Control Solutions’ Babel Buster MX-71-SP is a specialized BACnet IP Gateway used to connect devices with proprietary serial communication protocols to your BACnet network. The Script Basic programming environment lets you write your own custom protocol interpreter to interact with your serial device, and share data with BACnet objects in the gateway.

The MX-71-SP also includes a Modbus TCP client and server. Therefore, this gateway can also be used to connect devices with proprietary serial protocols to Modbus TCP, or use it as a gateway to connect Modbus TCP devices to BACnet IP while also connecting the proprietary serial devices.

BB3-7101 Modbus to BACnet IP Gateway Functionality

Feature Highlights
• Connect Proprietary Serial Protocol Devices to BACnet IP
• Script Basic programming for custom serial protocols
• User HTML support for adding custom web pages
• Subscribe to COV on Changes to BACnet Objects
• At least 1,000 BACnet Objects Typical
• BACnet Input, Value, Output objects for Analog, Binary, Multistate
• Optional mapping of Modbus Registers as Coil, Discrete, Input, Holding
• FCC, CE Mark
• Software Included, No Drivers to Buy

Babel Buster MX-71-SP BACnet IP Gateway

Babel Buster MX-71-SP Proprietary Serial to BACnet IP Gateway

Order code: MX-71-SP
Retail price: $549.00

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Babel Buster MX-71-SP BACnet IP to Modbus Gateway provides a BACnet IP client and server, Modbus TCP client and server, and Modbus RTU port configurable to be master or slave. Most often used to connect Modbus devices to a BACnet IP network, the MX-71-SP is configured via simple web page templates to read and write Modbus registers in one or more Modbus slaves, making that data accessible as BACnet objects on the BACnet IP network.

The MX-71-SP includes a BACnet IP client which allows BACnet IP devices to be accessible from Modbus TCP or RTU. You configure the device instance, object type and instance, and poll interval for reading or writing BACnet objects. The object data is stored in the MX-71-SP server for subsequent retrieval by the remote Modbus client (or master). The same polling schemes that apply to Modbus also apply to remote BACnet IP slaves polled by the MX-71-SP's BACnet IP client.

A large number of BACnet objects gives you flexibility in mapping Modbus registers to any combination of BACnet objects. Packed Modbus registers may be parsed to multiple BACnet objects when reading. Multiple BACnet objects may be packed into a single Modbus register when writing. All standard Modbus register types are supported.

Value objects will poll their assigned Modbus register at the interval you specify. The content of the Modbus register will be given as the Present Value of the BACnet object when read. The Modbus register is written each time the BACnet Value object is written. The Value object corresponds well with the Modbus Holding register.

Input objects will poll their assigned Modbus register at the interval you specify, and provide the Modbus data as the Present Value when read. Commandable Output objects are used to write Modbus registers, and will update the Modbus device each time BACnet is updated.

The MX-71-SP is a special version of the MX-71-RTU that allows one to repurpose the serial communication port to be used for a proprietary serial protocol instead of Modbus RTU. When used for interpreting a proprietary protocol, a Script Basic program would be written to send and receive via the serial port as applicable, and interact with the local BACnet objects under user program control.

The MX-71-SP allows you to BACnet enable enable serial devices that otherwise have no network connection. Combined with rule templates, Script Basic can generate BACnet COV notifications. Script Basic also has access to TCP and UDP connections, and can potentially interpret proprietary IP protocols as well.

Screen shot from BB3-7101-SP BACnet IP Gateway

Script Basic can program your MX-71-SP to be a passive listener capturing data from something like a data logger. Script Basic can also program your MX-71-SP to be an active polling device to query your serial device and interpret the response to provide data to BACnet (or Modbus TCP).

Configuration of theMX-71-SP gateway is done via the web pages served by the internal web server. You simply fill in templates. The entire configuration is saved in the internal Flash file system in XML format. This file may be exported to replicate additional copies of the configured device, or for backup.

