Category Archives: communication

USB to RS485 PC Adapter Installation

The USB-485M is a 2-wire USB to RS-485 serial communication adapter for RS485 use. It does not require an external power supply or complicated configuration.

It has a Type A (plug) USB connector for the computer side and a universal female RJ45/RJ12 modular connector. This will accept RJ12 and RJ45 plugs.  The USB-485M supports multiple baud rates and is USB V2.0 Compliant.

Installing the Driver
Do NOT connect the USB-485M to your PC before installing the driver file.

Go to the Automation Direct website and download the latest drivers for this device. I would not use the mini CD that came with the converter because it may be out of date.
USB-485M Serial Converter Support Resources

Download and extracted the zip file. (Right click on the zip file and select Extract All…. )
If you have a 64bit computer double click on the following file:
CP210xVCPInstaller_x64.exe
If you have a 32bit computer double click on this file:
CP210xVCPInstaller_x86.exe

If you are unsure as to 32 bit or 64 bit computer then go to control panel and look under system. Under System type it will display either a 32-bit Operating or 64-bit Operating system.
Alternatively on Windows 7 you can click start and right click on Computer.

Selecting properties will call up the system information for you.

This will now start the installation of the CP210x USB to UART Bridge Driver. Select Next.

You must accept the license agreement before the software will install. Select ‘I accept this agreement’ and hit Next.

You will now get a message that the installation is complete. The Silicon Laboratories Driver is now installed. Click Finish.

We will now configure the device driver for our hardware.
Connect the USB-485M to your PC.
The driver software installation will begin by searching for the CP2103 USB to UART Bridge Controller. It will start by searching windows update…

Once the software has been configured a message will be displayed as follows. If it cannot find the driver software you can manually select the x64 (64bit) or x86 (32bit) folders from the downloaded driver files.

You can now call up device manager and view the ports on your computer. The Silicon Labs CP210x USB to UART Bridge is on communication port 5.

We are now ready to connect to our equipment. Since this is a serial device and is a 1 : N connection. This means that we will have a master and at least one slave unit. All communication must have the same parameters when communicating. What separates the communication is that each slave is assigned an unique number.
Example:

Device Computer ‘Master’ Solo Process Controller
‘Slave’
Do-More PLC
‘Slave’
Additional Devices
‘Slaves’
Station Address / Unit number N/A 1 2
Baud Rate 9600 9600 9600 9600
Data Bits 8 8 8 8
Parity Even Even Even Even
Stop Bits 1 1 1 1

Protocol is the actual communication (Information format that is transferred) that takes place over the network. (Master to Slaves)

Watch on YouTube : USB to RS485 PC Adapter Installation
If you have any questions or need further information please contact me.
Thank you,
Garry



If you’re like most of my readers, you’re committed to learning about technology. Numbering systems used in PLC’s are not difficult to learn and understand. We will walk through the numbering systems used in PLCs. This includes Bits, Decimal, Hexadecimal, ASCII and Floating Point.

To get this free article, subscribe to my free email newsletter.


Use the information to inform other people how numbering systems work. Sign up now.

The ‘Robust Data Logging for Free’ eBook is also available as a free download. The link is included when you subscribe to ACC Automation.

Creating a HMI Login Screen on AdvancedHMI

We will be creating a HMI (human machine interface) login screen for the cylinder program that we developed previously.
BUILDING A PLC PROGRAM THAT YOU CAN BE PROUD OF – PART 6
Our program had a Run, Jog and Teach mode for the cylinders. Our user will login with a user name and password. Based upon the user level that is set we will control what modes each user will be able to operate. We will also write this user level mode into the PLC.

The following is the sequence of operation:
Watch on YouTube : Creating a HMI Login Screen on AdvancedHMI Sequence of Operation
Note: All of the programs used are provided free of charge and are an excellent way to learn PLC / HMI programming.

AdvancedHMI is a free HMI software package that communicates to a number of different PLC manufacturers. This package uses visual studio and vb.net to program, however you do not need to be an expert on visual basic to implement this software. We will be using an access database (Access 2010) to store our user information. When the operator logs into the system, they will enter a user name and password. The program will compare this to the information in the database and set the appropriate modes on the HMI.

The first thing that we need to do is to create a database to store the user information. We will create a table called ‘tbl_user’. The fields in the database will be as follows:
First_Name – Text Field – 50 characters
Last_Name – Text Field – 50 characters
User_Level – Number – Integer
User_Name – Text Field – 50 characters
Password – Text Field – 50 characters

The user level will be as follows:
0 – Stop and reset the machine only (Not logged in)
1 – Run, stop and reset the machine only
2 – Run, stop, reset and jog the machine
3 – Run, stop, reset, jog and teach the machine

Here is a list of addresses that we will be using for our login screen between the HMI and PLC.

Device Data Addresses Type Do-More PLC Description
Run/ Jog Selector 00008 Input MC8  MC8 on is jog mode
Jog / Teach Selector 00070 Input MC70  MC70 on is teach mode
User Level 40005 Output MHR5  Current user level

We will add a Login / Logout button on the main page of our control. This will allow the operator to sign in or out of the machine. To ensure that the operator knows that he is logged into the system we will display a message in a label also on the main screen. Here is what our main page now looks like:

The next thing we need to do is to design the form for our login information. This will contain two text boxes for the password and user name. We will also need two buttons; Login and Cancel. Our new form will be called Page2. Here is what it will look like:

When the HMI first powers up and no user has logged in we will ensure that the Jog and Teach functions are reset by writing values directly to the PLC. We will also set the user level to 0.
Private Sub MainForm_Load(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles Me.Load
ModbusTCPCom1.Write(“00008”, 0) ‘Reset Run / Jog Selector PLC
ModbusTCPCom1.Write(“00070”, 0) ‘Reset Jog / Teach Selector PLC
ModbusTCPCom1.Write(“40005”, 0) ‘Set user level to 0
End Sub

Now let’s look at the logic for the button on the main page. If a person is logged into the machine then this button will log them out. This will also change the user level to 0 and write this to the PLC. In our case, MHR5 (400005) will contain the user level code. If no one is logged in then this button will call up our login form (Page2) so information can be entered.
Private Sub Button1_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click
     If Button1.Text = “Login” Then
Page2.txtUsername.Text = “”
Page2.txtPassword.Text = “”
Page2.Show()
Else
SelectorSwitch1.Value = False
SelectorSwitch2.Value = False
          MomentaryButton1.Enabled = False ‘Start
          SelectorSwitch1.Enabled = False ‘Run / Jog Selector
          SelectorSwitch2.Enabled = False ‘Jog / Teach Selector
          Button1.Text = “Login”
          Label6.Text = “Please Login To Operate the Machine”
          ModbusTCPCom1.Write(“40005”, 0) ‘Reset user level in PLC
     End If
End Sub

