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Old October 11th, 2016, 02:21 PM   #1

slickfix is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1
Firmware Questions

Hi all, I am a maintenance tech for a citys water and wastewater plant. PLC5 at water and Compactlogix at sewer. Have some firmware questions on compactlogix. All our sewer plant plcs are 1769-L32E. Some are firmware 16.20 some are 16.3

1) I backed up all our sewer plant plcs to compactflash a couple of years ago.
I did not not backup the firmware, just the program, as I was worried if I messed with the firmware, things might get messed up. I found out quickly when a processor failed, there was no firmware on the new processor. I had to
manually install the flash the firmware, was a pain. Our MBR plcs cannot be down for very long, so was critical.

When you check or uncheck "inhibit firmware updates" when storing to a CF card, what exactly does this do. What I want to do is save the program and firmware to my CF card, but I do not want to take the chance of messing up or changing the firmware or program on the processor.

I only want to load off the CF on corrupt memory, so would the correct steps be: Store to CF card, uncheck the inhibit updates, and select on corrupt memory option?

2) I recently had some analog ouput modules fail and replaced them. I need to order some new ones and am confused by the version,series, and firmware options. The new ones I looked at have a higher firmware number.

What are the rules for compatibility as for as version, series, and firmware.
what do I look for? Does the processor automatically update the firmware on the module or what? The manuals say very little on this subject.

Thanks everyone,

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Old October 11th, 2016, 05:39 PM   #2
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ASF is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,777
Welcome to the forum!

I don't typically use CF cards in my applications, so while this is how I understand it to work, I might have some things slightly wrong. I'm sure someone will drop in and correct me if I do!

1) If you don't inhibit firmware updates when storing to the CF card, then the CF card can look at a PLC, realise it has the wrong version of firmware for it's application, and flash the PLC's firmware to the required version before downloading the program. So, by not checking this option, I believe you could simply get a brand new PLC out of the box, install the CF card, and power it up. The CF card would flash the firmware, download the program, and away you would go! By inhibiting the firmware upgrade, you will have to manually flash the firmware on a new PLC before the CF card can download it's program to the PLC.

2) in general, the series, revision and firmware of I/O cards don't matter. Yes, there can sometimes be compatibility issues, but in general if you buy a newer version of I/O card, it should just slot in and work. HOWEVER! In RSLogix 5000, you can define "keying" for each individual module. You can select "exact match", "compatible module" or "disable keying".

If you select "exact match", then as the name would suggest, you must have exactly the same series and revision of module, or the PLC will not communicate with the card (and depending on the major fault settings, will probably fault). There are a few reasons why you might select this option, but not many.

If you select "compatible module", which is the default, then as the name suggests, the PLC just needs to see a compatible module. So if you define the cards as series A but then physically put in a series B, no problem - it's still the same card, yes it's a different series, but it's still compatible. PLC runs along happily.

If you select "disable keying", then the PLC will do it's best to use anything and everything you connect in that spot, regardless of what it is. Obviously, this leaves things wide open and can cause some unexpected issues if abused. Again, there are not may good reasons to disable keying completely.

The long and short of all that is, go online with you PLC's and check the keying for each I/O module. As long as it's set to "compatible module", you should have no problems with replacing I/O modules with newer revisions.

Hope that helps!
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