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  1. #1
    Any private contractors installing Tour Andover Controls or are they installed only by TAC. Just wondering how the company is setup. Also any comments about their systems.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Alpharetta, GA
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    168
    Smokies,

    TAC has Partners (dealers) as well as local branches for construction and service. Check www.tac.com/us click the "contacts" tab and then "Americas Partners". You may have to Email for info on Partners in your area.

    TAC Inet is very good stuff! And of course now it's Tour ANDOVER Controls, so they have the Andover line as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pacific Time Zone
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    4,208
    We are a private contractor that sells both TAC and INET. The TAC product seems to work very well. I am relatively new to the controls end of things but our guys who have been working on Powers, Johnson, CSI, Honeywell, etc. are fairly impressed with the controls and their "durability." For example it has happened more than once when the 24 VAC got put onto the network and we did not burn up any controllers. They said with the other controllers they had worked with would have been fried with that mistake.
    I really like their 102AX (motorized VAV box controller). Extra inputs and outputs to really expand your options. I guess that particular ASC won a bunch of awards.
    "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/


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Alpharetta, GA
    Posts
    168
    crab master,

    I am also a fan of the Xenta 102-AX (Lon). There is an INET version of the same controller the MR-VAV-AX.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    42

    Hmm I/Net

    I've been working for a TAC partner for about a year now, and compared to my previous company, Invensys, I'd have to say the I/Net 7 program is about a 7 on a 1 to 10 scale of difficulty to learn. I was amazed at how difficult the other technicians were making it also. A fellow co-worker from Invensys who I now work with at CS&E, showed me some ways to make programming a lot easier. The two of us have made some leaps toward simplifying the processes now and I have really warmed up to it. As far as the Xenta line, you can have it. I worked a bit with IA which is Invensys's answer to LON and now a bit with Xenta, TAC's answer to LON, and there is a common thread with LON, they both suck. I think we should stick with BacNet, but that's just my oppinion. As far as durablility, I've gone to some of the first sites my company installed controls on and the equipment is working great, with just a few things wearing down, which is to be expected, the controllers seem to be working just as good as the day they were installed. As far as the programming, I think we've all come along and some of the programs I've seen could be overhauled, but hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. That's what I say to stuff that's been there at least.
    A side not on the graphics, something TAC doesn't mention anywere I could find, you can use .AVI files as animations on a DI or DO. Just use graphic and pick All Files on the drop down and use a .AVI file. It's not flawless, but it works pretty good.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    9,564
    I've seen some of TAC's plugins and they seem straightforward in LM.

    Maybe somebody can tell me what TAC is doing to LON that makes people say crazy stuff like BACnet is better?

    Is it Vista? Menta programming? ????

    Have you used the TAC product with LM?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,377
    Originally posted by sysint
    I've seen some of TAC's plugins and they seem straightforward in LM.

    Maybe somebody can tell me what TAC is doing to LON that makes people say crazy stuff like BACnet is better?

    Is it Vista? Menta programming? ????

    Have you used the TAC product with LM?
    Ummm ... haven't a clue. Don't have any trouble with their stuff using their software. Nor have I heard any of the techs complaining.





  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Alpharetta, GA
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    Vista has been the weak link, and it is getting better. I like Menta for programming, and I can troubleshoot Menta very easily (easier than INET). The LonMaker plug-ins are good, and I can set up VAVs in LonMaker with the 102-AX plug-in quickly and easily.

    The only BACnet system I have worked with is Alerton's Bactalk. It's not bad, but I could install/commission a LonMaker/Xenta network in alot less time than an Alerton BACtalk network.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    9,564
    If I remember correctly the programmables with the remote I/O's were not talking LON. Is that why you need Vista?

    Why not use LM (or other) and Menta and skip the Vista?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Alpharetta, GA
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    168
    Programmables use LonTalk with everything except the remote I/O modules assigned to them. Programmables talk to associated I/O modules using TAC network variables (TACNVs). All of this runs on the network. Vista is just the front end. Alot of customers are skipping the Vista and going with a Tridium frontend.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    42

    LON

    I haven't done enough programming with the LON to be proficient with it, and when I started it, it was in the infant stages. I think it was still learning how to crawl. The thing I'm not sure is common among LON is the use of so many different programs to get a system up and running. If I remember, you nead Vista, Menta, Lon Maker and maybe LonWorks. I don't remember the exact names of them all, but you get the idea. I'm a firm believer in simpler is better. One of the other things I hate about Vista is that stupid dongle you have to plug into your computer to make it work correctly. Great for an onsite computer that doesn't get packed up at the end of every day, but for me, I typically forget to plug the thing back in the next day and get screwed up. If you want to make sure your software only gets used on one computer, great, figure out a way to do it so I don't have yet another thing to plug into my laptop. I'm quickly running out of USB ports. Oh yeah, I have to give them credit, at least they went to the USB dongle, what was the old one, serial? parrallel? whatever, it's a step in the right direction. Give me a tech version that doesn't need it now.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    9,564
    I use a total of one software to program all Lonworks networks we install.

    Lonmaker for Windows. I could also simply just use Circon Visual Integrator and have everything right down to graphics. (if I didn't want a server)

    The key is plugins. Circon even puts their Air Balancing program and also their custom programming language into plugins. Also their scheduling, trending and events in a plugin. Any LNS based product can work with that.

    The problem isn't Lonworks it's your OEM's implementation of Lonworks almost every time.

    You need to tell your TAC guy to get Menta into a free plugin. You need to tell your TAC guy to stop that "dual compilation rigamarole" with Vista and keep things simple.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pacific Time Zone
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    Interesting to see the different takes on this system. I've been a service tech for 7 years. Worked with Powers 600, CSI, Johnson Metasys and a few others from a service standpoint. Started programming controls about 6 months ago using TAC. What I can say about the Menta - used for programming controller's (ALC's) is that it is a great program to work with and troubleshoot. One guy says the way it is programmed it reminds him of building a pneumatic panel - if any of you have done that. To me it is much easier than line programming and having to learn the language on what sign means what. Of course there is some of that available in Menta but generally there is a block available that you don't have to write your own expression. I do agree the dongle is a real pain but it is the same as the LM credits, it is just TAC's way of making sure they get there money for the development. Back to Menta - you can simulate your program and test it in all kinds of ways before you load it, you can easily trace out the sequence of operation, and it seems to me if you can think of a process to have happen you can do it. The Vista I have not worked with very much - it is a front end for end user's that has a ton of capabilities that is overwhelming. We mainly install their (TAC's) 511 for the front end web interface and you can design that however you want.
    I think part of the reason Menta gets a black eye is people that don't take the time to read/test to see what available blocks do. Instead they go and start an expression block that becomes a big blur of line programming.
    My final take is I like Lonmaker and Menta. I could use finding a better graphics designer/editor.
    "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/


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