Where do I sign up for Control Solutions' newsletter?

Control Solutions puts out a newsletter from time to time with new product information. Following the links here, you may subscribe or unsubscribe at any time. You may also change your preferences. We do not share our email list with anyone.

Where do I find User Guides or Manuals?

The online version of the user guide, or guided tour where applicable, is found in the "User Guide" area of the respective product information page. Most user guides may be downloaded in PDF form, and some also as compiled help. These are found found in the "Documents and Links" area on the respective product information pages. Products with internal web servers also contain a "Quick Help" section at the bottom of each page.

Where do I get data sheets?

Data sheets may be downloaded in PDF form via links found on the respective product information pages. We do not actually publish hardcopy of data sheets. If hardcopy is required, we simply print a copy of the pdf file.

Where do I find XIF files?

The configuration tool software for our newest LonWorks gateways (provided at no charge) is capable of generating custom XIF files that represent the Network Variable configuration you have created. Since no one generic XIF file can represent your unique configuration, this tool generates a custom XIF specifically for your configuration.

Where do I find SNMP MIB files?

These are typically found in the "Documents and Links" area of the product information pages for products that have SNMP capability. You may also find the MIB library on the Document Downloads page.

How do I configure my device?

The method of configuring a device varies. Server products with a web server will be configured via the web pages found in the device itself. Simply open your browser, and point your browser to the device's IP address.

All non-server products have PC-based configuration tool software available at no cost. The support package including the configuration software for these devices is found in the "Documents and Links" area on the respective product information pages.

Can I upgrade firmware in a device?

Yes. The method for performing the update depends on the device, but applicable instructions are always included in the zip file containing the firmware. Server products are updated using an FTP upload. Other products require other methods that vary by device, but are explained in the instructions.

Please visit the Firmware Updates page for more information about firmware updates.

Where do I find connector pin-outs?

Connector pin-outs can be found in the user guide for the product in question, with the exception of server based products. Connector pinouts for server products (such as AddMe III or IB-110) can be found on the Hardware Guide page of the web site in the device. You can find a demo copy of those web sites on the product information page for the respective product.

How do I restore a device to factory default configuration?

Configuration of any server type device is, in general, done by simply deleting its configuration file and rebooting it. Refer to the article "Restoring default (blank) configuration" in our Knowledgebase.

Non-server products can be reset by loading a blank or factory default configuration into the device using its respective configuration tool.

If the IP address of a server product has been lost, refer to the IP addressrecovery articles found in the Knowledgebase regarding this subject.

Can I safely open up my device?

Yes, provided you take appropriate precautions. You need to be careful to not damage circuit boards both physically and by electrostatic discharge simply touching them. Refer to the article on ESD Protective Measures for safe handling recommendations. Opening up the AddMe III device requires extra care since the cover is attached to the base with a ribbon cable. Refer to How to Open AddMe III enclosure for further information.

Always remove power before opening any device. Always follow proper ESD protective measures.

What is the difference between PL/i and Script Basic?

PL/i is a structured language that requires the use of begin/end blocks and also supports the use of structured variables similar to C++ or Java. Basic is not structured, and its variables are limited to numbers and character strings, or arrays of those. Basic is more "free form" and considered easier to use by someone already familiar with Basic.

PL/i compiles to byte code similar to Java. It executes with good efficiency. Once compiled it cannot be reverse compiled, thus providing protection of your source code. Basic is semi-compiled, an approach common to Basic implementations. Programs are stored only in source form. When run, they are loaded and semi-compiled, then executed by interpretation. This means startup time is much longer for Basic than for PL/i.

The other advantage of PL/i is that it is compact enough to be used not only in server based products, but in simple I/O products as well. Generally the same program that runs on an AddMe III server device will run on a ValuPoint controller.

The disadvantage of PL/i, which only applies in certain applications, is that it does not deal with character strings. It is strictly a control language that expects to operate on numerical values found in Modbus registers or BACnet objects. Basic has full string manipulation capability, which is of use in applications where the device is communicating via the serial port with some ASCII device. Basic also has the ability to open a TCP socket, and that capability combined with string manipulation, allows one to write a web client in Basic (although this is not for the amateur).

Where do I learn about PL/i?

Visit our PL/i Language page for an overview of this programming language. An online tutorial is provided, as well as an overview of the line programming simulator.

Control Solutions has also developed a graphical programming tool we call "i.CanDrawIt®". Visit the i.CanDrawIt page for an overview of this powerful programming tool. The i.CanDrawIt graphical programming tool lets you "draw" your program. The tool then automatically generates PL/i source code, which is then compiled into executable byte code.

Where do I learn about Script Basic?

Visit our Script Basic page for an overview of Control Solutions' implementation of Script Basic.

You can download the compiled help file for Script Basic here. English was not the first language of its author, and the author also made assumptions about already being familiar with Basic at some level. We have, however, improved upon its original form and added a number of examples.

You can also obtain a copy of Script Basic to run on your PC for general testing. You will not have access to the Modbus registers or serial port found in the Control Solutions hardware, but if you find a way to emulate those, you can do a lot of other testing on your PC. Visit the Script Basic Wiki, or the original Script Basic site.

Why do you have two different languages?

We started with Basic, but realized it was not very efficient as a control language, and certainly not compact enough to run on simple I/O devices. Therefore we went to work creating PL/i with the help of a computer language expert. We had two objectives: (1) It must be a structured language and support structured variables; (2) It must compile to compact byte code similar to but much leaner than Java.

Why then did we bring back Basic in certain products? Because we realized a need to support proprietary ASCII serial devices, and a need to support character string oriented applications especially in a server environment. We therefore provide Script Basic in the IB-100/110 family, in certain variations of AddMe Jr., and in the Babel Buster SP Custom.

What if my question is not listed here?

Please open a support ticket - start by clicking the Support Ticket link in the Support menu above. Your question will be answered directly. Topics that seem to be recurring often result in articles also being added to the Knowledgebase.