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What are they?
Legacy software drivers enable NiagaraAX to communicate with a wide range of meters, sensors and controllers from different manufacturers - even with individual and incompatible protocols that AX doesn't support
NiagaraAX is based on the ability to "talk" a lot of different languages (e.g. Modbus, BACNet, LONWorks, etc)
By adding one or more drivers the "multi-lingual" capability of NiagaraAX can be further extended - and can include installed legacy equipment that would otherwise have to be replaced
How is this done?
Legacy Drivers open up two different options
- either leave the entire existing system in place and use a legacy driver to capture data to AX (e.g. to a web supervisor / CoachAX)
- or "decapitate" the existing system and install AX controllers (typically JACEs) and legacy drivers
This brings the advantages of AX: programming with Workbench, history, alarms, dashboards, etc
Legacy Drivers also allow the integration of new sensors and networks using "open" protocols into the legacy system
Why are they useful?
The cost of control elements (e.g. a JACE) is low compared to the cost of installation and re-wiring to replace meters, sensors and actuators
Legacy Drivers make it possible to add NiagaraAX control, monitoring, alarms, history, workbench and dashboards to an existing building at minimum cost by using existing installed elements
With capital expenditure budgets being cut in many areas, it is not just economic sense, but a real necessity, to extend the life of an existing BMS as far as possible. AX plus Legacy Drivers make this possible