BMS Resources

Below is a list of industry related resources anyone in the building automation field may find useful.


    BACnet website
    BACnet International
    BACnet International hosts training material, published articles, whitepapers and forum.
    BTL listings
    I often check the PICS statement for third party devices. BTL’s website makes it easy to search for devices and has all the relevant documentation for each listed device.
    Troubleshooting BACnet with Wireshark

    Troubleshooting 485 based networks with a multimeter

    BACnet basics and troubleshooting with oscilloscope from Niagara Summit 14
    RS-485 Basics
    Chipkin Automation Systems – BACnet for Field Technicians
    Capturing BACnet MS/TP
    Look under software downloads for MS/TP capture utility. Works with USB adapters and has no issues capturing at 76.8k baud.
    Discovery Software
    YABE – Yet Another BACnet Explorer
    BACnet Discovery Tool
    Distech Network Guide
    Covers BACnet and Lonworks networking


    Protocol specification
    Troubleshooting software
    Both of these will allow you test Modbus slaves with your PC. They support Modbus/IP and Serial RTU & ASCII. 30 day free trial on both.
    This is a free scanner for personal use.

Capturing RS-485

    USB to RS-232/485 converters are fairly common these days. Capturing serial Modbus and BACnet MS/TP requires an adapter. I would recommend finding an electrically isolated converter. This will protect you and your laptop from wiring mistakes. If 24vac and higher finds a path through a cheap adapter it almost always destroys the USB controller. Sometimes it will take out the motherboard as well. I normally use the USB-COMi-SI-M. This is widely available and provides support for 485 & 422 with 2kv of isolation.
    There is also a version that supports 232, 485 & 422 with isolation. Amazon is full of cheap non-isolated adapters for less than $50. Working on Modbus power meters, keep in mind wiring mistakes could result in high voltages being present.

Control Theory

    Honeywell Grey Manual
    Battelle DDC Control Fundamentals
    PDH Center – Fundamentals of HVAC Controls

HVAC Actuators & Valves


Networking Tools

    Network Host Scanning

Useful Commands


    Outputs all the IP addressing of all network adapters. Normally use with -a for all. You can also flush the DNS cache and release/renew DCHP addresses.
    Outputs all the entries in the ARP table of the host machine. Can be used as a quick way to find an IP of a controller your connected to.
    Useful to check the status of TCP/UPD ports on a machine. Can be used to track down which application is listening on a specific port.
    Helpful to find routing and connectivity problems.

Tridium Niagara

    Not for the faint of heart and likely overkill on most sites.