1.3 CN/IP Device Architecture

This entry is part 2 of 11 in the series Lon over IP (709.1/852)

The CN/IP device is a more complex connector because is connects two different protocols and may also connect the protocols at different layers. On the IP side, a CN/IP (LON/IP) router operates at the application layer and so is appropriately called an IP Gateway. On the 709.1 side the CN/IP router device operates at the network layer and is appropriately called a 709.1 router. So depending on the user’s perspective a CN/IP device could be called a gateway or router or a router/gateway. The typical approach is to name the device from the standpoint of it behavior on the CN side, that is a CN/IP router. A block diagram of two CN router / IP gateways connected via IP Ethernet is show below. [click to continue…]

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1.2 IP Tunneling

This entry is part 1 of 11 in the series Lon over IP (709.1/852)

The 852 protocol acts as the transport service to convey 709.1 messages over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, i.e. tunnel. As previously mentioned, in 852 parlance the tunneled protocol is a Component Network (CN) protocol. The 852 protocol is a generic tunneling protocol and is not limited to 709.1. However, a particular implementation of the 852 protocol may only support the tunneling of a single CN protocol. The tunneled CN messages have no information or awareness of the tunneling process. Although some of the figures in this document use CN or CN/IP to represent a component network or component network to internet protocol connection, the CN   in this case is 709.1 [click to continue…]

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1.1 Why 852?

This entry is part 4 of 11 in the series Lon over IP (709.1/852)

As building automation networks continue to expand in size and complexity the ability to  employ building information technology (IT) internet protocol (IP) based infrastructure becomes an important part of a successful integration task. Whether the building automation system (BAS) leverages existing infrastructure or has a dedicated side-by-side system, IT components provide scalability, remote accessibility, and portals into building management systems. Several different terms are used to refer to non-IP based automation networks such as fieldbus. In this article we will use the term Component Network (CN) as a generic description for a network channel whose primary purpose is to connect sensor, actuator, and control endpoint devices. The first requirement for a CN to be able to leverage IP is a means for tunneling the CN over IP. The technique of using another protocol to transport a message over an alternate media is often referred to as tunneling. [click to continue…]

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Answer

The default Windows 7 Firewall blocks the passive FTP ports used when downloading. The firewall allows the FTP connection from the command prompt but not the subsequent download using the “put” command. Turning off the firewall will fix it. When the download is blocked nothing is transferred to the GR4 so nothing will be harmed by aborting ftp (control-c) and then restarting it after the firewall has been turned off.

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WiFi Router Range

One of the first questions potential users of the GR4 Wifi router ask is, “What range can I get?”

The easy answer is, “It depends.”

While it’s true, it’s not very informative. Wireless range depends on a lot of factors so it is difficult to predict with high accuracy what range a given application will achieve.

With some forethought and understanding, however, it is straightforward to predict whether range is likely to present a problem.

The range that a given setup can obtain is largely determined by the transmit power, receiver sensitivity, and the transmission path losses or gains due to connectors, cables, antennas, and obstructions. Other important external factors influencing range are antenna: height, wireless noise, and interference.

The GR4 852 router is based on the Digi WiME module. The relevant specifications for the module are as follows:

  • Frequency Band = 802.11b 2.4 GHz
  • Data Rate = up to 11 Mbps
  • Transmit Power = 16 dBm = 39.8 mW
  • Receiver Sensitivity = -82 dBm at 11 Mbps, -92 dBm at 1 Mbps

Adept ships the GR4 WiFi with a 2 dbi Omni Directional whip antenna. For an extra charge, Adept can also provide higher dbi antennas  to increase range. WiFi Router Range continued

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GR4 Firmware 4.13.002 Release

The latest version of the GRouter4 firmware, version 4.13.002, is now released. Download the Ethernet router firmware or the Wifi router firmware. In addition, the Ethernet and WiFi bootloaders, version 4.12.048.c, are also available from our downloads page.

Summary

  • Restored support for LNS 3.1 and LonMaker 3.1.

Detailed Changes

The 852 (VNI) interface in LNS 3.1 (LonMaker 3.1) uses an invalid protocol version = 0 when sending 852 Data packets. The correct version number for 852, 852-A and 852-B is version = 1. A check for version number was added to prepare for the upcoming 852.1 protocol which uses a higher version number. The fix was to accept version = 0 and version = 1.

[click to continue…]

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Niagara AX (TM) Lon/IP 852 Setup with GRouter4 Lon/IP 852 Router

Informal notes on setting up Lon/IP driver on Niagara AX 3.3.22.
You will need an 852 configuration server such as Echelon’s LTIPCS Configuration Server software, included with LonMakerTM or as as a utility for the ilon  from Echelon’s
website i.LON 600 Firmware 1.00.24

Step 1

If using a JACE, then configure IP settings
  • change host name to newname, must be other than localhost
  • edit host file with new line newname <JACE IP address>
  • save and reboot JACE.
Note this is not required for Windows hosts, and will not be required in the future
Failure to set for JACE will mean Config server cannot get messages returned to JACE

Niagra Lon/IP 852 Setup continued

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GR4 Firmware 4.12.058 Release

The latest version of the GRouter4 firmware, version 4.12.058, is now released. Download the Ethernet router firmware or the Wifi router firmware. In addition, the Ethernet and WiFi bootloaders, version 4.12.048.c, are also available from our downloads page.