Page2 is our login form. Here is the programming logic for the Login Button.
Private Sub btnLogin_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles btnLogin.Click
If txtPassword.Text = “” Or txtUsername.Text = “” Then
MessageBox.Show(“Please complete the required fields…”, “Authentication Error”, MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Error)
Else
‘ Connect to DB
Dim conn As New System.Data.OleDb.OleDbConnection()
conn.ConnectionString = “Provider=Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0;Data Source= F:\Users\Shortt\Downloads\Creating a HMI Login Screen in AdvancedHMI\HMI\AdvancedHMIBetaV399a\AccDatabase.accdb”
Try
Dim sql As String = “SELECT * FROM tbl_user WHERE User_Name='” & txtUsername.Text & “‘ AND Password = ‘” & txtPassword.Text & “‘”
Dim sqlCom As New System.Data.OleDb.OleDbCommand(sql)
‘Open Database Connection
sqlCom.Connection = conn
conn.Open()
Dim sqlRead As System.Data.OleDb.OleDbDataReader = sqlCom.ExecuteReader()
If sqlRead.Read() Then
Dim FirstName As String
Dim LastName As String
Dim UserLevel As Integer
FirstName = sqlRead(“First_Name”)
LastName = sqlRead(“Last_Name”)
UserLevel = sqlRead(“User_Level”)
MainForm.ModbusTCPCom1.Write(“40005”, UserLevel)
MainForm.Button1.Text = “Logout”
MainForm.Label6.Text = FirstName & ” “ & LastName & ” Level = “ & UserLevel
MainForm.MomentaryButton1.Enabled = True ‘Start
If UserLevel = 3 Then
MainForm.SelectorSwitch1.Enabled = True ‘Run / Jog Selector
MainForm.SelectorSwitch2.Enabled = True ‘Jog / Teach Selector
ElseIf UserLevel = 2 Then
MainForm.SelectorSwitch1.Enabled = True ‘Run / Jog Selector
MainForm.SelectorSwitch2.Enabled = False ‘Jog / Teach Selector
Else
MainForm.SelectorSwitch1.Enabled = False ‘Run / Jog Selector
MainForm.SelectorSwitch2.Enabled = False ‘Jog / Teach Selector
End If
MainForm.Show()
Me.Hide()
Else
‘ If user enter wrong username and password combination show error
MessageBox.Show(“Username and Password do not match..”, “Authentication Failure”, MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Exclamation)
‘Clear all fields
txtPassword.Text = “”
txtUsername.Text = “”
‘Focus on Username field
txtUsername.Focus()
End If
conn.Close()
          Catch ex As Exception
MessageBox.Show(“Failed to connect to Database.. System Error Message: “ & ex.Message, “Database Connection Error”, MessageBoxButtons.OK, MessageBoxIcon.Error)
End Try
End If
End Sub

A further explanation of the code above can be found at the following address.
How to create login form in VB.NET

Connecting to our database
The ConnectionString will vary from machine to machine. To automatically determine the connection string to our database we can do the following:
1 – Click DataBindings in the Properties window. Click F4 if you cannot see the properties window or add it on View – Properties Window.

2 – Under DataBindings, click on Text – Add Project Data Source. This will call up the Data Source Configuration Wizard.

3- Choose Database as your Data Source Type and click Next.

4- Choose Dataset as your Database Model and click Next.

5 – Click on New Connection

6 – Click on Microsoft Access Database File as your Data Source and click Continue

7- The Add Connection window appears. Beside the ‘Database file name:’ click Browse. Locate the database file that we created above.
8 – Click the Test Connection. You should get the test connection succeeded message.

9 – Click OK to close the Add Connection wizard. Expand the “Connection string that you will save in the application”. Copy the connection string given and paste it on conn.ConnectionString.
Note: Copy – ctrl + C / Paste – ctrl + V

Here is the programming logic for the Cancel Button.
Private Sub ReturnToMainButton_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles btnCancel.Click
MainForm.Show()
Me.Hide()
End Sub

In this program we are just writing a user level in PLC memory address MHR05. The control of the PLC can be limited if hardwired selector switches and pushbuttons were in the system. Implementing a login screen is very straight forward and can be part of your overall automation solution.

Download the access database and the Bin directory for the AdvancedHMI login screen.

The cylinder PLC program from Building a PLC Program That You Can Be Proud Of – Part 6 can be downloaded with the following link.
Download the PLC program and the Bin directory for the AdvanceHMI Screen.

Watch on YouTube : Creating a HMI Login Screen on AdvancedHMI – Explaining the Code
If you have any questions or need further information please contact me.
Thank you,
Garry



If you’re like most of my readers, you’re committed to learning about technology. Numbering systems used in PLC’s are not difficult to learn and understand. We will walk through the numbering systems used in PLCs. This includes Bits, Decimal, Hexadecimal, ASCII and Floating Point.

To get this free article, subscribe to my free email newsletter.


Use the information to inform other people how numbering systems work. Sign up now.

The ‘Robust Data Logging for Free’ eBook is also available as a free download. The link is included when you subscribe to ACC Automation.

Building a PLC Program That You Can Be Proud Of – Part 6

We will continue the series by looking at a sequencer controlling seven cylinders that can be taught. The cylinders can be operator programmed from the AdvancedHMI screen. You will be able to select what cylinders to activate at each step and program in 500 steps. Our PLC will be the Do-More from Automation Direct.

Here is a quick review of the programming series so far. If you are new to the site, we recommend reviewing the other parts in the series first.
In part 1 we looked at writing PLC programs to control a traffic light using discrete bits and then using timed sequencing using indirect addressing.
Part 2 used indirect addressing for inputs as well as output to control the sequence of pneumatic (air) cylinders in the program. Part 3 and 4 we returned to the traffic light application and expand our program significantly. We looked at the sequence of operation using Input, output and mask tables.
In part 5 we used the AdvancedHMI software to create the game of Simon. A round in the game consists of the device lighting up one or more buttons in a random order, after which the player must reproduce that order by pressing the buttons. As the game progresses, the number of buttons to be pressed increases.

We will be using AdvancedHMI to communicate Modbus TCP to the Automation Direct Do-More Designer Software Simulator. The following is the sequence of operation:
Watch on YouTube : Running the Cylinder Sequence (PLC / HMI)
Note: All of the  programs used are provided free of charge and are an excellent way to learn PLC / HMI programming.

The following table is the Modbus TCP memory map to the Do-More PLC:

Coil/Register Numbers Data Addresses Type Do-More PLC Table Name
00001-09999 0000 to 270E Read-Write MC1 to MC1023 Discrete Output Coils
10001-19999 0000 to 270E Read-Only MI1 to MI1023 Discrete Input Contacts
30001-39999 0000 to 270E Read-Only MIR1 to MIR2047 Analog Input Registers
40001-49999 0000 to 270E Read-Write MHR1 to MHR2047 Analog Output Holding Registers


Here are the inputs and outputs we will be using for our program:

Device Data Addresses Type Do-More PLC Description
Start Pushbutton 00011 Input MC11
Stop Pushbutton 00012 Input MC12
Jog Pushbutton 00013 Input MC13
Reset Pushbutton 00014 Input MC14
Run/ Jog Selector 00008 / 00015 Input/ Output MC8 / MC15  MC8 is the value and MC15 is the click
Light Stack 00010 / 00009 / 00008 Output MC10 / MC9 / MC8  Red / Green / Amber
Set Pushbutton 00071 Input MC71
Jog / Teach Selector 00070 Input MC70  MC70 on is teach mode
Sequence Step (Panel Meter) 40001 Output MHR1  Current step in the sequence
Inputs Actual 40002 Input MHR2  Show the actual inputs in binary format
Output Sequence 40003 Output MHR3  Show the actual outputs in a binary format
Input Sequence 40004 Input MHR4  Show the input sequence bits in a binary format
Cylinder 1 to 7 – value 00001 to 00007 Output MC1 to MC7  Determine if cylinder is on/off
Cylinder 1 to 7 – set (click) 00041 to 00047 Input MC41 to MC47  Set the cylinder button
Cylinder 1 to 7 – retract indicators 00021 to 00027 Input MC21 to MC27 Indicate cylinder has retracted
Cylinder 1 to 7 – extend indicators 00031 to 00037 Input MC31 to MC37 Indicate cylinder has extended
Cylinder 1 to 7 – extend / retract error indicators 00050 to 00063 Output MC50 to MC63 Indicate cylinder input error when jogging

The first thing we will do is design the HMI. We have three main areas on the screen. Basic Controls, Cylinder Visualization and the Sequence Step/Teach area. Please refer to the above reference chart for the inputs and outputs programmed on the screen.

