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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    40

    Alerton Backalk = junk! need input advice.

    Guys here's my situation, Maybe someone can help. I work for a collage
    We have a building with alerton controls, our only way to communicate with
    the controls is a viewport controler/ interface.this building came online sept.2006. But not without problems, seems to have lost a unit control board and
    viewport befor getting a CO. Well january 7th 2007 no configuration on viewport, call installing company they came made repairs for a few grand,
    Now fast foward july/september system down again viewport lost program again,Mean while collage,main mechanical contractor,controls contractor
    arguing over who's responcable for what! And I have no control over building
    controls. Should we have been giving some way of backing-up our system or
    even reinstalling software. CAN ANYONE GIVE ANY ADVICE on this.
    This is my first experance with alerton,we have other controls on other buildings Including ALC,trane tracer, comfortview,delt with kmc
    but I don't like this install.
    Last edited by suptech wally; 12-19-2007 at 09:06 PM. Reason: punctuation

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    The Dungeon
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by suptech wally View Post
    Guys here's my situation, Maybe someone can help. I work for a collage
    Is a COLLAGE like a univercity?

    Seriously now. What was specified for the job as far as user interfaces, programming tools, warranty? If your device failures aren't part of a installation/workmanship/manufaturer issue then it's the owners responsability to resolve this.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    374
    Sounds to me like the was either not designed with enough appropriate interface or the installing contractor didn't set it up as spec'd. Either way you need to work with the installing contractor to get the issue resolved and then have them set up a workstation with scheduled backups. This is a good system if it is setup and programmed properly.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    5
    I'm currently doing a "VAV" interface with Alterton devices. I'm using a gateway from TAC (Xenta 913) talking Bacnet MSTP. We are reading all the points & writing setpoints..etc. As they fail we will replace them with TAC controllers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    40
    Well sorry for the bad grammar.LOL
    Well I talked to the installing contractor today.We'll probably have to have a work station installed. I always thought that All new construction came with
    a one year service warranty. After all this is the same problem as last time.
    Viewport is our only interface. Can't keep repeating this problem. Also the Modum was never configured, Bought and paid for but never worked.
    Hope we get this resolved .THANKS for your input. LATER

  6. #6
    The viewport is junk. What you want is a server that has the software on it and is always online with your system. You should be given a complete job back up though, you paid for the system and it belongs to you. I have heard of some companies keeping the software but thats BS. It sounds like it might be too late to go after the contractors but someone should have gone through the specifications to make sure you guys got everything that was owed to you. Was there a commissioning agent for your project? They should have made sure it was all done right.

    Alerton is not a bad product but I hear that several of the dealers are bad. They take on more work than they can handle and there aren't that many good alerton programmers out there.

    In the future it might be worth having someone help write your control system specifications. A lot of Engineering Firms don't know what to specify, they just copy and paste from the last job.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    40
    thanks for the input.
    Well it seems that our best opsion is to have the contractor/rep come and yank out the viewport terminal, and replace it with a workstation,we have to purchase envision and visio and a limited key. I've worked with several different control systems and never seen this situation befor. And we even fitted the system with a dedicated UPC. We have lost the Viewport program
    three times inside of a year and a half. I can only hope that a work station solves our problems. And i for one hope we dont install it in any more buildings.
    ALSO when we lost viewport the mechanical contractor should have corrected the problems as controls people were contracted by them, Anyway!
    I guess the companys were tring to cut corners.
    SORRY for ranting I thank you all for your help.

  8. #8
    The Viewport is merely a way to see the system. It has screens on it but no programming. You don't have to rip it out, but I would check to make sure the battery is good. How big is your site? An unlimited key is meant for very large projects. If you only have one building you can get a small key, which is one computer and like 32 devices or something like that. There is also a medium key. The unlimited key is very expensive. It sounds like they are selling you the unlimited key assuming they are going to be putting Alerton in your other buildings.

    I'm not so sure the contractor cut corners. They will only provide what is specified. I'm a contractor and if the spec's don't call for a server based system, your not getting one. Where I work however, almost every project calls for some kind of computer interface. It is pretty standard in the industry to specify a computer and software with a project.

    One of the GREAT things about the system you bought is that it is Bacnet. If you decide you just hate the Alerton stuff (or the contractor that put it in) you can put another Bacnet vendor in your other buildings and then operate all of them from which ever software you like better.

    I have been working with the Alerton product for over 10 years and I like it, but that is just me. There are sites where people wanted to rip it out, but I've convinced them to keep it, get another vendor like ALC, and integrate the two together.

    I can tell how frustrated you are but you did buy (the potential) for a great product. Somewhere something got missed and you got less than you expected. It is very hard to know what you want out of a system unless you know the full capabilities. When I used to work for a Alerton dealer we would help the building owners with the design of the system before hand to make sure they knew what they were getting. We used to work with the Mechanical Engineers as well in how to write control system specifications so that clients like you don't get burned in the end.

    Good Luck.

  9. #9
    We have just bought an Alerton system and the software was about 1700 bucks. Once you have the software everything else can be done in house

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