How to make a Lonworks to BACnet embedded gateway


Thread Starter


I am a postgraduate of Beijing Polytecnic University, I am going to design a embedded gateway to translate the Lontalk to BACnet because Lontalk is a good mode in unit level control and BACnet is a good mode in system level control. A gateway to translate the two protocol is very valuable and now some vendors have provided such gateway. I wonder what develope tools of lonworks can be used to do it. I want to choose MIP/P50 for embedded development, but don't make sure it is right.

I also want to know if the Lonworks controller can only communicate by Standtard Network Variable Types(SNVTs) rather than explicit message. If I must make a index list of SNVTs and corresponding BACnet object and property and download it to the eeprom.

If you have the experience in this topic,would you please give me a help?

Peter Whalley


Using Lonworks at the controller level and BACnet at the system control level is not in itself a good approach because gateways always introduce
compromises. You would only use a gateway if you really needed to.

Lontalk protocol now runs over TCP/IP networks including Ethernet etc and so can be used at the system level for large networks without needing
BACnet. Note however that system integration of large multi vendor LON based networks is not simple and needs specialist skills if it's to be done right.

BACnet can run over RS485 (MSTP) using a stripped down version of the protocol and so is good for unit level control as well as system level control.

Either can be used to create large networks which deliver good functionality but to mix them based solely on some idea about which is best for each job would not lead to overall good solutions. This idea was promoted some years ago but never worked well in practice and was very poorly supported.


Peter Whalley
Magenta Communications Pty Ltd
Melbourne, VIC, Australia
e-mail: peter*no-spam*
delete *no-spam* before sending
In the current market,there are some gateways to traslate the Lontalk to BACnet,like tracer summit of trane corp( "": ),and peak components of IEC corp( "": ).
But I do not know what develope tools should be chose,especially the Lontalk tools.MIP/p50 of Echelon is ok? I can not make sure it.I am eager to knowing a cheaper and save-time tools!
Who can recommended it?

Richard Theron - FieldServer


If a complete network is designed using a single standard ( BACnet or LonWorks) I raise the following questions,

- Is BACnet MS/TP better than LonWorks at controller level?
- Is LonWorks TCP/IP better than BACnet (IP or Ethernet) at the Interface level?
- What if the controller that will give you the optimal performance is LonWorks and the network is BACnet, do you compromise?
- Are people afraid of gateways because of ignorance?

Dear Richard,
It seems to like you are highly familiar with the BACnet and Lonwork. Because I am go into the project and there is only one year left before I graduate(getting a Master Degree), would you please recommend a develope tool of Lontalk to finish the project.
Best regards.