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Old February 14th, 2020, 02:51 PM   #1
ebangor
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Connecting to a VersaMax micro plc

I'm trying to utilize a PLC that my employer already had on hand for a project. For the life of me, I can't figure out how to get my computer and the PLC to actually connect.

I'm using a VeraMax Micro IC200UAL005, and VersaPro v2.04. I know the software is really old, but it's what we already had, and I'm trying to make use of existing equipment. The power and OK lights indicated that the PLC does go through its normal startup sequence when power is connected without issue.

My laptop doesn't have any serial ports, only USB-A, USB-C, ethernet, and HDMI.

I read that finding a USB-to-DB15 adapter that works is really hit-or-miss (the one I purchased seems to be a no-go). I'm not opposed to wiring up my own RJ-45 cable to connect to the PLC, but I haven't been able to find much information on what I need on the PC side of the connection.

Can anyone point me in the right direction on what I cna do to get the PLC and my PC to talk?
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Old February 14th, 2020, 03:22 PM   #2
Steve Bailey
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The 15-pin port on the UAL005 is RS485, not RS232, so you need a USB/RS485 converter if you want to use that port.
The manual for the VersaMax Micro line is publication number GFK-1645. The pin details for the ports start on page 13-29 of GFK-1645G.
If you decide to make your own DB9 to RJ45 cable, you will probably only need signals Tx, Rx, and GND. Rx on the VersaMax side is pin 3 which gets connected to Tx on the DB9 side, generally pin 3. Tx on the VersaMax side is pin 4 which gets connected to Rx on the DB9 side, generally pin 2. GND on the VersaMax side is pin 8 which connects to GND on the DB9, generally pin 5. When looking at the VersaMax RJ45 port, pin 8 is toward the top. If the pin connections I specified above don't work try swapping the wires on pins 2 and 3 on the DB9 side.
The default port parameter settings are the same for both ports and the default settings in VersaPro software are the same as those for the PLC, 19200 baud, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit odd parity.
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Old February 17th, 2020, 08:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bailey View Post
If you decide to make your own DB9 to RJ45 cable, you will probably only need signals Tx, Rx, and GND. Rx on the VersaMax side is pin 3 which gets connected to Tx on the DB9 side, generally pin 3. Tx on the VersaMax side is pin 4 which gets connected to Rx on the DB9 side, generally pin 2. GND on the VersaMax side is pin 8 which connects to GND on the DB9, generally pin 5. When looking at the VersaMax RJ45 port, pin 8 is toward the top. If the pin connections I specified above don't work try swapping the wires on pins 2 and 3 on the DB9 side.
If I make a DB9-RJ45 cable, would that connect to the RS232 port (port 1) on the PLC?

All of the USB-RS485 adapters I can find terminate in either DB9 or a clamp-style terminal block. So would I need to daisy-chain the USB port on my laptop to the USB-RS485 adapter, connect the RS485 connection to the DB9 end of the RJ45, and then plug the RJ45 into the RS232 port (port 1) on the PLC?

I'm a little lost because you mention the DB9 connection, as does the manual, but there is no DB9 terminal on the PLC, and I don't think I've seen anything but USB ports on a computer in years. So I'm not sure where that connection goes.

I'm perfectly content to purchase and wire up whatever adapters I need, I just want to make sure I'm not purchasing the wrong cables.
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Old February 17th, 2020, 09:18 AM   #4
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Buy one from here:
https://www.plccable.com/ge-fanuc-sc...dicon-proface/

I am not intimate with GE PLCs, but on that page are some that appear to match what you and Steve have described.

The guy who sells them is a forum member who guarantees his products and I have shamelessly plugged his site numerous times and bought a lot of cables and other hardware from him with 100% success.
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Old February 17th, 2020, 09:23 AM   #5
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I've used these interface connectors from ASI in the past for making my own cables to connect to a few pieces of hardware including a couple GE. I just cut one end off a RJ45 patch cable and wire it to the terminals. They have both male and female DB9. Made it easy.


As OkiePC stated, Mark also sells the cables.
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Last edited by padees; February 17th, 2020 at 09:25 AM.
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Old February 17th, 2020, 09:32 AM   #6
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USB to RS232 converters are a lot more common than USB to RS485. If you have a USB to RS485 converter you will connect to the 15-pin port on the PLC. If you have a USB to RS232 converter you will connect to the RJ45 port on the PLC.
When I referred to a DB9 connector I was referring to a USB to serial converter that terminates in a DB9.
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Old February 17th, 2020, 09:41 AM   #7
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My A-B USB to Serial has a DB9 that I just plugged into the ASI... RussB emailed me a pic of the pinouts.
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Old February 17th, 2020, 09:57 AM   #8
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It would be easier just getting one from Mark. I didn't know Mark back then when I had to rig this up.
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Old February 24th, 2020, 12:48 PM   #9
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Update:

I have a working USB-RS232 adapter. As far as I can tell, it works (shows up ind evice manager, assigned a com port number, driver updates, etc). I also have wired up a DB9-RJ45 cable per in pinout in the GFK-1645 manual, and had no issues when I checked connectivity in everything.

However, when I try to connect to the PLC through VersaPro, my computer just seems to endlessly try to connect without anything happening. In doing a little more digging, I've read that if the PLC was set to communicate on anything other than the default settings, I need to adjust my PC to match before I can connect. I don't need to retain any of the programming currently on the PLC, as we have a backup already.

Is there anything I can do to reset a VersaMax Micro PLC to factory state and start with a clean controller?
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Old February 24th, 2020, 03:16 PM   #10
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I guess im a little late to the party but.... not all RS232 adapters are created equally, this is mine and it works good with VersaPro and Proficy

https://www.plccable.com/ge-fanuc-us...-ic200cbl500a/

Just because the adapter shows up in your device manager does not mean it will work with the PLC
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Old March 9th, 2020, 01:28 PM   #11
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I've purchased an adapter from PLCCable, and still no luck. I'm all but certain that the issue is with the PLC itself at this point.

Is there any way to perform a factory reset on a VersaMax PLC? I've read that other GE PLCs have pins that can be shorted in order to blow out all settings and return to a factory state. Barring that, I'm thinking I may have to simply purchase a new controller.

Any information anyone has is really appreciated.
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Old March 9th, 2020, 01:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebangor View Post

Any information anyone has is really appreciated.
Sorry but this is above my pay rate... Steve or Russ would be your best bet, I have never heard of resetting them.
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Old March 9th, 2020, 03:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Steve or Russ would be your best bet
Russ doesn't hang out here much any more.


One thing we haven't mentioned is the communications setup in VersaPro. Click on "Tools" and then "Communications Setup".
There needs to be a port set up that uses the SNP Serial protocol and device associated with that port. There is no serial port setup by default when you install VersaPro.
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Old March 9th, 2020, 06:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bailey View Post
Russ doesn't hang out here much any more.
Living the good life (I hope)

This may help... its a video I made on VersaPro connection http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sATVc0DOpVo
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Old March 9th, 2020, 09:36 PM   #15
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At about the 1 minute 15 seconds mark on that Youtube video is where geniusintraining selects the serial SNP driver on COM3. In my previous post I was referring to the possibility that the OP may need to add the serial SNP driver from the "Tools" menu and assign it to COM3 (or wherever the USB/serial converter driver sets up).
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