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Do-more™ PLC: Ethernet I/O - Quick Start

Video Transcript:

Ethernnet I/O makes connecting up to 16 slave devices quick and simple. And those 16 devices can be any combination of GS-Edrives, EBC100's or Terminator EBCs which gives you a whole bunch of IO options, and the good news is all of the thousands of the I/Os appear to your ladder program like simple local I/O, which makes your job easy.

For this video we have a DoMore base, an EBC100 205 base, a Terminator I/O EBC100 and a GS-EDRV100 connected to a GS series VFD – all wired via Ethernnet through stride 8-port Ethernnet switch. We used NetEdit to configure all the IP addresses and update the firmware on all of these units – don't forget to do that – to use Ethernnet I/O with any of these devices you need to make sure they all have the most recent firmware which you can always download for free from the automation direct website – so no excuses – right?.

To enable Ethernet I/O you just go to the system configuration and check this box right here. The DoMore is now an Ethernnet I/O Master and you see it as a new hardware item in the tree over here.

To add a slave device, you just click on that guy. If you are on-line with your system, then the best way to setup slaves is to simply autodetect them by hitting this button right here. You automatically get a list of all the devices right here in this dialog and all you have to do is click on the ones you want to add. I'll go ahead and add all three. Again, you can see the 205 base with an EBC100, you can see the terminator I/O and you can see the GS Drive.

Note that you can setup and change the IP addresses of the master right here and the slaves right here. You can also just double click on the slave to change it. Let's go ahead and change this GS Drive's name that's all messed up … and the IP Address is fine.

Ether way you access this dialog, one thing you definitiely want to keep an eye on is this poll rate. A zero says poll as fast as you can. So if all the devices are polling as fast as possible, this Ethernnet I/O feature has the potential to consume every bit of bandwidth avaialble – which may be ok for your setup, but for me, I like to limit these to something reasonable so I have bandwidth available for other things I might want to use the Ethernnet port for like C-more HMIs. So I'm going to change all of the polling times to 4 times a second on these units – that's plenty fast for what I want to do… By the way, while I'm thinking about it, there's a new utility that allows you to monitor and optimize the Ethernnet traffic – its called the Ethernnet I/O Monitor Utility - there's a whole separate video on that one so don't forget to check it out – it's a real life saver when you are trying to debug issues on your Ethernet traffic.

In this dialog, you can also tell the CPU what to do if the slave has an error. If you tell the CPU to stay in run mode even ifthe slave has an error, then you get another option that says – do you want the slave to be on-line when the CPU enters run mode? And one nice feature I like is when that slave has an error, what do you want its inputs to do? Me? I like for them to hold their last so I can see exactly what the state of the system was seeing when things crashed. Great – all of our IP addresses are setup and we have changed the poll rates on our devices to just 4 times a second to help minmize the impact on the ethernet bandwidth.

Over here in the hardware tree, we see all the new hardware and if we click on the I/O Configuration level we actually see pictures of the hardware that we auto-detected. You can see individual hardware items by clicking on these guys right here. I know I am using a 4 slot base so I'll go ahead and adjust that here. Great.

If you click on I/O mappings, you can see how each unit is mapped in memory. Here's our DoMore Base, and here is the Ethernet I/O master and everything that's connected via Ethernet I/O. Here's my 205 base, my Terminator I/O and my GS Drive. And look at this slave 205 base – all of the addressing of all the I/Os … they look just like local I/O don't they? And they are assigned just like local I/O.

So you ladder program won't know the difference and that makes your programming effort a whole lot easier.

The only problem with this is what if I add another input module back in the base down here? And suppose he's got some inputs and some outputs. Well, if automapping is selected, then those guys will be assinged the next addresses and it will bump all of these up to the next available address. And that can really mess up your ladder code.

So it's a good idea to get in the habit of leaving some addressing space between the bases, so I'm going to right click on the 205 base, and I'm going to have his inputs start at address 200 and his outputs start at address 200. That does two things. One, I can now install as amany modules here as I want, and as it automatically assignes the addresses, it won't impact the addressing on my slave devices. And the other thing I kinda like about this is it puts each slave on a different addressing boundary – It just helps me keep track of which I/Os go to which slave device.

So let's see, we put the 205 baase at 200 … let's go ahead and put the Terminator I/O – I'm going to right click – at 400. Again, that gives me plenty of room to expand things later.

The GS Drive down here, doesn't have any addressing. It has its own unique data structure – there's a separate video showing you how to use that … but know that for the most part you access the parameters of the drive using the dot notation just like any other DoMore data structure. That makes working with GS Drives a breeze.

Now if I want to add a module to one of these 205 bases, well, that's easy right? Just come up here, right click on the module you want to change. You can delete it, and add a new one if you want to. Especially on bases that have empty slots like this.

But what do you do on a Terminator I/O? It doesn't have slots to drop new modules into. Well look at this – all you do is drag the cursor between two modules, and you get this little hot spot here. You right click on the hot spot and add a module. Easy.

We've covered a lot of details here, but the bottom line for Ethernet I/O is simple: you just enable the feature here under CPU configuration by checking that box. Then click on that I/O master and then autodetect all of your hardware in the system by clicking on this button right here. Once you've done that, you will probably want to go down to I/O mappings, and put an offset on all of your slaves, to allow for future expansion.

That's really all there is to setting up the Ethernet I/O to get quick and easy access to thousands of I/Os.

Once you are done, hit ok - you'll get the standard warnging that things have changed – and you need to make sure the PLC s in program mode to make those changes – yeah, we know that.

Well, let's go ahead and download this to the DoMore … and try it out.

To show you this is working, I'll just bring up a Dataview. Lets see, if I bring up the System I/O monitor – and un-dock that so it is easier to see – This gives me a fantastic view of all of my hardware. Here's my local base, here's my Ethernet I/O master, and here are the three slaves that I have under that master.

The beausty of this is, at a glance, I can see what all my addressing is. So let's see – the 205 base - has outputs starting at Y200. Let's go ahead and put a Y200 in here so we can mess around with that one. If I hit control enter it automatically increments this so we'll do a couple of those.

And we have some outputs on our Terminator I/O – they start at Y400, so I'll add a couple of those down here.

We'll turn on editing. We are in RUN mode so we are ready to go.

If I simply double click on one of these, and no I don't want you to ask me that again, sure enough the light on the module lit up to tell me that output is active. If I try one of the Terminator I/O ones, sure enough that one lights up.

That's it, for all practical purposes, to your ladder program – all of these I/Os that are connected via Ethernet I/O – they are just local I/O. And that makes your programming effort so easy.

By the way, a little side note here – did you notice – in this I/O system view, if you click on any of these modules, look at this – all the documentation for that module is right at your finger tips. And any status for that module is dispalyed here also. If there was an error, this would be lit up red – you click on it to see exactly what you need to do to fix that.

And the best part is all of this Ethernet I/O stuff, is that the configuration for all of these slave devices is stored in the DoMore – so if you swap out ANY module anywhere in the entire Ethernet I/O network you don't have to manually re-configure it or write any ladder code to initialize it– just drop it in and the DoMore automatically configures the module for you.

Well, that should be enough to get you started with Ethernnet I/O on the DoMore. Be sure to check out the other videos in this series for more tips on using the DoMore PLC.

And don't forget – Automation Directs tech support is always FREE and you will talk to a real live person here in the US within minutes. Got a question? You can call, e-mail, or even do on-line chat. Whatever you prefer.

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