George’s CBAS Tips, June 2021

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Exporting and Importing 3rd Party Controllers in CBAS 20

Last month I went through procedures to create templates and use them to add Computrols BASnet controllers. Let’s continue with controllers using BACnet, Modbus, and OPTO communication protocols. While CBAS works with many other protocols, these are the most common. 

Many Chillers, AHUs, VAVs, and RTUs made by the most common manufacturers utilize BACnet as the protocol to monitor their products that basically control themselves. CBAS will generally only start and stop the equipment as well as change setpoints. Sometimes they offer alternative protocols like N2, which is called OPTO in CBAS, or Modbus RTU.

Most commonly, CRAC (computer room air conditioning) units, electrical and water meters utilize Modbus RTU.

Older Johnson Controls Metasys controllers use N2 (OPTO) and Computrols VAV-B controllers do also by default, although they can also be BASNet, BACnet, Siemens FLN, or Teletrol TSC.

No matter the protocol, the procedure for exporting and importing points is similar. The main difference is that you will not get Logic, Schedules, and PID like in the BASNet Templates.

You can make an export in either Real Mode or Editor Mode

Click the Channel that contains the controller and go to Controllers.

Click the controller and then Export Database.

BACnet controller Exports will be automatically sent to CBAS20\BIN\BACnet folder but that path can be changed. CBAS will take you to the same folder when adding a BACnet controller by Import, so you should leave the path unchanged.

Type a name for the Export in the File Name field then click Save.

You will be prompted to type a description of the controller and the Notes screen will appear after clicking OK.

Type a limited description and right-click or Escape.

A box containing the path to the file will pop up.

OPTO Exports are saved in CBAS20\BIN\Metasys

Modbus Exports are saved in CBAS20\BIN\Modbus

BACnet import is a little different from the others in that it has a find and replace prefix utility.

Go to Editor Mode and log in as a user with full rights.

Add a Generic BACnet Controller to either a 485 or IP BACnet channel.

After clicking “Add Controller Now” you will be asked if you would like to import the points. Click Yes.

Select your Export file from the BIN\BACnet folder then click Save.

The Renamer screen will appear with the list of points from the Export file.

Click the Import button to import as is. Or,

Click the Add Prefix button to add a prefix. Or,

Click the Find – Replace button and type in the existing prefix in the find field then what you want to replace it within the Replace field. In this case, you could type VAV7 and VAV8 or just 7 and 8, then OK and you will see the names change. This can be done again if necessary.

Click Import to add the controller.


With OPTO and Modbus there is no Find and Replace.

So add your controller and answer Yes to Import the Points.

Select the correct Export file then OK.

Enter a prefix if you choose to.

Note that there is a max of 12 characters in the prefix, and be aware that if the export has prefixes on the point names, then you could end up importing 2 prefixes. 

It might be best to add the controller then edit the point names to remove the old prefix, then create another export with no prefix. 

You can also use Global Name Change under Database, Database Maintenance to change the prefix.

Importing the points can save you a lot of programming time and get you off the job faster, and if you have similar equipment to program at another site, your exports can come in handy.


About George Hingle

George has been a part of the Computrols family since 2001. He graduated from Loyola University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music and also has an Associate’s Degree in Computer Networking. Furthermore, George also has experience in networking, PC, and server maintenance along with computer and networking component purchasing. He has also worked as a Field Technician here at Computrols and has assisted in the testing of new products and features. As part of the in-house Technical Support team, George answers technical support questions over phone and e-mail. He often guides our customers step-by-step to help them fix/correct any technical issues when needed.