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Thread: So lets start.

  1. #1
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    So lets start. What is better Lon or Bacnet?
    Tom

  2. #2
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    I'll answer with a question since I have no opinion (or knowlege)... :-)

    Which is more widely used, supported, standard, adopted or has less bugs?

    I recently met with a sales goon who proposed ripping out a new (< 1 yr.) N30 install and putting in a Lon based supervisory controller... all so we could have graphics which we can add to the N30 anyway with M3 workstation.... why?

  3. #3
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    Automated buildings has submissions by a guy named Mason who has a ten part? series of articles outlining Lonworks as less expensive to install.

    Army Corps has specified LNS Lonworks for new installations.

    Over 45 million Lonworks devices in operation today.


  4. #4
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    COOL

    You guys are going to go way over my head with this stuff.... but i'm going to read every damn post and learn something....... cool
    Life goes on long after the thrill of living is gone.

  5. #5
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    Thread Starter
    with lon we can connect panels from different suppliers, and with the right drivers use bacnet colntrols. I admit to not doing much with bacnet, and i like programming with blocks versus line to line, but I can see where it would appeal to some . I guess it depends on your way of thinking out solutions.

    My pet peeve, Systems that are not set up for service people unless they are dealers in that particular brand

    Tom
    Tom

  6. #6
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    Which system was better .... VHS or Beta?

    The Sony Beta was far superior to the VHS format.

    But who got the job? VHS did cause somebody marketed the stink out of it while Beta lost market share and eventually died a horrible death!

    The better system is not always the winner.
    People are very finicky about who they go with. And they dont usually do ANY amount of background research prior to making their decision.

    Which network is better of the two listed ???


    "Army corp of engineers" .... those guys are animals for building projects!
    They just wana build stuff! And they dont give a rip where, when or why....





  7. #7
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    • Lonworks is a device level implementation. I can replace devices the network on the device level.
    • I can add devices (multiple manufacturers) whether lighting, access, HVAC, etc... anywhere in the network easily.
    • No Supervisory controllers necessary.
    • All the points of a device are available.
    • Communication is not an issue in the network. It's consistent.
    At times device level is more work. If you have a VAV system at times it's nice to have a dedicated system like ALC which is setup specifically for this task. However, when the customer wants a card access controller it's really nice to just add it anywhere and not have to find the right "tier" to add the device. Or, start mapping points through supervisory controllers on tier 3. And, if you are the customer and don't like the local rep you could be "stuck" with them.

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by tombc
    So lets start. What is better Lon or Bacnet?
    Hmmm.

    Personally, I'd pick the guy (installer/programmer) who knows his stuff best over any particular "system" such as either Lon, BacNet, or propriety.

    The results, whether they're good or not, is more often determined by the installing/programming contractor than it is by the "system" or the particular equipment manufacturer.

    I say that as someone in the business. And we do all the above.

    Common for me to go to a new job where the customer has booted the last contractor and "system", and to listen to customer bad mouth Lon, BacNet, Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Alerton, Circon, Andover, etc ... whomever and whatever "system", saying it's WORTHLESS.

    All because the origininal installer/programmer was just a half assed hack.

    Wasn't actually anything wrong with whichever "system" had been put in. Except the way it'd been put in, tested, commissioned, programmed, etc.

    <Shrug> Just my opinion.

    I'm in love with, and owe loyalty no "system". Any that I put in, and I do Lon, BacNet, and propriety, I concentrate on installing right, and programming it even better. No flash, no bells and whistles to impress the customer, just solid ... correct ... performance.

    Now, there are other issues which I have opinions about, as concerns particular pieces of equipment or manufacturers. But that's another story.

    Most of the problems I see are not with "systems", it's with bad installation and programming.


  9. #9
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    Osiyo - I agree with most of what you say... what I'm saying is Lonworks systems allow you the freedom to do the proper programming and implementation when the previous contractor is , well, less than cooperative.

    Or when there is a problem with the local representative.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by R12rules
    Which system was better .... VHS or Beta?


    "Army corp of engineers" .... those guys are animals for building projects!
    They just wana build stuff! And they dont give a rip where, when or why....

