Okay. I asked for some guidance a couple of days ago from one forum participant, and got no reply. Basically, it was (paraphrasing) 'I teach my employees.'
Here is the situation:
One well-versed HVACR tech is looking to make a controlled transition into an increasing amount of controls work. His present commercial HVAC employer is small, and management believes that only the owner needs this skill, so no training is available. (It costs money!! In fact, there is NO company paid training of ANY kind...)
This particular tech has a background in electronics and some Fortran and Basic from many moons ago, but he knows how that kind of thing is done.
One forum member suggested this tech be exposed to some java scripting sites, so he did that.
He is also slogging through the Honeywell Gray Manual.
Are there any courses, say on the local college level, that would be of benefit, such as Cisco, MS, or other networking or programming courses that would be of benefit to this tech?
If YOU were this guy, knowing what you know NOW, how would you accomplish what is being suggested?
And yes, this tech is me.
Programming methods for each brand can vary from text based line code, ladder logic, function block, etc. Each manufacturer usually has their own proprietary programming tools and are usually not available off the shelf.
Knowing what brand you are intending on working with can help getting you the info you need. If this is not known learning/understanding logic statements and control loops is the foundation. Networking basics for Ethernet TCP/IP networks is also important.
Controls techs are IT guy, electrician, mechanic, programmer, and detective all rolled into one ( I may have missed a few categories).
The Honeywell gray manual you reading is one of the more comprehensive books on the topic. An instrumentation and controls course at a local college would help but are usually geared towards PLC's and related instruments for process controls, check with the instructor and course description to see what they cover.
In the response you got to "I teach my employees" is very typical of allot of shops. I have worked for an HVAC shop that did small controls jobs and two dedicated DDC controls shops and all teach internally and some manufacture rbased courses but not very frequently. Each place had a different set of responsibilities for a tech but the common denominator is an aptitude to learn and figure things out without handholding.
If you understand Relay Logic (Duh) and Boolean Logic (If, Then, Else) you have the basics.
I will see if I can find e-files of some of the Megamess stuff and email it to you. (email in your priofile ?)
I've only been doing controls since 95' and have benefited from LOTS of "Factory Training" so I think I may have some stuff that will help.
If sense were so common everyone would have it !
All opinions expressed are my own. Any advice provided is based on personal experience, generally accepted fact or publicly available information. As such, it is worth exactly what you paid for it, not a penny more not a penny less !!
I think I'm in the same situation, I have three years of residential and light commercial HVAC experience and a couple of years of school and I really want to jump to commercial field, more specifically, DDC... I really need to find a starting point any suggestions will be more than welcome. My email Email Address Removed
Last edited by Chris_Worthington; 03-16-2013 at 05:49 AM.
Reason: Email Address Removed
You may want to consider working on the controls which you have at the work site of your existing customer base.
Such as the Johnson system which you mentioned. I would list all the different type of controllers and specific application devices which are on this system and get the software HVAC Pro or any other related software that is needed to commission or program them.
As for the Metasys system this should be very easy for you because you are familiar with it. Find out if there is a Supervisory Controller and learn to connect to it. Get yourself a 9 pin cable and learn to use Hyper terminal. You may want to consider purchasing an interface such as S2USB485 made by S Squared Innovations. Get in touch with Sam or look him up here. He knows ANYTHING and EVERYTHING Metasys you want to. You should master that system as it is so basic.
If you need literature I could check to see what I have.
Also I would learn the basics of all controllers which have inputs and outputs whether they are binary or analog, etc, etc.
Get yourself this book on controls- "HVAC Controls Systems" ISBN 978-0-8269-0757-8
You should familiarize yourself more with Tridium and the Niagara platform which has a strong presence. As you have experienced, even trying to get training is a challenge. But that should not discourage you as you can at least get familiar with the basics and have an understanding of the terminology such as Network Variable Descriptions.
I will try to upload some basic info on this if you want.
Also figure out what you intend to do with the control systems and if they are application specific you will need info on how to integrate them, with as an example say a large package unit or even a chiller. If you intend to learn Niagara base controls you will need info from your equipment provider who will have a list of points that need to be controlled.