Basic Controls:
This area will allow us to see what mode we are in via the stack light. Red – Stop
Yellow – Jog / Teach Mode – Troubleshooting
Green – Run

Cylinder Visualization:
Each cylinder will have indication lights to determine status of the cylinder. (Extended / Retracted)
The cylinder will also have red indication lights to reflect the differences between the current sequence and the next sequence step. This is visible when we are in jog mode.

Sequence Step/Teach:
When in jog or teach mode the sequence step is visible, which indicates the current step that we are on. The inputs and outputs are displayed as a binary value which represents the actual inputs and outputs. This is valuable when troubleshooting and finding errors in the system. The set button is visible when in teach mode. When pushed the outputs and inputs are set for that step and the sequence will then increment.

The following is the code for each of the words that the DataScribers are reading. This includes the code to change the word into a 16 bit binary value.

Private Sub DataSubscriber1_DataChanged(sender As Object, e As Drivers.Common.PlcComEventArgs) Handles DataSubscriber1.DataChanged
'Label1.Text = Hex(DataSubscriber1.Value)Dim i As Integer = DataSubscriber1.Value
Label1.Text = Convert.ToString(i, 2).PadLeft(16, "0") '16 bits
End Sub
Private Sub DataSubscriber2_DataChanged(sender As Object, e As Drivers.Common.PlcComEventArgs) Handles DataSubscriber2.DataChanged
'Label2.Text = Hex(DataSubscriber2.Value)
Dim i As Integer = DataSubscriber2.Value
Label2.Text = Convert.ToString(i, 2).PadLeft(16, "0") '16 bits
End Sub
Private Sub DataSubscriber3_DataChanged(sender As Object, e As Drivers.Common.PlcComEventArgs) Handles DataSubscriber3.DataChanged
Dim i As Integer = DataSubscriber3.Value
Label3.Text = Convert.ToString(i, 2).PadLeft(16, "0") '16 bits
End Sub
Private Sub DataSubscriber4_DataChanged(sender As Object, e As Drivers.Common.PlcComEventArgs) Handles DataSubscriber4.DataChanged
If DataSubscriber4.Value = True Then
     Label1.Visible = True
     Label2.Visible = True
     Label3.Visible = True
     Label4.Visible = True
     Label5.Visible = True
Else
     Label1.Visible = False
     Label2.Visible = False
     Label3.Visible = False
     Label4.Visible = False
     Label5.Visible = False
End If
End Sub

We will now look at the PLC ladder program. The program is broken down into several parts as follows:

ACC Automation
This is the main start / stop circuit of the program.
If we are in run mode the green light will be on. (MC9)
If we are not in jog mode (MC8) this circuit will be functional.

If we are not run mode (MC9) or in jog mode (MC8) then the stop mode is active.
This will turn on the red light. (MC10)

Run / Jog – Toggle Circuit
Flip Flop circuit to set the jog function

Move the outputs to the physical outputs when we go to run mode.

Indirect Addresses for the Program
V0 – Input pointer – 100 – 499
V1 – Output pointer – 500 – 999
V2 – Input pointer last step in sequence
V3 – Output pointer last step in sequence
V10 – Inputs to the sequencer
V20 – Outputs from the sequencer

Jog Mode – Jog Pushbutton

Reset the sequencer pointers. This will happen automatically in run mode or by hitting the reset button in jog or stop mode.

Teach Function
This first rung will activate the values so we can manually turn them off/on with the HMI screen.

This will reset the pointers when going into teach mode.

This will set the teach point and increment to the next step.

Show the current step of the sequence.
Note: 0 is the first step

Set the inputs for cylinders.
The actural physical input points would be inserted here.
HMI inputs from the cylinders have a 500ms delay to simulate the movement of the actual cylinder.

Set the actual inputs / sequencer inputs / sequencer outputs so we can monitor this on the HMI.

Set the outputs for cylinders.
This will set the physical output points Y1 to Y7.
This will also set the HMI cylinders MC1 to MC7 (00001 to 00007)

Diagnostic Bits for indicating the difference for the inputs to the PLC. This will show up as a red indication light on the cyclinder represented on the HMI.

This section of PLC logic will mimic the inputs from the cylinders.
Cylinder 1 – Retract MC21 (00021) – Extend MC31 (00031)
Cylinder 2 – Retract MC22 (00022) – Extend MC32 (00032)
Cylinder 3 – Retract MC23 (00023) – Extend MC33 (00033)
Cylinder 4 – Retract MC24 (00024) – Extend MC34 (00034)
Cylinder 5 – Retract MC25 (00025) – Extend MC35 (00035)
Cylinder 6 – Retract MC26 (00026) – Extend MC36 (00036)
Cylinder 7 – Retract MC27 (00027) – Extend MC37 (00037)

Between each funtion of the cylinder there is a time delay for the input to turn on and off of 500msec.

Cylinder 2 – Retract MC22 (00022) – Extend MC32 (00032)

Cylinder 3 – Retract MC23 (00023) – Extend MC33 (00033)

Cylinder 4 – Retract MC24 (00024) – Extend MC34 (00034)

Cylinder 5 – Retract MC25 (00025) – Extend MC35 (00035)

Cylinder 6 – Retract MC26 (00026) – Extend MC36 (00036)

Cylinder 7 – Retract MC27 (00027) – Extend MC37 (00037)

This is the end of the PLC program. You can see that the program is not very complicated once you break down the individual steps.

Download the PLC program and the Bin directory for the AdvancedHMI screen.

Watch on YouTube : Building a PLC Program that You can be Proud Of – Part 6b – Explaining the Program
If you have any questions or need further information please contact me.
Thank you,
Garry



If you’re like most of my readers, you’re committed to learning about technology. Numbering systems used in PLC’s are not difficult to learn and understand. We will walk through the numbering systems used in PLCs. This includes Bits, Decimal, Hexadecimal, ASCII and Floating Point.

To get this free article, subscribe to my free email newsletter.


Use the information to inform other people how numbering systems work. Sign up now.

The ‘Robust Data Logging for Free’ eBook is also available as a free download. The link is included when you subscribe to ACC Automation.

Excel Conditional Movement of Data

I have been recently asked how you can move data conditionally on an excel spreadsheet once the information has been obtained from the PLC? Monthly data was being collected from the PLC and put on an excel spreadsheet using Omron CX-Server DDE. They wanted at the beginning of each month to move the data to the appropriate month so they can track the changes.

The following three blogs were posted on how to get data into the Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet from the programmable logic controller. (PLC)

HOW TO IMPLEMENT MODBUS TCP PROTOCOL USING VBA WITH EXCEL

IMPLEMENTING THE OMRON CX SERVER DDE AND EXCEL

HOW TO IMPLEMENT THE OMRON HOST LINK PROTOCOL PART 2 – VBA

The method to move the data around the spreadsheet once the data has been obtained will be done by Visual Basic for Applications. (VBA)

Make a spreadsheet in excel as follows:

Operation:
When the current data in A2 or B2 changes, it will trigger a macro to execute. This macro will use the Worksheet_Change to trigger the code. The date in A2 is then compared to all of the dates located from A5 to A30. If a match is found then the value in B2 is placed beside the matching date found column. Example: A2 = A7 then B7 = B2
Here is a look at the VBA editor and code:

Here is the following code:
Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
If Target.Address = “$A$2” Or Target.Address = “$B$2” Then
For x = 5 To 30
If Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“A2”) = Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“A” & x) Then
Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B” & x) = Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B2”)
End If
Next ‘x
End If
End Sub

Download the example excel file.

Watch on YouTube : Excel Conditional Movement of Data
If you have any questions or need further information please contact me.
Thank you,
Garry



If you’re like most of my readers, you’re committed to learning about technology. Numbering systems used in PLC’s are not difficult to learn and understand. We will walk through the numbering systems used in PLCs. This includes Bits, Decimal, Hexadecimal, ASCII and Floating Point.

To get this free article, subscribe to my free email newsletter.


Use the information to inform other people how numbering systems work. Sign up now.

