ControlTrends caught up with Contemporary Control’s George Thomas at the 2015 Haystack Connect Vendor Show. George shares his insights into Haystack Connect — and, how several of the Contemporary Controls products integrate very nicely with Haystack.
May 2015 — The BASintegratorJ2 uses a subset of J2innovations’s FIN stack to create a powerful, yet flexible intelligent gateway that integrates Modbus and BACnet points up to Project Haystack clients.
Built on Contemporary Controls’ open automation Linux platform, the BASintegratorJ2 can discover points and apply Haystack tags to serve up to building supervisors such as Niagara’s AX Supervisor. Using an open and free Haystack driver in the AX Supervisor, the AX Supervisor only needs to know the IP address of the BASintegratorJ2s in the network for a seamless interface to all points on a job regardless of the type of point. The result is an inexpensive, yet modern approach to building automation where access to structured data is critical.
Project Haystack is an open-source initiative that incorporates a data model that creates structure to this data through naming conventions. The tagging convention is driven through public comment. Using Project Haystack conventions, the BASintegratorJ2 not only provides structure to data but also captures the data in a cost-effective manner while delivering tagged field data up to building supervisors.
Congratulations to George Thomas and the team at Contemporary Controls for winning the Peripheral Product of the Year Award at the 2014 ControlTrends Awards.
March 2015 — The year 2015 marks our 40th anniversary as a company and as we reflect on this milestone, we cannot help but marvel at the technological changes that have impacted both the automation systems we produce as well as how companies are now doing business. We have witnessed the migration from standalone controllers to fieldbus-networked controllers to IP-based network controllers. The open-systems movement has helped smaller companies participate in markets once dominated by larger companies with their proprietary systems. The building automation market is a great example with technologies such as BACnet, Modbus and Ethernet for all to use.
As a company, we have always tried to educate the industry on best practices by publishing application notes, PowerPoint presentations, tutorials and videos. We believe all companies benefit if we effectively educate the industry on the best use of open-system technologies. In that spirit, Contemporary Controls has published Network Communications for Buildings from a collection of prior articles from our Extension and Essentials that were supplements to our print newsletters beginning in 1999. All the articles have been updated to the latest practice so now the best material on network communications can be found in one concise book.
The intention of Network Communications for Buildings is to present the material in a commercial-free format in keeping with the mission of the open-systems movement.
Network Communications for Buildings includes coverage of the following technologies: EIA-485 Physical Layer, Shared Ethernet, Switched Ethernet, Ethernet with Fiber Optic Cabling, Power over Ethernet (PoE), Internet Protocol (IP), Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), Subnetting IP Networks, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN), Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), Modbus, and BACnet. It also includes applications about using Managed Switches and using IP Routers. It concludes with troubleshooting advice and a glossary of terms.
To download your free copy, simply click here and provide your name and email below and you will be given a link to the PDF.
While in Chicago at AHR 2015 make sure to stop by Booth 3531 in the Building Automation and Control Showcase to see and learn about our portfolio of open building automation and control solutions that are cost-effective and durable enough to withstand demanding loads from challenging environments. Read more.
Contemporary Controls Nominated for Five CTA Awards. We’re proud to announce that we’ve been nominated as a ControlTrends Award (CTA) finalist for the following five categories for 2014: * Peripheral Product of the Year (#6) *Best Technical Support Company — Small Manufacturer (#21) *The PID Award (#22) *ControlTrends Executive of the Year — Small Manufacturer (#23 *ControlTrends Vendor of Year — Small Manufacturer (#26) Read more.
Simplify the Saving of Sedona Projects with BASbackup: BASbackup – our Sedona Project Backup and Restore utility – has been updated to simplify the backup and restore operations of our BAScontrol20 series of BACnet/IP unitary controllers. All BAScontrol20 configuration files – not just Sedona application files – can now be saved in one simple zip file for easy project retention and recovery. Read more.
November 2014 — The BASgatewayLX uses a csv (comma separated value) file that is uploaded to it to provide the modbus point list that will be polled. Contemporary Controls builds these Modbus maps and posts them on our BASgatewayLX profile page. If you need a Modbus that is not currently on line please contact us, and we will enjoy creating it for you.
There have been situations especially with PLC implementers where a defined map is not applicable. For example when we develop a Modbus map for a specific boiler model, those Modbus points are always the same for the identical boiler model. In PLC applications the logic developer defines what values will be assigned to which Modbus points. For every job the point mapping may be unique. We can still build the map, but many times the PLC developer will build their own since the point mapping may be a last minute decision.
So to support this type of customer requirement and also to support the BAS implementer who may only need a few points we offer the Modbus Profile Builder_a.xls file. The software is available on our BASgatewayLX profile page as is a link to the “how to use” explanation video.
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As always, if you have questions please contact us.
Thanks to our friends at Contemporary Controls for this great way to make the Honeywell Spyder even more powerful.
