Intro to LonWorks
LonWorks (local operating network) is a networking platform specifically created to address the needs of control applications. The platform is built on a protocol created by Echelon Corporation for networking devices over media such as twisted pair, power lines, fiber optics, and RF. It is used for the automation of various functions within buildings such as lighting and HVAC
The LonWorks platform is used for many diverse applications that span Smart Buildings, Smart Cities, and the Smart Grid. Chipkin provides LonWorks Gateway conversions to over 150 protocols via the TP-FT/10 channel to other protocols on RS485, RS232, Ethernet, XML, Mbus, etc. port.
The LonWorks QuickServer (FS-QS-1XX1-XXXX) is a high-performance, fully configurable, and cost-effective protocol gateway for integrating any LonWorks System. The Gateway comes basic (250 points) and enhanced (500 points) and can connect to serial (RS485 and RS232) and Ethernet ports. Chipkin knows this protocol to source code level – get expert support (Level 1,2) and configuration from day 1.
The FS-B3510 is one of the FS-X30 Series FieldServers designed to meet the needs of any system integrator. The FS-B30 Series brings together the powerful FieldServer driver library with state-of-the-art gateway design. It supports 1,000 points which can be updrageded to 10,000 points allowing it to easily handle just about anything with no slowdown in performance.
LonWorks Block Diagram
LonWorks Datasheets, Manuals and specialized terminology
LonWorks has a large number of products and applications with a vast number of specialized terminology. See below for a bit of Knowledge:
LonWorks – a wide ranging term generally applied to describe the whole technology developed by Echelon. It is used frequently and ambiguously.
LonTalk – A registred trademark belonging to Echelon. They use it as the name of the protocol used for data communications in a Lonworks system. Ie. It is the brandname protocol. Echelon released this protocol so it could be adopted as a standard – ANSI-approved standard EIA/CEA-709.1-A-1999 – SO/IEC Standard 14908 or European standard EN14908.
Why are LonWorks communications so good?
The communications between all LonWorks devices is done by means of a proprietary chip (The Neuron chip) made according to one design by one company according to one standard which it wrote on its own. It’s obvious that there are so many fewer aspects of the data communications process that can go wrong when there is a single entity involved. When a device vendor implements a Lonworks System Interface he simply has to implement the application layer of the data communication process. For almost all other protocols the device vendor must implement the physical layer, data link layer, the Network Layer, The transport Layer, The Session Layer, the Presentation Layer and the Application Layer. You can see how many more areas of risk there are.
When Echelon released the standard, their license terms required anyone who implements it to implement the full standard. The fact that other vendors can’t cherry pick features and services means that even when implemented by other vendors you still have the same strong chance of success.