Below is a list of industry related resources anyone in the building automation field may find useful.
Control related podcasts
HVAC Training Programs
BACnet International – BACnet International hosts training material, published articles, whitepapers and a 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
BACnet Secure Connect
Troubleshooting 485 based networks with a multi-meter
These will allow you test Modbus slaves with your PC. They support Modbus/IP and Serial RTU & ASCII.
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.
HVAC Actuators & Valves
Useful Windows Commands
IPCONFIG – 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.
ARP – 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.
NETSTAT – 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.
TRACERT – Helpful to find routing and connectivity problems.