Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 18
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    113
    Post Likes

    Johnson Controls DX-9100: History, Future, and other

    I've been writing white pages for my company highlighting certain prominent legacy control modules from older systems like Johnson Controls N2, Novar Logic One, etc. Basically, a brief history of the controller, description, and it's usage since it was first introduced, and how it stands today.

    My next paper will be on DX-9100. I've already done some research, but I was wondering if any of you N2 veterans could share some information/opinions about the DX-9100. Example: How long you think the DX-9100 will still be used in facilities? What were it's strengths/weaknesses? How does it compete with today's newer JC modules, etc. Maybe even some interesting details about the controller that might not be widely known to the controls industry, etc.

    Any helpful info, opinions, or links would be great! Thanks.

  2. Likes steves4, Rick232 liked this post.
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,948
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by BAS-atechs View Post
    What were it's strengths
    Holds down large stacks of papers, even in high winds
    Propagating the formula. http://www.noagendashow.com/

  4. Likes RozekJT, BAS-atechs liked this post.
  5. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    StL, MO
    Posts
    730
    Post Likes
    My first use of the 9100 series, in 1990, was with some imported DC-9100s. I don't recall the point count, but do remember that the AI hardware supported only 0-10 Vdc. They were programmed with a handheld tool and, at the time beta version, GX-9100 dos software. FWIW, these were DIN mounted.
    Maybe the LCP, Lab and Central Plant, came next.

    I think the DXs are nearing the end of their service life; I am starting to see hardware failures in the mid 1990s controllers.

    Strengths, in no particular order:
    Accurate real time clock.
    Local display.
    Very flexible PID modules.
    Graphical programming with ladder logic PLC.
    Stable (I'm not sure I've ever had one lock up).
    Great electrical isolation (power, comm, AI, AO, DI, DO all isolated from one another).
    Point expansion modules.

    Weaknesses:
    Steep learning curve.
    No canned programs.
    PIA to address points.

    It pales in comparison with the FX controllers as they have: better programming tool, more program space, better displays and lower cost. The current FEC/PCG controllers are much better except for the whole time/date/schedule fiasco.

    I found one quirk related to the PLC in 1997. If one programs all eight rungs with RST as the output on an even numbered PLC page, the next page PLC will not execute. (I could have the even / odd pages mixed up).

    The first iterations of the GX software stored the program in a text file; later versions not so, but it was easy to convert old files. You could get very creative with PLC programming after learning how to read and edit the text file.
    UA LU 562

  6. Likes BAS-atechs liked this post.
  7. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    521
    Post Likes
    The imported DC-9100 was the same as the LCP from the domestic channel. The Imported channel also had a Version 1 of the DX-9100 that had a smaller footprint like the DC-9100. The DC9100/LCP and the Version 1 DX-9100 had an input issue that caused all the inputs to fail after about 5 to 10 years in a hot location. (Capacitor dried out???). The DOS tool for the DX and DC is one of the earliest graphic programming tools I know of for HVAC DDC controllers. I remember the first DX-9100 class I took in NYC was taught by a German from the factory. I think he had something to do with writing the actual programming application. May have wrote it himself, but that was a quite a few OS revisions ago in my brain so this might be all in my imagination.

    Bottom line they worked as well as you programmed them.

  8. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    StL, MO
    Posts
    730
    Post Likes
    I forgot there were two versions of the LCP; I never used one of the 100s. http://www.vikingcontrols.com/_docum...uct/635067.PDF
    The LCP did allow for passive analog inputs making it an easier sell on this side of the pond.
    UA LU 562

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Anchorage Alaska
    Posts
    562
    Post Likes

    (X-9100

    Quote Originally Posted by BAS-atechs View Post
    I've been writing white pages for my company highlighting certain prominent legacy control modules from older systems like Johnson Controls N2, Novar Logic One, etc. Basically, a brief history of the controller, description, and it's usage since it was first introduced, and how it stands today.

    My next paper will be on DX-9100. I've already done some research, but I was wondering if any of you N2 veterans could share some information/opinions about the DX-9100. Example: How long you think the DX-9100 will still be used in facilities? What were it's strengths/weaknesses? How does it compete with today's newer JC modules, etc. Maybe even some interesting details about the controller that might not be widely known to the controls industry, etc.

    Any helpful info, opinions, or links would be great! Thanks.
    I remember if you didn't have the original download files then you wouldn't have the tags. What that meant is that you could upload the program but the names were generic. So your sitting in front of a very powerful controller with lots of points and without drawings. Then you would have to reverse engineer the configuration. For example what's AI-1 etc...
    Law Of The Thermostat: He who has the thermostat wins!!!!!

