The KNX Standard :: Configuration modes
The KNX standard allows each manufacturer to select to the most ideal configuration mode and communication medium according to the market in which he operates.
The KNX Standard includes 3 different configuration modes :
“S-mode” (System mode)
This configuration mechanism is intended for well-trained KNX installers to realise sophisticated building control functions. An installation consting of “S-mode” components can be planned by a common software tool (ETS® 3 Professional) on the basis of product databases provided by S-mode product manufacturers: the ETS is also used to link the products and configure them (i.e. set the available parameters as required by the installation and download). "S-Mode" offers the highest degree of flexibility for the realisation of building control functions.
E-mode” (Easy mode)
This configuration mechanism is meant for installers with basic KNX training. “E-mode” compatible products offer limited functions compared to S-Mode. E-Mode components are already pre-programmed and loaded with a default set of parameters. With a simple configurator, each component (mainly its parameter settings and communication links) can be partly reconfigured.
Also for ETS, a version exists which allows the planning, linking and configuration of S-Mode products with only basic KNX training. This version is called “ETS 3 Starter” and requires specific ETS starter compliant databases. In view of this, not all S-Mode compliant products are Starter compliant.
“A-mode” (Automatic mode)
This configuration mechanism is especially intended for end-user applications, e.g. household appliances or customer installation add-ons, sold via the end-user sales channels. The A-mode components support automatic configuration mechanisms that adapt their communication links to other A-mode components in the network. Each component contains a fixed setting of parameters and a library of instructions how to communicate with other A-mode components.
Some of the KNX products support more than one configuration mode, e.g. both S- as well as E-Mode.
It is planned that future versions of ETS will allow to at least read the addresses, links and parameters attributed to or set in prdoucts configured with other means than S-Mode and not additionally supporting this mode. In this way, the future ETS will be able to link products regardless of their configuration mode to a single control network.
For a more detailed explanation of the various configuration modes, please refer to the presentations of the KNX Technology Tutorial workshop.