The ‘Robust Data Logging for Free’ eBook is also available as a free download. The link is included when you subscribe to ACC Automation.

Building a PLC Program That You Can Be Proud Of – Part 5

The Game of Simon
Learning all about bit manipulation and sequencers

Simon is a memory game introduced in 1978. It has four coloured buttons, each producing a particular tone when it is pressed or activated by the device. A round in the game consists of the device lighting up one or more buttons in a random order, after which the player must reproduce that order by pressing the buttons. As the game progresses, the number of buttons to be pressed increases. If the wrong button is hit the current game is over. Our game will have a high level score and a current level score.

We will be using AdvancedHMI to communicate Modbus TCP to the Automation Direct Do-More Designer Software Simulator.

Watch on YouTube : The Game of Simon Play (PLC / HMI)
Here is the end result of our program.

Note: The programs are provided free of charge and are an excellent way to learn PLC / HMI programming.

Here is a quick review of the programming series so far. If you are new to the site, we recommend reviewing the other parts in the series first. In part 1 we looked at writing PLC programs to control a traffic light using discrete bits and then using timed sequencing using indirect addressing. Part 2 used indirect addressing for inputs as well as output to control the sequence of pneumatic (air) cylinders in the program. Part 3 and 4 we returned to the traffic light application and expand our program significantly. We looked at the sequence of operation using Input, output and mask tables.

The first thing that we will do is look at the HMI programming. Please refer to the following post for information on setting up and using AdvancedHMI software.
Create a PLC with HMI Training and Learning Environment Free

The following table is the Modbus TCP memory map to the Do-More PLC:

Coil/Register Numbers Data Addresses Type Do-More PLC Table Name
00001-09999 0000 to 270E Read-Write MC1 to MC1023 Discrete Output Coils
10001-19999 0000 to 270E Read-Only MI1 to MI1023 Discrete Input Contacts
30001-39999 0000 to 270E Read-Only MIR1 to MIR2047 Analog Input Registers
40001-49999 0000 to 270E Read-Write MHR1 to MHR2047 Analog Output Holding Registers


Add the ModbusTCPCom control and set the IP Address. Also set the PollRateOverride to 50 so the response to our PLC is quicker.

The following map will apply to our game:
(Communication between the HMI and PLC)

40002 – MHR2 – Register – Game Sounds
40001 – MHR1 – Register – Current Game Level
40003 – MHR3 – Register – Highest Game Level
00005 – MC5 – Bit – Start/Reset Game
00001 – MC1 – Bit – Green Button Input
10001 – MI1 – Bit – Green Button Set
00002 – MC1 – Bit – Red Button Input
10002 – MI1 – Bit – Red Button Set
00003 – MC1 – Bit – Yellow Button Input
10003 – MI1 – Bit – Yellow Button Set
00004 – MC1 – Bit – Blue Button Input
10004 – MI1 – Bit – Blue Button Set


The DataSubsciber is used to read information from the PLC and manipulate the data in the visual basic code.  We will use this to determine what sounds to play.

The following is the code for the button when hit to play the sound and the DataSubscriber1 to play the sound when the playback from the PLC is required. (Console.Beep (Frequncy (Hz), Duration (msec)))

Private Sub PilotLight1_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles PilotLight1.Click ‘ Green Light
     Console.Beep(415, 420)
End Sub

Private Sub PilotLight2_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles PilotLight2.Click ‘ Red Light
     Console.Beep(310, 420)
End Sub

Private Sub PilotLight3_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles PilotLight3.Click ‘ Yellow Light
     Console.Beep(252, 420)
End Sub

Private Sub PilotLight4_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles PilotLight4.Click ‘ Blue Light
     Console.Beep(209, 420)
End Sub

Private Sub DataSubscriber1_DataChanged(sender As Object, e As Drivers.Common.PlcComEventArgs) Handles DataSubscriber1.DataChanged
If DataSubscriber1.Value = “1” Then
     Console.Beep(415, 420) ‘ Green
ElseIf DataSubscriber1.Value = “2” Then
     Console.Beep(310, 420) ‘ Red
ElseIf DataSubscriber1.Value = “4” Then
     Console.Beep(252, 420) ‘ Yellow
ElseIf DataSubscriber1.Value = “8” Then
     Console.Beep(209, 420) ‘ Blue
ElseIf DataSubscriber1.Value = “10” Then
     Console.Beep(120, 1500) ‘ Losing Sound
ElseIf DataSubscriber1.Value = “20” Then
     For x = 1 To 8
          Console.Beep(600, 90) ‘ Winning Sound
          Threading.Thread.Sleep(20)
     Next ‘x
End If
End Sub

We now have our HMI interface complete and can move onto the PLC programming.

Random sequence generator – MHR4
The first four bits of MHR4 will be used to generate the random sequence for each step of the pattern.
The first scan is to set (1) a bit in MHR0. This will also ensure that the rest of the bits in the word are reset (0).
The second rung will shift the bits left in the output word MHR0. This will happen once per scan of the PLC. When bit 04 turns on then bit 00 will then be turned on again. This way we will always have one of the first four bits turned on in the output word. (00, 01, 02 or 03) MHR0 is logically AND with Hex value 000F and the result is placed in MHR4.

Start the Game
The game will be started n the leading edge of the reset button. (MC5)
All of the registers and pointers are reset to start the game.
1     is moved into the current level – MHR1
100 is moved into the Play Sequence Pointer – V1
100 is moved into the Input Sequence Pointer – V2
100 is moved into the Current Level Pointer – V0
The random sequence MHR5 is moved indirectly into the Current Level Pointer V0 and this pointer is then incremented by 1.
An initialization bit is then set.

The initialization bit starts a timer for 600msec in order to give time for the HMI to respond. Once the time expires the Initialization bit is reset and the game start bit is set. (Y0)
Y0 – Game Started is used to determine if play is to continue.

Play the Sequence

Set the outputs to play the sequence.
This will also set the sound to play for each of the colours selected. (MHR2)

Reset the sound during the playing of the sequence.

Read the inputs from the HMI. (MC1 – MC4)
Set the bits in V501 so we can compare the word.

If the wrong button is hit, then play a sound and stop the game.

If the correct color is selected, increment to the next random colour in the sequence.

If the correct colour sequence has been entered, then the level has been completed.
Start a delay to ensure that the HMI has finished playing all of the sounds.

When the level is entered correctly and the time delay has expired, we will reset the play and input pointers. The level increases by 1 and  another random number is added to the sequence and the current level pointer is incremented by 1.
MHR1 – Level – Increases
V1 – 100
V2 – 100
V0 – New random number gets indirecly addressed and the pointer is incremented by 1

Setting the Highest Level achieved
If the current level is greater than the highest level, the current level is moved into the highest level.

If no key is hit for 45 seconds after the sequence is played a sound will be played and the game start bit will be reset.

If the game start bit is off for more than 500ms, the sound will be reset.

Download the PLC program and the Bin directory for the AdvancedHMI screen.

Watch on YouTube : Building a PLC Program that You can be Proud Of – Part 5 – Game of Simon

Part 6 will look at a sequencer controlling seven cylinders that can be taught. The cylinders can be operator programmed from the AdvancedHMI screen.

If you have any questions or need further information please contact me.
Thank you,
Garry



If you’re like most of my readers, you’re committed to learning about technology. Numbering systems used in PLC’s are not difficult to learn and understand. We will walk through the numbering systems used in PLCs. This includes Bits, Decimal, Hexadecimal, ASCII and Floating Point.

To get this free article, subscribe to my free email newsletter.


Use the information to inform other people how numbering systems work. Sign up now.

The ‘Robust Data Logging for Free’ eBook is also available as a free download. The link is included when you subscribe to ACC Automation.

