As a part of our services, Computrols offers 24/7 phone support to all of our customers. If you have ever taken advantage of this offering, you have likely spoken to our Technical Support Manager, George Hingle. George has been employed by Computrols for over 15 years and is one of our most knowledgeable team members when it comes to troubleshooting in CBAS. As a means of building on our already robust FAQ page, George shares some common CBAS questions he sees in his “CBAS Tips” section of our newsletter each month.
Sequencing Backup Equipment In Case of Failure
Did you know that the Sequencer feature in CBAS will start a new piece of equipment if one fails? If you are sequencing the running of pumps, chillers, boilers etc, and one fails, the next one available or the one with the next lowest runtime will start up. In order for this to work, you must have the output point and status point linked, and there has to be an Alarm setup to trigger when “status input fails”. In other words, when commanded On, the status shows Off, so the equipment has failed. The alarm is how the Sequencer knows that the piece of equipment has failed, and it needs to start another one. To set up a Sequencer, add an Analog Input Software point. On the Program screen, there is a button to “Program Sequencer”. Complete instructions can be found in the CBAS Manual on our website.
Starting in CBAS15, the way you change the number of decimal places for an analog point has changed. Previously, when you type in the range of the point, you could also specify the number of decimal places. Now, you will need to click the More button on the Program screen of the point. There is a field on that screen where you enter the number of decimal places you want to use.
Another tip regarding decimal places – when programming PIDs to modulate a valve, damper etc, all points involved should have a decimal place. This will make the PID more “locked in” and will not overshoot or hunt as much. The Setpoint, Feedback and Output points should all have the same decimal place. The only time this could be a problem is if you are using a Setpoint from an MN-S3 display stat because it does not allow a decimal place in the setpoint.
In CBAS 15 and 17, the SMTP Email program, CBAS Logger, and the Computrols Support Service all run as Services in the background. Because of this, you no longer have to manually start these services or add them to the Windows Startup folder as they will start automatically each time the PC is powered up. The Support Service is the server that gets the weather information from NOAA if you are using Web Weather Points in CBAS. It also takes care of sending the offsite backups to our backup server at Computrols Corporate. Below is further information about the one service that will require the most attention, the SMTP Email Service.
CBAS Alarms – SMTP Email Service
To configure the account to send CBAS Alarm Emails, open the SMTP_Emailer program located in the CBAS15 or CBAS17 folder. When you make changes to the SMTP Email program setup, like the password or authentication, then Save and send a test email successfully, close the SMTP Emailer. The changes are saved to SMTP_Emailer.cfg file. Then you need to restart the Computrols Email Service in order to pick up the changes. To do this, open Task Manager. You can either do a CRTL+ALT+DEL and click Task Manager, or click the Start button, then type Task Manager in the search field, and select Task Manager from the list. You may have to click “More Details” to see the Services Tab.
In Task Manager, go to the Services tab and put it into Alphabetical order by clicking the top of the Name column. Scroll down to Computrols Email Service. You can Stop and Start it by right-clicking on it.
If you have upgraded from CBAS 15 to 17, the Email Service might still be running out of the CBAS15 folder. To check that, navigate to the Services tab by following the instructions in the previous paragraph. Scroll down to the Computrols EMail Service and double-click it to see the properties. Look at the Path to the Executable. If it still says CBAS15 folder, then you have to uninstall that and install the one in CBAS17 using the steps below.
Run Command Prompt as Administrator (Right Click the shortcut, then click Run as Administrator). Get to the CBAS15 directory by typing cd.. twice then cd cbas15. Type: ComputrolsEmailService.exe –remove. That removes the old one from the Services List. Then type cd.. and then cd cbas17. Then type ComputrolsEmailService.exe –install. That adds the new one back to the Services List. Then you have to open Services and set the service to auto start. Also, make sure the service is running.
If you have any questions for George or any of our experts, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and you may see them answered in our next newsletter.