AERCO benchmark boiler communication
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  1. #1
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    Aug 2006
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    157

    AERCO benchmark boiler communication

    Im trying to communicate to the AERCO BMS II through their communication gateway using N2 protocol. I believe I have the BMS modbus side of the communication running but I still can't get the NAE to see anything past the gateway in the auto discovery mode. I talked to tech support and everything seemed to be wired right and everything in the BMS was setup (passthru, baud rate, etc.). We then got to the BMS II address. Its default is set to 128. I had to change it to 129 because there is already an expansion module with the address 128. He told me that the BMS II has to be addressed 128 and that was why I could see anything past the gateway. I haven't been able to find the expansion module yet. My question is, has anyone had success communicating with the AERCO BM II and the benchmark boilers using N2 to Modbus? And does the BMS II have to be addressed 128 for it to work right?

  2. #2
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    Nov 2006
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    New Hampshire
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    Are you using the XPC gateway? If so, then the XPC is what gets addressed on the N2 side, set that for whatever N2 address you want. The BMS II needs to be addressed 128 but that is on the modbus side of things. It also communicates with modbus to the boilers, whether they are benchmark, modulex or ecs heaters. The XPC gateway is the N2 device on the network. That comes preloaded usually with point mapping templates to take the modbus registers for the BMS and boiler points and make them N2 objects. It should have come with paperwork with the N2 point list. Also, in order for you to see anything from the boilers you will need to setup the modbus passthrough "enabled" on the BMS. This will allow you to get through the BMS to the boilers for some information.

  3. #3
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    Yes I am using the XPC gateway and the BMS pass through is enabled. When I go to the NAE and do auto discovery for the N2 devices I am able to see the XPC gateway with the address that I gave it. What do I do with that device though? If I map that in will all the boiler points come in through that address?

  4. #4
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    Feb 2007
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    Helena, Montana
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    Looking forward to the outcome of this one. 6 yrs ago when we built a new facility with 6 Benchmarks, the factory rep came in to give training and he said at that point the MODBUS didn't work even though their documentation said it did. We asked when it would and he said probably wouldn't.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by ControlsInMT View Post
    Looking forward to the outcome of this one. 6 yrs ago when we built a new facility with 6 Benchmarks, the factory rep came in to give training and he said at that point the MODBUS didn't work even though their documentation said it did. We asked when it would and he said probably wouldn't.
    That's why people use Modbus... nobody can determine whether or not it is really working. And, all these guys that really don't know what they are doing can try it out.... I know that's harsh but it sure seems true.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    1,215
    Quote Originally Posted by sysint View Post
    That's why people use Modbus... nobody can determine whether or not it is really working. And, all these guys that really don't know what they are doing can try it out.... I know that's harsh but it sure seems true.
    That is a pretty general statement.
    I use Modbus Daily from many different manufacturers, and I have never had any issues to figure out when something is solid or not working in a device.
    There are numerous free and non-free diagnostic software tools available for Modbus.


  7. #7
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    May 2002
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    .... maybe. I'm talking about the product design. I guess you have a situation someone was told about Aerco so I suppose your diagnostic tools will confirm the suspicion but of course call them up and it's your problem. And, I get many bold statements. Just the other day a guy calls and says the Babel Buster isn't working... send me a LGate.

  8. #8
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    Aug 2006
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    Its possible that it is communicating to my N2 bus, I might just be mapping the points back wrong. Tech support and the rep have not been able to tell me what I should be seeing at the NAE. Has anyone had success with this using N2? I have the list of points that the AERCO BMS came with, Im just not able to see any values.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    New Hampshire
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    I haven't done an N2 integration with it but I've done Modbus a couple of times direct using Alerton's FLG-MDBS and I've done a Bacnet integration where the XPC was provided. In the case of the XPC, yes all the points for the N2 side come from the XPC and they will all map into the NAE under the XPC device. As far as the XPC point mapping, the one I did came from the factory preprogrammed for a BMS with 12 C-More controllers for Benchmark boilers. I only have 7 boilers at this site so I just ignore boilers 8-12. The XPC talks to the BMS using Modbus RTU on the RS-232 channel - do you have all the wires hooked up correctly? You might also try using the Apploader program that the XPC should have come with to try and reload the point mapping configuration to the XPC. There is no auto discovery for points under an N2 device so once you have the controller talking you will have to fat finger the points in.

  10. #10
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    Aug 2006
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    157
    As far as I know all of the wire and jumpers are correct. I went through all the wiring with tech support and the rep, and everything seems to be wired correctly. Also, the LEDs that light up when there is communication are on and blinking. I think im going to try using that apploader. I remember seeing it somewhere when the boilers first arrived. Thanks for the help

  11. #11
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    Mar 2009
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    You have an Apploader file problem

    Just did one last week.

    You have to use the Apploader !

    Call the 800 number on the manual and ask for Desmond.

    You need the new clipping file. The one I needed was the "blr4bms2.clipping".

    BTW set the switches as marked on the XPC....NOT what is in the book. The book I got was 2007 version. Desmond is the MAN. He will fix ya right up. Worked perfect after I loaded the right clipping file.

    Good Luck.
    If sense were so common everyone would have it !

    All opinions expressed are my own. Any advice provided is based on personal experience, generally accepted fact or publicly available information. As such, it is worth exactly what you paid for it, not a penny more not a penny less !!

  12. #12
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    Aug 2006
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    157
    I figured it had to do something with that software. Thats weird that you mention Desmond because I was talking to him yesterday, too bad I wasn't at the site. Are the clipping files on the apploader software CD or on the website? I think I might try him tomorrow. Also, are you using the BMS II? and how many boilers were on the site?

  13. #13
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    Mar 2009
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    Several Miles from Sane
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    I don't know if it's a BMS II or not.

    Desmond had to email me the file.

    I have 3 boilers but the clipping file is only for 4 boilers so you simply change the "TRUE" to "FALSE" in each of the fields for the 4th boiler (and 5 thru 12 as well). It actually made sense once I got the right clipping file.

    Once I figured out that the paperwork was incorrect and got everything wired (It was a field install not part of a factory package, that makes a difference) It was easy.........after 2 hours of farting around with the paperwork. I think the CD was also 2007 version, same as the paperwork. That's why ya gotta talk to Desmond.

    Just did startup on another Aerco BMS but minus the XPC today. Ya gotta read the paperwork carefully, I think they assume you do this all the time so well written documentation is secondary. The boilers work sweet though .
    If sense were so common everyone would have it !

    All opinions expressed are my own. Any advice provided is based on personal experience, generally accepted fact or publicly available information. As such, it is worth exactly what you paid for it, not a penny more not a penny less !!

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