    Yes they are animals - dinosaurs mostly - I have sold several jobs to the "corp" I spent 3 months once calibrating some of the most sophisticated equipment there is for monitoring the conditions of power plants. The equipment was supposed to be used to trip breakers to protect equipment from damage in case something went wrong. All the trip circuits did was energize a local recording that played all over the facility in a particularly irritating female voice to notify everyone that "you have a switchgear alarm". Now in electrical terms 1 second is a lifetime - so how long is it when the alarm goes off at 3 am and someone has to get dressed and go to the power plant to trip a breaker??? Another "corp" design at work. I think that the corp was waiting for some general to die before they could get up with the rest of the world... Don't get me on the corp - they make me crazy…

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by sysint
    Osiyo - I agree with most of what you say... what I'm saying is Lonworks systems allow you the freedom to do the proper programming and implementation when the previous contractor is , well, less than cooperative.

    Or when there is a problem with the local representative.
    No argument, Sysint. That is certainly something in Lon's favor.

    But I was trying to make a specific point.

    My customers don't really give a flying rip about Lon versus Bacnet versus propriety. Nor about Honeywell versus JCI versus Trane versus Andover etc.

    And we, as a company, don't make a living by touting that we're a "Lon" dealer.

    We make our living by providing a "system" to the customer that works, and works right, exactly as we said it would and IAW what the customer expected when he or she signed on the dotted line.

    It has been my experience that if one does that, the customer is happy. And one gets repeat business or good referrals. Which means we're happy.

    Customer doesn't REALLY much care what the heck "system" you put in as long as it works and works well.

    Likewise, customer does not care how "good or superior" you claim one system is to another, if it isn't working right.

    I NEVER hear a customer complaining that he or she wished he or she had a Lon system, or Bacnet, or whatever instead of what he or she has. What I hear is customer complaining that whatever he or she has, isn't working the way he or she wants it to work. The way he or she thought it would work based on what installing contractor claimed.

    And/or customer complaining that original installer is almost impossible to call back and get to correct something that never did work as advertised. Or customer complaining that if installer comes back, he always seems to find some excuse to add to the customer's bill. So on and so forth.

    THAT ... is what we concentrate on, as the way we make a living and grow our customer base.

    We do it right, period. Or we'll make it right, period. No excuses or waffling around about it.

    It does make a difference. Trust me. While I've not ever heard a customer seriously debate whether Lon or Bacnet is better. (Most don't really know much about either except for what the slick ads say.) I routinely and regularly hear them bad mouth whichever "lousy" system they have or had that didn't work right. And praise my guys because they have confidence that when we're done, whatever they have will work, and work right.

    One of my guys, for instance, is a legacy, proprietary CSI controller guru. He does other stuff, too. But I give him the lead in those systems. He has a loyal customer base who swear that those old CSI systems are the "best". Another guy I have on my team does Andover. Ditto, his customer think they're the best. Another, does Automatrix, and his customer couldn't be happier or more loyal. Yes, we do Lon, mostly TAC and Honeywell. Tho we're fixing to say goodbye to Honeywell. We, and our customers are having some issues with those folks which have nothing to do with Lon versus Bacnet, etc.

    Point is, that while I understand all this debate about problems and issues with this sort of network versus that, the ease of making and maintaining a points database using this system versus that, etc.

    The real problem in the controls world has more to do with the individual knowledge and skill level of the installing/servicing tech than it has to do with Lon versus Bacnet.

    A good, Trane proprietary tech will produce a better working system for a customer than will a mediocre or half assed Lon guru. And it's particularly important that the lead man understands the equipment being controlled. ie I have one guy who is a programming genius. And types aout 1000 words per minute. But his knowledge of HVAC system technicalities leaves something to be desired. So I use him to generate initial programs to suit customer specs. But before the program is accepted, it's turned over to one of my guys who is a 15 year HVAC mechanic. Who programs slow, and isn't all that good at it. But he knows HVAC systems very, very well. And will catch bugs and gotchas the other guy overlooked.

    And that's how one makes money and loyal customers, isn't it? By providing em with a system that works correctly, and as expected? And is installed in such a way that it's works fine and lasts a long time.

    <Shrug> I just don't see these debates of Lon vs Bacnet as very productive. Isn't the thing I hear most customers complain about.

    Sorry about the long post, but subject is a pet peeve of mine.



  12. #12
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    No offense Osiyo, but I still think the discussion is relavent. Not every company is an Eagan type company with alot of resources at their disposal.

