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Thread: Niagara Siemens driver lowdown

  1. #1
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    Niagara Siemens driver lowdown

    I am tasked with replacing all Siemens panels with JACEs on a Desigo site. Engineering is not done yet, but it will be north of 10 JACEs.
    I have never worked with the Siemens driver for Niagara. Any gotchas?
    Does it discover points and controllers ok? Is it hard to build a database? Should I try to get any particular info from the site? Any Insight or Datamate Advanced reports that would be especially helpful?
    I am thinking in terms of contemporary protocols like Johnson N2 that does not support point discovery. I am expecting something similar - not because Siemens sucks, but because it is roughly the same age and things get shaky with 30 yr old technology.
    Hmmmm....smells like numbatwo to me.

  2. #2
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    Talon is the series of OEM Niagara. It must be perfectly compatible
    https://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3D...GmLHISE6fyMgFy

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    The question is not one of compatibility, it is of usability.
    Niagaras N2 driver does not support point discovery, not because of some incompatibility, but because it is not supported by the protocol. Native Johnson also do not support it. as an example.
    But I appreciate the post.
    Hmmmm....smells like numbatwo to me.

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    I've used the Maxline FLN driver, if that's what you're referring to. I'm not really familiar with Desigo, so I can't say for sure if its the same protocol/driver that I used. That said, the Maxline driver works just fine. You'll need to get the list of devices and addresses from the existing system or else you are in for a world of hurt. When I did a similar project a while back, I was able to look at something called the "Site View" on the Siemens workstation. It listed the devices by name and had their addresses listed, as well as their application number. All of this was very valuable, as you'll have to create a FLN device in Niagara and assign it the right address. There is a device discovery of sorts, but again, without knowing who's who, you'll be in trouble. As for points, the biggest key for me was getting my hands on the Siemens manuals for the particular field controllers. Google search by the application number and you should find what you're looking for. Those manuals are pretty good and have a points list. Also, assuming you have VAVs, be careful about the airflow and airflow setpoint. On the controllers I had, they were a percentage of the max flow. I didn't pay close enough attention to the units on the points list and it was all too late in terms of duplicating devices and points before I realized the mistake I had made.

    That's all I can think of at the moment, there weren't any real gotchas with my situation. But I had it easy, new RTUs, so I only had Siemens VAV controllers to deal with. If you have to get into replicating a bunch of PPCL that's a whole other can of worms.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jthompson View Post
    I've used the Maxline FLN driver, if that's what you're referring to.
    I was able to look at something called the "Site View" on the Siemens workstation. It listed the devices by name and had their addresses listed, as well as their application number.
    If you have to get into replicating a bunch of PPCL that's a whole other can of worms.
    Yeah, that is what I am talking about. Thanks a lot for reaponding!
    Site view is Insight. Good to know I need the application number. Also thanks for the tip on VAV flow stpts.
    I will be recreating the PPCL. I have found it relatively straightforward to follow, but I am sure that now I said it I will get slapped around by something weird on this job..
    Sounds like I could pull the trunk, put it on the JACE, and suck in controllers. Can I do that with points?
    I may need to set up a spreadsheet for recording some of those volatile setpoint like Kantor and flow setpoint.
    Hmmmm....smells like numbatwo to me.

  6. #6
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    I would use insight to document as much as you can about the layout of the site.
    don't know anything about niagara siemens driver, but my past experiences with siemens conversions have always been a bumpy road, especially if a large site.
    good luck.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by amigo View Post
    I would use insight to document as much as you can about the layout of the site.
    This. Can't be overstated that getting as much of the info as you can out of the existing workstation before you begin to dismantle it.

    You are correct about just moving the trunk over. It was actually that easy when I did it. My method was to use a spare VAV controller from the building. If memory serves, the points were the same between the single duct cooling only boxes I had vs the fan powered units, minus the lack of a fan. So I stuck the spare controller on the test board, make one "perfect" proxy device in Niagara, then duplicated and named as necessary. From there, device manager view of the System600Network made quick work of setting all of the addresses per the lists I obtained from the Siemens workstation. After that was all done, move the wire over, and BAM, they all just worked.

    As far as points, I believe Niagara will discover the points in the controller, but these were application specific VAV controllers, so there could have been some trickery behind the curtain where the driver picked up on the application number and already knew what points should be there. I wouldn't be surprised if the mileage varied a lot with something custom programmed, but who knows, maybe discovery works there also.

    One gotcha worth mentioning regarding the Maxline driver: unless something has changed, you buy the driver license for the version of Niagara you are using. So if you license the driver N4.9, then upgrade the JACE to N4.10, it'll break the driver until you upgrade the driver license.

  8. #8
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    I found the conversions rather easy as far as the FLN goes. Another gotcha is if there is a second heating valve. Double check there is none on any of the VAVs or you’ll get a call next winter.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by numbawunfela View Post
    Site view is Insight.
    Site View is Desigo. It is an optional header name in the navigation/collapsible menu pane on the left.

    Good to know I need the application number. Also thanks for the tip on VAV flow stpts.
    The application number is right next to the field device when looking at in System Profile on Insight. In Desigo you have to click on the device and look at its properties. The VAV flow setpoints are just balancing numbers.
    .

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by stomachbuzz View Post
    Site View is Desigo. It is an optional header name in the navigation/collapsible menu pane on the left.
    hmmmm...... so I can make one of these? Is it hard? Is it a template that needs activating or revealing?
    I tried for around 45 minutes to make a simple report in Desigo to try to export a list of points.... and boy howdy was that thankless....
    This and DigiLux graphics just scramble my noodle. I finally turned a corner on DigiLux (distech Envysion) I know what I am looking at now and how the local physics go... still a little ways off on Desigo.
    I am used to being better than some in a day on most things (better than some, not most) This is a consistent kick in the crotch. I will get the hang of it.... the machine NEVER wins....
    Hmmmm....smells like numbatwo to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by numbawunfela View Post
    hmmmm...... so I can make one of these? .
    Make one of what?

  12. #12
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    The optional header in Desigo called Site View
    Hmmmm....smells like numbatwo to me.

  13. #13
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    It's just a label for the collapsing menu. It has no significance as far as I know.

    It appears to be a default label that comes with the package when installing Desigo, but nobody used it at the sites I saw.

    It's just a label of 'where you would put stuff' if anyone used it.

    All the Desigo sites I went to just used Application and Management views. Site View was empty.
    Possibly something used if a site had multiple disciplines: HVAC, fire, security, etc.

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