Author Archives: John Becker

New Minnesota office and training center

In a few weeks, Setpoint Systems will be opening our new branch office in Burnsville, Minnesota (near Minneapolis).  We’re very excited about bringing our high standards and unique solutions to customers in that part of the country.  We’ve already been serving customers in Minnesota, Ohio, and many other states.  With the opening of this office, we’ll have Account Managers, Technicians, Engineers, Foremen, and Installers ready to serve existing and new customers.  In addition to that, we’ll have a state-of-the-art training center in the Minnesota office.

Setpoint BurnsvilleOur new training center will supplement our existing centers in Colorado and California.  We’re using the latest controllers available from Delta so you can receive the most up-to-date training possible utilizing the newest technology available.  Very soon we’ll be posting a Minnesota training schedule, so stay tuned!  First things first though–we have to dig out of the snow there and make sure the new office is ready to go.

New customer training class – enteliWEB!

We’ve had many requests for this, and are pleased to announce a new training class–enteliWEB!  In case you haven’t heard about it, enteliWEB is web-based software which combines the power of enterprise dashboards with easy to use facility management tools. Customizable energy management dashboards and powerful energy reports give managers the tools to reduce consumption and lower costs.  Visualizing both energy management and facility management on a single dashboard makes it easy to close the loop between monitoring and control.

enteliWEB screen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our two-day enteliWEB class, you will learn:

  • Capabilities and benefits of enteliWEB
  • Server requirements and licensing
  • Configuration and network connections
  • Integration with Historian
  • Managing multiple sites
  • Dashboards (enterprise, system, and personal)
  • Alarm management and tracking
  • Energy reports and metering
  • Activity logging
  • Importing ORCAweb graphics
  • Basics of enteliVIZ graphics

Whether you already have enteliWEB or are considering deploying it at your facility, this class will give you knowledge you need to better monitor and control energy use.  The class will be held in our Colorado office on April 3 and 4, 2014.  Click here to sign up! enteliWEB on tablet

Happy New Year–New Class Sessions Added!

Welcome to 2014!  We hope you’re off to a great start in the new year.  Most people seem to make one or more New Year’s Resolutions, and the goals are usually self improvement.  Not too many of us resolve to eat more cookies…  But there is one thing we can all use more of, and that’s training!  We’re pleased to announce the addition of two training classes to our 2014 schedule.

We have a Delta II class on 1/23 and 1/24.  This class is a hands-on class for those of you who have completed Delta I and have some experience working with your system.  In this class you’ll be creating an entire controller database from scratch, including GCL+ programming.

In addition to that, we have a Delta III class on 2/20 and 2/21.  This is for those of you who have completed Delta II and have more extensive experience.  It’s similar to the Delta II class but adds networking and a more challenging project.

We hope you’ll take advantage of the FREE training we offer our customers.  Please click here to sign up!

Training!!!

Ongoing training is critical for a successful business and a successful career for individuals.  Setpoint Systems’ commitment to training is unique in our industry.  We are not aware of any other systems integrator that provides nearly as much training to both customers and employees.

Training

In 2013, Setpoint Systems trained over 200 customers in a total of 20 training sessions.  We also held 50 internal training sessions and had 25 new employees go through intensive 6-week training courses.  In total, we provided 1,900 hours of training.  A standard working year in the U.S. is 2,080 hours, which means we provided nearly constant training for the entire year!

So what’s in store for 2014?  Even more training!  We’re opening an office in Minnesota and will be training more customers and employees there.  We’ll be adding new customer training courses for products like enteliWEB for example.  Training will be a huge focus for us in the coming year, and all of our customers and employees will benefit!  We thank you for partnering with us in the past and look forward to sharing success in 2014 and beyond!

October/November Delta III Class

October/November Delta III Class

Common Pitfalls in GCL+ Programming (Part 2 – Using And, Or)

In a recent post, we introduced boolean logic and the AND, OR, and NOT operators.  Now we will show some common ways in which these can be accidentally misused in a GCL+ program, and how to correct these errors.

AND

As we saw previously, the AND operator compares two boolean (true or false) statements.  If and only if BOTH statements are true, the entire statement will be true.  This is very commonly used in GCL+ programs.  There are some important things to watch out for, however!

