June 2013 Newsletter Page 2

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Specific Advice for Those Doing Upgrade to Legacy Systems with Metasys by Johnson Controls

Step 0 – Introduction
These notes are reproduced with permission of the S4 Group. Chipkin Automation and the S4 Group work closely together to educate integrators on these issues.



Step One – Investigate the Legacy N2 Bus

You will need any or all of the following tools. The more tools you have at your disposal the greater the accuracy of your information:

  • The ComBus Quick Tester – Visit the S4 Group’s website for more information of this Tool
  • Johnson Controls Utilities – Often, these utilities are located on the Operator Workstation located at the site.
  • GX-9100
  • A digital volt meter
  • Site Plans / Metasys Network Schematics

When the integration is completed the N2 bus will be driven harder than it has ever been driven before, especially when you are in a co-existence strategy with the legacy head end. That will bring out any latent problems in the bus installation or N2 devices.

Step Two – Locate and Copy N2 Configuration Files

All S4 Open appliances use N2 Device Type Templates to prove point-mapping for Metasys N2 devices. The S4 Open Appliance is capable of discovering and scanning for points on N2 devices that do not have templates, however, the points that are published upstream will not have the original user defined names. Also, not all of the points discovered may be relevant to the actual application loaded on the device. Using N2 Device Type Templates generated from the original Metasys configuration files ensures a smooth transition for the customer and the integrator.

You will need the following tools:

  • Access to the legacy Metasys Operator Workstation
  • A USB Thumb Drive or Other Storage Medium

The files can usually be found in the following directories:

  • C:/WINPRO/ – Default directory of HVAC PRO for Windows
  • C:/HVACPRO/ – Default directory of HVAC PRO for Dos
  • C:/WGX9100/ – Default directory of GX-9100 for Windows
  • C:/GX9100/ – Default directory of GX-9100 for Dos
  • You can also search the local drives for files using Microsoft Windows search

The files have the following extensions: (Files marked with a * contain the most relevant information)

System 9100 Devices

  • DX-9100
  • Devices on the DX-9100 “XT” Bus
  • Files can be found in the GX-9100 directory
devicename.DXS Configuration file generated by GX-9100, binary – can be read by GX-9100 and used to generate any of the other files
devicename.DMO* The model file generated by GX-9100, this is the most useful file for integration purposes, text
devicename.DNC Defines AI, BI, AO, BO points only, text
devicename.TAG Defines custom user names for DX-9100 points, does not contain very much information but can be useful, text

LCP / DR-9100 Devices

  • Files can be found in the HVACPRO directory
  • Created by LCPCFG.EXE
devicename.GPS* The main configuration file, text

Most other N2 Open Devices

  • Files can be found in the HVACPRO Directory
.CFG This file can be used to generate all other files. HVAC PRO creates this file when the configuration is saved.
.DAT The graphing file. HVAC PRO creates this file while monitoring control loops or data points.
.DDL The optional DDL incremental source file for the Control System (CS) Model.
.ERR The error file. HVAC PRO creates this file if there are errors when saving a configuration.
.PRN* The optional print file. HVAC PRO creates this file after saving a configuration.

ASC – Application Specific Controller

.ASC The downloadable object file for an ASC.

TC – TC-9100

.TCD The TC-9100 download file created during the File>Save/Save As process for a TC-9100 configuration, Metasys Release 9.01 or later.

VMA – Variable Air Modular Assembly

.MAB The Metasys Application Basic file created by HVAC PRO. This file defines the VMA 1400 Series application that results from a Question/Answer Session.
.MAO The Metasys Application Object file created during the File Save/Save As process. This file is downloaded into the VMA device.
.MAU The Metasys Application User Information file used during download process. This file contains user information that enables a later upload.


  • Copy the files that are relevant to your project to the storage device.
  • These files will serve the basis for generating N2 Device Type Templates that will be used in the N2 Router to provide appropriate point mapping.

Step Three – Investigate Supervisory Equipment

This section will guide you through investigating legacy supervisory controllers, operator workstations and application data servers.

Step Four – Plan and Budget the Project

You will need the following resources:

  • Completed worksheets from the previous sections
  • An understanding of the goals for your project

Complete the Planning and Budgeting Worksheet.

Step Five – Discuss Results with the Facility Owner

Collect all the information that has been gathered and present the facility owner with a comprehensive overview of:

  • The Current Situation
  • The Work that Needs to be Done to Meet the Project Requirements
  • An Accurate Estimate of the Total Time and Cost to Complete the Project

Step Six – Implement Solution


CAS BACnet Object Monitor – SubscribeCOV

The CAS BACnet Object Monitor has been updated with the ability to make COV subscriptions to BACnet objects on devices that supports SubscribeCOV messages. To create a subscription to a BACnet Object in the CAS BACnet Object Monitor follow these instructions:

1. Add a new BACnetIP Object


2. Fill in the fields for BACnet Object Type and BACnet Object Instance.  Select the Device Instance from the drop-down menu. When Selecting the BACnet Service, choose Subscribe COV


3. Enter in the Scan value. For SubscribeCOV, this value represents how long the subscription will last in seconds. The CAS BACnet Object Monitor will resubscribe at the end of this period. For example, if a value of 600 is set, the CAS BACnet Object Monitor will resubscribe every 600 seconds, or 5 minutes.


4. Browse to the Current Status page. The page auto-refreshes every 10 seconds. The Value column and Status column are updated from the COV notification messages received from the BACnet Server.


USA Tax Deduction and Credits Expires Jan 2014

Commercial buildings placed in service before Jan 2014 still qualify for up to $0.6 per square foot for lighting efficiency updates and up to $1.8 per square foot for complete energy efficiency improvements.

With respect to lighting systems, CAS has been advised, based on one customer experience, that adding automation to lighting is a qualifying improvement provided that the new automation results in an energy improvement. The new system has to reduce the lighting power density below a threshold identified in ASHRAE 90.1-2001. There are also some other requirements.

IRS Notice 2012-26 for projects completed between April 23, 2012 and December 31, 2013:

  • Indoor lighting systems = 25% (Warehouse requires 50%)
  • HVAC/hot water systems = 15%
  • Building envelope features = 10%

Bi-Level Lighting Switching

It’s far easier to achieve Bi-Level switching with automation than to introduce new fixtures and controllers. To qualify for the deduction, Bi-Level switching must be installed.

EPAct 2005 does not define bi-level switching. NEMA defines it as manual or automatic control that provides at least two levels of illumination and power in the space besides OFF.

The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) defines it as a manual control allowing occupants to reduce connected lighting load in a “reasonably uniform illumination pattern by at least 50%.”

Recognized methods include:

  1. Controlling all lamps and fixtures (e.g., continuous or step dimming),
  2. Dual switching alternate rows, fixtures or lamps,
  3. Switching middle lamp independent of outer lamps in 3-lamp fixtures, providing three levels of lighting power,
  4. Switching each fixture or each lamp. Be sure to check the appropriate local and state energy code, which may define what is accepted as bi-level switching.

Tax Deduction Resources

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