Create a PLC with HMI Training and Learning Environment Free

Learn PLC programming and use a powerful HMI (Human Machine Interface) easily and free. We will use the Automation Direct Do-More programming software tied into the Advanced HMI package via Modbus TCP.

Our application will show a HMI screen with a panel meter and a reset button. The panel meter value may be changed by clicking it. This will bring up a input screen to put in a number. When the reset button is selected the input value entered will show on the panel meter.

Since we will be communicating via Modbus TCP, the following table shows the Coil/Register Numbers and the associated Do-More PLC Addresses.

Coil/Register Numbers Data Addresses Type Do-More PLC Table Name
00001-09999 0000 to 270E Read-Write MC1 to MC1023 Discrete Output Coils
10001-19999 0000 to 270E Read-Only MI1 to MI1023 Discrete Input Contacts
30001-39999 0000 to 270E Read-Only MIR1 to MIR2047 Analog Input Registers
40001-49999 0000 to 270E Read-Write MHR1 to MHR2047 Analog Output Holding Registers

Note: The Do More PLC uses the Modbus area to communicate. This is because having direct access to the digital I/O can be dangerous when connected via Ethernet to the internet. Data must move in and out of this area via the PLC program.

We will first start with the PLC.
Automation Direct has a powerful simulator with their Do-More PLC. It is the Do-More Designer Software. This software simulator includes the entire instruction set (Not Just Bit Logic) as well as communication protocols. It can be downloaded and installed for free from the above link.
Our PLC program will have the following addresses:
Digital Panel Meter Present Value (PV) – MHR1 – Modbus 40001
Digital Panel Meter Set Value (SV) – MHR2 – Modbus 40002
Reset Button – MC1 – Modbus 00001

The first rung of the ladder will use the 1 second pulse bit and increment the PV value of our digital panel meter. This will also compare the current value to 4000 and if greater or equal, move the value of zero into the PV value.

The second rung of the ladder will move WX0 analog value from our simulator into the PV value of our digital panel meter.

The last rung of ladder will move the SV value into the PV value of our Digital Panel Meter. This happens when the reset is hit.

The simulator is showing X0 on and we can then use the WX0 slider to change the PV value of the Panel Meter.

Advanced HMI is a powerful HMI/SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) development package that takes advantage of Visual Studio. There is no coding required and you can simply drag and drop items onto the page. The best thing is that the software is free.

Communications drivers include the following and are accessible via VB or C# code:

  • Allen Bradley DF1 RS232 Driver
  • Allen Bradley Ethernet/IP Driver for SLC,MicroLogix, ControlLogix, and CompactLogix
  • Beckhof TwinCAT Driver
  • ModbusTCP Driver
  • ModbusRTU Driver
  • Omron Ethernet FINS Driver – Ethernet for newer controllers such as CP1H with Ethernet module
  • Omron Serial FINS Driver – Serial (RS232 / RS485) for newer controller such as CP1H
  • Omron Serial HostLink Driver – Serial (RS232 / RS485) for controllers such as CQM1, C200H, K-Series (C28K), C200, etc

The power of Advanced HMI is that it works within Visual Studio. This is a program integrated development environment (IDE) that you can take advantage of to modify or create new features including data logging applications.

Advanced HMI runs on Visual Studio 2008 or higher and will need to be installed on your PC. Visual Studio Community Edition 2015 is the latest version of the software. If you do not have it installed, please download and install from the following link.

https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/products/visual-studio-community-vs

We will now need the Advanced HMI project. Here is the link to download the zip file.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/advancedhmi/

After downloading ‘AdvancedHMIBetaV399a.zip’ extract the files from the zip file. (Right Click.. Select Extract All)
Note: Your version might be different than the one above.

Open the solution file (AdvancedHMIv35.sln) from the extracted files in the root directory.

Our initial screen looks like the following. The project will now need to be compiled in order to add the components to the Toolbox.
Select Build | Build Solution from the menu
The next thing to do is add the communication to the form. On the left hand side of the screen you will see the ‘Toolbox’. Click on it and under AdvancedHMIDrivers Components we will select ModbusTCPCom. To actually add a component to our form you need to drag it. Select the component and as you hold the mouse button down move to the form.

After adding the ModbusTCPCom component, it will appear at the bottom, beneath our form.
Click on the ModbusTCPCom1 at the bottom of our form. On the right hand side you will notice the properties for this communication driver. Under Communication Settings | IP Address, enter the value  of the IP Address for the PLC. (192.168.1.3) Ensure that the port number is 502. This is the default port number for Modbus TCP.

We can now add the digital panel meter. From the toolbox select and drag the DigitalPanelMeter to our form.

Resize the panel meter on the form by dragging a corner of the component.
While the panel meter is clicked, set the Properties | PLC Properties of the component:
PLCAddressValue – 40001 – MHR1 – Value to display on the meter.
PLCAddressKeypad – 40002 – MHR2 – This is the location of the stored number when the operator selects the meter and enters a number in the keypad.

Add a MomentaryButton to our form by selecting and dragging it from the toolbox.

After re-sizing the component, we can change the colour to blue under Properties | Misc. Also change the text on the button to ‘RESET’
Set the PLCAddressClick value to 00001. This is address MC1 in the Do-More PLC.

Run the application by selecting the ‘Start’ form the top menu. This also can be started by hitting ‘F5’. The form will then show in a separate window and the panel meter will be incrementing the value. Hitting the reset button will reset the value to the one entered when you click the panel meter.

When you hit the panel meter on the display a keypad will then pop up on your screen. Enter the new value and then select ‘Enter’. The new value will appear in MHR2 in the Do-More PLC.

Watch on YouTube : Create a PLC with HMI Training and Learning Environment Free
If you have any questions or need further information please contact me.
Thank you,
Garry



If you’re like most of my readers, you’re committed to learning about technology. Numbering systems used in PLC’s are not difficult to learn and understand. We will walk through the numbering systems used in PLCs. This includes Bits, Decimal, Hexadecimal, ASCII and Floating Point.

To get this free article, subscribe to my free email newsletter.


Use the information to inform other people how numbering systems work. Sign up now.

The ‘Robust Data Logging for Free’ eBook is also available as a free download. The link is included when you subscribe to ACC Automation.

How to Implement Modbus TCP Protocol using VBA with Excel

We will use Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to communicate to a PLC using Modbus TCP protocol. Reading ten registers in the PLC and displaying a bar graph in Excel. Previously we have used VB6 to communicate Modbus TCP.
The following steps will be done:

  1. Explain Modbus TCP protocol
  2. Install OstroSoft Winsock Component
    – Winsock API Calls for communication on network
  3. Develop the Excel and VBA application
    (Microsoft Excel 2010)
  4. Communicate to the PLC and sample code
    (Do-More Simulator)

 

The Modbus TCP/IP or Modbus TCP is a Protocol  that is used for communications over TCP/IP networks. This is done on port 502. Modbus TCP does not require a checksum calculation as lower layers already provide checksum protection. You can think of this as a letter being sent and Ethernet TCP/IP acts like an envelope for the Modbus Commands. I will not go into the details of the communication protocol but here are some links to references:
Introduction to Modbus TCP/IP
Simply Modbus – Modbus TCP

 

OstroSoft Winsock Component
OSWINSCK.dll serves as a wrapper for the Winsock API and helps programmers to abstract from the complexity of API calls and focus on application functionality. Works with programming and scripting languages supporting COM.
You will need to download and install the OstroSoft Winsock Component on your computer.
For use with .NET, Visual Basic 4 or 5, Visual C++, ASP, VBA, VBScript, JavaScript or any other language, supporting COM:
1. Download oswinsck.exe

2. Run downloaded file from Windows Explorer or command-line

Hit OK

I use the default directories where the program will be installed. Click the button to install.

Leave the program group to the default so I know what the program is after installation. Click continue.

Click OK
The OstroSoft Winsock Component is now installed.

Start Microsoft Excel.


