WF Aurora Controls & ModBus Thermostats

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by adorsett, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. adorsett

    adorsett New Member

    I tried sending an email via WF's website and just got handed over to a clueless dealer instead of handled in house. I'm looking for someone from WF engineering so that I can discuss your "open, standards-based" modbus interface between temperature sensors and the Intellizone2/Aurora controls. I'm trying to develop an interface to integrate this to another system. I'd appreciate someone with a clue reaching out!

  2. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    You can PM WF inc. here and get the PR department instead.
  3. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    WF probably wants an issue like this to flow through a dealer, which is understandable. Finding a resi HVAC contractor WITH Modbus experience is probably as likely as buying a winning $400,000,000 Powerball ticket.

    I have limited Modbus experience dating before 2010, but I've yet to deploy IZ 2 / Aurora.

    WF's IM1578EW (IZ 2 install Manual) contains limited info about Modbus, as does AG1562EW, and IG1563EW
  4. adorsett

    adorsett New Member

    I'd love to. But apparently I don't have PM privileges. It won't let me PM another user. Guess I'm too new here...
  5. adorsett

    adorsett New Member

    Yeah, but there are registers and expected values that I can't find documented anywhere. I'm looking for the values that the various components are passing around. Think beyond what a dealer would even touch. Think about someone wanting to make a better thermostat. :) I can't believe that someone like Honeywell or Nest would have this hard of a time getting someone from WF to call them back. Why should I be any different and shoved through a dealer?

    I may have found a message somewhere else that says they don't make their Aurora controls in-house and they are reliant upon a third-party so they may not even have the documentation I'm seeking... That would explain why they don't have their third-party interface board out yet and why the leaks about it makes it seem to be neutered beyond use.
  6. adorsett

    adorsett New Member

    I can't tell if the mods rejected my follow ups or if something happened, but I don't see my replies here...

    I can't PM WF_Inc because I don't have privileges to PM yet.

    I don't want to go through a dealer because that's like Honeywell calling to say they want to build their thermostat to the Aurora controls interface and then being told to call a dealer. I am trying to get the registers and details on their modbus implementation for the current thermostat offerings that work with the Aurora controls. Does anyone know who actually builds the Aurora controls? I've read it's third-party developed special for WF.
  7. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    You should at least respect that some of that information you insist on is intellectual property of Waterfurnace, and to deem a dealer clueless just because he is not aware of information not made public by WF is quite a push.
  8. adorsett

    adorsett New Member

    I do understand it's their IP. I also told them I was interested in signing an NDA which is standard practice when getting technical specs to design an interface into a manufacturers proprietary system. This is not my first go at interfacing with a proprietary system without a widely published specification. This is the first time that I have been unable to track down someone at the manufacturer.

    I deemed him clueless because I wasted 30 minutes as he kept asking why I would need the information I was seeking. He was obviously a dealer who takes the standard configuration from the manufacturer and just installs it. He never goes outside the cookie cutter. So after trying to explain myself for 30 minutes and it being clear that he didn't understand anything I was talking about, we hung up. So that's why I labeled the dealer. I'm sure you've experienced the same knowledge out of dealers that I'm referring to. I know there are really smart dealers out there and I've seen some elegant installs on here, but I also know that a dealer isn't going to be able to provide me the information I need if only because they don't own the rights to the IP.
  9. WF_Inc

    WF_Inc Member


    We have reviewed your inquiry with our Vice President of Engineering. WaterFurnace does not currently support third party entities connecting to the Aurora Network. At a future date, WaterFurnace will evaluate whether or not to support third party entities connecting to the Aurora Network.

    The “Open, Standards-Based” refers to the open standard of RS485 Modbus RTU standards that are being utilized on the Aurora Network. This does not mean that the system is open for third party entities to connect to the Aurora Network.
  10. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Joe was correct, at least the PR dept. got back to you. Try Teckmar.

  11. adorsett

    adorsett New Member

    Yeah, I might not like the answer but at least I got something finally from someone official...

    I looked at the Teckmar stuff and it looks perfect for part of my solution, but my question is using it with the Series 7 and the variable speed motors. I thought I had to stick with the Aurora controls to get the variable speeds... Can the Teckmar stuff handle that?
  12. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    No, Teckmar cannot. Variable speed was one of the reasons they developed the Aurora controls. Remote monitoring was another.
  13. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    You would almost have to get into something like an Emerson Einstein.......
  14. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Wait a bit guys. I just started a Tekmar system with a variable system PCS pump to mix down to lower temp loops.

  15. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Tekmar can do VSD with a PSC motor.

  16. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    So how is the 406 able to help with the variable speed 7 series, which was the question here?
  17. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader


    I will try to find out. I missed the specific pump type question. I typed to the variable question on the Tekmar 406 house control.

  18. mciholas

    mciholas New Member


    I am very interested in figuring out the modbus registry map on the WF AID port interface. From the posts prior, I can see that WF is being unhelpful by withholding information. One has to question selling the units as having an "open" interface no one else can use. I would define that as "closed". It is always annoying to be mislead that way.

    I have the tools to reverse engineer the interface. I have captured the interaction between a WF series 5 unit and the AID tool as I go through the menus and look at stuff and set other stuff up. With some careful deduction, I should be able to build a registry map of where things are.

    What I know so far:

    RS485 half duplex differential signalling
    AID device is the master and GHP is the slave
    Unit slave address is 0x01
    Baud rate 19,200
    Serial format is 8N2, no parity
    Using RTU format
    Messages do not appear to be encrypted. During polling, same inquiry produces same results consistently.
    Some messages are modbus standard (for example: 0x03 read holding registers)
    Some are manf specific (for example: 0x41 manf specific functions, seems to have secondary opcode buried inside it)

    My question is whether there is any information to help me get started on what I should be looking for.

    Also, if anyone is interested in what I discover, let me know. My goal is to constantly monitor and log the status of each unit to a database. I intend to use RS485 to Ethernet serial servers (about $20) to connect to each unit.

    My units (I have 9 total WF series 5 units, with AXB, two with DSH) are all equipped with the additional sensor packages (monitors performance, energy, refrig cycle, etc). So I have a lot of data I can monitor if I can only get to it...

    Thanks for any info or help!
    Natrually Aspirated likes this.
  19. geoxne

    geoxne Active Member Forum Leader

    WF commercial has recently released UPC that allows Aurora to communicate with various BAS protocols. I do NOT know if is applicable to residential Aurora controls, but would like to.
    Info Here-

    I suppose the residential ABC board would have a different software version and would be unsupported by WF. This could be an alternative to Aurora Web Link that has been announced but unavailable for over 2 years now.
  20. Natrually Aspirated

    Natrually Aspirated New Member

    I would be interested in your findings. Hopefully you keep at it!

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