example.  Let’s say Relay 1 is set to activate a 9:00 AM using the “Turn On a Relay” event.  This is a standard event type.  Let’s say Relay 2 is set to activate at 9:00 AM by telling Taralist to trigger a Reactor event to turn on Relay 2.  Triggering Reactor events from Taralist requires an exact time match (ETMO).  On a normal day, both relays will activate at 9:00 AM.  However, if power is lost at 10:00 AM and restored at 11:00 AM, only Relay 1 would turn on.  Since Taralist is constantly processing all events every second, Taralist knows that Relay 1 should have been activated at 9:00 AM, so Taralist decides to go ahead and activate Relay 1 at 11:00 AM to recover from the power failure.  When Taralist triggers a Reactor event, this function requires an exact time match (ETMO).  If power is restored at 11:00 AM, this event will not be triggered again until 9:00 AM the next day, when the time on the clock exactly matches the time stored in the event.

Here is an explanation of each event:

Turn Off a Relay

Turns a Relay Off.  Users will need to also select a relay bank and a relay to turn off.  If relay Bank 0 is selected, one relay in all banks will be deactivated.

Turn On a Relay

Turns a Relay On.  Users will need to also select a relay bank and a relay to turn on.  If relay Bank 0 is selected, one relay in all banks will be activated.

Turn Off All Relays

Turns All Relays Off in a selected bank.  This option will turn eight relays off at a time.  If relay Bank 0 is selected, all relays in all banks will be turned off.

Turn On All Relays

Turns All Relays On in a selected bank.  This option will turn eight relays on at a time.  If relay Bank 0 is selected, all relays in all banks will be turned on.

Set Relay Under Control of Computer (ProXR)

This event will change the priority of the selected relay to ProXR, which will prevent Taralist from controlling the selected Relay.

Set All Relays Under Control of Computer (ProXR)

This event will change the priority of all relays to ProXR, which will prevent Taralist from controlling any relays.

Set Relay Under Control of Taralist

This event will change the priority of the selected relay to Taralist, which will allow Taralist to control the selected relay.

Set All Relays Under Control of Taralist

This event will change the priority of all relays to Taralist, which will allow Taralist to control all relays.

DST Hour Forward

This event will automatically change the time of the clock one hour forward.  When this event is triggered, it is automatically disabled to prevent it from triggering again.

DST Hour Backward

This event will automatically change the time of the clock one hour backward.  When this event is triggered, it is automatically disabled to prevent it from triggering again.

Holiday Mode On (Do Not Process Taralist Relay Status Changes)

This event puts the Taralist processor in Holiday Mode.  In Holiday Mode, events will be evaluated by the Taralist processor but will not be executed.  For every Holiday Mode On event, there must be a Holiday Mode Off event.

Holiday Mode Off (Process Taralist Relay Status Changes)

This event turns off the Holiday Mode, allowing Taralist events to process normally.  For every Holiday Mode On event, there must be a Holiday Mode Off event.

Trigger Reactor Event (Exact Time Match ONLY – ETMO)

This event triggers up to six Reactor events.  Since Reactor events are “owned” by the Reactor processor of the Fusion controller, events will be triggered at the Reactor priority level, not the Taralist priority level.  The Reactor event list is very powerful allowing you to turn relays on and off, flash relays, trigger timers and counters, send push notifications to a server and much more.  The Reactor Event List is defined in the Fusion Reactor Quick Start Guide.

Disable Reactor Processing (Exact Time Match ONLY – ETMO)

This event turns off the Reactor Processor, preventing Reactor from making sensor controlled relay decisions.

Resume Reactor Processing (Exact Time Match ONLY – ETMO)

This event turns on the Reactor Processor, allowing Reactor to make sensor controlled relay decisions.

Clear Reactor Relays and Priorities (ETMO)

This event removes any Reactor (sensor controlled relays) priority levels that may exist, allowing Taralist to control relays.  Please note this event will not appear to work if Reactor is constantly controlling a relay.  Reactor can still take control of relays as configured.

Clear Reactor and ProXR Relays and Priorities (ETMO)

This event combines the functions of Clear Reactor Relays and Priorities and Clear ProXR Relays and Priorities.

Reload Taralist Event List (ETMO)

This event tells Taralist to reload the total number of stored events in the controller.  This allows users to update the schedule in the background and have Taralist reload the schedule automatically.  This event is only useful if the total number of events in the event list has changed.  It will not have any effect if the same number of events exists in the event list after a schedule change.

Reboot Controller (ETMO)

This event reboots the Fusion controller, resetting all relays to their power-up default priority levels.