  10. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,948
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by simux View Post
    I remember if you didn't have the original download files then you wouldn't have the tags. What that meant is that you could upload the program but the names were generic. So your sitting in front of a very powerful controller with lots of points and without drawings. Then you would have to reverse engineer the configuration. For example what's AI-1 etc...
    Been there done that...what a headache. The graphical programming in that thing is the most god awful example I have ever seen. The PLC ladder logic was pretty damn slick, especially for its time.
    Propagating the formula. http://www.noagendashow.com/

  11. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    68
    Post Likes
    We have a client that installed N2 bus with NAE55 with 20 DX9100 in a brand new HS in 2011! So we sure hope they will be active for another decade.

    Will you share your historical whitepaper? Been in the business since 1985 and still running some Solidyne installations that are that old. Would love to see what you compile.

  12. Likes BAS-atechs liked this post.
  13. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    113
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Thanks for everyone's input!!! I very much appreciate it, and will include what I can in my article.

    Quote Originally Posted by lnewcombe View Post
    We have a client that installed N2 bus with NAE55 with 20 DX9100 in a brand new HS in 2011! So we sure hope they will be active for another decade.
    lnewcombe, check out this video/article by Control Trends: "What Will Happen to N2?". And even if JC discontinues support completely, we plan on keeping the door open for as long as end-users need support.

    Quote Originally Posted by lnewcombe View Post
    Will you share your historical whitepaper? Been in the business since 1985 and still running some Solidyne installations that are that old. Would love to see what you compile.
    Yes, I share these online via website and social. It's part of a "Legacy Controls Product Spotlight" series that I'm doing for my company each month. However, the content is not as much an in-depth historical white paper, but rather a one-page highlight that gives a brief overview of the product (when it was introduced, what it were it's strengths, and what's the future hold for it). Basically, a short reminder for people who might still use them, or those who simply enjoy reading articles about controls. We will also use them internally for our new-hires so they can be familiar with these older controls.

  14. Likes steves4 liked this post.
  15. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    2444 Washington Blvd, Suite 100 Ogden, UT
    Posts
    481
    Post Likes
    BAS-atechs,

    Thanks for giving the DX-9100 the recognition that it deserves. Those things were workhorses!

    Let me know if you would like any information about our S4 Open appliances and the efforts we are putting forth to extend and enhance legacy Metasys installations. I'd be happy to share anything that might be useful for your articles.
    Steve Jones, Managing Partner, The S4 Group, Inc.
    Do you know BACnet? Visit https://www.bacnetinternational.org/ or ask me for information.

  16. Likes BAS-atechs liked this post.
  17. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    176
    Post Likes
    The DX9100 is a workhorse and does not lockup, flake or die, for the most part.
    Its strengths, in my opinion is:
    Reliable. Once set up properly, you would not have to touch it again.
    Some people would say that its programming limitations (12 programming blocks) was a weakness. But I can say from experience, there is nothing like maximizing all its points, to your advantage. I've learned some crazy programming methods, due to the limitations.
    The time clock is great.
    This thing is bullet proof!
    Ability to commission PID loops without plugging in.

    Its biggest weakness is its lack of saving tag names on the controller.

    I have hundreds of them in the field and don't see them going anywhere, until they die. They cost too much to replace now($2500), so customers would rather upgrade to PCG and flash it to N2, then replace.
    Knowledge is money - Ignorance is expensive!!

  18. Likes steves4 liked this post.
  19. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    113
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by vaultein View Post
    The DX9100 is a workhorse and does not lockup, flake or die, for the most part.
    Its strengths, in my opinion is:
    Reliable. Once set up properly, you would not have to touch it again.
    Some people would say that its programming limitations (12 programming blocks) was a weakness. But I can say from experience, there is nothing like maximizing all its points, to your advantage. I've learned some crazy programming methods, due to the limitations.
    The time clock is great.
    This thing is bullet proof!
    Ability to commission PID loops without plugging in.

    Its biggest weakness is its lack of saving tag names on the controller.
    Thanks, vaultein. Regarding your "bullet proof" comment, we've had instances where the outer plastic casing sometimes breaks easily during shipping, so I assume you're not referring to that aspect of the controller? lol

    Quote Originally Posted by vaultein View Post
    I have hundreds of them in the field and don't see them going anywhere, until they die. They cost too much to replace now($2500), so customers would rather upgrade to PCG and flash it to N2, then replace.
    Does Johnson Controls still offer to repair DX's these days? Or do you think it's even worth it for customers anymore?

  20. Likes steves4 liked this post.
  21. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    553
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by BAS-atechs View Post
    Thanks, vaultein. Regarding your "bullet proof" comment, we've had instances where the outer plastic casing sometimes breaks easily during shipping, so I assume you're not referring to that aspect of the controller? lol



    Does Johnson Controls still offer to repair DX's these days? Or do you think it's even worth it for customers anymore?
    You can still have them repaired. It's a pretty good deal, and they come back like brand new, with the latest firmware.

  22. Likes steves4 liked this post.
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •