Atlanta Series Geothermal HVAC Control Board
PDA Interface
P/N 236-802

The Atlanta series control board is set up in the factory and in the field with a Palm compatible Personal Digital Assistant. Like the Atlanta series control board software, the PDA software is all written by Georgia Controls employees in the facility, and not "farmed out." For the OEM and the installer, this means that the PDA software is fully compatible, and 100% aware of every intricacy of the Georgia Controls products, making the PDA software simply an extension of the controller in the heat pump.

FREE Software

Free Software!Georgia Controls provides its PDA software FREE to OEMs and installers:

Upgrades to these programs are also FREE, and can be downloaded off of the Support page.

To be notified whenever upgrades to Georgia Controls programs are available, sign up on the Subscribe page. (return to summary page)

Atlanta Settings, Heating PageSettings Programmed From PDA - "ATL Setup"

ATL Setup allows all changeable settings to be setup through an easy to use interface. Some settings are available for untrained users, and some are password protected and only allowed for factory use. The vast majority are available for factory or technician use in the field. Here is a sample of what kind of Atlanta series control board settings are adjusted using the ATL Settings program:

GC FirmwareField Upgradable Firmware - "GC Firmware"

What is firmware? Firmware is the program that makes the circuit board do what it is supposed to do. This is similar to the BIOS and operating system on a personal computer. In other words, firmware makes the circuit board be more than just a bunch of electronic components soldered together. Without firmware, a circuit board like the Atlanta series control board does nothing.

Why is upgradable firmware so important? On rare occasion, bugs are found in the firmware. More often, enhancements such as ComfortMode TM are added to the firmware. It is important to be able to update the control board to fix bugs and to add diagnostic, efficiency, or comfort enhancements.

Taking it one step further, the Georgia Controls Firmware Manager allows a technician to upgrade the firmware program in an Atlanta series control board in the field! This is not the same thing as what ATL Setup does. ATL Setup changes the settings that are the parameters of how the technician needs the heat pump to function. GC Firmware changes the firmware program that uses those parameters and actually makes the control board do the functions with those parameters.

Here is how it works. Firmware updates are downloaded from the Georgia Controls web site and hotsynced into a Palm compatible PDA. New firmware is beamed with IrDA (the PDA's infra red port) to the Atlanta series control board and then the Atlanta board will check the software for integrity (checking for mistakes in the transfer). After the new firmware's integrity has been verified, the Atlanta series control board will flash update the processor, reboot, and run the new program. The whole process only takes a few minutes, and if the power is lost during the upgrade, the processor will simply start flashing the processor again, and does not mess up the microcontroller.

Firmware upgrades for Atlanta series control boards are FREE, and can be downloaded off of the Support page.

To be notified whenever upgrades to Georgia Controls firmware and programs are available, sign up on the Subscribe page. (return to summary page)

Atlanta ToolboxToolbox for field diagnostics - "ATL Toolbox"

ATL Toolbox allows a technician in the field to do all of the following to an Atlanta series control board:

ATL LogsEvent logs - "ATL Logs"

ATL Logs allows a technician in the field to download event logs from an Atlanta series control board. This powerful feature gives the technician magician-like powers when determining what problems a heat pump has been experiencing. The technician can also store the log entries for later comparison or for off-site review.

The event log summary pages can be viewed from newest to oldest or from oldest to newest. This versatility can help the technician find when a problem started and help him determine a course of action more quickly.

Another useful tool found in ATL Logs is the ability to only view the type of log entries that pertain to the problem being diagnosed. The technician may choose severity level masks which allow ATL Logs to display:

Many log entries shown on the event log have a "+" symbol next to the entry. This tells the technician there are more details available about this log entry. Clicking on entries that have a "+" next to them pops up with detailed information such as:

7/23/08 18:08
Missing sensors:
20 Air In (return)
24 Loop In
23 Comp Pressure (Hot Gas)
22 Comp Suction Line
25 Loop Out

In this example, the technician can see that all sensors located in this unit's lower left sensor leg are missing. This quickly tells the technician that there is a loose connection between the main sensor harness and the lower left sensor leg.

9/17/08 16:42
Controller firmware updated to
version 1.00

This example tells the technician when someone has recently serviced the heat pump and updated the firmware.

7/21/08 20:17
High pressure cut out.
Air In (return) 78.57F
Air Out (supply) 48.77F
Comp In (suction) 49.87F
Comp Out (discharge) 207.22F
Loop In 78.90F
Loop Out 105.77F
Other information:
Fan speed 720CFM
Aux Relay On
Loop On

There is a great deal of information to be learned from log details like this. When the high pressure safety switch cut off the compressor on this summer day, the house was at a reasonable temperature, but the compressor and loop have extreme temperature differentials. The compressor suction and air supply temperatures tell us the coil was not frozen. From the 720CFM note, we can tell we were running in a 2 ton stage. We can also draw several conclusions from the loop and AHW pump being on (aux relay). First, with a high compressor temperature like this and the DHW pump not being on (because it is not listed), we can see that a great deal of heat has been shunted into the DHW tank already, and it being cut off tells us that this water tank must be at maximum temperature. We can see we have a dual hot water system and that we were desuperheating into the auxiliary (secondary) hot water system trying to get rid of heat where we can. Also, the loop is running which tells us that we have too much heat for AutoDHW TM.

Taking all this into account, the indication is that the loop or water supply is too small, or that the filter is blocked. Since we know the water supply at this installation has been sufficient for this system in the past, the most likely place to start working on the system is at the water supply filter.

Consider for a moment that this happened when the technician was not there, perhaps days earlier! Yet the technician can see all the readings, and assess very quickly where the problem is, even though the system is not acting up right now!

All of the details and event information are stored in the PDA automatically when the logs are downloaded from the Atlanta series control board. The logs can be viewed at the site, but since they are stored, they may also be viewed off-site later for review. When the technician is done with a set of logs they are easily deleted. (return to summary page)