Click the link below to view a demo copy of the entire Web UI in the MX-71-SP.

 MX-71-SP Demo Web


MX-71-SP Features

• Connect Proprietary Serial Protocol Devices to BACnet IP
• Script Basic programming for custom serial protocols
• BACnet IP includes BBMD
• Read/Write any standard Modbus register via BACnet objects
     • Typically at least 1,000 objects
     • Analog, Binary, Multi-State object types
     • Input, Output, Value objects
• Read/Write any standard BACnet object via Modbus
• Bidirectional communication between BACnet and Modbus
• Supports Modbus coils, discrete inputs, input registers, holding registers
• Supports signed, unsigned 16-bit, 32-bit, 64-bit integer Modbus registers
• Supports IEEE 754 floating point (32-bit and 64-bit) Modbus registers
• Supports Mod-10 format (2, 3, 4-register)
• Modbus register mapping configured via secure web interface
• Modbus registers may be scaled (x10, x0.1, etc.)
• Modbus (master) polling interval configurable per point
• Commandable BACnet objects implement priority array
• Standard hardened EIA-485 transceiver for Modbus RTU/Serial Comm
• 10/100BaseT Ethernet for BACnet IP and Modbus TCP
• Configure via secure web pages with password protection
    • TLS 1.2
    • RSA-1024/SHA-256 self-generated certificates
    • Supports externally generated certificates
• Flash file system with XML configuration files
• Includes “10X” configuration file capacity
• Powered by 10-30VDC or 24VAC 50/60 Hz
• Power Consumption: 0.1A @ 24VDC
• Panel mount, 70mm H x 131mm W x 38mm D
• Pluggable screw terminal block for power & RTU network
• Operating temperature -20°C to +75°C
• Humidity 5% to 90% non-condensing
• FCC Class A, CE Mark

Maximum Object Counts and System Capacities for MX-71-SP

• The standard MX-71 Object Pool allows up to 5,000 BACnet objects. The MX-71-SP gives up some of this capacity to support Script Basic, but you can anticipate typically at least 1,000 BACnet objects. The object pool may be allocated among the following object types, with a minimum of 1 per object type: Analog Input, Analog Output, Analog Value, Binary Input, Binary Output, Binary Value, Multi-state Input, Multi-state Output, Multi-state Value.

• Maximum 1024 states for Multi-state objects with state text, actual number of objects/states supported varies by resource usage per object.

• MX-71-SP allows user allocation of memory resources. Memory capacity will not support maximum counts of everything possible, but maximum count limits are set high so that you can allocate resources where you need them.

• Maximum BACnet object count 5000
• Maximum BACnet IP device count 200
• BACnet IP Client read map count 5000
• BACnet IP Client write map count 5000

• Maximum Modbus RTU device count 240
• Modbus RTU read map count 5000
• Modbus RTU write map count 5000

• Maximum Modbus TCP device count 200
• Modbus TCP Client read mapcount 5000
• Modbus TCP Client write map count 5000

MX-71-SP Video Library

Watch these videos for an introduction to configuring the gateway. It's easier than reading!

Note: The following videos were recorded using the BB3-7101 gateway which is functionally identical to MX-71.

Introduction to the BB3-7101/MX-71 BACnet-Modbus Gateway

Configuring BB3-7101/MX-71 BACnet Server

Configuring BB3-7101/MX-71 Modbus RTU Master

Configuring BB3-7101/MX-71 Modbus TCP Client

Configuring BB3-7101/MX-71 BACnet Client

Configuring BB3-7101/MX-71 Modbus Slave

CSV to XML Conversion Tool

Babel Buster Configuration Builder

You would normally use the web pages found in the gateway itself to configure the gateway. But you may be able to take a shortcut if you have a long list of registers already in CSV file format.

