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Thread: ALC BACnet IP Unitary Controller

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    ALC BACnet IP Unitary Controller

    Does ALC offer a BACnet IP unitary controller for VAVs and FCUs or, if not, do they have one in development? I know JCI has them and Siemens supposedly has BACnet IP DXRs...how about ALC?

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    ALC doesn’t have one that I know of but all tools needed to program them should be installed on the server. Is this for a stand alone piece of equipment or is there an existing arc net or MS/TP network. If you provide more info I can give you a breakdown of parts needed and how to make it work.


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    You mean stand alone? We've done it with existing ZN modules, works fine. Sounds kind of wasteful though, how does the heat/cool votes make it back to the plant/AHU so it isn't just running flat out all the time? You don't strictly need a server for a whole system either, you can stick a touch screen on it and work with it that way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unonut View Post
    ALC doesn’t have one that I know of but all tools needed to program them should be installed on the server. Is this for a stand alone piece of equipment or is there an existing arc net or MS/TP network. If you provide more info I can give you a breakdown of parts needed and how to make it work.
    I'm actually evaluating replacement vendors for our facility. I didn't want to start another "who's the best" thread. ALC is one of the contenders but I wasn't able to find a BACnet IP unitary or ASC controller for terminal units. It's not a deal breaker but it is a consideration.

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    ALC BACnet IP Unitary Controller

    Quote Originally Posted by Controls_3AE View Post
    I'm actually evaluating replacement vendors for our facility. I didn't want to start another "who's the best" thread. ALC is one of the contenders but I wasn't able to find a BACnet IP unitary or ASC controller for terminal units. It's not a deal breaker but it is a consideration.
    Few questions.
    What front end is going to be used?
    Do you have one in mind and if so are you planning on using that manufacturers controllers?
    Don’t know the size of your facility but I thinks it’s overkill to have IP for VAV’s and small equipment in most cases. I also believe that could get expensive in the long run? Not to mention the headache of distance limitations for cat5 and the cost of switches depending on the setup. (Are the switches going to be run by your IT dept and if so do they have ports available for all of these devices. Can the switches be unmanaged or must they be managed. If they have to be managed switches the cost can skyrocket. Recommend going with MS/TP communication vs IP at terminal units and small equipment unless your just doing a few units. If you have hundreds and it will require a bunch of new 48 port managed switches that range from hundreds to thousand each it could turn ugly quick.
    Good luck



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    Quote Originally Posted by Controls_3AE View Post
    I'm actually evaluating replacement vendors for our facility. I didn't want to start another "who's the best" thread. ALC is one of the contenders but I wasn't able to find a BACnet IP unitary or ASC controller for terminal units. It's not a deal breaker but it is a consideration.
    You could look at the Circon SCC-520 or Loytec LIOB-585.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unonut View Post
    Few questions.
    What front end is going to be used?
    Do you have one in mind and if so are you planning on using that manufacturers controllers?
    Don’t know the size of your facility but I thinks it’s overkill to have IP for VAV’s and small equipment in most cases. I also believe that could get expensive in the long run? Not to mention the headache of distance limitations for cat5 and the cost of switches depending on the setup. (Are the switches going to be run by your IT dept and if so do they have ports available for all of these devices. Can the switches be unmanaged or must they be managed. If they have to be managed switches the cost can skyrocket. Recommend going with MS/TP communication vs IP at terminal units and small equipment unless your just doing a few units. If you have hundreds and it will require a bunch of new 48 port managed switches that range from hundreds to thousand each it could turn ugly quick.
    Good luck
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    I don't think its overkill. It's convenient. There are no headaches on distance and switches are cheap. Run the network the way you do your MSTP... without the IT. Give them an access point just like you do with MSTP. I have customers putting in hundreds of IP devices. They like them better than fieldbus. No middleware boxes required. You never have a flat architecture MSTP and now IP is here as flat as can be and people think this get's ugly. If that's the case, shut off the smartphone and go back to analog because it sure is ugly. Buy an old TomTom instead of using that map app on your phone.

    It's called progress and it's good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BetterDuck View Post
    I don't think its overkill. It's convenient. There are no headaches on distance and switches are cheap. Run the network the way you do your MSTP... without the IT. Give them an access point just like you do with MSTP. I have customers putting in hundreds of IP devices. They like them better than fieldbus. No middleware boxes required. You never have a flat architecture MSTP and now IP is here as flat as can be and people think this get's ugly. If that's the case, shut off the smartphone and go back to analog because it sure is ugly. Buy an old TomTom instead of using that map app on your phone.

