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Old October 21st, 2008, 03:20 AM   #1
Archie
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A Free HMI with Eye Catching Graphics is Now Available

The first Beta release of AdvancedHMI is now available for download. AdvancedHMI is an HMI development package based on Visual Basic Express 2008 (also free). Although it is based on Visual Basic, it contains a group of controls that allow you to build an HMI without the need to write any code. Even those that have never written a single line of Basic can use it to develop an HMI. It includes a driver for Allen Bradley SLC/Micrologix over RS232, but will also work over DH485 and DH+ with appropriate hardware (KF2,KF3, DL3500, UIC). Also includes a very basic driver for Beckhoff TwinCAT (very early in development). All source code is included, making it very easy for more advanced VB programmers to expand the object library.

https://sourceforge.net/projects/advancedhmi/

A quick how to video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-E8NlUNiX4
(can be watched in High Quality with link below and to the right of video - this seems to load faster too)

This is a community project, so anyone that wishes to contribute (graphics, code, testing, suggestions, etc) please let me know. Future additions include communication drivers for Ethernet/IP and Omron.




Any vendors interested in having their products (e.g. meter, scale display, etc.) made into components and added to this project, get with me.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 06:26 AM   #2
ctw3
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This looks excellent Archie, I cant wait to see it I can get it to work.

I have never done any work with vb, or any coding in my life, but hopefully I can get something happening

Top job
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Old October 21st, 2008, 06:58 AM   #3
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Very impressive.


Looking forward to EthernetIP driver. Any possibility of developing for ControlLogix platform?
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Old October 21st, 2008, 07:05 AM   #4
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I applaud your efforts and the graphic work is outstanding. I watched your tutorial and tried to pay close attention to the available toolbars. I didn't see any reference or means for:

Alarming w/ Summary and Historical
Graphing/Trending
Scripting
Window navigation

As I'm sure you know, HMI implementation is much more than the graphical interface. Are the above components part of your project, or items yet to come or are you narrowing your focus on just the graphical interface portion? I understand the project is in its infancy, but I'm curious as to the level of functionality you envision obtaining.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 08:03 AM   #5
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God bless you archie, i know i will use it in the near future.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 08:20 AM   #6
Archie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctw3
I have never done any work with vb, or any coding in my life, but hopefully I can get something happening
Keep me posted and let me knw if you find anything that would have made it easier for a first time VB 2008 user.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakley
Any possibility of developing for ControlLogix platform?
The Ethernet/IP driver will target the Compact/ControlLogix platforms.

Robert.... This is definitely a very early version and many additions will be made in future releases which will include Alarming and Graphing. As for scripting, the concept doesn't really apply since the base environment is VB and it kind of acts like scripting on steroids. I ran into a problem with Window Navigation, so I held off in including it in this version. It can be accomplished with one simple line of code. I have plans to create more videos and one will show how to achieve this.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 08:56 AM   #7
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Since this the code is GPL, how are projects written with this code handled? Are they GPL too?

I did some HMI work in VS2003. I did things like making my own scrollbar for touchscreen projects, because the normal one is hard to operate with out a mouse. I made it so each screen was its own form and then had a main screen with an empty tab control, I loaded the screens/forms into that tab control at runtime to provide navigation.

If you want anything like that I'd happily clean it up and send it over.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 11:47 AM   #8
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Man this looks GREAT. And so simple. I will definetly look into it more when I do more work with AB. Maybe someday it will work Siemens also
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Old October 21st, 2008, 02:51 PM   #9
Archie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exabmorgan
Since this the code is GPL, how are projects written with this code handled? Are they GPL too?

If you want anything like that I'd happily clean it up and send it over.
Technically just the controls are under GPL, not the entire project. So if you use the controls, then your project code does not have to be open source. I'm not going to be chasing down violaters of the GPL, but here are a few simple things I hope users will follow:

1) If any of the controls are modified, extended, or debugged, I hope to get that code contributed back to the project. I also hope to get new controls contributed.

