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Ole
March 2nd, 2006, 10:01 AM
Hi there. Im a student in university and have started working on a project. I need to use a PLC emulator to drive some apparatus in the lab(Coupled tanks apparatus). Do you know of an emulator I can get free which allows communicating with external devices? If not which is the best I can get for a good price?

Thanks

JesperMP
March 2nd, 2006, 10:11 AM
Hi Ole.

What you are asking for is a soft-PLC and not an emulator or simulator.
Unfortunately I dont know of any free soft-PLC's.

Anyway, is there any compelling reson to that it has to be a soft-PLC ?
If you have just a small application, then a small traditional PLC can do the job better and cheaper. With a soft-PLC you still need to connect to the hardware somehow. In the end it will be more complicated and expensive than a regular PLC.

jvdcande
March 2nd, 2006, 10:16 AM
Do you know of an emulator I can get free which allows communicating with external devices?A PLC emulator is a piece of software that emulates a PLC. If it has the possibility to control real life I/O, we call it a soft PLC, because then you're no longer only emulating a PLC but the PC becomes a real PLC. I have never heard of a soft PLC available for free. If that was possible, why should anybody ever buy a real PLC?

Why not use a real PLC? I can't figure any self-respecting university to teach about PLCs without having at least one lying around somewhere in one of the labs.

Damned. Jesper, do you intend to make it a habit to beat me? It's the second time this week you're only minutes faster than me. I really must try to type a little faster:D

Kind regards,

Ole
March 2nd, 2006, 10:20 AM
Thanks for the reply Jesper

Last year, a student used siemens S7-PLCSIM and step7 to control the apparatus and in his report he was able to drive the apparatus. I havent really tested these. Would these work? like he said in his report.

jvdcande
March 2nd, 2006, 10:23 AM
Ole,

if he was able to control an external application, then he has probably been using WinAC (the Siemens softPLC). I know it looks a lot as if you're using PLCSIM at first.

And then maybe he did use PLCSIM, but only at the start of the project I figure.

Kind regards,

JesperMP
March 2nd, 2006, 10:25 AM
Last year, a student used siemens S7-PLCSIM and step7 to control the apparatus and in his report he was able to drive the apparatus. I havent really tested these. Would these work? like he said in his report.
How did he accomplish to connect to the hardware ?
S7-PLCSIM is just a simulator. It is impossible to connect any hardware or communication cards to it.
There is also WINAC which is Siemens soft-PLC. Maybe that was what he used.
Or he tested the application with S7-PLCSIM before running it on a real PLC.
Or he cheated.

Ole
March 2nd, 2006, 10:32 AM
Thanks for the quick reply,You guys are the best!!

I have been practising ladder logic on LogixPro. Can i use LogixPro and WinCC or WinAC then as a soft PLC? if not what soft PLC can I use with LogicPro or TrilogI?

jvdcande
March 2nd, 2006, 10:40 AM
Ole,

LogixPro is a PLC simulator and as such is not intended to program real PLCs, beit hard or soft. I don't know about TrilogI, because I'm not familiar with that one. If you're familiar with LogixPro, I would suggest to turn to an Allen-Bradley PLC, preferrably SLC or Micrologix. These are the kind of PLCs LogixPro tries (nd succeeds) to emulate. You WILL need the programming software RSLogix500. If the number of IOs is right, it might be possible to use a free version of RSLogix500. Do a search on this site for micrologix and I think you'll find what you need.

Kind regards,

CaseyK
March 2nd, 2006, 10:40 AM
Damned. Jesper, do you intend to make it a habit to beat me? It's the second time this week you're only minutes faster than me. I really must try to type a little faster:DKind regards,

Secret piece of advice...

1). See a thread you want to post on

2). Reply to post, just type "HI!"

3). edit post with real message

4). You should beat him to the "REAL" post, or so it would seem in a few minutes when you actually get it done

5). Visit "Who's Online", see who is reading posts, see who is replying.

6). Or just use Phil's "SECRET PASSWORD" for admin changes, and delete Jesper's post. BTW, the secret password is ___________. [Text DELETED by ADMIN].

Best Regards.....kc

Ole
March 2nd, 2006, 11:01 AM
Thanx a lot, will do that.

castlerock
March 2nd, 2006, 11:19 AM
Thanks for the quick reply,You guys are the best!!

I have been practising ladder logic on LogixPro. Can i use LogixPro and WinCC or WinAC then as a soft PLC? if not what soft PLC can I use with LogicPro or TrilogI?

LogixPro is only an emulator and cannot control external devices.

I know of a few projects that meet your requirments, but weather or not you can use them depends on how adventurous you are. (note that MATPLC requires Linux)

MATPLC (http://mat.sourceforge.net/hwcompat/) is a free opensource softPLC and is compatible with a number of COMEDI and Modbus Slave devices. (I'll be nice when the interface with ClassicLadder is complete)

ClassicLadder (http://membres.lycos.fr/mavati/classicladder/) is a softPLC / ladder editor that works with fewer hardware devices but comes in a Win32 version. Someone interested in the project developed a do it yourself Modbus RTU (http://www.ipac.ws/) for it. The web site isn't complete but the prototype is complete and working. He posted PCB templates in on the ClassicLadder message board (http://sourceforge.net/forum/forum.php?forum_id=88266) at Sourceforge. I'm sure he'll send you details if you e-mail him.

I've played wiht ClassicLadder and it's pretty impressive.

If cost is and issue (and it seems to be) and these projects seem a bit too involved, I recommend shopping ebay for a hardware PLC.(my personal preferance).

Good Luck

JesperMP
March 3rd, 2006, 05:37 AM
rant]Damned. Jesper, do you intend to make it a habit to beat me? It's the second time this week you're only minutes faster than me. I really must try to type a little faster:D[/rant]
Ha ha. I didnt mean to "beat" you. Actually I was just leaving so maybe that is why I was in a hurry to finish. I see that you beat me in the second round ;)
We shall meet again my friend. Next time you will not win over me - muhahhahahahaha ....