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How can a remote BACnet/IP network be accessed using the WorkPlace Commissioning Tool (WPCT)?

Issue

How can a remote BACnet/IP network be accessed using the WorkPlace Commissioning Tool (WPCT)?

Environment

  • BACnet/IP network
  • WorkPlace Commissioning Tool (WPCT)

Cause

Remote connectivity is needed to access a BACnet device that exists on an outside network where WPCT resides.

Resolution

When WPCT starts, it sends out a "whoIs" (broadcast) message. The responding devices send the reply ("iAm") using its IP address. If the responding device is on a private IP network that is using NAT or Port Forwarding to access the Internet, it is this private IP address that is populated in the "iAm" response. After the response, WPCT starts using directed messages using the address it received from the responding device. Private IP addresses cannot be routed through the public Internet. Therefore, NAT or Port Forwarding cannot be used to access remote BACnet/IP networks using WPCT.

There are two ways around this issue:

  1. Use a public IP address in the internal BACnet network
  2. Use a VPN to access the network

For more details, consult the I/A Series Micronet BACnet Wiring, Networking, and Best Practices Guide (F-27360).

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