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  1. #1

    Automated Logic- Device Instance

    Hi,

    I've been asked to collect data from an Automated Logic (ALC) site built around 2004/6.
    I was given a point list which included MAC addresses and Network sub addresses for
    each site device but no "Device Instances". As the data logger I prefer (Red Lion)
    has a BACNet driver I was hoping to use it at the site (connecting to the ethernet
    port of the Automated Logic LGE).
    The initial issue is that the Red Lion set-up uses a Device Instance number, not the mac address and network address.
    Is there a way to calculate a "Device Instance" from the MAC Address and Network address?

    I don't have access to the ALC software so I'm only working with a PDF point list
    at this point.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Looks like you are out of luck. Device instances are assigned in ALC's Site Builder and it can be whatever the system engineer sets them up as.
    "It's not that I'm smart, it's that I stay with the problem longer”
    Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    What? Who? Where?
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    Any BACnet discovery application should be able to scan the system and display dev#. There are even a few free ones.

    kontrol out
    "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
    I did a scan with a trial version of the Chipkin BACNet Explorer connected to the LGE's ethernet port. It found the LGE device so I got the device instance for that. I'm trying to use that as my Rosetta Stone but not sure it translates enough, yet. BACNet Explorer didn't find any of the other devices in Discovery mode. Not sure if that is the fault of my set-up or because it is an older LGE. Could it be that the LGE's ethernet interface is not mapped to see the other devices or, if it has BACNet drivers, is the mapping automatically available?

    I then ran out of my 1-hr demo time on the Chipkin and was trying to come up with some other ideas before using up another demo.

    Any suggestions on the best freeware scanner?

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    USA
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    From what I have seen on ALC systems of that age, they rarely have bacnet points exposed. Maybe its just the local dealer, but I assume that's your problem not the software your using to scan.

    If the points are not setup, all you will get is device objects of some of the modules (LGR, LGE, UNI, etc).
    Propagating the formula. http://www.noagendashow.com/

  6. #6
    The LGE's Console Port is connected to a telephone modem that is sometimes activated for collecting trends. I was hoping that usage was a sign that points were set-up to be visible but maybe I'm assuming incorrectly that the PTP console port is a BACNet interface.

    I do know that the LGE firmware_revision is 6.04a. It is not clear to me how old that is in the overall scheme of ALC. Sounds like if the Points aren't visible on BACNet the Dealer could make them visible but it would require updates to each device and to all the tags of interest. Is that correct?

    Any more thoughts?

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    The ALC trend 'wires' are not BACnet trends. Collecting trends into a server is proprietary.

    Yes, BACnet objects would have to be exposed ("Network Visible" checked). Under BACnet configuration for each object, you would also want to assign "use specific value" for the object instance ID number. By default, ALC assigns them automatically, but they can also change if the network interface is changed, blowing out any integration.

    This number needs to be unique per device (think controller card). You would probably want to start with something more than 1000.

    I don't know why you weren't able to discover more devices, there is no mapping (like JCI or Apogee does).

    You have to have BACnet broadcasts make it through to discover anything. I am puzzled.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by DataLogger View Post
    Hi,

    The initial issue is that the Red Lion set-up uses a Device Instance number, not the mac address and network address.
    Is there a way to calculate a "Device Instance" from the MAC Address and Network address?
    Not calculate, no. We do combine that kind of information to assign the device ID, but it is manually done according to our standard.
    I was initially a bit confused, I think you meant network number, not address.

    You really do need to discover the device IDs.

  9. #9
    Sounds like I should be able to see the Devices even if the data points aren't exposed. I tried various brands of BACNet tools on the LGE but couldn't find any more devices.
    Is it possible a 2004 LGE actually doesn't support BACNet IP without a firmware upgrade?
    Thanks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Greenjeans View Post
    The ALC trend 'wires' are not BACnet trends. Collecting trends into a server is proprietary.
    Well, not entirely true. As long as it's Exec. B, you can pull it into something else. Picture is trends discovered from an ALC system to JCI NAE. Remember he said it's Exec.6, so he won't be able to see anything.
    Name:  nae.jpg
Views: 203
Size:  80.1 KBName:  alc.PNG
Views: 187
Size:  86.3 KB

    Yes, BACnet objects would have to be exposed ("Network Visible" checked). Under BACnet configuration for each object, you would also want to assign "use specific value" for the object instance ID number. By default, ALC assigns them automatically, but they can also change if the network interface is changed, blowing out any integration.

    This number needs to be unique per device (think controller card). You would probably want to start with something more than 1000.

    I don't know why you weren't able to discover more devices, there is no mapping (like JCI or Apogee does).

    You have to have BACnet broadcasts make it through to discover anything. I am puzzled.
    Being that it's a Legacy system he's not going to have any BACnet points.
    "It's not that I'm smart, it's that I stay with the problem longer”
    Albert Einstein

  11. #11
    Thanks for all the responses.
    I'm still a bit confused by the LGE. It seems to be defined as a BACNet ethernet router and even in a 2004 cut-sheet they write "The LGE is a compact high performance router that is designed to bridge M-line, S-line and UNI standalone controllers to BACnet/IP and BACnet/Ethernet networks." So why would it be installed if it is not actually BACNet capable? What are/were its other uses? Maybe I need some legacy history here....

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    1,249
    LGE is probably BACnet capable, it is the devices that sit down stream of it that are not BACnet compatible, because of type/model and firmware that is loaded on them.
    So your LGE right now is routing proprietary ALC protocol that only ALC software understands. There are no BACnet points/devices in your system that LGE can route. Depending on what type of field devices you have there may be an upgrade path, even if that is true, you would need access to the right firmware and ALC software to upgrade and make the BACnet points visible in the devices.

    I'll let guys that deal with ALC on a day to day basis to elaborate more.

  13. #13
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    Amigo is correct. You would have to first run the ALC upgrade program called "ExecB Upgrade Utility" on EVERY control module, or hard format all of the control modules (and cross your fingers) and then download the newer driver. Once that was done then you would have to change EVERY program and graphic so that it is the native style. To make the programs and graphics you would need WebCTRL to do this. Either way it's pretty involved.

    Or, you can bring the points into the LGE by making a program that looks at the CMnet points and makes them BACnet points. This is also very involved because of the time it takes modifying legacy..."stuff".

    Either way it sounds like the best route (unintentionally bias) would be to spend some money on the ALC side so that you can get full use of it.
    "It's not that I'm smart, it's that I stay with the problem longer”
    Albert Einstein

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