Select ‘Developer’ along the top tabs.

If the Developer tab is not present then we must turn on the developer tab.
Select File | Options Select ‘Customize Ribbon’Check the ‘Developer’ under Main Tabs.

Under the Developer menu. Select ‘Visual Basic’
The Visual Basic Editor window will now be displayed.
From the menu – Tools | References
We can now add the OstroSoft Winsock Component to our application.
Select OK
Select Sheet1(Sheet1).

Now put the visual basic code in the Sheet1(Sheet1)
Here is the code:

‘This example uses OstroSoft Winsock Component
‘http://www.ostrosoft.com/oswinsck.asp

Option Explicit

Dim bytesTotal As Long
Dim sPage As String
Dim MbusQuery
Dim returnInfo
Dim wsTCPgdb
Dim WithEvents wsTCP As OSWINSCK.Winsock
Dim SetObject
Dim RetrieveData

Private Sub CommandButton1_Click() ‘ Retrieve Data
On Error GoTo ErrHandler
  Dim sServer As String
  Dim nPort As Long
  Dim StartTime
 
  DoEvents
  nPort = 502 ‘ See configuration in Do-More Designer
  ‘ Set the IP address of the PLC
  sServer = Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B4″) ‘”192.168.1.3”
  RetrieveData = 1
  CommandButton1.BackColor = “&H0000FF00” ‘ Set colour to Green

‘Check to see if the object has been created. If not set wsTCP.
If SetObject = “” Then
Set wsTCP = CreateObject(“OSWINSCK.Winsock”)
wsTCP.Protocol = sckTCPProtocol
SetObject = 1
  End If

‘ Check the state of the TCP connection
‘0 sckClosed connection closed
‘1 sckOpen open
‘2 sckListening listening for incoming connections
‘3 sckConnectionPending connection pending
‘4 sckResolvingHost resolving remote host name
‘5 sckHostResolved remote host name successfully resolved
‘6 sckConnecting connecting to remote host
‘7 sckConnected connected to remote host
‘8 sckClosing Connection Is closing
‘9 sckError error occured

‘ If TCP is not connected, try to connect again.
If wsTCP.State <> 7 Then
    If (wsTCP.State <> sckClosed) Then
      wsTCP.CloseWinsock
    End If
    ‘ Open the connection
    wsTCP.Connect sServer, nPort
    StartTime = Timer ‘ Use the timer to determine if a connection cannot be made
    Do While ((Timer < StartTime + 2) And (wsTCP.State <> 7))
        DoEvents
    Loop
    If (wsTCP.State = 7) Then
    Else
       Exit Sub
    End If
End If

‘ If we are connected then request the information.
If (wsTCP.State = 7) Then
    MbusQuery = Chr(0) + Chr(0) + Chr(0) + Chr(0) + Chr(0) + Chr(6) + Chr(0) + Chr(3) + Chr(0) + Chr(0) + Chr(0) + Chr(20)
    wsTCP.SendData MbusQuery ‘Send out the Modbus Information
    ‘ Read the information
    ‘0000:    Transaction Identifier
    ‘0000:    Protocol Identifier
    ‘0006:    Message Length (6 bytes to follow)
    ’00:      The Unit Identifier
    ’03:      The Function Code (read MHR Read Holding Registers)
    ‘0000:    The Data Address of the first register
    ‘0002:    The number of registers to write
   
    ‘ Write the information
    ‘0000:    Transaction Identifier
    ‘0000:    Protocol Identifier
    ‘0009:    Message Length (6 bytes to follow)
    ’01:      The Unit Identifier
    ’16:      The Function Code (read Analog Output Holding Registers)
    ‘0000:    The Data Address of the first register
    ‘0001:    The number of registers to write
    ’02:      The number of data bytes to follow
    ‘0030     The number to put into the register
   
    ‘ Note: Addresses are offset by 1
    ‘   Example: MHR1 = Address 0000
    ‘   Example: MHR30 = Address 0029
   
End If
  Exit Sub

ErrHandler:
  MsgBox “Error ” & Err.Number & “: ” & Err.Description
End Sub
Private Sub CommandButton2_Click() ‘ Stop the communication
RetrieveData = 0
CommandButton1.BackColor = “&H8000000F” ‘ Set the default colour
End Sub

Private Sub wsTCP_OnDataArrival(ByVal bytesTotal As Long)
  Dim sBuffer
  Dim i
  Dim MbusByteArray(500)
  Dim h As Integer
  Dim txtSource
wsTCP.GetData sBuffer
  txtSource = txtSource & sBuffer
 
Dim j As Byte
returnInfo = “”
For i = 1 To bytesTotal
    wsTCP.GetData j, vbByte
    MbusByteArray(i) = Asc(Mid(sBuffer, i, 2))
    returnInfo = returnInfo & Asc(Mid(sBuffer, i, 2))
Next
 txtSource = returnInfo
 txtSource = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(10) * 256) + MbusByteArray(11)))
 Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B10”) = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(10) * 256) + MbusByteArray(11)))
 Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B11”) = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(12) * 256) + MbusByteArray(13)))
 Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B12”) = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(14) * 256) + MbusByteArray(15)))
 Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B13”) = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(16) * 256) + MbusByteArray(17)))
 Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B14”) = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(18) * 256) + MbusByteArray(19)))
 Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B15”) = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(20) * 256) + MbusByteArray(21)))
 Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B16”) = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(22) * 256) + MbusByteArray(23)))
 Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B17”) = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(24) * 256) + MbusByteArray(25)))
 Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B18”) = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(26) * 256) + MbusByteArray(27)))
 Sheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“B19”) = Val(Str((MbusByteArray(28) * 256) + MbusByteArray(29)))

DoEvents
‘ Determine if we retrieve the data again.
If RetrieveData = 1 Then
    Call CommandButton1_Click
End If
End Sub

Private Sub wsTCP_OnError(ByVal Number As Integer, Description As String, ByVal Scode As Long, ByVal Source As String, ByVal HelpFile As String, ByVal HelpContext As Long, CancelDisplay As Boolean)
  MsgBox Number & “: ” & Description
End Sub

Private Sub wsTCP_OnStatusChanged(ByVal Status As String)
  Debug.Print Status
End Sub

Note: The program utilizes the CHR and STR functions to convert the data from binary to ASCII and back.
The highest value of a byte of data is 256. This is why we have to multiply the highest significant byte with 256

Interface:
Go back to Sheet1 and we can now put on the worksheet what we would like to see.

Note the following:
IP Address = B4
MHR 1 to 10 values located at B10 to B19
‘Stop Data’ – CommandButton2
‘Retrieve Data’  – CommandButton1

 

Communication to the PLC

Start the Do-More Designer software.
Under the Project Browser select ‘System Configuration’

Make note of the IP address. If you are running the simulator then this is automatically filled in.

Ensure that the Enable Modbus/TCP Server is checked. Also make sure that the TCP Port Number is 502.

The sample PLC program will write values in the range from 0 to 4000. These values will be put in MHR 1 to MHR 10.

Here is the first couple of rungs of the PLC program. It will use clock bit flags to increment the MHR 1 channel. When it gets to the value above 4000, a move instruction will put a 0 back into MHR 1.
If input X0 turns on then the value in XW0 will be moved into MHR1 and the previous clock bit will not be in effect. Values will be between 0 and 4096. (12 bit resolution)

This is repeated with different internal clock bit flags up to MHR10.

Running the program will produce the following:

As you can see the Modbus TCP protocol is easy to implement with visual basic for applications.
Download the PLC program and Excel file.

Additional Information:
Excel – Conditional Movement of Data

Watch on YouTube : How to Implement Modbus TCP Protocol using VBA with Excel
If you have any questions or need further information please contact me.
Thank you,
Garry



If you’re like most of my readers, you’re committed to learning about technology. Numbering systems used in PLC’s are not difficult to learn and understand. We will walk through the numbering systems used in PLCs. This includes Bits, Decimal, Hexadecimal, ASCII and Floating Point.

