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Old September 18th, 2017, 07:35 PM   #1
ASF
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Connect to RSEmulate from another PC running RSLinx

Hi all. TL;DR at the end.

Had a situation last week where I needed to connect a workstation running RSLinx to a running PLC code, just to extract a heap of values to excel using DDE. Trouble was, the code was for a 1769-L36ERM and all I had lying around was a 1769-L16ER-BB1B.

My first approach was SoftLogix, which I've done before and has worked, but of course SoftLogix has been more or less discontinued as far as I can tell, in favour of RSEmulate, and the program in question was too new a version and wouldn't convert back to v23 without breaking the parts of the code I needed to access. So that was a bust.

My second approach was RSEmulate, which ran the code quite happily, but I couldn't figure out how to get RSLinx on the other PC to find the emulator.

My third approach, which did the trick, was to delete 99% of the code until it would fit in the memory of the 1769-L16ER I had lying around, and just doing it that way.

So it worked, but I'd like to think there's a way to do this using RSEmulate. It seems much simpler.

Both PC's are on the same subnet and can ping each other. In fact, RSLinx on the remote PC is getting it's activations from the PC running RSEmulate, so definitely no problems with talking to each other. In SoftLogix, I could add an ethernet module to the virtual chassis, give it an IP, and then I'd point the remote RSLinx to that IP address to find the virtual controller. But it doesn't seem that you can add a virtual ethernet module to RSEmulate. Adding a virtual devices driver to the remote RSLinx session of course only shows any virtual controllers running on that machine, not the remote one.

Any ideas?

TL;DR, if I have two PC's on the same subnet, one running RSEmulate and the other running RSLinx, how do I get RSLinx to "see" the RSEmulate controller on the other PC?
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Old September 18th, 2017, 08:40 PM   #2
Ken Roach
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If the machine that's running RSEmulate also has a license for RSLinx Classic Gateway, you can access RSEmulate using the Virtual Backplane driver via the "Remote Devices via Linx Gateway" driver on the client PC.

This driver was originally built to allow a computer with a specialized hardware interface (like a 1784-KTX card) to share that driver with other computers over TCP/IP.

It can do the same with a specialized software interface like the Virtual Backplane driver.
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Old September 18th, 2017, 08:48 PM   #3
ASF
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Aha, I've not spotted that before. Is there a manual I should look for to work out how to set up the "Remote Devices" driver? Now that I know the right search terms I've found a few threads on the subject, but none that seem to give any real detail into how to set it up. I'm sure it can't be that hard, but I always like to have a manual or something to refer to so I know I'm doing things right.

Based on my reading of the other threads, it would seem that only the PC at the end I'm connecting to needs the Linx Gateway license, correct? The end I'm connecting from could just be RSLinx Lite?
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Old September 19th, 2017, 01:25 AM   #4
Ken Roach
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Yup; the PC that is sharing its local drivers needs to have RSLinx Classic Gateway license, and you need to enable the Gateway feature. I don't have Linx on my home machine so I can't tell you the exact menu clicks.

The remote computer can have RSLinx Lite, or any licensed version.

You'll need to know the IP address of the Gateway machine, and when you're configuring the "Remote Devices via Linx Gateway" driver, there should appear a list of the local drivers on that machine.

For me, enabling the Gateway feature on the Gateway computer was always the forehead-slapping moment.
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Old September 19th, 2017, 06:35 PM   #5
ASF
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Roach
For me, enabling the Gateway feature on the Gateway computer was always the forehead-slapping moment
Aaaand likewise for me. I had it enabled on the remote computer, not the gateway computer.

Now that I've got that the right way around, I can see the remote virtual chassis, and assign my DDE topic to the emulator, so I'm halfway there. However, when I try to retrieve values using excel it just returns "#REF".

Is this likely to be because RSLinx doesn't recognise the emulator (yellow question mark and "unrecognised device"), and so the DDE topic doesn't know how to configure itself? When I was using the L16, Linx recognised it fine, and the excel file/VBA code hasn't changed, so that's my current working theory.

I can't work out how to get hold of the EDS files to test the theory though. I searched on the RA website and got EDS files for every version of RSEmulate up to v24, but I'm using v28, which doesn't appear in the list. I've also looked on the install media for RSEmulate, and I can't find it in there (although perhaps I just don't know where to look).

Any ideas?
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Old December 4th, 2017, 03:49 PM   #6
ASF
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Dropping back in because I just linked someone else to this thread and realised I never posted back with my resolution.

It was, as I suspected, the lack of EDS files that caused the problem. Once I got a hold of the EDS files, the yellow question mark in RSLinx was replaced with the proper icon, and the excel DDE topic worked as intended.

I put in a call to tech support about the missing EDS download. It got escalated all the way to the US but ultimately I had to manually extract the files from the RSEmulate installation media and install them; the idea of just uploading them along with all the rest of the RSEmulate EDS files seemed to be placed firmly in the too hard basket. I'd like to say that I can't understand why, but having seen the debacle that is the Rockwell PCDC, and having learned recently that its operation is outsourced to HP, I have a fairly good idea of why nobody wants that particular headache on their plate.
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