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Frequently Asked Questions
This section answers some frequently asked questions, some not-so-frequently asked questions and a few questions no one has ever asked, but we thought the information would be useful.

FAQ Sections

General Information
    What are the systems requirements of Catalyst Pro?
    How much does it cost and where do I purchase it?
    How does licensing work? Can I use it on more than one computer?
    Catalyst Pro is telling me it has no license but I did purchase it and it used to work. What's wrong?
    Can I upgrade from CSS? How much work is involved in making the upgrade?
    Is Custom Software Engineering affiliated with Andover Controls?
Drivers and Protocols
    Will Catalyst Pro work with my hardware?
    Will Catalyst Pro work with the newer Andover Continuum panels?
    Will Catalyst Pro work with the Andover BACnet panels?
    How do I get Catalyst Pro to communicate with drivers on remote computers?
Program Operation
    How can I speed up my Andover Infinity/Continuum graphics?
Web Host
    How do I access my system over the Internet? Do I have to know HTML?
    Can multiple users access the web host?
    Can I do everything through the web host that I can do at the local computer?

More to come...

General Information

Q: What are the systems requirements of Catalyst Pro?

A: Virtually any computer that is running Windows NT/2000 or XP will run Catalyst Pro.

Minimum System Requirements

  • Pentium or compatible system running Windows NT/2000/XP
  • 32 megabytes of RAM
  • Super VGA video card and Super VGA color monitor
  • 500 megabyte or larger hard disk
  • Mouse or other Windows compatible pointing device
  • One available USB 1.1 or 2.0 port

Recommended System

  • Pentium III 500mhz system running Windows 2000/NT
  • 128 megabytes of RAM
  • Super VGA video card with at least 800x600 resolution
  • 5 gigabyte or larger hard disk
  • Mouse or other Windows compatible pointing device

For Andover Infinity/Continuum panels, a terminal mode interface is required. The "command line" interface is not required

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Q: How much does it cost and where do I purchase it?

A: Catalyst Pro is sold through authorized dealers.

to locate your nearest Catalyst Pro dealer.

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Q: How does licensing work? Can I use it on more than one computer?

A: Each copy of Catalyst Pro must be individually licensed. If you have the USB or printer port key version, the key can be moved between multiple computers.

A special price is available for existing users to license a second copy or for a single user to license multiple copies. Ask your dealer for details.

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Q: Catalyst Pro is telling me it has no license but I did purchase it and it used to work. What's wrong?

A: If you are using the license code version, changing hardware on the computer such as the hard drive, mother board or even the network card can invalidate the license. The license code version also had problems with some installations of Windows XP. That is one reason we now use the hardware key.

Contact your dealer with the 8-digit serial number you see on the opening screen and they can get a new license code for you.

Alternately, you can upgrade to the hardware key version for a nominal fee. Please note the USB key is not compatible with Windows 95 or NT because they do not support USB devices.

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Q: Can I upgrade from CSS? How much work is involved in making the upgrade?

A: Yes, there is a CSS upgrade option, however CSS and Catalyst Pro are not directly compatible. Some changes will be required.

See CSS Upgrade for more information.

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Q: Is Custom Software Engineering affiliated with Andover Controls?

A: No. Custom Software Engineering is an independent company and has no official relationship with Andover Controls.

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Drivers and Protocols

Q: Will Catalyst Pro work with my hardware?

A: Catalyst Pro directly supports many types of hardware and protocols. See Drivers for a complete list.

For protocols not listed on the drivers page there is likely a third-party OPC server available for it that will allow Catalyst Pro to communicate with it.

One way to find an OPC server is to search the Internet for MyHardware+OPC+Server.

While we don't necessarily recommend one OPC server over another, MatrikonOPC is a good source of OPC servers.

If there are no OPC servers available, having us write a custom driver for your hardware is certainly an option. for more information.

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Q: Will Catalyst Pro work with the newer Andover Continuum panels?

A: As long as the controller has an available comport and supports terminal mode, all features of Catalyst Pro are compatible. Command line support is not required.

The only issue with these controllers is that they must be "commissioned". The newer panels from Andover are supposed to support commissioning panels via terminal mode, and even the older panels can be commissioned manually be reloading a small file in to the controllers memory.

if you need information on manually commissioning panels.

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Q: Will Catalyst Pro work with the Andover BACnet panels?

A: Yes. A few BACnet features are not yet supported by Catalyst Pro such as memory backup and reload. Also, Catalyst Pro is designed as a front-end package and not a panel programming environment so the panel will need to be programmed and set up with another software package.

Once the panel is set up, Catalyst Pro will automatically import the point database and all features become available.

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Q: How do I get Catalyst Pro to communicate with drivers on remote computers?

A: Catalyst Pro supports running its drivers on remote computers using DCOM. Unfortunately, Windows security, especially with Windows XP, can be a formidable hurdle to making any DCOM work.

With Windows XP, a key factor is the Windows user. The same user must exist on both the local and remote computer and they must have the exact same password. If you are getting an "Access Denied" error message, it is definitely because Windows is rejecting the connection for security reasons, and usually because both computers do not have the same user and password. Note that no particular user has to be logged on to the remote computer, but the local computer user currently logged in must also be a valid user on the remote computer.

See DCOM Settings for more information.

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Program Operation

Q: How can I speed up my Andover Infinity/Continuum graphics?

A: Catalyst Pro supports a feature for the Infinity/Continuum panels called QuickLoad. It greatly speed up graphic updates.

See QuickLoad for more information.

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Web Host

Q: How do I access my system over the Internet? Do I have to know HTML?

A: The Catalyst Pro web host is fully automatic. You do not have to know HTML or use any complicated server or database software.

All you need to do is set one option to enable the web host.

See Web Hosting for more information.

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Q: Can multiple users access the web host?

A: The Catalyst Pro web host was designed as a single user web host, not a multiple user web server. It can, however, simulate a multiple user web server. It does this by allowing any valid user to log in at any time. The end result is that all users logged in will be connected to the same sites and see the same set of graphics. This is because to Catalyst Pro, only one user is logged in at any given time. The last user to access the system is the current user.

A full multiple user web server is much more complicated (and expensive) than the Catalyst Pro web host and is beyond the scope of its design and intended audience.

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Q: Can I do everything through the web host that I can do at the local computer?

A: No. There are some things you cannot do through the web host, such as set up sites, edit graphics and backup or reload a sites memory.

Also, for security reasons most custom script code in graphic screens will not execute through the web host.

All normal graphics, schedules and trends will be accessible through the web host as well as the list of alarms.

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