Monday, June 6, 2011
The family of Bill Swan regrets to inform that he passed away Saturday June 4th at John Muir Medical Center in Concord, CA. His illness was unexpected, but his passing was peaceful and in the presence of his family. He is survived by his parents, his wife Kathleen and two daughters.
A memorial service is scheduled for all who would like to attend, Wednesday, July 6th at 11 a.m. at St Bartholomew's Anglican Church located at 14821 Avondale Road NE, Woodinville, WA 98072.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you all for your kind words and well wishes.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Watching the development of BACnet's lighting control extensions, it's clear to me that while one can easily do "On -- Off -- %FullOutput", there is a whole lot more to lighting control than can be conveyed via a simple Android app. And that's even before you try to go beyond individual control of each lamp -- think about lighting up the house on the way home from the airport, or at least the path from the garage to the bedroom (so I don't have to to flip switches with both hands full of luggage). There aren't enough stoplights between SeaTac airport (SEA) and home for me to turn on the requisite set of lamps remotely, one by one, enroute.
What these folks are doing is something to watch, certainly, but it doesn't seem to me to be the full answer.
And I hope their power control devices are more robust today than the X10 devices sold in the early 1970s; the vulnerability of the old X10 semiconductors (SCRs/Triacs) to filament-lamp-short failures is the main reason I've never installed X10 in any of my residences.
But now it's over and I'm back in the office (for a couple of days) with reports to write. It's not close to a major airport but I would not be unhappy, though, if we returned to Saarbrücken for the next plugfest -- or a BIG-EU meeting.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
I will admit up front that, like most Americans, I had never heard of the city of Saarbrücken in northwestern Germany. The travel guides I read barely even mention it; all I heard was "a city in the industrial Ruhr valley," so I didn't expect much. And difficulty in sleeping upon my arrival (leaving this Seattleite "Sleepless in Saarbrücken" -- but it's my fault) didn't improve expectations.
Was I ever wrong.
I had little time to tour, and from this point on it's (almost) all business, but I truly enjoyed my short walking tour around the old town yesterday, with at least a few photos of Saarbrücken with which to remember it. I hope sometime I will be able to return, better prepared.
But that's over and now we're deep into the plugfest testing at the Handwerkskammer des Saarlandes (Saarland Chamber of Crafts -- a great facility, by the way: spacious and comfortable). It's a serious event so, because many of us are competitors, we have to lighten things up a little.
One new jest centers on the general conduct of the event: the testing teams are paired up, two by two, and for a couple of hours test their products together. The tests start with a simple "Can my device see yours on the network?" and (usually) quickly progresses to more testing sophisticated interoperations involving setting up time schedules; trendlogging data; configuring, issuing and acknowedging alarms; and more. But this pairing is now called "speed-dating."
Frank Schubert noted last evening, following the day's "speed-dating" our intrepid band of BACneteers had settled down to a romantic ("romantische") candlelight dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant.
But now it's early morning, we have another day of "speed-dating" ahead of us, and I must go prepare. "Tschüss" (bye).
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
A bigger surprise came in yesterday's MS/TP LAN working group meeting, on a discussion on expanding the maximum frame size for this low-cost LAN from 501 bytes to 4096 bytes. This technology has been around for some time and well understood - we thought. But IEEE's Kerry Lynn surprised me (at least) when he revealed that increasing the frame size 8-fold would increase the error rate a thousand-fold!
He referenced studies on CRC algorithms from Dr. Philip Koopman (online here), noting that there's a frequent assumption that "other have done their homework" in areas such as this, when in fact they might not have. Characteristics of the CRC-CCITT and other polynomials have been investigated; the following plot shows one result. Kerry will be providing guidance in this area.
The questions cover a broad range of issues including lighting upgrades and payback periods, commissioning (much potential here, thinking possibly of the International Green Construction Code, which provides an extensive set of specifics related to commissioning), and weather (question below), which is a current topic of discussion in our "buildings" corner of the federally-directed Smart Grid development.
Click here to learn more, and for a link for reviewing and submitting comments.