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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Northern NY
    Posts
    121

    JCI NCE Network Number issue

    Hello all,
    I am a controls engineer with an independent in Northern NY and have worked with many control systems but I have a problem that has me stuck in a corner and I can't seem to get any help.

    I have a local hospital as a customer where we do many of the out buildings with a Niagara AX frontend and a variety of BACnet based controls (JCI, KMC, etc). The main hospital has an existing Metasys system with a bunch of NAE's and N2 devices. We do these small out buildings such as doctors offices in old houses, etc because basically JCI told them they had no interest in driving 3 hours for a small job like that.

    Since we have been working with the hospital for 2 years we have helped them with many service issues on the Metasys 5.0 system they have. They had a small building renovated and they added a NCE with a FCB using BACnet MS/TP. We later added a few devices to this same ms/tp bus to pick up some items missed, etc. JCI then came along and added another NCE with a FCB that only has 1 device on it in a small building.

    Here is where my issue starts. They made both FCB's on both NCE's to be Trunk 1 and network 2000. This means that when I scan for BACnet devices I have 2 network 2000 and makes it so we cannot communicate with the devices below the NCE with many devices on the FCB. If we take out the newer NCE with only 1 device everything seems to work fine in the brief period we can have it offline.

    They have SCT and I went in and tried to change the network number on the newer NCE but it will not let me save as it says I have a duplicate trunk number (I did not get the exact error). If I change it to trunk 2 and a new network number I loose communication with the device on the FCB. They have a service agreement with JCI and the tech came for his quarterly visit last Friday and the customer asked him to change it to another network number and he refused. He said that was only used by the internal system and if we were telling them it was a BACnet thing they we did not understand BACnet.

    For the last 2 years we have worked on lots of sites with many controls vendors and have always been able to work together just fine but now I have no idea what to do. The customer believes us as he can see the issue it is causing and wants me to just fix it because he has had enough of JCI but this is one the first times we don't know what to do.

    Are we doing something wrong that would make us have issues with 2 panels with a network 2000 or does the Metasys system do this to make the BACnet not work properly. The issue is it's own NCE seems to freak out and not command the panels on it's FCB after a power outage. Sometimes the points get commands and sometimes they don't until the next change of value (occ to unocc, etc)

    Hoping someone can just give me a hint s to how to change the network number in SCT while leaving the trunk as number 1

    Thanks for reading my rant!
    -Jeremy DuMont

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    361
    If you have a login for the NCE with administrative rights, all you have to do to change the FC Bus/MSTP trunk address number is you double click on the FC Bus, go to the hardware tab at the top, click edit and then put in whatever trunk number and network address your heart desires.

    It's really that simple. As long as the NCE is set up as a Bacnet device already all that stuff should be there and you would not need SCT to make any changes. It's super simple. Sometimes I think the Metasys stuff is way easier to work with than Niagara.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Northern NY
    Posts
    121
    I am on-site today and tried logging into the NCE directly and I get the same as if I used the ADS. When you got to the hardware tab the network number is gray'd out I can only change the speed on that tab. I am logged is as the top administrator and also as MetasysSysAgent and same result. I know I have to use SCT but SCT complains that I have to change the trunk number and when I do that I lose communication with the devices on the trunk. Anyone else got any other ideas?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Northern NY
    Posts
    121
    I am trying to use SCT to change the network number and here is the exact error I get and it will not let me save the change.

    Status Code: Duplicate Address (259)
    Failed Object:
    Failed Property:Acked Transitions
    Failed Index:0
    Status Note:

    JCI support said this is a common error when SCT is in online mode but I have all the documents and cannot determine how to go to an offline mode. Anyone know what this error means?

    If I change the trunk number also the error goes away and saves but then I loose communication with the actual device on the FCB.

    -Jeremy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    7
    You should not have issues with the 2 separate FCB's that are on different NCE's.
    The only thing I can think of is that your 2 FCB trunks are tied together, they should be separate and not cause problems for each other.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Northern NY
    Posts
    121
    For future reference to anyone who finds this post, the network number on the FCB bus is the MS/TP bus number if you have "enable routing" turned on. This makes the NCE act like any other BACnet router in the world and therefore you can not have 2 with the same network number on the MS/TP network (FCB)

    I have spoke with JCI tech support and they understand the issue. They also do not know how to change the number or why I get an error when I try because in there words "It is so rare to have routing enabled, there are maybe 4 panels in the world and the techs have special setups for them"

    So if you have a new JCI tech setting up a panel being added to a site they will likely leave the network number on the panel the default of 2000. If you want to use BACnet and have any hopes of communicating directly with the devices on the FCB (MS/TP Network) then make sure you get them to change the network number before they install the panel on the site otherwise you will have all sorts of BACnet issues due to duplicate network numbers.

