LON Setup w/5 buildings
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  1. #1
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    LON Setup w/5 buildings

    I am just wondering the best method to make the following work:

    Bldg 1 - First Lon network done about 2 years ago. Has a ilon 100 (RNI), and about 55 nodes under it, part of that is an L-Switch w/4 ports utilized in smart switch mode (used existing network wiring so added smart switch to clean up traffic issues this existing wiring created). The smart switch is not shown on the lonmaker drawing. I also added an LIP-3ECTB last month. This building has a dedicated PC that is just utilizing the hvac web server to view graphics.

    Bldg 2 - about 90 nodes with a 2 port L-Switch commissioned in lonmaker, and a LIP-3ECTB. This LIP I set up as the configuration server and this one has internet.

    Building 3 - about 15 nodes with a LIP-3ECTB

    Building 4 - about 12 nodes with a LIP-3ECTB

    Building 5 - Location of PC/Server workstation with front end viewing software and licensing for up to 4 concurrent viewers.

    All buildings are on a LAN mainly jumping from ethernet to fiber and back to ethernet between buildings. The network was designed utilizing Lonmaker 3.1 which is on my engineering laptop. Each building (1-4 ) have their own Lon network database. Ethernet and/or fiber cabling was not ready as these buildings had to come online.

    I really don't want to put lonmaker on any PC that resides on this network, mainly due to cost. I've also heard merging networks with Lm 3.1 is a real pain. My thought was to utilize the LIP's and put a NIC-852 key in the PC at building 5. From the drawings/Layouts I've seen this should work, but I am really not familiar with LIP's and utilizing them as RNI's. I've mainly used ilon10/100's for RNI and when I've used the LIP's I just used them as an IP router within the LAN, each LIP commissioned in one Lonmaker database.
    I have 4 external IP's - one for the ilon 100, one for another device, one for the LIP at building 2 and one I am told for "a 1:1 connection" to the PC at building 5.
    What do you think of this setup? Is there a better/preferred method? Any tips/pointers/suggestions would be appreciated.
    "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
    BIG Government = More Dependents
    "Any 'standard' would be great if it didn't get bastardised by corporate self interest." MatrixTransform
    http://threedevilskennel.com/ - not my website.
    Versatile Hunting Dog Federation - www.vhdf.org/


  2. #2
    Circon has a program called Network Integrator that sells for about $500 US. It has all the commissioning and configuration capabilities as LonMaker, and it works with any LonMark plugins, but it is menu-tree driven as opposed to graphical. You might consider using that as a local database management software, as it is very cost effective. Out of the can, it only has 64 device credits (i.e. number of licensed nodes on the network), so you will have to buy more from Echelon, but last time I checked they're only about $1.50 per node.

    I would not access the 4 remote buildings as RNI's. Instead, use one of the LIP's as a configuration server (or you could use the front end PC and Echelon's i-Lon configuration server software, which is free). What you will end up with is a single lonworks network, and when viewed from your PC, it will be like you only have one Lon channel. The config server software ties it all together and keeps track of the IP addresses, different channels, etc. If you go this route you will have to merge all of your LNS databases (if you only have one Lon then you can only have one LNS Database), but contrary to what you have heard, it is not very difficult at all. It will take every bit of an hour.

    As far as your networking infrastructure goes, I would speak to Al Mouton at Loytec. I have not met anybody better at Lonworks networking than Al, and he puts his business card in every package they sell in the US, so he does not mind the calls. He will be able to best steer you on tying it all together.

    One final note - Don't give it away. This is the kind of project that may take you 10 hours and it may take you 1000 hours. If just one of the building's IT guys gives you any grief about tunneling through their firewall, then you are screwed.

    Sounds like a very interesting project. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    "My thought was to utilize the LIP's and put a NIC-852 key in the PC at building 5. " Good thought. That IP852 interface will have more throughput.

    Putting together the routers and making one a config server is very easy and you will be happy you did it that way as one site.

    I also agree on calling Al Mouton.

    What it the IP852 NIC going to be connected to? I take it your computer? I'd consider having a PC onsite and get remote access to that when you need it.

