Contemporary Controls provides several proven, cost-effective solutions to enhance your JACE.
While the JACE can receive or route MS/TP traffic over one of its serial ports, handling the intensive overhead of the BACnet MS/TP token passing protocol burdens the JACE's CPU and reduces its performance. This results in increased system resource usage that could be used for other functions such as trending, alarming, and graphics/ dashboards.
The JACE CPU resource usage can be improved by offloading the task of MS/TP token passing to external BACnet MS/TP to BACnet/IP routers. This is especially important if you require the JACE to be connected to multiple MS/TP segments, where signal quality issues may arise.
Although the JACE can communicate Modbus Serial over one of its serial ports, the Modbus protocol does not allow points to be discovered like BACnet points, which requires manual configuration of each Modbus register. This can be difficult and very time consuming. By using the BASgatewayLX – Modbus to BACnet/IP gateway, with pre-defined Modbus device profiles, configuration of Modbus device registers is just as quick as configuring BACnet points. This allows for greatly reducing the time to configure Modbus devices in the field. Modbus Serial or Modbus TCP/IP points appear to the JACE's Ethernet port as BACnet/IP discoverable points.
Traveling to a job site to conduct a service call can be expensive, time consuming, and counterproductive, especially when the problem could be resolved remotely. Remote access to the JACE can reduce travel time and improve troubleshooting responsiveness. There are several ways this can be accomplished with either wired (Ethernet) or wireless (Cellular) IP router solutions which do not compromise network security thanks to advanced VPN (Virtual Private Network) technology.
You may be experiencing IP network errors, communication issues with your JACE, or you cannot discover a device on the IP network. It would be difficult to troubleshoot these issues without access to a network protocol analyzer such as Wireshark®, which works by capturing all network traffic and decoding the packets for analysis of the conversation between devices. Mounting a diagnostic switch next to your JACE allows you to easily perform IP network troubleshooting.
If your JACE network is sharing the main information network, you are likely to get some pushback from the IT department. Your automation network tends to generate more broadcast and multicast messages, while also requiring fixed IP address assignments. These attributes are not usually welcomed by IT departments. Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs) enable Ethernet connected systems to be divided into logical groups at the data link layer. VLANs make it easy for network administrators to partition a single switched IP network to match the functional and security requirements of their systems without having to run new cables or make major changes in their current network infrastructure.
Niagara Workbench™ is an indispensable solution for programming and maintaining a Niagara system however, it is seldom used with field controllers because the controllers do not incorporate Niagara. Contemporary Control's line of Sedona controllers – the BAScontrol series and the BASremote controller/gateway – can be programmed using Niagara Workbench 3.7 and 3.8 tools, meaning that the tool can be used with both Niagara and Sedona controllers, thereby greatly simplifying commissioning/programming. This makes the Niagara Workbench™ a one-tool solution.