The Event List

The Event List contains a list of events that will be processed every second.  If a match is detected, relays will be refreshed according to your schedule.  Understanding how the Reactor processor handles events in the event list is critical to building a predictable schedule.  Under normal operation, every event is examined for a time match.  If a time match is detected, Taralist will process the selected event in the EXACT order shown in the Taralist time schedule.  Because the order is critical to a successful schedule, careful attention must be applied to building the schedule.  Fusion Taralist controllers were released in 2013, yet it is possible to set time schedules as far back as 2009.  So why would you want to set an event to occur in 2009?  The earlier years, months, and days of week actually help you control how events are sorted in the list.  For instance, if you plan to use the Holiday mode, it is a good idea to set the Holiday mode in 2009 and relay control events in 2013 or later.  This keeps the holidays up at the top of the list, ensuring they are executed BEFORE the relay control commands.  Holiday mode affects how other events are processed, so keeping them in the top of the list (as a low priority operation) will help you follow the logic of the Taralist controller and make time schedule changes more predictable.  Keep in mind, you do not need to time match the year, month, or day of an event; but you may need to change these values to control the sorting operations.

Automatic Sorting

Events are automatically sorted when an event is added, deleted, edited, or moved.  The event number will likely change as sorting operations redefine the priority list.  After editing an event, make sure the event appears where you expect to see it.  You can move an event up or down, but this operation only applies to events with the exact same time settings.

Programming for Taralist

Software developers who need to speak to the Taralist features of a Fusion controller have only a few commands at their disposal.  For the most part, Taralist is designed to be a background task that examines EEPROM settings and processes events accordingly.  Taralist does not have many commands that allow user interaction.  Base Station software was developed in combination with the rules of a Fusion controller, and should always be used for device configuration.  Base Station software interacts with nonvolatile EEPROM memory locations located in the TLEE expansion module.  We do not encourage users to modify EEPROM memory outside the context of Base Station software.  However, for those customers who may need to alter EEPROM memory, we will share our Base Station software source code upon request.

Please note that EEPROM memory should never be altered more than 1,000,000 times in your software.  Doing so will permanently damage the EEPROM memory.  Constant EEPROM writes in a main program loop are prohibited.  Make changes to EEPROM memory only when necessary to ensure a long life of the Fusion controller.

As you may have noticed, some Base Station screens have a ‘MORE‘ button available in the upper right corner of the form.  This More button should be used by software developers so they can examine the commands issued to the Fusion controller.  The commands shown in Base Station software supersede the commands shown in this document as documentation trails behind development.  The ‘MORE‘ button will not appear on forms that do not offer any user-level commands.

Before developing software for the Fusion controller, the API Codec Quick Start Guide should be considered REQUIRED reading.  The commands shown in this document are not encoded, and must be API Encoded before Fusion will properly interpret them.

Taralist Command Reference (Decimal Format)

The following Taralist commands may be used to communicate with the Taralist portion of the Fusion controller.  If you experience any problems with the command shown, please use the ‘MORE‘ button in Base Station software to generate these commands.  This will demonstrate the API Encoding required by the Fusion series controllers.

254 140 99 Reboot Fusion Controller

65 46 Turn Off Taralist Processing* Rx: 85

65 46 1 Request On/Off Status of Taralist Rx: 0=Off 1=On

65 47 Turn On Taralist Processing* Rx: 85

65 47 1 Request On/Off Status of Taralist Rx: 0=Off 1=On

*This Command Modifies EEPROM and will affect the default power-up state of Taralist

Note:  Other Taralist related commands fall in the category of relay priority and are covered in the Fusion Override Controller Quick Start Guide.  This quick start guide focuses on priority understanding and management of Fusion Series relay controllers.

Taralist Command Reference (Hexadecimal Format)

The following Taralist commands may be used to communicate with the Taralist portion of the Fusion controller.  If you experience any problems with the command shown, please use the “More” button in Base Station software to generate these commands.  This will demonstrate the API Encoding required by the Fusion series controllers.

0xFE 0x8C 0x63 Reboot Fusion Controller

0x41 0x2E Turn Off Taralist Processing* Rx: 85

0x41 0x2E 0x01 Request On/Off Status of Taralist Rx: 0=Off 1=On

0x41 0x2F Turn On Taralist Processing* Rx: 85

0x41 0x2F 0x01 Request On/Off Status of Taralist Rx: 0=Off 1=On

*This Command Modifies EEPROM and will affect the default power-up state of Taralist

Note:  Other Taralist related commands fall in the category of relay priority, and are covered in the Fusion Override Controller Quick Start Guide.  This quick start guide focuses on priority understanding and management of Fusion Series relay controllers.

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