Communicating Is Key

July 13, 2009
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President Ronald Reagan was dubbed “The Great Communicator.” It would be fair to dub commercial controls as the great communicator of the HVAC system, too. It warrants special recognition when these products not only perform their job well, but make installing and servicing them easier. The NEWS’ sixth annual Dealer Design Awards in the Commercial Controls category go to two products that communicate and are flexible and easy to install and service admirably. The Honeywell Zio™ TR70 earned the gold, while Jackson Systems’ TK-400 universal twinning/paralleling kit grabbed the silver.

Gold Winner: The Zio™ LCD Wall Module by Honeywell is fully operational as soon as it is wired; no configuration is required.


The Honeywell Zio TR70 is an LCD wall module that communicates with the Spyder® Sylk™ Enhanced controller via the company’s new two-wire, polarity insensitive Sylk bus. Zio has a large LCD screen and a soft key interface. There is both a tenant interface for simple access to basic information, as well as a key press coded contractor interface for access to virtually any point in the controller.

The module is used in place of any commercial wall sensor and communicates with variable air volume (VAV), constant volume air-handling unit, fan coil unit, or other unitary controllers. The TR70-H model offers humidity sensing in addition to temperature.

According to the manufacturer, the module can be used to balance systems, verify equipment is running, check any temperature, pressure, CO2, humidity, actuator positions, on-off state - basically any single point, and points from other controllers can be brought into the host controller and displayed by Zio, also.

Zio automatically gets uploaded and is fully operational as soon as it is wired; there is no configuration required. If a Zio needs to be replaced, the technician wires and mounts a new Zio on the old wallplate. There is no need to reconfigure anything anywhere; the controller saves all the settings from the former Zio.

The Sylk bus minimizes install time and eliminates potential for miswiring. Zio can display or adjust virtually any point in the controller right from the wall module. The contractor can choose and name the points. The module is designed to be flexible so that contractors can write their own applications.

Silver Winner: Jackson Systems’ Twinning Kit incorporates dedicated terminals for all system wiring, saving installation time.


The Jackson Systems TK-400 universal twinning/paralleling kit is designed to allow a single thermostat to control multiple HVAC units. When used in a single-panel array, the TK-400 can control two HVAC units. Two TK-400 panels can be twinned together to control four units from a single thermostat. The twinning kit can be used with single-stage (one heat/one cool), multistage (two heat/two cool), and heat pump (three heat/two cool) equipment.

The TK-400 was engineered to incorporate solid-state, diode relay logic with all components and wiring terminals mounted on a single, compact, printed circuit board. Standard 18-gauge thermostat wire is required. The HVAC units and thermostat can be located up to 300 feet from the panel.

According to the company, the kit saves installation time by incorporating dedicated terminals for all system wiring. The TK-400 has clearly labeled dedicated terminal blocks for HVAC equipment, thermostat, and transformer wiring. LEDs provide visual confirmation of equipment mode of operation, fan, reversing valve (heat pump only) and staging status which simplifies servicing of the system. The LED status indication simplifies test, check, and start-up as well. The panel does not require any system setup.

2009 Honorees: Commercial Controls

Zio™ LCD Wall Module

Jackson Systems
Twinning Kit

Publication date: 07/13/2009

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