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Thread: New on Lontalk

  1. #1

    New on Lontalk

    hi, i'm new to lonworks / lontalk. i had read quite some number of document but still few blur with this protocol. can someone explain about this protocol.

    all the while i'm using modbus. in modbus, we need to configure the comm. properties (baud rate, data bit, parity, etc) and the device(slave) address. all the data is based on the memory mapping.

    how about the lontalk?

    1. i know the baud rate is fixed at 78kbps when using ft-10. is this true?
    2. if i got a pc and i would like to poll some data on lontalk device, what hardware and software i need?
    3. is it a must that to use a binding software (lonmaker) to bind the devices on the lon network? e.g. if i got a scada and i need to get data from say 3 lon devices, how do i do that? do i need to bind those 3 devices with my scada? what actually binding is doing? where is the binding information stored? scada or at each device?

    i hope someone can clear my doubt. thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    1. baud rate is fixed
    2. need anFT10 interface such as an Echelon U10 usb device. Many types and manufacturers available.
    3. Must use LNS network management software to bind devices such as LonMaker, LonWatcher or Network Integrator. Others available. Info stored in database and devices. Not sure about SCADA.

  3. #3
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    3. is it a must that to use a binding software (lonmaker) to bind the devices on the lon network? e.g. if i got a scada and i need to get data from say 3 lon devices, how do i do that? do i need to bind those 3 devices with my scada? what actually binding is doing? where is the binding information stored? scada or at each device?


    Lonworks by design takes care of communication. There is no need to setup DIP switches and ID devices. Lonworks devices have unique ID's. There is not necessarily a need to bind variables in devices unless you want to. For instance, you may bind TIME or an Outside Air Temp variable to another controller. You do this with a software tool that then gives that information to each individual controller. After that you can disconnect your software tool.... it's not necessary anymore as the devices can take care of their communication from then on.

    You can interact with devices directly.

    Many lonworks networks today use LNS which can be implemented by various vendors so that all their software packages can make networks and changes and LNS manages the changes so that you have a choice in your software tool used. Also, manufacturers develop plugins for their devices in LNS so that you can use manufacturer B's software with manufacturer A's devices. That way you don't need to buy configuration software from each vendor you use.

    Lonworks is designed so that you have flexibility on the software, interface and devices individually. Typically, most other systems are designed as subsystems and the only integration is on the system or supervisory level.

  4. #4
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    2. if i got a pc and i would like to poll some data on lontalk device, what hardware and software i need?

    You could buy a LNS based software and a LON interface. OR, you may consider buying a device such as Echelon's ilon100. For small networks (under 200 devices) you can configure a network through it's web based interface. It can even be ordered with a Modbus driver to pick up devices on that type of network.

    "poll data" is an interesting term... you should research how lonworks moves packets. It is nicely designed. Very well thought out.

  5. #5
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    1. i know the baud rate is fixed at 78kbps when using ft-10. is this true?

    The same "wire" may be either 78k or 1250k dependent on the device transceiver used. Most devices are designed on the 78k transceiver. Lonworks is very good at collision avoidance. Additionally, it resizes for increased traffic. It would be a very good idea to research this further. Typical networks today utilize powerline or 78k devices with routers either to 1250 or Ethernet.

    Lonworks is probably the most scaleable CONTROL network in use today.

  6. #6
    thanks for the explanation. i think i get some of the point now.
    will try implement on my next project.

    happy new year.

  7. #7

    Hmm New to LonWorks?

    Be very, very careful.
    You are dealing with rocket science!

    When it comes to LonWorks, and making (simple) controller program modification(s) allow more than 3 times the amount of time it will take (as compared to any other automation system) to rebind all the necessary function blocks!

    This procedure can get so time consuming in some instances I have found it more cost effective to install an additional “Glue Controller” in the field with no IO’s just to reduce the amount of rebinding (time=$). In my observations, even the best programmers never get right the first time, and there is always a needed program modification here and there.

    Be patient and the best of luck to you.

    Happy Holidays

  8. #8
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    I am assuming that you are kidding, right? If not, you are very scary!! Program modifications and bindings are extremely easy in LonWorks. Maybe you are referring to binding things to SCADA, which I know nothing about? In that case I would say SCADA is the issue.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BasicCntrl View Post
    Be very, very careful.
    You are dealing with rocket science!

    When it comes to LonWorks, and making (simple) controller program modification(s) allow more than 3 times the amount of time it will take (as compared to any other automation system) to rebind all the necessary function blocks!

    This procedure can get so time consuming in some instances I have found it more cost effective to install an additional “Glue Controller” in the field with no IO’s just to reduce the amount of rebinding (time=$). In my observations, even the best programmers never get right the first time, and there is always a needed program modification here and there.

    Be patient and the best of luck to you.

    Happy Holidays
    Wow I now can consider myself a rocket scientist! JK

    I really do believe you are doing something wrong here, you should not be having the kind of problems you are having. What manufacturer's controllers do you normally use? Maybe someone here can assist you to make Lonworks work the way it should.

    I've had a few problems with bindings on programmable controllers when you delete a SNVT, but if you have room I've found it easier to just add a SNVT and leave the one you don't want in the program unused.
    "How it can be considered "Open" is beyond me. Calling it "voyeur-ed" would be more accurate." pka LeroyMac, SkyIsBlue, fka Freddy-B, Mongo, IndyBlue
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  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by BasicCntrl View Post
    Be very, very careful.
    You are dealing with rocket science!

    When it comes to LonWorks, and making (simple) controller program modification(s) allow more than 3 times the amount of time it will take (as compared to any other automation system) to rebind all the necessary function blocks!.....
    I'll have to suggest that you research the topic further so you understand it better also.

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