    I suppose NI would be OK if you can get a deal but personally I think the restricted hours for software registration is a huge pain. When? On the weekend or off hours when you encounter problems you cannot correct. I'd rather have the dongle, especially if the company suddenly were to change hands or go belly-up.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2007
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    Crab Master,
    You have the ILON 100 on site with the PC workstation as a interface. I would take all the lonmaker database and combined them into to one database but on differnet subsystem and channels, then let it reside on the PC and use the workstation as the router to all other buildings bring back the information to one point. The LIP are just a Lan to FT10 converter. This will be a little easier than to try and reconfigure the entire network. Using the IP Configuration tool with Lonmaker and make the computer the Host address and make the routers the orphans on the network to communicate back to the PC for display of information. If the buildings have ther own network then have the IT guys set up port forwarding to each router thru there network for the LNS database to talk to them. I have this setup at about 10 buildings included a tenet override system for HVAC controls for afterhours usage.
    I would add some extra time just to ensure that if you do encounter any problem then you covered yourself.
    Good Luck.

  5. #5
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    Thanks to all for their input this far.
    innocon - all nodes on the network are commissioned already, so I shouldn't have to buy any more credits. It is good to hear that it isn't that bad to merge networks, but I still have heard that it is much easier with turbo. I do have one LIP as a CS, but your comment on the LNS configuration server now makes some other stuff I read on LNS make more sense. Also I wish I could say we wouldn't give this away, but it is part of a project that was underbid, but luckily it was the boss man that bid it and not me.

    Systint - the IP-852 will be connected to the PC at building 5. Also both keys, the proprietary software and the IP-852 reside on usb dongles. All licensing software is fully transferrable for "free" and then just is then enabled via the usb key. This will reside on the PC at building 5 and I am supposed to have remote access to that PC.

    Lontshooter - I can do all that, but then aren't you saying to put some kind of Network Management Software on the local PC at building 5? ie Lonmaker, NL220, Circons software or other.

    Also I've heard that once you connect to a building with Lonmaker Turbo it is not recommended to connect with Lonmaker 3.1. Is this true and what about the other manufacters software interfacing with each other? The reason I ask is company wide if one individual wanted to try NL220 and someone else is running Lonmaker 3.1 how does person A and person B connect to an existing system with various types of network management software? Is this a problem or do they recognize each others existing bindings and existing commissioned controllers?
    "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
    BIG Government = More Dependents
    "Any 'standard' would be great if it didn't get bastardised by corporate self interest." MatrixTransform
    http://threedevilskennel.com/ - not my website.
    Versatile Hunting Dog Federation - www.vhdf.org/


  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Sacramento, CA
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    Crab Master,
    Yes if you upgrade your network to Turbo edition then you will not be able to see in any version of 3.1. What Echelon does not always tell you is that you need to be on the same version for any Lonmaker that you are using for other people to view it also, you will get an invalid database error if you are using 3.1 and someone else opened it up in 3.13 version.
    Yes to centralize the database I would put Lonmaker3.1 wtih all the updates and bring it up to 3.1 sevice pack 3 update 3 which will make the it set up before you have to go up to turbo 3.2 version and will have a few of the function from turbo with the updates.
    With remote access to the PC you can work on or change the network from your office and not have to be on site.
    The problem with different software is that they all use the Lomark standards but have different ways that they setup the network. It's companies software is propiratory to its system even though they work on the same Lonmark standards. I mean that Lonmaker can't look at a Lonwatcher database and Circon can't look at a lonmaker database.
    The one advantage to Lonmaker is that it can commission any type of a device that uses the Lonmark standard, I not total sure with Lonwatcher from Distech, but I understand that they have a simuliar type of setup based on Lonmkaker. Lonmaker can import most all Lonmark standard plugin's for LNS type devices and be commissioned on the network.

    Bring the other database into one central location and the fact that they are already commissioned is good, that means mostly to resync the network and recommission all the device at the same time and then preserver current state, this will keep all the nureon id's and keep the network functioning, along with keeping the bindings that are already there in the database, but some may change or be deleted because they may be dead links or the device is not there that is the only hiccup to this process.
    Hope that this give you more ideas fro the network.

    You want to resync after you have established the ip configuration setup so that the central databse will know where to go and look for the device.

    Hope this will help you.

  7. #7
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    The problem with different software is that they all use the Lomark standards but have different ways that they setup the network. It's companies software is propiratory to its system even though they work on the same Lonmark standards. I mean that Lonmaker can't look at a Lonwatcher database and Circon can't look at a lonmaker database.
    This is not true. Any LNS network management software utilizing the same LNS version can use the database from any similar software. Databases can be upgraded to the current version. I regularly use Honeywell CARE generated databases in Lonwatcher and I also use Lonmaker 3.1 with LNS 3.2 databases generated in Lonwatcher. Do not confuse Lonmaker versions with LNS versions. One thing you can't do between Lonwatcher and Lonmaker is use their backup (.zip) files interchangeably. That's Echelon's fault for including more than just the LNS database in their backup file. Other than that, Lonmaker will happily make a drawing from a Distech database, for example. I'm sure Circon and others are the same.