    Our fix for now was to have just 1 panel on the site with routing enabled since we only have devices on that 1 network we need to communicate with. It is unfortunate a vendor would claim to be BACnet but then have no one trained enough to not cause havoc across an entire site because "they don't use that number to communicate"

    -Jeremy DuMont

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    7
    Try Uploading the NCE that you want to change the network number with SCT. Then change the network number of the NCE. You will then have to download the NCE for the changes to take effect. I just went into a site and logged into SCT and was able to change the network number from 2000 to 2001. Make sure you have administrator level password, the default is, username: metasyssysagent, password: XMG3-Rel.1 (Case sensitive).
    Last edited by George S; 07-10-2012 at 08:06 PM. Reason: added note

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    361
    Unfortunately it's not just the JCI techs that do that. Everyone that does little integration plans for someone else to come in behind them and plug their Bacnet devices into their system down the road. The JCI guys don't set them up that way because as long as they are using their devices, they don't have to set up anything for Bacnet. Same for Alerton, ALC, Delta, etc. I've made it a habit to always set it up from the beginning for Bacnet integration since the customer is paying for an "open" system. Might as well give it to them that way.

    Integrating JCI controls to Bacnet is really seamless if done properly from the get go.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Northern NY
    Posts
    121
    George S,
    I tired that but we always get the error posted up above about a duplicate address (259) so we can not save the change. The error is coming from the trunk number because if we change that we can save and upload, etc but now the trunk number is wrong so we loose communication and you can't change it back to 1 because you get the duplicate address error. Either the local tech nor JCI support had any clue what the error was or how to get around it.

    noskilltech,
    Thanks for the help. I believe in setting things up properly and open but it does seem like many don't and never sure if it's on purpose or just a lack of training.

    -Jeremy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    39
    I’m not sure I understand. Why would you need to change the field bus number?
    Each NAE/NCE has a unique number correct? NAE1=500, NCE2=501, NCE2=502,
    Wouldn’t the field bus number be a subset of the main device number?
    Like 500,2000 501,2000 502,2000
    Maybe the NCE’s have the same BACnet Device ID?
    I have found that if a NAE is set to bacnet before it part of the site, it gets set to 500 (default)
    Are the BACnet object id’s the same?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Northern NY
    Posts
    121
    In the BACnet world every device has to have a unique instance and it this case they do. The NCE's & NAE's all have numbers from 501 to 508. They all talk BACnet/IP on network 1001 over Ethernet. The network number in BACnet must be unique to each network in the system. Each MS/TP bus must have a unique network number for routing purposes. In the JCI world they call this a FCB but it is just a BACnet MS/TP bus like any other and the NCE/NAE can act like any BACnet router.

    In BACnet any network is equal to any other and the router is transparent. The FCB is not a sub network of anything, it is just another BACnet network on a different medium (MS/TP vs. IP) and is being routed by a router up to other networks (BACnet/IP)

    The Metasys system apparently does not care if the BACnet is setup properly but any other BACnet system on the same network will have issues with duplicate network numbers as this violates a basic routing rule in the BACnet world.

    -Jeremy

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    39
    Jeremy
    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I'm concerned because I have a many sites that have NAE's and all the MS/TP trunks are set to 2000 it's all being monitored from a Richard-zeta UI via BACnet. I have never run into this problem. So are you able to map the firld points using BACnet instance #?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Northern NY
    Posts
    121
    If you turn on BCAnet routing in more than 1 NAE then you will have an issue seeing the field devices. If you do not want to look directly at the field devices but at the point brought into the NAE that does not need BACnet routing and will not have an issue. I personally don't like relying on the NAE/NCE to get the points and provide them to me, I want to see them directly from the field device.

    Also looking at an NAE that has 900+ points can be annoying and gets confusing as to which field device the point is coming from.

    I hate to rely on a master panel to do anything for me but it seems like that is JCI's standard so as long as you only look at the NAE/NCE you are not really using BACnet to the field device.

    -Jeremy

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