    It's called progress and it's good.
    Whoa bud. Little snappy over communication trunks aren’t we. I believe you might want to check your facts a bit. There is definitely a distance limitation in using cat5 vs MS/TP. Also not everyone can chose or afford to run their own cat5 and create a separate intranet for a BMS. Especially if it’s a retrofit. Then you are also using home runs back to a single location vs daisy chaining. List is to long and if you don’t understand then I doubt I could explain it so you could. Be good and CALM DOWN it’s only my opinion and one I gave to try to understand someone’s needs and wants so I could try to help them out.


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    Would stick with ARCnet or MSTP@76.8+ for terminal equipment.

    kontrol out
    "Good" - Jocko
    "Open is as open does." - Forrest Gump
    "Can't we all just get a Lon?" - Garry Jack
    "BACnet: integration or interrogation?" - The Janitor
    "Interoperability? You can't handle interoperability!" - Nathan R. Jessup
    “What’s that? Aaa… open protocols? Don’t talk about…. open protocols? Are you kidding me? Open protocols? I just hope we can hardwire an interface!” - Jim Mora Watch it here!

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    Quote Originally Posted by unonut View Post
    Whoa bud. Little snappy over communication trunks aren’t we. I believe you might want to check your facts a bit. There is definitely a distance limitation in using cat5 vs MS/TP. Also not everyone can chose or afford to run their own cat5 and create a separate intranet for a BMS. Especially if it’s a retrofit. Then you are also using home runs back to a single location vs daisy chaining. List is to long and if you don’t understand then I doubt I could explain it so you could. Be good and CALM DOWN it’s only my opinion and one I gave to try to understand someone’s needs and wants so I could try to help them out.


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    No need to try to make something out of nothing, but please check the facts. This year got a bunch of projects with over 200+ nodes, one over a thousand, one upcoming at 450. So, if you want to compare notes I can ask you how many ALL-IP sites you have done. If it's less than 10, then maybe I can fill you in on all sorts of possibilities. It's here. It isn't going away.

    The benefits over BACnet MSTP are so great nobody wants BACnet MSTP after they get some installs done. Nobody. I thought there would be some, but it's none. Zero.

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    Sharing case studies to back up these sites?

    Why is it almost no one else is proclaiming the same products solved all/any their issues? Surly if it’s as main stream as you claim, we would have a solid fanboy club here and no shortage of case studies. Haven’t even heard of an independent sighting of such install using your stuff.
    Networking gear, yep. Controllers, surly you jest.

    Boutique solution for those looking for grass fed, carbon & cage free controllers. All from the same joint that claimed LON was the future.
    Last edited by orion242; 07-20-2019 at 10:41 PM.
    Propagating the formula. http://www.noagendashow.com/

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    Schneider and Distech locally have gone 100٪ IP on their unitary controllers locally. The installers are indicating termination time is increased as well as the additional cost of crimpers and test tools. Also it's great when you have IP in, IP out and zone sensor all Cat5e/6 and nothing labelled. Fun times.

    kontrol out
    "Good" - Jocko
    "Open is as open does." - Forrest Gump
    "Can't we all just get a Lon?" - Garry Jack
    "BACnet: integration or interrogation?" - The Janitor
    "Interoperability? You can't handle interoperability!" - Nathan R. Jessup
    “What’s that? Aaa… open protocols? Don’t talk about…. open protocols? Are you kidding me? Open protocols? I just hope we can hardwire an interface!” - Jim Mora Watch it here!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kontrolphreak View Post
    Schneider and Distech locally have gone 100٪ IP on their unitary controllers locally. The installers are indicating termination time is increased as well as the additional cost of crimpers and test tools. Also it's great when you have IP in, IP out and zone sensor all Cat5e/6 and nothing labelled. Fun times.

    kontrol out
    I'm seeing and hearing of sites going all IP, not doubting that. Using certain products...not so much.
    Propagating the formula. http://www.noagendashow.com/

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    Someone's got to explain to me what the advantages actually are. I agree with power meters and even lighting. But FCU's and VAV"s???? It sounds like a smart sales pitch to a dumb customer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by control$ View Post
    Someone's got to explain to me what the advantages actually are. I agree with power meters and even lighting. But FCU's and VAV"s???? It sounds like a smart sales pitch to a dumb customer.
    I'm told it's the FAANG sized companies that are mostly driving this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by control$ View Post
    Someone's got to explain to me what the advantages actually are. I agree with power meters and even lighting. But FCU's and VAV"s???? It sounds like a smart sales pitch to a dumb customer.
    Many of the lighting companies are flowing to various forms of Bluetooth. The close proximity of one luminaire to another is helpful on that.

