Ignition provides a driver for BACnet (a data communication protocol for building automation and control networks). The first step before setting up devices and using the driver is to download the module. Go to the Ignition downloads page then refer to Installing or Upgrading a Module.

The driver implements BACnet/IP over UDP. Any access to devices on other network media types (Ethernet (ISO-8802-3), MSTP, ARCNET, etc…) must be done through a gateway/router device.

Setup Process

The process for setting up BACnet differs from other drivers in that you have to first set up a local device. After that you can configure a remote device.

  1. Set up a local device.
  2. Set up a remote device.  

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Creating Tags

The BACnet driver offers browsing support, making Tag creation as easy as dragging-and-dropping from the Tag Browser. However understanding how the OPC Item Path is read by the driver can be useful. Using the example below, there are three important parts of the item path we can identify. 

  • [MyRemoteDevice] is the Remote Device Name
  • AnalogInput is the Object Type
  • 100 is the Object Identifer

Remote Device Name

The name of the Remote Device, as known by the OPC server.

Object Type

The BACnet object type. Currently supported types are: 

  • Device
  • AnalogInput
  • AnalogOutput
  • AnalogValue
  • LargeAnalogValue
  • BinaryInput
  • BinaryOutput
  • BinaryValue
  • MultiStateInput
  • MultiStateOutput
  • MultiStateValue

The following feature is new in Ignition version 8.1.17
Click here to check out the other new features
Ignition now supports Elapsed_Active_Time and Time_Of_Active_Time_Reset properties on BinaryInput, BinaryOutput, and BinaryValue objects. These tag types contain an ElapsedActiveTime folder with the following properties:

Time_Of_Active_Time_ResetDocumentRead Only

Object Identifier

The numerical identifier of the object. 


BACnet Addressing

Status_Flags and Document Tags

The Status_Flags Tags on each object are turn a JSON document, which requires parsing before you can see the values on the flags.

While the individual flags can be accessed by manually creating Tags for each flag, in some cases you may want to handle the parsing with an expression instead of creating separate OPC Tags. This can easily be done with the jsonGet and getBit functions. Assuming an Expression Tag was created in the same directory as a Status_Flags Tag, we could use the following expression to extract the first bit of Status_Flags (which represents In_Alarm):

getBit(jsonGet({[.]Status_Flags}, 'Value[0]'), 0)

The following feature is new in Ignition version 8.1.4
Click here to check out the other new features

Writing BACnet Null Values

As of release 8.1.4, you can write a  None  value (via Python) to a Tag that's subscribing to an address in a BACnet device.

Writing to Unsupported Objects

The following feature is new in Ignition version 8.1.18
Click here to check out the other new features
Scripting functions (system.bacnet.readRaw and system.bacnet.writeRaw) now allow users to read from or write to any BACnet object or property. Because the functions accept and return types used by the underlying BACnet4j library instead of translating to OPC UA and into types supported by tags, these functions provide access to objects not explicitly supported by the BACnet driver.
Caution: Please use caution when interacting directly with any BACnet device, as writing to an object may have unintended consequences and could result in data loss.

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