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  1. #1
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    Automated Logic to Niagara 4 Question

    We bid a job recently to upgrade a old Automated Logic system at a old Target store. We are bidding against a competitor that claims that they can integrate all of the existing Target controllers into a Niagara 4 JACE. I have only heard of people doing this through a ALC LGR or LGE. Is there any other way to do this? The existing LGR/ LGE has been removed from the job site. Our competitor is claiming that the Target controllers are BACnet. The only thing I could really see marked on them was ARC156 or Legacy. Is the ARC156 on these controllers BACnet over Arcnet?

    I have ATTACHED a picture of the controllers in question. What software would be needed to extract the programming out of the controllers? Eikon Builder? Do the controllers in the picture communicate over BACnet MS/TP? Do these controllers expose points over BACnet? To me it is a pretty big risk for us to integrate controllers that were previously managed by Target corporation. However, we are trying to get in with this customer. So we are willing to go down the integration road if it makes sense.

    I am curious to what some of the ALC experts think on this site about doing anything with these controllers. Thanks for the feedback.


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    J. King

  2. #2
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    Can't extract program, must have Eikon file and EDB database as well as software. Does not communicate via MSTP, uses ARC156 a unique implementation of ARCnet. Level of BACnet support depends on generation of firmware and how it was programmed.

    kontrol out
    "Good" - Jocko
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    "BACnet: integration or interrogation?" - The Janitor
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    “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!

  3. #3
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    I seen a Chrysler branded window AC, but never a Target branded Automation Controller.
    Hmmmm....smells like numbatwo to me.

  4. #4
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    Not uncommon in big box retail.

    Novar back in the day owned tons of the major brands. Not uncommon to see controllers factory labeled "Property of Walmart" installed by the equipment OEM. Lennox would factory install a custom labeled Novar controller in the units for example. Controller replaced standard terminal blocks with molex plugs that stabbed right into the factory harness. Novar supported nothing open protocol, yet somehow they did support a modbus connection to these units specifically. They bent over backwards for these customers but could give two $hits to everyone else. They got what they deserved in the end.

    Miserable PITA in many cases. These customers typically got what they wanted and its custom crap only available to them. Total nightmare unless you have an deep inside connection.

    When Circuit City went tits up, I had to deal with a ton of this crap. Been in many a closed Home Depot and no stranger to JCP, hobby lobby, etc sites either. Guys buying these buildings have no idea just how painful their BMS is to deal with and typically don't have the budget to fix it right. Unless you have a deep ALC contact, this is a full replace or walk type of decision IMO.
    Last edited by orion242; 11-14-2019 at 11:18 PM.
    Propagating the formula. http://www.noagendashow.com/

  5. #5
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    And in many cases you quote full replace, some furnace jokey will quote stand alone tstats that will meet most of what the new owner needs well within their budget. Lighting if under BMS control in these, bit more tricky as they typically used smart breakers with more custom crap. More misery to deal with.

    Just my $0.02.
    Propagating the formula. http://www.noagendashow.com/

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by apprentice3 View Post
    We bid a job recently to upgrade a old Automated Logic system at a old Target store. We are bidding against a competitor that claims that they can integrate all of the existing Target controllers into a Niagara 4 JACE. I have only heard of people doing this through a ALC LGR or LGE. Is there any other way to do this? The existing LGR/ LGE has been removed from the job site. Our competitor is claiming that the Target controllers are BACnet. The only thing I could really see marked on them was ARC156 or Legacy. Is the ARC156 on these controllers BACnet over Arcnet?

    I have ATTACHED a picture of the controllers in question. What software would be needed to extract the programming out of the controllers? Eikon Builder? Do the controllers in the picture communicate over BACnet MS/TP? Do these controllers expose points over BACnet? To me it is a pretty big risk for us to integrate controllers that were previously managed by Target corporation. However, we are trying to get in with this customer. So we are willing to go down the integration road if it makes sense.

    I am curious to what some of the ALC experts think on this site about doing anything with these controllers. Thanks for the feedback.


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    Let your competitors have it! They don't even allow me access when I troubleshooting their problems. The best part is the 4 hours max. time frame to fix any problem.. .ok a little off topic.
    Get this, A job installed by ALC. Using 22/2 STANDARD wire to everthing while using Arcnet. Orginally a legacy comm. job they never pulled new wires!
    Everyone I've seen has been a complete mess.
    Run!
    Controls, the cause of... and solution to... all your HVAC problems.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by apprentice3 View Post
    Do the controllers in the picture communicate over BACnet MS/TP? Do these controllers expose points over BACnet?
    I am NOT an ALC expert. But if you search there are several threads that address this on this forum, especially on the pro side. They are BACNet/ARCNet, so yes they are BACNet, but it is the other half of that which is the problem. No a JACE cannot talk to these directly. Likely this guy assumes that these have the ARCnet/MSTP jumper, which they do not.
    Run away. I have done work at places that are as contol$ describes with that 4 hr max on labor. It is NEVER NEVER worth it. Let the furnace jockey have it. It will be a noose around his neck.
    Or you can break in after the job is done and tell us how wrong we were.
    Hmmmm....smells like numbatwo to me.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by control$ View Post
    Everyone I've seen has been a complete mess.
    Ditto. Least with the ones I'm familiar with, Novar would just use the electricians on the job to install them. Most of the controls came packaged in with the equipment and they just needed monkeys to install the comms & stat wires. Boy things get interesting when standard sparkies slap an install in and no one with a clue puts an eye on it.

    Proper comm wire, lol. You will find anything from cheap brown solid strand stat cable to 16awg THHN ran in with the power feeds. Real fun to fix in a store filled with crap and 30' ceilings.

    Looks like this one is using THHN/MTW for the comms as well.
    Propagating the formula. http://www.noagendashow.com/

  9. #9
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    being it has a comfort link. you could just swap that out and put a UPC ( if it doesn't currently have total unit control) and you would then have bacnet.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbawunfela View Post
    I seen a Chrysler branded window AC, but never a Target branded Automation Controller.
    Boy, you must be real yung cuzz Target and ALC OEM have been doing this for a verryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy long time, and many others.
    "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit" Aristotle

    Remember to "Pay it Forward"; help out the newer generation of techs, remember someone during our career helped us! ("Pay it Forward" was by someone smarter than me!!)

  11. #11
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by orion242 View Post
    Ditto. Least with the ones I'm familiar with, Novar would just use the electricians on the job to install them. Most of the controls came packaged in with the equipment and they just needed monkeys to install the comms & stat wires. Boy things get interesting when standard sparkies slap an install in and no one with a clue puts an eye on it.

    Proper comm wire, lol. You will find anything from cheap brown solid strand stat cable to 16awg THHN ran in with the power feeds. Real fun to fix in a store filled with crap and 30' ceilings.

    Looks like this one is using THHN/MTW for the comms as well.
    The network wiring is something that I looked at on this job when we bid it. It was definitely the wrong wiring for any RS485 protocol. It had the wrong impedance, the wrong capacitance, the wrong AWG, and wasn't even shielded.

    We essentially bid to install new communication wiring, and new controllers at every unit. Then after a few weeks, one of our competitors put in a bid to integrate. The controllers on this job are already 15 years old or so. I just wanted to do some research on the integration capabilities in order to prepare for a conference call this week with the owner. Thank you ALL for the information. This is helpful!
    J. King

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by dracula View Post
    Boy, you must be real yung cuzz Target and ALC OEM have been doing this for a verryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy long time, and many others.
    Either that or I never had the privilege of being in a Target for Automation work....
    Hmmmm....smells like numbatwo to me.

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