To get this free article, subscribe to my free email newsletter.


Use the information to inform other people how numbering systems work. Sign up now.

The ‘Robust Data Logging for Free’ eBook is also available as a free download. The link is included when you subscribe to ACC Automation.

Implementing the Omron CX Server DDE and Excel

Utilizing the CX Server DDE Manager will allow us to provide a link to the information in the Omron PLC. This link can be placed on an Excel spreadsheet. Charts, graphs, etc. can be made from the data. We will create links on an excel spread sheet from a CQM1H and a CP1L PLC. The information will then be displayed as a bar graph comparing the first ten memory areas.

Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) is a channel through which correctly prepared programs can actively exchange data and control other applications within Microsoft Windows. The DDE manager will allow us to set up all of the links.

Start the DDE Manager by clicking Start/Programs/Omron/CX-Server/DDE Manager

This will start the DDE Manager and place an icon on your toolbar at the bottom of your screen. The application will run minimized.

Right-click on the minimized DDE Manager icon and select Project/New.

Assign a filename (ACC DDE.cdm) to the CX-Server project that you will create, and save it.

The create project will minimize to the taskbar. Right-click on the minimized DDE Manager icon and select Project/Edit.

This will call up the DDE Manager Project Editor. We can now add the PLC’s (Devices) and Points that we want to display.

Select File/New/PLC, or hit the PLC Icon on the taskbar.

Under Change PLC, we can now enter the information about how we are communicating to the programmable logic controller.

Device Name: – Name in which the DDE Manager will call the PLC
Device Type: – The model of PLC that will be connected
Network Type: – This is the communication method that we will be talking with the device.

In our example we will use the following two Omron PLCs.

  • CQM1H – SYSMAC WAY (Omron Host Link Protocol) Communication Port  11, 9600, E, 7, 2. Unit #00
  • CP1L – USB

 Once we have the PLC information, we can now add points that will contain the information that we wish to retrieve from the units. Select File/New/Point  or select the point editor icon to start the point editor.

On the Logical tab you can give a name (Or Change) to the point in the PLC to get. Select the Physical tab.

On the physical tab we set the following information:
PLC: – This is the list of PLCs entered in the previous step
Data Location: – The memory location that we want to read from
Internal Data Type: – This is the interpretation of the data that we are reading. (Example: Bit, Word, BCD, etc.)
Command Modifier: – This is used if we need to Force Set / Reset the data location. This can be used to override the PLC program. Use with caution.
Press OK when finished setting the address.

 Our point is now programmed. You will notice the symbols before the name of the point. This tells us at a quick glance what type of data we are looking at. Please refer to the CX Server Runtime manual for all of the symbol meanings.

Fill out the remaining points for our example.
CP1L – D0 to D9
CQM1H – DM0 to DM9

Start Microsoft Excel.

Go back to the DDE manager and the points under the Project Editor. We can now select the first ten items in the list. Click the first one and then move to the last item. Hold the shift while clicking the last item will select all of them between.
Hit the DDE Link icon.

In Excel, we now paste the information onto the worksheet. (Ctrl + V) Right click the cell and select paste.

The information will now be displayed and updated  on your worksheet.
The update time will depend on the interval set in the DDE Manager. Right-click on the minimized DDE Manager icon and select Update Interval…

We can also set individual point update times in the DDE link item. The default update time is set via the DDE Manager but we can also set the time in the individual points on the spreadsheet.
DDE Update Default Link:
=CDMDDE|’C:\ACC DDE.cdm’!’\CP1L D0′
5 Second Update Link:
=CDMDDE|’C:\ACC DDE.cdm’!’\CP1L D0,5′

In the Project Editor of the DDE Manager you can see the first 10 memory areas are being used. This is the yellow triangle with the lightning bolt symbol. (You will not be able to delete the point if it is in use.)

Calling up an excel file with the links embedded, will give you a Security Alert – Links warning. Select ‘Enable the content’ and then hit OK.

Here is an example of the finished excel file. We have 10 memory locations from each PLC listed. We have inserted a graph that will dynamically change when the values are read.
Download the excel file here.

 As you can see implementing the CX Server DDE Manager is not a difficult task. It provide a quick and efficient way to view the information that we need.

Additional Information:
Excel – Conditional Movement of Data

Watch on YouTube : Implementing the Omron CX Server DDE and Excel
If you have any questions or need further information please contact me.
Thank you,
Garry



If you’re like most of my readers, you’re committed to learning about technology. Numbering systems used in PLC’s are not difficult to learn and understand. We will walk through the numbering systems used in PLCs. This includes Bits, Decimal, Hexadecimal, ASCII and Floating Point.

To get this free article, subscribe to my free email newsletter.


Use the information to inform other people how numbering systems work. Sign up now.

The ‘Robust Data Logging for Free’ eBook is also available as a free download. The link is included when you subscribe to ACC Automation.

How to Implement the Omron Host Link Protocol Part 2 – VBA

ACC Omron Host Link VBA

In Part 1, we used VB6 to communicate from the computer to the PLC. We will now use Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to accomplish the same task. NETComm will be the serial driver and Excel will be the program that we will use. Using Excel we will have access to the Excel Object Model so we can utilize worksheets, ranges etc.

Please refer to Part 1 (How to Implement the Omron PLC Host Link Protocol) for the details of the wiring of the serial port and protocol sequence.

The first step in using VBA is to download and register NETComm.ocx. To use serial communications with VBA you must register the NETComm.ocx driver.

Download the NETComm.ocx file to the c:\ directory.

Call up a dos prompt with administrator authority. (Right click on the cmd.exe program and select run as administrator.)

Type ‘regsvr32 netcomm.ocx’

An information box will be shown indicating that the NETComm.ocx was registered successfully.

Now open Excel and make the following on Sheet 1.

Select Developer and then Visual Basic.

If you do not have the Developer option to select, then do the following:
Select File : Options: Customized Ribbon
Select Developer and hit OK

VBA – Visual Basic for Applications will open

Insert a user form.

Add NETComm1 to UserForm1. If it is not on your Toolbar, then select additional controls and select NETCommOCX.NETComm. Press the OK. Then drag this control onto your form.

Create three command buttons. This can be done by going to Design Mode,  and under the Insert menu you can select Command Buttons.

Here is the entire code for the application:

Private T$ ' Modual Scope for variable
Private TRead$
Private NumWords
Private startcycle
Private Sub CommandButton1_Click()
If NumWords = "" Then
    MsgBox "Set Read String"
    Exit Sub
End If
If startcycle = 0 Then
    startcycle = 1
    CommandButton1.BackColor = "&H0000FF00"
Else
    startcycle = 0
    CommandButton1.BackColor = "&H8000000F"
    UserForm1.NETComm1.PortOpen = False ' Close Communication Port
    Exit Sub
End If
UserForm1.NETComm1.PortOpen = True ' Open Communication Port
Application.EnableEvents = True
Do
    T$ = TRead$ ' Reset the Transmitted Information
    charreturn = 11 + (NumWords * 4) ' Determine the return characters
    GoSub FCS ' Checksum
    GoSub communicate ' Get informaiton
    
