Control Education Literature Niagara AX specific
I am Ax certified which really only means I know how to run the software. I do have some great local help in learning some programming but I know they only have so much time to help me and I really need to learn more on my own. I have started with reading the Honeywell Spyder and JACE user manuals which I am not completely finished with yet but they appear to be about what is available to be used within the software.
What I am looking for is a better understanding of when and why I need to use specific blocks when building applications.
My objective is to be able to build a system from the ground up and program everything from boilers, chiller plants, cvahu's, Air handlers with vav systems and whatever else I can come up with.
Thanks in advance,
I would start pulling blocks out onto a wiresheet and start opening them up and playing with them.
There are also help files in the software.
You can also ask specific questions here related to what blocks to use to do what.
I dont know of any decent materials out there besides the honeywell docs and the user guides.
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i usually just use the jace for front end purposes. most of my logic is in the controllers i use. the johnson fx guides seem to be more detailed than the webs or vycon guides.
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Yeah I have been messing with the blocks but knowing when you have to use a divide block and a mulitply block and compare to get 1 output is a little much to just come up with out of thin air I would say for most. Obviously someone was smart enough to come up with it on there own but it seems it could and should be taught and would make it much faster and easier to understand. I may have that wrong off the top of my head but we used something like that with heat staging. I think.
Viceman the more I mess with this it appears to be headed that direction.
I have done a number of courses for various manufacturers kit and none have gone into detail for their programming language.
I dont know of any couses or literature dedicated to assembling logic/control blocks or line code. If you think about it with all the different manufacturers, the course or book would be huge.
As corny states, you will have to 'play' with the blocks and see what you get.
I would try and set myself a target though. Think of a real world application and try to generate a solution to that.
Also I recommend once you have a working strategy that you put lots of text in it to remind you what you have done and then save it for future use.
Secondly, you could also see what others have done by uploading their control strategies to your laptop, although working backwards through someone else's can sometimes be a little tricky.
As others have already suggested, jump in and play.
Originally Posted by robthorn
My approach was to set come up with something I might want to do in the real world, and start building the wire sheet to get it done. i.e. Took some program examples from standalone controllers, or from older types of front-ends, then built wire sheets to emulate the same thing. Adding simulated inputs and outputs so I could tweak, adjust, test, and so forth.
One of the problems is that there is no ONE WAY to do something. There are as many approaches and solutions as a nimble mind can come up with.
i.e. One routine we commonly need and use, the others in the team I work with had solved in 3 different ways. Each quite workable.
But each was also quite convoluted and involving quite a lot of various function blocks, connections, etc.
Myself, I was a Johnny-come-lately. Not new to DDC controls, but new to the front end. However, besides having a heavy mechanical and electrical background, have worked with computer systems and various computer programming languages for years. (I was a computer and electronics tech before I got into the mechanical world way back when).
So I took a look at those routines, as part of my learning process. Saw what they were doing. Thought about it. Sat and went through the available function blocks (still didn't know even half of what was available). Started playing around, and being considerably more familiar with special Boolean and bit-wise operations, arrived at an alternate solution which used less than 1/4 the function blocks, was cleaner and more clear, easier to re-use in other projects, and executed faster. Using components (function blocks) they'd not even considered.
No slam at them, all are long time HVAC techs, 20 years or better, and while my HVAC knowledge is close to as good as theirs ... I refer to them routinely and regularly for advice and opinions. Truth is, we each have our own strengths and weaknesses, areas of superior knowledge and areas where we're a little weaker than we might wish to be.
So ... jump in ... get busy ... play, experiment, and learn.
And ask others time to time. Even if you're successful at getting done what you want to get done. Maybe someone else has a better idea. And maybe you can provide a better idea to someone else.
Yep. I'm a big fan of distributed controls, with field controllers able to operate as independently as possible.
Originally Posted by robthorn
Have had my experiences with control systems that were too reliant on some single choke point where if it failed, you were well and truly scr*wed.
Besides, why load up a JACE box to the max? Or, I also do Auto-Matrix's AspectFT systems, why load a Matrix to the max? And get less than its best performance? Or have to put in many multiples? I'd much rather off-load as much of the control function down into the controllers as possible.
Unfortunately I don't have any programming experience at all. Besides a little for my reef tank that was more Dos like but easier. Mostly if < time then stuff.
I guess I should just get to it.