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The Smart Buildings Academy Podcast | Teaching You Building Automation, Systems Integration, and Information Technology

The weekly podcast where Phil Zito discusses topics related to building automation and provides useful tips and action packed examples to help you better understand building automation.
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The Smart Buildings Academy Podcast | Teaching You Building Automation, Systems Integration, and Information Technology
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Now displaying: April, 2017
Apr 28, 2017

Application Programming Interfaces, also known as API's are the solution to every integration problem you have. 

And if your BAS has an open an API then your integration options are unlimited. 

Or at least that's what all the marketing folks would like you to believe. The problem with all the buzz around API's, SDK's, and system integration is that the folks writing and speaking on the topics couldn't integrate their way out of a cardboard box. So when a BAM Nation subscriber named Dave reached out to me asking me to help clarify how an API works I was thrilled to have the opportunity to discuss the topic!

In this episode you will learn:

  • Why having an open API doesn't automatically mean integration
  • What 3 steps you need to take before using an API
  • The differences between an API and SDK
  • Why you may need a coding background to work with an API... and why you may not...
  • A walkthrough of the system integration process using an API
Apr 26, 2017

Interviewing sucks...

After you spend all your time getting through the HR screening and the "virtual colonoscopy" of pre-interview questions you find yourself in an artificial environment answering questions that you'd probably never be asked in the real world.

So how can you survive? 

Back in 2007 I got let go from my first BAS job and called every controls company in the US to get hired back into the BAS world. Since then I've worked my way to leading the technical integration program for the largest building automation manufacturer in the world.

In this episode, I walk through the 7 tips that have helped me to pass interviews and move up in the world of BAS.

Apr 21, 2017

Have you ever wondered how a temperature sensor really works? 

What does the RTD mean and why is 1,000 ohms resistance so important. 

In this week's Friday Fan Answers I discuss a question from Nick. 

Nick asks "Can you cover or explain the technical reasons for a 1000 ohm RTD sensor to suddenly begin to fluctuate drastically"

Sure thing Nick!

In this episode you will learn:

  • The best way to wire up a temperature sensor
  • Why vibration can lead to huge temperature issues
  • What this whole 1,000 ohms thing is about
  • How often and how to calibrate your temperature sensors
Apr 19, 2017

Lately, several folks have asked me, "Phil how did you get into the world of BAS?". While it's always fun to talk about myself, what I think folks are really asking is "Phil, how can I get into the world of BAS?" and "What career path is there for me beyond just being a technician?".

Over the next 4 episodes, I'm going to tackle these exact questions. In today's episode, I'm going to explore my path in the world of BAS and what I believe to be the key traits you need to be successful in the BAS world.

In this episode you will learn:

  • The path I took to develop from knowing nothing about BAS to becoming a BAS integration expert
  • The skills you need to be successful in the world of BAS
  • The multiple different career paths you can take 
Apr 14, 2017

Welcome to the new podcast series called "Friday Fan Answers or FFA). Each Friday I will be answering a question from the BAM nation.

This week I am answering a question I commonly get asked. The question I often get asked how to find out what the IT requirements for different BAS devices are. If you are not part of the vendor organization this can be quite hard. Well, at least until now.

In this episode, you will learn

  • Where the information around IT requirements and hardware requirements exist
  • How to find this information
  • Some Google search tricks to find the information you need even faster
Apr 12, 2017

Throughout my career, I've learned a lot of tips. Most of the time these tips came from the school of hard knocks but sometimes I was lucky enough to have someone come beside me and share the knowledge they gained. 

Well in this episode I'm doing just that! I'm going to teach you 7 of the most valuable tips I've learned in my career. Now at first glance, these tips may seem basic. However, their effectiveness lies in their simplicity. So sit back, relax, and get your learn on!

In this episode you will learn:

  • My processes for working through almost any design or troubleshooting challenge
  • Why the way you install your BAS has a tremendous effect on how you operate it
  • How training your customer can massively decrease your warranty calls
  • Why the as-builts you're creating suck and what to do about it
  • The most common issue BAS folks experience with IT and how to solve it
  • Why it's ok to bill your customer for 3 hours of work, even if you only worked for 15 minutes
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