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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    USA
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    1,768

    Lonworks Sniffer

    I'm looking for a Lonworks protocol analyzer. Something that can view all the traffic , communications errors, and such with a standard PCC-10 NIC. Any recommendations??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    SoCal
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    449
    Download the free trial version of LonScanner at http://www.echelon.com/products/netw...ls/lonscanner/
    It runs for 10 minutes then shuts down. That should be long enough to see the traffic statistics. The trial version also masks every 3rd packet in the packet log. It can use the PCC-10 network interface or the RNI inside an iLON100.
    lb
    A hundred million nodes - it's a LON story.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    9,564
    I like the Loytec protocol analyzer... I have both.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    93
    I like
    http://www.excelon.net/

    It can use the PCC-10, or RNI inside an iLON100 or others.
    Only costly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    53
    I have used all three of these protocol analyzers. Excelon is the best from a user interface perspective. LPA is fantastic for centralized monitoring (if you use Loytec routers), LonScanner needs a lot of work but does have some nice bandwidth summaries.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    USA
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    1,768
    Thanks for the replies!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    166
    Just chiming in with another vote for Loytec LPA. Been using it since it came out and love it. I now have the USB NIC which doubles as a nice NI with it's multiple transceivers (RS-485, FTT/LPT, TX/XF78)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    449
    I agree that the Honeywell PA (Excelon) is a very cool product. You can get device statistics as well. I just like the LonScanner demo price. Regardless, an LONPA is a must have tool to check the health of the channel.
    lb


    hey did I just creat a new acronym or is Lonman my daddy?
    A hundred million nodes - it's a LON story.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Chicago area
    Posts
    43

    LonScanner

    Check out some of the low-level diagnostic messages from the LonScanner. Things like preamble to short/long on CRC errors. This additional information can save you time in identifying if the source of the problem is noise vs. bad termination or other wiring problems.

    The other protocol analyzers don't have all these low level error messages.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    166
    I'd have to disagree. The Loytec LPA shows preamble and CRC errors, at least the one I have does. it even highligts them if there's an issue, so you can quickly scan through the messages and see an error without having to read each individual packet data set (not saying that others don't highlight).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Chicago area
    Posts
    43

    Protocol Analyzer

    Thanks for the update, I've seen that one for awhile. If it shows packet too long, too short and preamble too long and too short as it describes the source of the CRC error then this is useful in analyzing source of the network problem. I've seen a recent version of Excelon and it didn't have all those low level error statistics.

    The LonScanner will provide a bar chart of the good/bad packets indicating percentages of total traffic. This is one of the ways to find source of errors. If you use a protocol analyzer in addition to dividing the network to isolate problems, a good technique to find wiring and noise issues is to ping devices at known locations on the net. Devices near problem areas often have more problems in responding. I've seen localized noise problems that reduce or outright kill communications to a small section of the network. Also, this behavior sometimes can be traced to noise from the power that is getting into the board but is not being sent on the net directly. Noise on the otherside of the FT transceiver can confuse the micro that the network is busy.

    Another technique good for debugging configuration errors is to import device and network variable names into the protocol analyzer. In LonScanner either by directly importing an LNS database or by naming them in the program or by importing a text file. With this you can view message transcations between devices and NV's seeing the names which makes a lot more sense then subnet/node number. Even if you are using a non-LNS gateway manager like Tridium, XL15(x)/LonSpec, BCU/Rover (Trane) you can get a names file created from a script or from an LNS transfer.

    Another issue I've seen is networks that appear to work, but really have problems. The automatic retries in the protocol, and the robust nature of the FT-10 channel mask problems and a network might appear to work just fine until some change is made (a device is added etc...) then the system just stops working. A simple check with a protocol analyzer and a meter (termination check) will eliminate most of these problems.

    Bottom line is that everyone should have one of these protocol analyzers. They are inexpensive now (e.g. LonScanner is about $400 and works with all standard channels used in the buildings market). You really should check out every network before walking off a job.

    Regards

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,768
    Thanks Lonman, excellent feedback.

    I'll hopefully be getting my hands on lonscanner soon.

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