Summary

  • Fixed a problem where the default IP parameters were not always forcing the IP stack to use the static IP interface. Under some circumstances, the IP stack could use the Auto IP interface.

Recommendations

This upgrade is recommended for all units except those being used with LNS 3.1 or earlier. The recommended upgrade includes application firmware 4.12.058 for both WiFi and Ethernet and bootloader 4.12.053.D for WiFi and bootloader 4.12.048.C for Ethernet.  Support for LNS 3.1 will be fixed in a later release.

[click to continue…]

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Engineering Bulletin – 2011/01/12

Adept Systems Inc Engineering Bulletin 2011/01/12 for GRouter4 Firmware Versions 4.11.011 and earlier.

Under certain conditions with older versions of the firmware, when the user does not follow proper procedure, the configuration data stored in flash for the GRouter4 can become corrupted during configuration from the web page. This happens if the router is rebooted or power cycled before changes to the configuration data have been completely written to flash. If the IP information is corrupted, then the router may not boot successfully and may have to be re-flashed at the factory.

As the user manual instructs, before rebooting the GRouter4 device, one should click the “Prepare to Power Down” button on the “Router Setup” web page. This correctly checks the status of any pending or current flash writes and displays an “It is Safe to Power Down the Router” message if all flash writes have completed or a timer that estimates how long until the flash writes will be completed. Following this procedure will avoid any flash corruption.

However some users have not been following the proceedure described above and have had units experience corrupted configuration parameters. Some web pages have a reboot button that will cause the router to reboot. This is needed when changing the IP information such as host address or port as the new IP address will not become valid until after the next reboot. This is also the case for other configuration parameters as indicated on the web pages and user guide.

Normally, when using a web page reboot button, as an additional safeguard, the GRouter4 first checks to see if there are pending or ongoing flash writes before executing the reboot. This safeguard was meant as a backup in case the user neglected to hit the “Prepare to Power Down” button before hitting the “Reboot” button.

It has been discovered, however, that is some cases where one hits the “Reboot” button without first checking the status of pending flash writes with the “Prepare to Power Down” buton, that pending flash writes may not always be detected and the unit may reboot before all the data had been written to flash. This is more likely if both IP configuration and 852 Router configuration have updated and the reboot button is pressed immediately after making a change to the IP configuration.

The solution is to always check the status with the “Prepare to Power Down” before hitting the reboot button or otherwise rebooting the GRouter4.

This susceptibility has been fixed in firmware version 4.12.050 or later. Now when the “Reboot” web button is pressed, the GRouter4 now detects the flash write status before allowing the reboot to occur.

It is highly recommended that all units be upgraded to firmware version 4.12.050 with bootloader 4.12.048.C. The only exceptions will be units being used with LNS versions 3.1 or earlier.

The configuration parameters are stored redundantly in flash. Upon bootup a CRC check is made of flash. If the primary copy is good, it is used. If not, the backup is checked. If the backup is good, then it is used. If both are corrupted, default parameters are used. In some rare corner conditions this process would fail and the unit would fail to boot and would require reflashing. These conditions have all been resolved.

The GRouter4 has a recovery procedure in the bootloader that allows reflashing using tftp. However in some cases if the IP parameters were corrupted the tftp procedure would fail. This has been fixed in the new bootloader 4.12.048.C.

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GR4 Firmware 4.12.050 & Bootloader 4.12.048.c Release

The latest version of the GRouter4 firmware, version 4.12.050, is now released. Download the Ethernet router firmware or the Wifi router firmware. In addition, the Ethernet and WiFi bootloaders, version 4.12.048.c, are also available from our downloads page.

Summary

  • Major improvements to the bootup process including faster bootup time and  significantly improved stability and reliability when dealing with corruption of the configuration information stored in flash due to inadvertent power cycles.
  • The stability of the reset IP parameters to factory defaults by holding down the service pin upon bootup has been improved and the time to write default parameters is faster.
  • Changes to the 709.1 page in manual mode now propagate automatically to other routers in the channel.
  • The new application firmware now allows ftp upgrade of the bootloader.
  • The main status page now shows the Bootloader and BSP versions as well as the applicaton firmware version.

Recommendations

This upgrade is recommended for all units except those being used with LNS 3.1 or earlier. The recommended upgrade includes both firmware 4.12.050 and bootloader 4.12.048.C. Support for LNS 3.1 will be fixed in a later release.

[click to continue…]

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