The Babel Buster Configuration Builder is used to facilitate building of configuration files (aka "profiles") for Babel Buster network gateways by converting XML files to CSV files and vice versa. This simplifies the process of creating or changing a large number of entries because you can use any standard spread sheet program to manipulate the content of one or more CSV files, and then convert that into an XML configuration file that can be loaded into the gateway. If the gateway will be reading a long list of Modbus registers, for example, you can sometimes just copy a list of registers from another source, paste into a simple text file, and import that into the spread sheet program. Then add a header line to label the content, add a handful of additional columns, and you quickly have most of a complete configuration. Very often, the only thing that changes from one line to the next is the register number. The other entries can be quickly made by entering once and using the spread sheet program's "fill down".

The Babel Buster Configuration Builder simplifies the process of making global changes to a large number of gateway register or object "maps". The gateway “converts” protocols by querying devices on one network with one protocol, and then saving that data internally so that it may be accessed on another network using a different protocol. The designation of what should be queried is referred to as a “map” in the gateway. In most applications, most or all maps are “read” maps, meaning the gateway will read data from some other device. A “write” map will write data to that device. Most often the gateway will actively read data from a device and passively wait for another device on the alternate network to query the gateway to obtain that data. But it is also possible to configure the gateway with two sets of maps, one to actively read device A using protocol A, and then actively write that data to device B using protocol B. The process can also be reversed, and can be done concurrently. You may both read and write data on one network while writing and reading data on the other network.

What to Expect from the Conversion Tool

The point of this configuration builder is to simplify the process of entering long lists of registers or objects. Where most of the parameters are the same for many maps, using a spread sheet program's "fill down" makes the process fast and easy.

There are situations where creating a CSV file for configuring some aspect of the gateway is actually going to create more work than simply using the web UI or PC based software to directly configure that aspect. Configuring the Modbus RTU port baud rate is one such example. There is only one setting. A CSV file would create more work rather than less, as intended. Therefore, the configuration builder only supports CSV import/export for those aspects of gateway configuration that involve long lists of largely replicated parameters. There are a very limited number of list type entries that are not supported in part because they are seldom used, and in part because very little of the list is replicated from one entry to the next. The BACnet Broadcast Distribution Table is one such example.

Do note, however, that if you have already done a lot of configuration, have saved that to an XML file, and want to add a list from a CSV file, you can do that. Refer to the section in the user guide that talks about modifying an existing configuration.

Get the Tool Now!

This tool is free and available for download now. Unzip and run the bb-builder-setup.exe file. Open the program, and click the help icon (blue question mark in upper left corner) to access the user guide. The very first section tells you how to get started.

NOTE: Version 2 of the configuration builder tool supports MX-71-SP file formats, and supports upgrading XML files from BB2-7010 format to MX-71-SP format. Also do note that the MX-71-SP can import CSV files directly. If you have a compatible CSV file ready to go, just upload that into the MX-71-SP - no need to convert to XML first.

Download the Babel Buster Configuration Builder here.

CSV to XML Conversion Tool

Configuration Service

Need even more help with your network gateway configuration task? We can do the configuration for you, or at least give you a big head start. We are working on building a library of configuration files for commonly used devices. If yours isn't already in the library, we will add it. To get started, open a support ticket and attach a copy (typically a .pdf document) of whatever documentation you have for your device. In addition, provide a list of the registers or objects you want to read or write. Of course, you can also start by asking if we already have that device in our library. If you have a proprietary application that you do not want included in our library, you can hire us at a very reasonable rate to do custom, proprietary configuration work for you, too.

Our most extensive technical support is provided by the same engineering staff that developed the products. Your personal attention from this staff is available via the support ticket system.

No user/password is required to open a new ticket. Once you open a ticket, you will immediately receive an email with your ticket number. Your ticket number becomes your login to review your ticket(s) later. Click the Support Ticket icon anywhere you see it. (If you do not get an email with your ticket number, within minutes, check your junk folder, spam settings, etc, and try again if necessary.)

 Open a Ticket