Honeywell Spyder VAV and unitary controllers are available with either a LON or BACnet interface. These controllers typically have 21 physical points but this point count can be expanded on the BACnet versions by adding BACnet Cube I/O modules instead of adding another Spyder. Cube I/O modules are low-cost, low-density DIN-rail modules with a variety of I/O point configurations. Installation can be accomplished using a Honeywell WEBstation-AX (Niagara workstation) with an installed Honeywell Spyder Tool for configuration and commissioning. Connecting the WEBstation to the Spyder is facilitated with a Contemporary Controls’ BACnet MS/TP to BACnet/IP router.
The Cube I/O series is available as either BACnet MS/TP or Modbus RTU devices. They all are DIN-rail mountable and can be powered from 24 VAC/VDC power source. They can share power with the Spyder controllers. They are available in several I/O configurations including a model that supports four binary inputs and two binary outputs. The BMT-DIO4/2 is the module used in the application note that we authored giving step-by-step instructions on how to install a typical Cube I/O device to expand point count in a Honeywell Spyder.
Click here to see how easy it is to use the Cube I/O with the Honeywell Spyders.
BASremoteAugust 2014 — The BASremote has evolved over the years from its original intent as a BACnet/IP remote I/O device. We were one of the first to add a Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) option ― allowing the device to operate without the need for control panel power. Next, we added Modbus RTU to BACnet/IP gateway functionality which greatly expanded the point handling capability of the unit. Then we added Modbus TCP to Modbus RTU routing ― providing the BASremote with Modbus TCP client capability. Next, we added a Sedona Framework virtual machine (SVM) eventually obtaining Sedona 1.2 certification ― making the BASremote a freely-programmable B-ASC controller. The Linux-based BASremote is appropriately identified as a versatile BACnet/IP controller/gateway, but we did not stop there. By listening to our customers we are releasing several new features. Visit Contemporary Controls for more solutions!
BASremotes with firmware release 3.7.7 have these added features:
Secure email notifications
Convenient firmware upgrades
Equipped with expansion modules, the BASremote can have up to 32 I/O points. With an installed Modbus device profile and attached Modbus devices, the number of points can increase dramatically. Each of these points can be trended using a simple “check-the-box” web page. Up to 150,000 data points can be saved before rollover of data. The output is a CSV-compliant file that can be manipulated using a standard spreadsheet program.
Authentication: Unauthorized access can now be prevented with password protection. This includes web page access, Java use, Sedona program protection and access to trend data.
Secure Email Notifications: Events captured in a Sedona program can trigger an email alert. Encrypted email services used by both Google and Yahoo can be used to carry these messages. The BASremote now supports SSL/TLS over port 465 and STARTTLS over port 587. It will continue to support traditional port 25 email services.
Convenient firmware upgrades: The BASremote is built upon a Linux platform and therefore supports the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) for making firmware revisions. With version 3.7.7 we have introduced a firmware update process based upon a simple web page action that removes the FTP complexity.
Any BASremote with version 3.1.2 or higher can be upgraded to version 3.7.7 using the traditional FTP process that can be found on the BASremote support page. There is no charge for the upgrade version. Also on the same support page is a new application note explaining how Modbus to BACnet mapping is accomplished in the BASremote.
Visit Contemporary Controls for more solutions!
ControlTrends is delighted to announce that Contemporary Controls will be a Platinum Sponsor for the 2014 ControlTrends Awards at the 2015 AHR Show in Chicago. Contemporary Controls is a leading manufacturer of Industrial, Building, and Commercial Automation Components; Communication and Network Devices; and Building Automation Controllers. George Thomas and Contemporary Controls are ready to assist with your next project!
July 2014 — If your home is in a low-lying area prone to flooding and you have experienced a flooded basement more than once, you are acutely aware of redundant sump pump schemes. And if your area has overhead power lines, losing power in a storm is your worst nightmare. Installing a backed-up battery sump pump for emergencies is common, but they lack pumping power, need periodic exercising and lack energy capacity for long outages. Portable gasoline generators have more energy capacity but you must be home during a storm to start the generator. Probably the best solution is a natural gas-fired standby generator with an automatic transfer switch. Finally, add a second pump in your sump in case one fails.
Contemporary Controls has published an application note that describes a redundant sump pump controller system that incorporates a BASremote BACnet controller executing Sedona Framework logic to run the redundant pumping application. Redundancy is stressed in different points of the design. Alarm and event messages are sent via email alerts. Remote access to the controller is accomplished by opening up ports on the homeowner’s residential gateway. The two sump pumps are provided a lead-lag sequence to even out run times and to verify that each pump is operating properly.
Although this is a residential application, it shows the capabilities of the BASremote as a versatile BACnet/IP controller that is freely programmable using Sedona Framework and I/O expandable via a Modbus serial port. Its Ethernet port directly connects to the homeowner’s residential gateway for sending out emails and for displaying its web pages.
Download the application note to learn more.