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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Georgia
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    382

    ALC System replacement top 5 reasons

    I have a customer with an ALC system that they are interested in replacing. The system consist of WebCtrl, some LGE's, several UNI's (which I have heard are obsolete), and a bunch of U-line VAV controllers. I need some good solid reasons they should replace it all, here is what I have so far:

    1) They are shackled and chained to ALC for parts and service.
    2) The UNI's are obsolete and very low inventory exists, the UNI's hold all the programming for the U-line VAV controllers, so if and when the UNI dies they will lose communication and control of the attached VAV's.
    3)....
    4)....
    5)....


    Anyone ALC knowledgeable that can expand on the limitations and downfalls of the current system?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    1) They are shackled and chained to ALC for parts and service.
    2) The UNI's are obsolete and very low inventory exists, the UNI's hold all the programming for the U-line VAV controllers, so if and when the UNI dies they will lose communication and control of the attached VAV's.
    3)....They are shackled and chained to ALC for parts and service.
    4)....They are shackled and chained to ALC for parts and service.
    5)....They are shackled and chained to ALC for parts and service.

    Can somebody tell me if the ALC field devices are really truly MSTP over RS485 ... somebody told me it was BacNet over ArcNet or something like that....I mean, can one take a normal MSTP controller from another company and pop it on the same segment of wire as the other ALC controllers?

    ...if this isnt possible then it would be a deal-breaker for me...rip it out. put in some thing truly 'open'
    1 + 1 = 3 ( *** for very large values of 1)

    ...everybody wants a box of chocolates and long stemmed rose

  3. #3
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    No you can not add a BACnet/MSTP device to a BACnet/ARC156 network. Now you can configure an ALC controller to be MSTP and place it on another vendors MSTP segment, but not the other way around.

    kontrol out

    PS. Going to be back home over the holidays, any chance your going to be on the Gold Coast late Dec / early Jan?
    "Open is as open does." - Forrest Gump
    "Can't we all just get a Lon?" - Garry Jack
    "BACnet: integration or interrogation?" - The Janitor
    "Open protocols? You can't handle open protocols!" - Nathan R. Jessup
    “What’s that? Aaa… open protocols? Don’t talk about…. open protocols? Are you kidding me? Open protocols? I just hope we can hardwire an interface!” - Jim Mora http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7fjDS0jKiE

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kontrolphreak View Post
    ... you can configure an ALC controller to be MSTP and place it on another vendors MSTP segment, but not the other way around.
    I knew it was true !

    Quote Originally Posted by kontrolphreak View Post
    PS. Going to be back home over the holidays, any chance your going to be on the Gold Coast late Dec / early Jan?
    ...hmmm...may make a special trip and use up some flyer points.
    1 + 1 = 3 ( *** for very large values of 1)

    ...everybody wants a box of chocolates and long stemmed rose

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    California
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    304
    Quote Originally Posted by MatrixTransform View Post
    1) They are shackled and chained to ALC for parts and service.
    2) The UNI's are obsolete and very low inventory exists, the UNI's hold all the programming for the U-line VAV controllers, so if and when the UNI dies they will lose communication and control of the attached VAV's.
    3)....They are shackled and chained to ALC for parts and service.
    4)....They are shackled and chained to ALC for parts and service.
    5)....They are shackled and chained to ALC for parts and service.

    Can somebody tell me if the ALC field devices are really truly MSTP over RS485 ... somebody told me it was BacNet over ArcNet or something like that....I mean, can one take a normal MSTP controller from another company and pop it on the same segment of wire as the other ALC controllers?

    ...if this isnt possible then it would be a deal-breaker for me...rip it out. put in some thing truly 'open'
    The U-line driver for the AMR is soon to be released, and ZN emulation driver just works. Or you can program and download the ZN and hang it right on the bus.
    With a move of a jumper and flip of a switch your argument is gone.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Central Iowa
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    213
    KP, I've got to disagree with you buddy. I have 5 RTU's using Viconics master stat and Viconics zone thermostats all hanging on a WebCtrl front end. All very visible and setpoint editable (Is that a word?). Yes, I did have to change all of the ALC controllers from ARCnet (Which is ALC specific) to MSTP, but no big deal.
    Also, to the OP, ALC parts are readily availible on the internet at sites such as e-bay. ALC dealers don't like it, but they are out there.

  7. #7
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    Bill,

    Reread my post.
    You can't place a MSTP device on a ARC156 network. Yes you can configure newer ALC controllers as MSTP but no dealer I know sets up their networks like this.

    kontrol out

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Georgia
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    I dont think my high security, high profile customer is gonna like the idea of ebay controller replacements. They are ready to be done with ALC I just wanted some muscle to push them over the edge.

  9. #9
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    Chad,

    What are you reccomending as a replacement?

    kontrol out

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kontrolphreak View Post
    Chad,

    What are you reccomending as a replacement?

    kontrol out
    Niagara ax and Honeywell spyder field controllers.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    StL, MO
    Posts
    580
    From the pricing I see from our local ALC vendor Matrix pretty much hit the nail on the head.
    UA LU 562

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    128
    I have an old customer that is getting a state grant and they think they want to replace every controller in every school with ALC. What advice can I give them? I would much rather see them go with AX and possibly the new EasyIO FG controllers even if it's not me doing the job.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    213
    Fair enough KP. I was just trying to point out that it was possible to add other vendors to a WebCtrl system.
    Chad, I have a job with Niagara AX and Spyder that is doing just fine. My only complaint is that the customer and other control companies are locked out of the logic programming.
    Now... I'll take some heat for this... Most control companies protect their interest in their customers by NOT letting others do any programming at all. They protect their logic. They protect their graphics. The big problem with that is that sometimes, someone will have a better way to complete the control sequence on a piece of equipment or build a better graphic page for a job. It should also be easy to add a physical point to a job and the logic without having to necessarily go back to the installing contractor. This should include other contractors and include the customer, who the has to pay big bucks to have the contractor back. Often the control guy's ego gets in the way and he refuses to implement these changes.
    ALC WebCtrl comes with all necessary programs to do whatever you want to tweak programming and/or graphic pages as long as you have an administrative password, which the customer should insist on at install. As far as I know, Web Pro AX does not come with the Niagara package.

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