2) A project that uses these controls can be part of a machine whether its for in house use or an integrator selling the machine. I encourage this because it is one of the reasons I put it out there. I would even like to get screen shots from real applications to post on sourceforge.

3) These controls can NOT become part of a commercial HMI development package. The graphics give this package a distinguishing edge to an open source solution.

As for you controls you developed, the answer is YES. I am definitely interested in any you can share and put out as open source. Include at least your name in the header, so you do get credit for it. You can get my email address in the DF1Comm header or at the end of the video. I don't want to post it here because Spam web crawlers will pick it up.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 03:28 PM   #10
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Looks great - keep up the good work! How much is dynamically generated?
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Old October 21st, 2008, 04:33 PM   #11
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Can this work with a GE fanuc 90 micro?
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Old October 21st, 2008, 05:39 PM   #12
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Nathan... Most of the graphics are based on PNG files because dynamically creating something with that much detail would just be too slow and in some cases just not feasible. The code does a lot of optimization for graphic speed.


Quote:
Can this work with a GE fanuc 90 micro?
Not currently, but it only requires a driver. It can use an existing driver as I have done with the TwinCAT driver with a wrapper implementing the interface. Does GE supply a free communication driver for their PLCs?
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Old October 21st, 2008, 06:02 PM   #13
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I'm curious to know what you mean by code optimizing for graphic speed? Are you using the DrawImage function? I would imagine DrawImage more than enough for HMI programs, and much better than using the PictureBox object (since there is most likely animations)... Of course DirectX would definately be a killer deal, but it would most likely be over killing... I am interested in hearing how you are doing it.

This could finally be the HMI development software with no limits. You can be sure I'll be following its progress. Good luck!
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Old October 21st, 2008, 06:29 PM   #14
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Yes I think So
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Old October 21st, 2008, 10:10 PM   #15
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Thumbs up DOuble WOW!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archie
This is a community project, so anyone that wishes to contribute (graphics, code, testing, suggestions, etc) please let me know. Future additions include communication drivers for Ethernet/IP and Omron.




Any vendors interested in having their products (e.g. meter, scale display, etc.) made into components and added to this project, get with me.
Archie, that is incredible! I spent the last two days at the plant working with integrators who are updating some of our refrigeration controls with Ifix. We also have lots of applications for the forthcoming Ethernet/IP driver. (Head to Head versus RSViewSE Distributed, RSView32, PanelView plus, CTC, and more...)

I will certianly perform some trials and critiquing once that driver is available!

For now, I will see what I can do with my ML1000 FRN 1.0 via df1.

My goal is to have it manage my homestead, including lighting control, sound and video switching from room to room and monitor my well and pump!

I have vast expereince in older (TRS-80 Model 1 Level 1 through Visual Basic for win 3.11) versions of basic...I was really good with QB 4.5 because it was almost as good as the Atari when you used the complier.

I could actually turn my old AMD running Win98 into a fulltime HMI for the Hacienda! (for FREE Yipee, Yeehaw, Yippy Ki Yeah!) I think it is at the low end of the min requirements for an OS to support newer basic...I'll dig into nuts and bolts in a week or two on that one.

Your graphis are phenomenal comapred to what I have been staring at from our outsource integrator (for >$100k including two PCs and some propritary RS485 cards...)

Wow, if it holds up in industry (and it can't be worse than RSView) you will literally save my company Owner (we'll nickname him Jose the Plumber) more than $50,000 per annum.

I should probably not be pointing that out so publicly, and can only hope that you don't get a $1,000,000 check from some mega-corp and we lose the Yippy Ki Yeah Freebie part of the deal...



What would really be cool (but only for windows cynics like me) would be a retro-conversion that could run advancedhmi on dos 6.22 via Qbasic version 4.5 complied.... Then I could put that little Parker CTC we have at work that doesn't communicate well with its 100 foot rs232 driven cable on steroids! I believe it is a 486 flashbased PC...Then I could avoid having to buy a license for yet another piece of HMI software to learn. I could change the SLC to DH485, and buy a net-aic for the HMI...

Keep up the awesome work!

(downloading your advancedhmi now...) THANKS!
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