  8. #8
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    "The problem with different software is that they all use the Lomark standards but have different ways that they setup the network. It's companies software is propiratory to its system even though they work on the same Lonmark standards. I mean that Lonmaker can't look at a Lonwatcher database and Circon can't look at a lonmaker database."

    This is precisely why the Lonmark display at the ASHRAE show is useless. They had multiple software packages hooked up simultaneously working off the same database (DB) and were unable to advertise it properly. It makes it seem like Lonworks is as useless as bacnet is for network operations when the opposite is true.

  9. #9
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    Thanks - I plan on getting this set up next week. I will let you know how it goes but it looks like I will be able to do it. I had issues last week in getting the LIP's to all see each other but the ports were not opened up for both TCP and UDP. My understanding is that the NIC-852 can get 8 times the throughput compared to using an echelon product - is this correct?
    "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
    BIG Government = More Dependents
    "Any 'standard' would be great if it didn't get bastardised by corporate self interest." MatrixTransform
    http://threedevilskennel.com/ - not my website.
    Versatile Hunting Dog Federation - www.vhdf.org/


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    250
    Sys & Ctrlguy,
    I understand what you are saying, but here is my experience that just happen about 2 months ago. I was given a system that had lonmaker turbo 3.2 on it, I did not backup and then restore the file to my version which is 3.13. I took the whole LM file from the computer and put the files on to my computer, then when I went to open this file, I got the error message that says incorrect version database error, then after I talk to Echelon about this issue they said that I could not view a turbo 3.2 in 3.13 and if I upgraded my 3.13 to turbo edition that I could read the file, but then if I open any other 3.13 file on my computer it will automaticly upgrade to 3.2 turbo edition.

    I have triied to open a Lonmaker drawing in Lonwatcher but have not had luck with it. So maybe Sys is right and Echelon may not be able to provide what they say, I just know that it get vary fustrating at times dealing with older version and newer version coming out faster than the R&D can handle.

    If you can give me some info on how to open Lonmaker in Lonwatcher and visa versa that would be much help. I really only use Lonmaker and that is what I am most familiar with and have got it done pretty good. I do use lonwatcher on free programming device instead of Lonmaker I find that it is much easier.

    Crab master,
    The only thing that I know that has more throughput is the ILONe3 or the new still to be seen Echelon ILON Smart server, the NIC-852 has a good colison avoidance to it credit and handles packets better in the network, but the speed is a little slower on larger networks or across multiple routers.

    Good Luck with everything and how it turns out for the best.

  11. #11
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    There are many good reasons to upgrade to LNS 3.2. Unless you're dealing with software that can't handle it (EBI <3.1 for example), you should upgrade. As far as using a Lonmaker database in Lonwatcher, if you are moving between computers, just zip the database (don't use the Lonmaker backup) and import it into Lonwatcher and you're done. If it's on the same computer, you should be able to open it directly. What is stopping you from opening the database (not the drawing) in Lonwatcher?

    The other method I use to move databases around and import them is Honeywell's Lonworks Pointserver Plug-in which has an LNS import function, allowing you to import an unzipped database. It comes on any EBI or SymmetrE disk and can be installed by itself. Very handy, especially since you can import a database without a network management tool. I use Distech Mini-Director to launch plug-ins on PCs without a network management tool this way.

    I also don't understand why you're using Lonwatcher to run the Freeprog plug-in. It works the same no matter what program launches it. But I have to say, I find Lonwatcher much faster and easier to use for most functions.

  12. #12
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    Ctlguy, is it possible for you to let me have a copy on the Honeywell Lonworks Pointserver Plug-in, I have no dealings with Honeywell controls, but the use of this appears interesting.

    Thanks


    Kevin
    "Profit is not the legitimate purpose of business. The legitimate purpose of business is to provide a product or service that people need and do it so well that it's profitable."

    James Rouse

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by klrogers View Post
    Ctlguy, is it possible for you to let me have a copy on the Honeywell Lonworks Pointserver Plug-in, I have no dealings with Honeywell controls, but the use of this appears interesting.

    Thanks


    Kevin
    I own the software. I'll look at the license agreement. This is a public forum. Send me an email.

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