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Old August 17th, 2018, 08:42 PM   #1
dpslusser
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SensaPhone SCADA3000 - Modbus capabilities

Does anyone have experience with a sensaphone scada 3000?

I have an application where a customer is using the 3000 as their pump station Alarm system and PLC. I have never seen one of these, nor did I know SensaPhone had something that could handle control.

Anyway, the customer wants to extract data from the unit via their plant SCADA system.

The customer has the programming software on a laptop for the unit. I didn't put my hands on it yet.

After looking at the manual, it looks like there are a few RS232 plugs on the unit, and the manual also references Modbus. First theory is to connect to the 3000 via serial and poll the modbus addresses. First problem, the manual does not do a good job explaining how to utilize Modbus. Maybe its like a SCADApack where everything object is a Modbus Register???

Any help or words of advice?
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Old August 18th, 2018, 06:50 AM   #2
Saffa
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I had a quick look through the manual for a SCADA 3000 but couldn't see any mention of Modbus?

Looks to me like this thing only talks its own protocol back to a software base station controller.

Personally I'd rip it out and put in a PLC or a more mainstream RTU
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Old August 18th, 2018, 09:16 AM   #3
kwade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saffa View Post
I had a quick look through the manual for a SCADA 3000 but couldn't see any mention of Modbus?
Please post link to the manual you referenced.


A search through the manual yields 9 mentions of Modbus.
The ENGSPEC yields 3 mentions of Modbus.



From the eng spec doc, Modbus is supported through a radio modem.

Quote:
B. Radio Modem (Wireless) Communications
The host computer running SensaphoneŽ SCADA 3000 programming software shall
continuously poll each RTU in the network and retrieve I/O information when connected to a
radio modem. The host computer shall use standard modbus RTU protocol and shall operate as
the modbus master. The SCADA 3000 RTUs shall operate as modbus slave devices. When
configured with a Data/Fax/Voice modem the host computer shall have the capability to send
alarms.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saffa View Post
Personally I'd rip it out and put in a PLC or a more mainstream RTU
A quick look around their site leads me to agree with you.
---------- Not meant as an insult to OP! It is a job.

Sensaphone:
Proudly advertising 32-bit software support - on a website with a 2018 date.
Manuals state support for Windows 95/98 and Lotus123.
TechSpecs supporting Win95 - Win2K and a 1.44MB Floppy and Y2K compliance.

-Can we use CGA?



But, I guess that you automate with the automation equipment you have!
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Old August 18th, 2018, 10:06 AM   #4
Saffa
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I just skimmed it the docs in the SCADA 3000 section.. PDF reader on my phone doesn't search properly. Guess i missed those modbus keywords!

Maybe modscan and some guesswork?
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Old August 18th, 2018, 10:32 AM   #5
kwade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saffa View Post
I just skimmed it the docs in the SCADA 3000 section.. PDF reader on my phone doesn't search properly. Guess i missed those modbus keywords!

Maybe modscan and some guesswork?
Yeah, I had to use PC, too!
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Old August 18th, 2018, 10:42 AM   #6
dpslusser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwade View Post
-Can we use CGA?
CGA?



Everything you guys found, is what I found prior to posting.

Im just wondering if putting my eyes on the programming software will yield any better results.
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Old August 18th, 2018, 10:44 AM   #7
dpslusser
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I love 1995 technology in a pump station that is only 8 years old! The poor sucker's that get sold this **** when their are far superior options out there. #GoodJobSalesGuy

Wonder what the cost of a SCADA3000 is.
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Old August 18th, 2018, 11:43 AM   #8
kwade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpslusser View Post
CGA?
Color Graphics Adapter- Harkens back to the days when IBM (Inferior But Marketable) determined that COLOR WAS FOR GAMES!


Quote:
Output capabilities

CGA supports:
  • 320×200 in 4 colors from a 16 color hardware palette. Pixel aspect ratio of 1:1.2.
  • 640×200 in 2 colors. Pixel aspect ratio of 1:2.4
(The pixel aspect ratio stems from rendering said distribution of pixels on a screen with 4:3 proportions, typical of monitors at the time.)
Text modes:
  • 40×25 with 8×8 pixel font (effective resolution of 320×200)
  • 80×25 with 8×8 pixel font (effective resolution of 640×200)
Extended graphics modes:
  • 160×100 16 color mode
  • Artifact colors using a NTSC monitor (16 colors from more than 100 possible)
IBM intended that CGA be compatible with a home television set. The 40×25 text and 320×200 graphics modes are usable with a television, and the 80×25 text and 640×200 graphics modes are intended for a monitor.[4]

Quote:
Originally Posted by dpslusser View Post
Everything you guys found, is what I found prior to posting.

Im just wondering if putting my eyes on the programming software will yield any better results.

If the software or printed docs have a Modbus Register Address Map you should be good.
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Old August 18th, 2018, 04:46 PM   #9
Saffa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpslusser View Post
I love 1995 technology in a pump station that is only 8 years old! The poor sucker's that get sold this **** when their are far superior options out there. #GoodJobSalesGuy

Wonder what the cost of a SCADA3000 is.
I'd hazard a guess that the 3000 in the name is where the price starts.

I see this a lot in the water utility space. Change is difficult.. hundreds of thousands get spent on a system (millions for some utilities with hundreds of sites), and if the tech company ditches the line or doesn't keep up with the times then you end up in a challenging position where you don't have an upgrade path, and need to spend big money again setting up new communications links / base stations.

I always advocate for a standard communications protocol (modbus or DNP3). That at least gives you options.

Unfortunately the more shady sales guys tend to bypass the integrator and go straight to the client or a project consultant with their box of 1995 era snake oil.

If your client has better RTU gear at other sites, I'd recommend to them that they upgrade this one to match.

I have just finished standardizing 60 odd 2 pump wastewater lift stations from about 23 varied versions of a program / io schedule, down to only 1 master program. Plus one pump station that couldn't be standardized without bulldozing it.
Its well worth the effort, although not that cheap an exercise in terms of labour
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