Sims 2 How to use Simlogical Automation

On objects with automation features, you will see a menu option called "Auto...".  Clicking on that will give you a submenu with usually 6 settings.  Each setting can hold a time, and an action that you want to take place at that time.

For instance, if you wish an Area Controller to keep prisoners out of a room from 6pm each night until 6am the following morning, you can click on Auto... then Setting 1... then Time.  A dialogue box pops up with the time showing "-1" to start with.  That means nothing is set up for Setting 1, and it would be ignored in the game.   Clicking "Later" will scroll through the times (starting at midnight) forwards, and clicking "Earlier" will go backwards, through 11pm.  When it is showing "18 o'clock", click "Accept" and the time will be set.   Now get the menu up again and go back into Setting 1, and this time choose "Staff only".   This means that at 6pm (18 hrs) the area controller will switch itself into Staff only mode.

Now select Auto.../Setting 2.../Time and set the time to 6 o'clock.  Then get the menu up again, and under Auto.../Setting 2... choose "Open to all" or "Prisoners and Staff".   Then every day at 6am the area controller will switch itself into that mode.

The area controller starts off set to "Open to all" by default, and the automation only kicks in when the time reaches one of your settings.  So if you don't want prisoners to have access in the meantime, use the "Access..." menu to manually set it to staff only.  You can manually change the state at any time, and it will stay like that until the next time the hour matches one of the settings you set up.

You do not have to use up all the settings, and they don't have to be in time order.  Every hour the controller will compare the time to each of the settings, and if it finds a match, it will switch itself to the mode you have selected for that time.   If you have set two settings to the same time, it will only obey the first one.   You can decommission any setting by going into its Time dialogue and scrolling through the times until you get back to "-1".