For example, this bit of programming looks just fine, but actually won’t work the way you would expect:

If AHU1_LOW_LIMIT And AHU1_SMOKE = Normal Then

      // Commands we want to execute would be here

End If

Here’s what’s happening.  When you use “And”, GCL+ will evaluate what’s on either side and compare the two things.  If they’re both true, the whole condition will be true.  When it sees AHU1_LOW_LIMIT all by itself, it evaluates it.  In this case, “Normal” is OFF and “Alarm” is ON. In GCL+, ON is the same as true and OFF is the same as false.  So the equivalent is:

If AHU1_LOW_LIMIT = On And AHU1_SMOKE = Normal Then

      // Commands we want to execute would be here

End If

This is the same as:

If AHU1_LOW_LIMIT = Alarm And AHU1_SMOKE = Normal Then

      // Commands we want to execute would be here

End If

As you can see, this is not the intended result.  Here is the correct way to do it:

If AHU1_LOW_LIMIT = Normal And AHU1_SMOKE = Normal Then

      // Commands we want to execute would be here

End If

OR

The same thing applies if you’re using “Or”.  The OR operator compares two boolean statements.  If either of the two statements is true, the overall statement is true.  This is the correct way to do it:

If AHU1_LOW_LIMIT = Alarm Or AHU1_SMOKE = Alarm Then

      // Commands we want to execute would be here

End If

Common Pitfalls in GCL+ Programming (Part 1 – Boolean Logic)

Setpoint Systems has been providing FREE training to our customers for over 25 years, and in that time we’ve learned as well… how to best serve our customers.  We’ve also learned to recognize some of the most common technical challenges our customers face.  I’d like to highlight a few GCL+ programming challenges and solutions.  This post will lay the foundation for future discussions.

We need to start with a brief introduction of boolean logic.  You can follow the embedded link to see the definition in more detail, but in a nutshell here’s what it is:

Boolean logic (boolean algebra), is all about statements being either true or false.  This is fundamental to how computers and programming work.  True can also be thought of as 1 and false as 0.  A question can be asked and the answer is either true or false.

Courtesy of Sue's Blog Spot: http://suesauer.blogspot.com/

Courtesy of Sue’s Blog Spot: http://suesauer.blogspot.com/

For example, we might want to know if the weather is nice outside.  We can’t ask a computer or DDC controller if the weather is “nice” though–it would have no idea what we mean.  We must ask specific questions with true or false answers, like “Is the outside temperature above 60°F ?”  But the way boolean logic works, we represent our question in the form of a statement that can be evaluated as true or false.  This would look like “Outside Air Temp > 60”.  So far so good, right?

But what if it gets too hot?  We need to add more criteria to our question.  Perhaps we’d like to ask “Is the outside temperature is between 60°F and 85°F ?”.  What would that look like if we wanted to ask a DDC controller?  We now have TWO criteria that both have to be true.  It has to be above 60°F AND below 85°F.  This introduces the boolean operator “And”.  When we use “And”, the statements on either side must both be true in order for the whole statement to be true.  If either statement is false, the whole thing is false.  Our statement would now look like “(Outside Air Temp > 60) AND (Outside Air Temp < 85)”  I’m using parentheses to emphasize the two statements that are being compared by AND.

Another commonly used boolean operator is OR.  If you want EITHER statement to be able to make the overall statement true, this is what you use.  For example, we might ask “Is the outside temperature is between 60°F and 85°F OR is the outside relative humidity below 75% RH ?”  This would be shown as “((Outside Air Temp > 60) AND (Outside Air Temp < 85)) OR (Outside Relative Humidity < 75)”.  Again, note the use of parentheses to indicate the order of operations.  This is especially important if you mix AND along with OR in the same statement.

Finally there’s NOT.  This one is fairly simple–it reverses true to false and false to true.  For example, if I wanted to know if it wasn’t raining outside, I could ask “Is it NOT raining?” which would be shown as “Not(Raining)” where “Raining” is a boolean true/false value that lets me know when it IS raining.  Making sense or NOT(making sense)…?

I hope this has been informative.  It lays the foundation for upcoming discussions of GCL+ programming tips.  Stay tuned for more!

One last Delta I class for 2013

With the end of the year approaching, schedules are getting tight, but it’s not too late to fit in one more Delta I class before next year!  We’re pleased to announce a Delta I class will be held at our Denver office on 12/12 and 12/13.  Our Delta Controls classes are FREE for owners and operators of a Delta Controls building automation system installed by Setpoint Systems Corporation.

October Delta III Class

This is last month’s Delta III class. We had a great turnout and learned a lot!

Delta I is a fun introductory class in which you can practice hands-on with a working Delta Controls system.  Our state-of-the-art training facility features controllers representing the entire product line, plus examples of third-party integration and EPMS (Electrical Power Monitoring System) devices.

In the Delta I class, you’ll learn basic day-to-day operation of your system including controls theory, working with I/O and setpoints, scheduling, backing up controller databases, understanding how programs work, etc.  Click here to sign up today!