    'Check returned information and Display
    If Mid(rxd$, 6, 2) = "00" And (Len(rxd$)) >= charreturn Then
        For x = 1 To Sheets("Sheet1").Range("D7")
            Sheets("Sheet1").Range("B" & x + 10 - 1) = Mid(rxd$, x * 4 + 4, 4)
        Next 'x
    End If
    DoEvents ' Do other tasks
    'Update the date and time
    Sheets("Sheet1").Range("C09") = Format(Date, "YYYY/MM/DD") + "    " + Format(Time, "HH:MM:SS")
Loop While startcycle = 1
If startcycle = 0 Then Exit Sub
communicate:
rxd$ = ""
Buffer = T$ + FCS$ + "*" + Chr$(13)
UserForm1.NETComm1.Output = Buffer
Time1 = Now
Timeout = Now + TimeValue("0:00:02")
Do
    If Timeout <= Time1 Then GoTo timeoutcom
    DoEvents
    Time1 = Now()
Loop Until UserForm1.NETComm1.InBufferCount >= charreturn
rxd$ = UserForm1.NETComm1.InputData
fcs_rxd$ = Left((Right(rxd$, 4)), 2)
If Left(rxd$, 1) = "@" Then
    T$ = Mid(rxd$, 1, (Len(rxd$) - 4))
ElseIf Mid(rxd$, 2, 1) = "@" Then
    T$ = Mid(rxd$, 2, (Len(rxd$) - 5))
    rxd$ = Mid(rxd$, 2, (Len(rxd$) - 1))
End If
GoSub FCS
If FCS <> fcs_rxd$ Then
    rxd$ = ""
End If
clearbuffer$ = UserForm1.NETComm1.InputData
Return
FCS:
    L = Len(T$)
    A = 0
    For J = 1 To L
        TJ$ = Mid$(T$, J, 1)
        A = Asc(TJ$) Xor A
    Next J
    FCS$ = Hex$(A)
    If Len(FCS$) = 1 Then FCS$ = "0" + FCS$
Return
timeoutcom:
If startcycle = 0 Then Exit Sub
clearbuffer$ = UserForm1.NETComm1.InputData
rxd$ = ""
Return
End Sub
Private Sub CommandButton2_Click()
If startcycle = 0 Then
    UserForm1.NETComm1.CommPort = Sheets("Sheet1").Range("A4")
    UserForm1.NETComm1.Settings = Sheets("Sheet1").Range("B4") & "," & Sheets("Sheet1").Range("C4") & "," & Sheets("Sheet1").Range("D4") & "," & Sheets("Sheet1").Range("E4")
    MsgBox UserForm1.NETComm1.Settings
Else
    MsgBox "Stop Reading Parameters to Set MSComm"
End If
End Sub
Private Sub CommandButton3_Click()
If startcycle = 0 Then
    Unit = Sheets("Sheet1").Range("A7")
    If Len(Unit) < 2 Then Unit = "0" & Unit
    StartADD = Sheets("Sheet1").Range("C7")
    Do
        If Len(StartADD) < 4 Then
            StartADD = "0" & StartADD
        End If
    Loop Until Len(StartADD) = 4
    NumWords = Sheets("Sheet1").Range("D7")
    Do
        If Len(NumWords) < 4 Then
            NumWords = "0" & NumWords
        End If
    Loop Until Len(NumWords) = 4
    T$ = "@" & Unit & "RD" & StartADD & NumWords
    TRead$ = T$
    MsgBox T$
    For x = 1 To Sheets("Sheet1").Range("D7")
        Sheets("Sheet1").Range("A" & x + 10 - 1) = "DM " & Sheets("Sheet1").Range("C7") + x - 1
        Sheets("Sheet1").Range("B" & x + 10 - 1) = ""
    Next 'x
    For x = Sheets("Sheet1").Range("D7") To 200
        Sheets("Sheet1").Range("A" & x + 10) = ""
        Sheets("Sheet1").Range("B" & x + 10) = ""
    Next 'x
Else
    MsgBox "Stop Reading Parameters to Set Read String"
End If
End Sub
Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Range)
End Sub

Note: The Chart on Sheet1 is just a selection of the first ten DM areas and insert a bar graph.

Running the program produces the following information:
 

Download the excel file ACC Omron Host Link VBA.XLS. This is the complete program mentioned above.

 

When you open the file it will warn you about macros. This is the VBA application. Press ‘Enable Macros’.

When changing the parameters on the screen, you will also get a warning about Active X. This is the NETComm.ocx which was registered above. Press ‘OK’ to run the application.

Additional Information:
Excel – Conditional Movement of Data

Watch on YouTube : How to Implement the Omron Host Link Protocol Part 2 – VBA
If you have any questions or need further information please contact me.
Thank you,
Garry



If you’re like most of my readers, you’re committed to learning about technology. Numbering systems used in PLC’s are not difficult to learn and understand. We will walk through the numbering systems used in PLCs. This includes Bits, Decimal, Hexadecimal, ASCII and Floating Point.

To get this free article, subscribe to my free email newsletter.


Use the information to inform other people how numbering systems work. Sign up now.

The ‘Robust Data Logging for Free’ eBook is also available as a free download. The link is included when you subscribe to ACC Automation.

Three Free PLC Programming Software Tools

Every manufacturer has there own software to program the programmable logic controller (PLC) or the human machine interface (HMI). However there are a few tools that are free which will help in the development of your PLC programs. We will look at three of these software tools and show how beneficial they can be to you.

Synergy

When programming, I usually will have my laptop for the ladder logic and my desktop for the screen software. Connecting the two together and using one mouse and keyboard saves me the aggravation of switching back and forth between the keyboards.

Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems each with its own display without special hardware. It is intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s). Redirecting the mouse and keyboard is as simple as moving the mouse off the edge of your screen. Synergy also merges the clipboards of all the systems into one, allowing cut-and-paste between systems. It works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

Synergy Website
http://synergy-project.org/
Downloads:
Synergy for Windows:
http://download.cnet.com/Synergy/3000-2072_4-10714570.html
Synergy for Mac
http://download.cnet.com/Synergy/3000-2094_4-75362427.html

Windows Calculator

That’s right. The windows calculator can be a very helpful tool when it comes to programming PLCs. When you need to convert, hexadecimal to binary, BCD to hexadecimal, or any other combination the windows calculator can do it for you.

What everybody ought to know about PLC numbering systems.

Start the calculator. Start – All Programs – Accessories – Calculator

View the programmer calculator. View – Programmer (Alt + 3)

We can then choose Hex for our numbering system. Then Word for our length of address. You will notice that the display will show the Bin equivalent along with the marking of bit 0 to bit 15.

7ABC base 16 = 0111 1010 1011 1100 base 2 = 31420 BCD

Note: I am using Windows 7, but all of the versions of window calculator have similar functionality.

Windows HyperTerminal

Serial communication can be difficult using the PLC. HyperTerminal can be used to monitor the communication being sent from or to the programmable logic controller. Just hook up to the serial port and program HyperTerminal to monitor the port. Set the correct Data Bits, Baud Rate, Parity, Stop Bits etc. Viewing the information on the monitor will assist you in seeing the exact data being sent to, or received by the PLC.

HOW TO IMPLEMENT THE OMRON PLC HOST LINK PROTOCOL

Hype Terminal – Windows 7 and 8

HyperTerminal was no longer sent with windows when Windows 7 was introduced.

Hype Terminal is fully functional replacement of HyperTerminal, perfect for GSM and GPS debugging, works with AT Commands. You can use Hype Terminal to help debug source code from a remote terminal. You can also use Hype Terminal to communicate with older character-based computers. Hype Terminal is designed to be an easy-to-use tool and is not meant to replace other full-feature tools available on the market.

Download Hype Terminal:
http://download.cnet.com/Hype-Terminal/3000-2086_4-76158601.html

Watch on YouTube : Three Free PLC Programming Software Tools
If you have any questions or need further information please contact me.
Thank you,
Garry



If you’re like most of my readers, you’re committed to learning about technology. Numbering systems used in PLC’s are not difficult to learn and understand. We will walk through the numbering systems used in PLCs. This includes Bits, Decimal, Hexadecimal, ASCII and Floating Point.

To get this free article, subscribe to my free email newsletter.


Use the information to inform other people how numbering systems work. Sign up now.

The ‘Robust Data Logging for Free’ eBook is also available as a free download. The link is included when you subscribe to ACC Automation.