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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
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    32

    Modbus to Lon Convertor?

    Hey Gents,

    Here is what I am running into with no experience with this Convertor.

    A Thermax Chiller was supposed to be supplied with Lon Cards for me to integrate with. The factory tech in the field is saying he is having alot of troulbe finding a Lon Card for his machine. He is purposing getting a Modbus to Lon convertor. He is asking about who makes one and what he would need to get it configured.
    I guess I am confused with a few things.
    a) If a Lon Card does exist isn't that something that is "built in". What I mean is Lon Cards are usually something you cann't buy off the shelf.
    b) Anyone have any experience with Modbus to Lon Convertor. Mainly what kind of information to they have to provide for the Modbus info to config to this particular piece of equipment.

    I am going to do some research now. I hoped I could get some opinions and clarifications.

    Thanks in advanced

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    9,564
    The manufacturer decides what communication protocol his controller will use. Most use Modbus (I say they are lazy and don't care so that's why they do it)

    Some manufacturers that do this provide LON or bacnet interface boards which typically don't work as good because you have a protocol and are switching that information to another and not giving much consideration to configuration, timing... etc..

    So, next up is finding a Modbus to Lonworks gateway. Personally if this is plan/spec I'd make Therm(whatever) provide it for you out of spite. Otherwise you can get a gateway from Fieldserver, or buy an ilon100 from Echelon and license the Modbus. You probably can be more confident that Echelon cares more about getting the modbus information to LON significantly more than that Therm(whatever) chiller manufacturer does.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NW Ohio
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    949
    As someone mentioned, Fieldserver would be a good choice. They have a very good reputation.

    I'd personally stay away from the ilon100. They seem to be plague with bugs and their performance is very poor, at best.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    9,564
    I thought Dapper said the new Smartserver is working better with Modbus than the e3 version. Since he works with them I'm not going to doubt him. My only experience is e3 and I thought the interface needed some help but it worked fine.

    EDIT: I can't find a post where Dapper stated that. Maybe somebody else or I got it wrong. I'd do a site search maybe check Lwarren too.
    Last edited by sysint; 10-22-2008 at 07:23 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    NW Ohio
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    I suppose that if you compare anything to the ilon100, it would function better. That bar is not set that high.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    9,564
    Hmmm. How many have you installed so far? I think it's nice for this application. It's a server, gateway and a LON node. Plus it alarms, schedules and trends along with some network command/control. So, for the money this guy will have all his bases covered and the integrator onsite may want to have those web pages available in addition to the LNS capabilities. They are my competition, but for this they have a nice fit.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NW Ohio
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    Far more than the number of JACEs you have.

    A better question would be how many have I removed because they sucked wind for operational performance.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    9,564
    Quote Originally Posted by NINAX View Post
    Far more than the number of JACEs you have.
    That is correct because ilon's don't require money upfront and special licensing just to use their box. You are absolutely correct. However, I see some really slow performance on the web side. Painfully slow at times. Maybe that's the fault of the integrator.

    A better question would be how many have I removed because they sucked wind for operational performance.
    I think that's probably because you don't really know how to set them up like you understand the Tridium product. So, a better question would be really what do you know about the ilon100 to quantify it as a sub-standard solution?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    949
    Quote Originally Posted by sysint View Post
    That is correct because ilon's don't require money upfront and special licensing just to use their box.
    Niether does a programmble t'stat. So I guess we agree that when you use a more basic and less functional product , licensing isn't an issue.

    I think that's probably because you don't really know how to set them up like you understand the Tridium product. So, a better question would be really what do you know about the ilon100 to quantify it as a sub-standard solution?
    Of course I don't. Would you spend the time and money learning all of the ins and outs of a bug laden, poor performing, archaic product?


    And quit hijacking threads for your agenda!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    9,564
    I see. I recommend two of my competitors products for this application and I'm hijacking the thread?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NW Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by sysint View Post
    I see. I recommend two of my competitors products for this application and I'm hijacking the thread?
    Yes.


    Back to the pre-hijacked original question....
    I also recommend checking into Loytec. I'd be shocked if they couldn't provide a solution.
    There is usually someone around here that might have some insight on their product line.
    I know squat about their products.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    What is the front end you are going to provide?

    Do they have any other manufacturers' products there you might be able to use their interface?
    "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
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    9,564
    Those questions are why I gave him those two options. Fieldserver has no visuals but the ilon can have visuals. It seems that he only needs to translate and leave things to someone else. If he has to go through the trouble and wants some access or remote access for himself, then maybe that ilon100 is a better choice.

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