    Also, most customers don't have the resources or knowledge available.

    I have a customer looking for a change. They didn't give a rip about LON vs BACnet either. They cared about the service, support and costs which is a more than viable discussion about LON vs. BACnet. They realized they couldn't get it with their many "BACnet" based systems. Promises broken.

    I have not seen a BACnet based system that lends the flexibility of a LON based system to date. Can you think of one? I like to see one. Honestly. Again, LON is device level based. That makes it the most flexible, and less costly over time. I'm not debating the merits of the individual technology implementation(s) here, just the result.

    What always gets my goat is hearing "I don't think these LON vs. BACnet discussions are very productive..." because what seems to follow is "figure 6.2" showing BACnet all over the page followed by ASHRAE specifications. Not saying that's your intent but I see it all the time and I'm getting sick of it. It's in all the industry rags like LON doesn't even exist yet millions of Lonworks nodes are installed and operating. It's too the point when I hear that refrain I think to myself..."yep, another guy trying to justify his system or support deficiencies on future flexibility and cost controls to the customer."

    I still think BACnet is not at the stage of giving each vendor or owner the freedom and cost advantages a LON based system delivers.


  13. #13
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    I have not seen a BACnet based system that lends the flexibility of a LON based system to date. Can you think of one?
    Unfortunately, so far as I can tell BACnet has a lot of promise, and very little delivery thus far, that I've seen.

    Sysint. It is not my intention by any means to attempt to argue that BACnet is better.

    It IS my intention to argue that JUST because a contractor elects to go Lon, or what-the-heck-ever, that this does not guarantee success or superiority. Or a system which even works adequately, much less well.

    I'm simply arguing that the single greatest cause of customer complaints and systems which don't work as advertised is "people" related ... not a matter of "system" used.

    On the projects upon which I work, I spend VERY little time over issues such as creating or changing databases, comm problems, etc.

    The vast bulk of my time is spent towards the end of a project. Finding all the durned errors where an installer put something in incorrectly or poorly, finding those items where somebody did not do a point by point HANDS ON verify that the right sensor was connected to the right terminal. And that in fact the sensor or actuator worked correctly and was calibrated. Yah know, the same old standard thing that anyone who has worked with digital and computer systems since their invention understands .... GIGO, garbage in - garbage out. Poorly thought out and implemented PID loops. Or a thermostatic control with poor choice of reset variable values. A programmer who crated a program that's real nifty but which does not deal with the "what if" of a component malfunction. Or that really neat, ZOWIE looking front end graphics screen ... that looks just spectacular. But is full of errors from the aspect that the designer and creator made a really neat looking screen. However he or she linked a "status" to a command point as versus a true status point, or made a friggin typo that's not at first obvious. As in reversing an "On" and "Off" indicator. Or, more than a few times, it's just a matter that the screen looks really, really impressive, but the selection of which data to show is poor. Logical from the screen creator's point of view, and neat looking. But not the best selection and presentation of data and controls from the owner/operator's point of view. I run into a LOT of complaints about this last point. Customer's prefer utility and usefulness, clean presentation of the IMPORTANT points on an uncluttered screen. Laid out in the same way their thinking and normal method of supervision and operation would go. Grouped in logical order over snazzy ... most every time.

    Lon is indeed a good choice for numerous reasons, no argument. But isn't the answer, alone, to having a good, workable installation and a happy customer.

    It's like a recent small job in which I got involved. Customer had a part of a large building controlled by some Microzone controllers. And was most unhappy, had been since it'd been installed. As far as customer was concerned, it'd never worked RIGHT.

    WHen I took a look, out of curiosity, I readily saw that the whole problem was with the installation and implementation. Not with the fact Microzone controllers had been used. They were more than up to the task. However the original installer should've had his ass kicked for incompetence and/or sloppiness.

    Enough, from me. I could rant about these things forever. But am still convinced the biggest problem in our biz is poor craftsmanship, knowledge, and implementation.

    Well, that and customer's screwing with what they don't understand. The reason I press my guys to make exact backups of the final, tested and proven system. Database and programs and default variable values. Don't let customer touch ANYTHING til that's done. Then, when we get a call, dump everything back to original settings, and if system works ... bill the customer and explain why he or she shouldn't have done whatever he or she did. Find out what customer was trying to do, and explain how to do it properly.







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