    Fair enough question on the unitary and terminal. I think you need to separate the IP controllers into categories of what they have. I'm not familiar with what ALC is putting in their new ones, but I have noticed different classes of product.

    Base IP devices similar to JCI and DCI are IP products, but do not have webservers onboard. This is reduced options but gets you IP options when necessary for connectivity.

    Next up you have the devices with webservers.

    Above that those that are adding multiple connectivity paths (wifi, switches, etc.)

    On top of that level are those with built-in graphics, alarming, scheduling, trending, etc.. . Now you don't need a middleware management box and your system.

    Highest level devices are adding diagnostics, IoT interface so you can add in whatever runs with an app. Also, you get some very high level programming options where you can program systems at a time instead of individual devices.

    Our customers use our IP controller and do not need software after the first program. The controller is so powerful they make a program which includes the ability to reconfigure the device and the graphics automatically update to match the configuration. They can store documentation like parts list, wiring diagram and manuals on the hardware and access it.

    The device also has a RS485 port you can use for MSTP, so I guess that ends the discussion from the customer perspective. They have the choice in the same device and go for IP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unonut View Post
    Few questions.
    What front end is going to be used?
    Do you have one in mind and if so are you planning on using that manufacturers controllers?
    Don’t know the size of your facility but I thinks it’s overkill to have IP for VAV’s and small equipment in most cases. I also believe that could get expensive in the long run? Not to mention the headache of distance limitations for cat5 and the cost of switches depending on the setup. (Are the switches going to be run by your IT dept and if so do they have ports available for all of these devices. Can the switches be unmanaged or must they be managed. If they have to be managed switches the cost can skyrocket. Recommend going with MS/TP communication vs IP at terminal units and small equipment unless your just doing a few units. If you have hundreds and it will require a bunch of new 48 port managed switches that range from hundreds to thousand each it could turn ugly quick.
    Good luck Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    The front-end is driving the decision. Our current vendor will discontinue support for their old software soon and we have irreconcilable differences in opinion regarding their new software. We are looking at WebCTRL and possibly Enteliweb. ALC has an established presence near by. I would love to give Innotech a try but there isn't a representative in our area. It's not exactly the middle of nowhere but we are two hours or so from major metropolitan areas. Also, due to the size of our campus, we have always used the local branch for large construction jobs. Making the leap to a smaller, independent controls company would be thinking way outside the box for Management.

    We've in the very fortunate position to manage our own air-gapped network so there are no concerns about playing nice with campus IT. With the big companies beginning to offer BACnet IP devices I figured ALC would be following suit. They seem to a bit behind the curve hardware-wise but WebCTRL seems to be fairly highly regarded both here and by customers we've spoken with.

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    I would describe both frontends as "highly integrated". We have customers using ALC with our IP devices successfully and they like it. I'd say Entelliweb is more of the single vendor product. Both have dedicated dealers with fixed territories.

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    The ZN341A was just released but it isn't a IP controller. Where are you? You should reach out to your dealer to see a demo of the system to grasp the concept of what the server does, the actual info being gathered from the VAV doesn't require an expensive IP connection so they don't do that (yet).

    If all you want to do is add one or two VAV's with their own web UI coming from that controller ALC doesn't scale down to that level well. ALC really looks good when you are managing hundreds/thousands of VAVs, AHUs, and the plants.

    http://www.automatedlogic.com/SpecSheets/ZN341A_CS.pdf


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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxBurn View Post
    You should reach out to your dealer to see a demo of the system to grasp the concept of what the server does.
    That meeting is scheduled for the first week of August!

    ALC really looks good when you are managing hundreds/thousands of VAVs, AHUs, and the plants.
    That's the end goal! We have over 80 buildings. I doubt that the process of integrating them into a new system will be finished in my tenure. I'm trying to do my due diligence before making an investment.

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