SYMAX Remote Control System for GV60 Gas Combination Control

Inspiration can come from anywhere, in different forms, and even from a combination of things. The inspiration for Maxitrol Company’s new SYMAX™ remote control system came from identifying an important need in the gas hearth market and the Bauhaus philosophy (German school of building and design).

“The Bauhaus philosophy is not to deter from artistic simplicity in form or function, even if a product is to be mass-produced,” says Maxitrol President Bonnie Kern-Koskela. “This philosophy of simple and symmetric visual design with uncomplicated function fit perfectly with what we envisioned for our new SYMAX remote control system.”

In the summer of 2011, Kern-Koskela decided it was time to offer customers of the GV60 gas combination control something they had wanted for quite some time: A remote control so intuitive that the user would need minimal training to operate their gas fireplace.

Maxitrol’s research showed that with high-end remote controls, homeowners often don’t use many of the functions available to them because of the difficulty of programming the handsets. By developing the SYMAX system that combines simple operating logic and dedicated symbols, Maxitrol believes customers will use more of the available functions and actually use them more often.

“The SYMAX system combines new technology and a modern design with ease of operation,” says Barbara Happe, Mertik Maxitrol’s senior development engineer. “Instead of scrolling through a confusing menu, each function can now be activated by touching a symbol.”

It’s true that many remote controls on the market have few buttons and require extensive programming to operate. The SYMAX system uses a simple Look and Touch logic. Simply find the symbol for the function you want, and touch that symbol. The functions homeowners use most often, turning the fire ON and OFF, changing the flame height up or down, and placing the fire in thermostatic mode, are all accomplished by touching a single symbol.

The SYMAX remote control system comes in three different versions: the 4-symbol, 6-symbol, and 10-symbol control. All three versions have large, backlit displays and include child-lock, countdown timer, and battery status features. Customers can choose between Fahrenheit/Celsius and 12/24-hour clock settings.

The SYMAX 4-symbol control is perfect for the homeowner who simply wants to turn the fire ON and OFF and manually increase or decrease the flame height. As a perk it includes a Countdown Timer, which counts down from a set time, and then turns off the fire.

In addition to the Countdown Timer, the SYMAX 6-symbol remote control takes it up a notch adding Thermostatic Mode and Program Mode. In Thermostatic Mode, the room temperature is sensed and compared to the set temperature, and the flame height is automatically adjusted to achieve the set temperature. The Program Mode is quite simple to use. It initially requires setting an ON time and OFF time and ON temperature and OFF temperature. Up to two separate programs are available.

The SYMAX 10-button handset has it all: Countdown Timer, Thermostatic Mode, Program Mode, Circulating Fan Mode, Decorative Light Mode, Random Flame Mode, and an auxiliary feature for two-burner operation. All three versions of the SYMAX remote control system have dedicated symbols for each mode of operation.

The SYMAX control system was co-developed by Maxitrol and Thale, Germany-based Mertik Maxitrol KG. It is currently offered throughout North America and Europe. Maxitrol and Mertik Maxitrol are international leaders in the design and manufacturing of gas pressure regulators, electronic gas modulation systems, gas filters, and gas safety devices.


Handset for SYMAX System