Adaptive Remote Control ARC “e” Series: Applications, Changes, and Functionality

This tech tip will outline the ARC “e” series and list similarities and differences from the previous generation of remote controls. The “e” series controllers include the ARC-2e, ARC-K1e, ARC-SW4e, and ARC-EX4e. The ARC remotes use RS-485 to transmit/receive data and can be connected in a daisy chain, or star type cabling configuration. The ARC-SWK, ARC-XLR, and ARC-EXK are discontinued.

Changes with the “e” series of ARC

  • Simplification of industrial design and significant price reduction.
  • Total possible RS-485 network addresses increased from 32 to 100.
  • ARC binary DIP switches and jumpers have been replaced with dials.
  • “ARC Audio” input, RS-485 and the DC voltage barrier strip have been removed.
  • GPIO ports have been removed.
  • There can be 16 buttons, and 1 rotary encoder per modular ARC RS-485 address.

Similarities between the “e” remotes and their legacy counterparts

  • Identical RJ45 pinout is used on the ARC and Symetrix DSP ARC port.
  • CAT5, CAT5e, and CAT6 cable will provide power and RS-485 data to the ARC when using the Symetrix DSP ARC port.
  • ARC can be wired in a “daisy-chain” or “star” configuration.
  • Hardware lockout is still possible on the Modular ARC ”e”.
  • The expansion panels are interconnected through the use of 4 conductor jumpers.
  • The ARC-K1e and ARC-SW4e can be expanded with the ARC-EX4e.

Table 1. Expansion Options

Brain Board EncoderRS-485 Address+ EX4e Address+ EX4e Address+ EX4e Address+ EX4e Address
ARC-SW4e(0 thru 99)123N/A
ARC-K1e(0 thru 99)0123
  • Software programming for the original modular ARC can be downloaded into modular ARC “e” devices and they will function.
  • ARC-EX4e can be added to legacy ARC-SW4 and ARC-K1 units in order to expand an existing system.
  • A mix of legacy ARC-EX4 and the ARC-EX4e can be used on a single RS-485 address and be programmed as a custom ARC.
  • ARC-2e programming can be downloaded into legacy ARC-2 and ARC-2i remotes and they will function.

Table 2. ARC differences and similarities.

ARC-2ARC-2eModular ARCModular ARCe
Lockout SecurityN/AN/A
Max RS485 Addresses3210032100
Rotary Address SelectN/A
DIP Address SelectN/AN/AN/A
Legacy Software Support
Legacy Hardware Support
ARC Audio InputN/AN/A
Dual RJ45 Jacks
Baud Rate SelectN/AN/AN/A
DC Power Barrier StripN/AN/AN/A
RS-485 Barrier StripN/AN/AN/A
Latest Firmware Version3.
LCD Display8 Character8 CharacterN/AN/A
Modular ExpansionN/AN/A

Table 3. Cable length limitations for ARC-2e DC power over CAT5 cable.

Total Cable Length (to end of chain)Number of ARC in 1 Daisy Chain
110 – 500 feet4
220 – 500 feet3
280 – 800 feet2
350 – 1000 feet1

Table 4. Cable length limitations for modular ARC DC power over CAT5 cable [(1)K1e+(1)EX4e].

Total Cable Length (to end of chain)Number of ARC in 1 Daisy Chain
640 feet4
792 feet3
1028 feet2
1396 feet1

For additional ARC programming tips, contact Symetrix technical support at

Josh Carter

Josh Carter

Symetrix Technical Support Engineer

Document: xxx
First published: xxxx
Last Updated: November 2022

Figure 1. ARC audio line may be grounded at the Symetrix rack-mount device and the ARC wall panel to provide additional distance.
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