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Old November 28th, 2017, 12:07 PM   #1
esp400
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Why Can't I See My Tag database?

Hi All,

I'm modding a panelview 1250 program. Changing the function of a few buttons. It's been a couple years since I've dealt with FT View Studio and Logix 5000. I've got the buttons completed and my code in Logix 5000 is completed. I've created the new tags in Logix 5000 but I cannot find any tag database in FT View Studio to import these to. I assumed there would be a database for the tags in the HMI program. In the past I would import these tags and then make the connection with the button. Now when I'm reading the HMI manual, it says that you can use data server tags, which you can browse for the tag offline to add them (or add them when connected). Will these be listed anywhere in the project tree in FT View Studio as a database so I can make the connections? When I double click on the HMI tags, there is nothing there having to do with the buttons but all of the buttons have the relevant tags on the connections tab. Where do the data server tags live in the program?

Also, on the connections tab, the tags for the momentary buttons look like this:
{[CLX1]MAN.ON_Asi.a1[9].2}
I can find nothing on this type of addressing other than the output listed on the back half (Asi.a1[9].2). What is the CLX1? Expression from XML?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

I'm using version 9 of FT and version 21 of 5000
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Old November 28th, 2017, 12:36 PM   #2
cwal61
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That is a connection directly to PLC. using the Shortcut. Look in the explorer pane at the bottom you'll see RSLinx Enterprise. Under that you'll find Communication Setup. That is where you will find the shortcut to your PLC and also add you Offline file.
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Old November 28th, 2017, 03:07 PM   #3
esp400
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I see the COM link at the bottom but and there is an active node for the 5000 emulator (I am offline). That's about as much as I get though. I don't see anything that is guiding me to a tag database though. I understand that the data server tags are different than HMI tags. I understand that it's more of a direct link. I just thought that I'd see a database of them that would mirror the tag database in Logix 5000. I'm sure I can just import the tag database to the HMI project and then try and add it to the buttons with the tag editor.

Any idea about the syntax of the tag? Still haven't found anything on the 'CLX1'. I think it's an expression in XML. Prob just have to copy the format and see if it works.
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Old November 28th, 2017, 04:15 PM   #4
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'CLX1' is, as cwal says, a shortcut connection directly to the PLC.

Look in your RSLinx Enterprise communications setup. In there, you will find a split window with a list of shortcuts on the left, and your RSLinx Enterprise network on the right. In the left pane, you will see a shortcut called "CLX1". If you click on it, you will see that in the right pane, the PLC that the HMI is talking to is selected and assigned to that shortcut.

So when you have a button assigned to {[CLX1]MAN.ON_Asi.a1[9].2}, when you click it, it writes a 1 to the tag MAN.ON_Asi.a1[9].2 in whichever PLC shortcut CLX1 is assigned to.

If I had to guess, I'd say that MAN is a UDT, ON_Asi is a UDT within that UDT, and a1 is an array of INT's or DINT's. So the button is addressed to bit 2 of array element 9, within that nested UDT.

This method is known as "direct addressing", whereby you don't use HMI tags at all - you simply address the tags directly in the PLC. There are several advantages to this method (quicker development as there's no need to create a tag database, quicker to add new components to the HMI as you don't have to add tags every time, faster communications and screen updates as the screens are looking directly at the PLC, instead of at a local tag which is updated at whatever schedule, etc).

You can use a tag database if you wish. There are some advantages to this method, although for my 2c worth, I think the benefits of direct reference far outweigh the benefits of a tag database. If you want to do this, look for the HMI tags folder in the explorer tree of FTView Studio. In there you can create tags and point them to a PLC (you will still need to create a shortcut in RSLinx Enterprise first - or in this case, it's been done for you already with CLX1). You can arrange them in folders and subfolders, set up scaling, etc.

You can also import and export tags from the database. I would suggest that if you want to go this route, that you add a handful of digital and analog tags manually, then export, so that you can see the required structure. Then you can copy/paste and manipulate your exported PLC tag data to suit.
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Old November 28th, 2017, 04:51 PM   #5
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I found the 'CLX1' in the COM tree. I had no physical connection to a PLC so when I clicked it, nothing showed up on the right side of the window (have to be connected obviously). I will stick with the direct addressing (data server) tags. The entire program is setup this way. Just trying to understand what is going on. I agree with you on most of the logic in defining the location. But wouldn't everything that you speculated that was a UDT have to be labeled as such in the Program Tags in the 5000 program? I can find the output in the 5000 program 'ASi.a1[9].o2(C)' but the alias for the tag is 'OUT_S13_OC_1s9_o2'. What I can't find are UDT that are 'MAN' and 'ON_Asi' in the Logix 5000 program. Gonna have to dig around some more. Thanks for the info. Things are getting clearer.
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Old November 28th, 2017, 06:13 PM   #6
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In the right hand window, there are two tabs; Design and Runtime.

If the HMI works at all, then the shortcut must be configured correctly in the Runtime tab. It only *needs* to be configured in the Design tab if you intend to do testing from within FTView.

Generally, the way to do it is to add your PLC to the RSLinx Enterprise configuration in the right hand Design tab, assign your shortcut, and then click the "copy design to runtime" button, which does exaclty what the description suggests.

Of course, DON'T do that right now, as by the sound of it, the design path is not set, only the runtime (you can check this using the Verify button, bottom right of screen). You can't copy from runtime to design; you'd have to add it in manually.
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Old November 29th, 2017, 01:13 PM   #7
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Screenshot.docx

Is that only when you are connected to the network or PLC? Where does that live? I understand what you're saying though. Nothing in my right hand side window. I threw up a screenshot (first time, not sure if it will work). I have a spare panleview 1250 and plc that I'm gonna connect so that I can do this live. The machine the HMI/PLC programs are in is in use all of the time.
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Old November 29th, 2017, 05:10 PM   #8
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See attached - I think you're looking in the wrong place.
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File Type: jpg Screen Shot 2017-11-30 at 9.07.01 am.jpg (51.3 KB, 61 views)
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Old December 1st, 2017, 09:01 AM   #9
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I've been able to drop a test program in the panelview and I wrote a simple 'turn on an output program' in the PLC. Through the laptop in the 'test application' everything is working. I was able to create the connection after you put up the screenshot. The manual eventually took me to the same place. Allen Bradley's instructions for creating/explaining the shortcut creation process/making a link to the PLC or whatever your component is is simply 'not intuitive' (I'm being very generous with my word choice here). Eventually I just clicked/highlighted the right stuff and the shortcut happened. I believe in my case (the current program to be modded and machine in use) that I will have to use the offline file so I'm going to try it again just using the offline file.

So now that I've dropped the program in the panelview and it's running and my PLC and my panelview are on the same network with my laptop, how do I get the two of them to talk at runtime? I'm going to look into 'Global Connections' this morning to see if this lives there. The HMI is throwing up messages that the program does not see the PLC input and output that I programmed.

Thank you for all of your guidance.
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Old December 1st, 2017, 10:19 AM   #10
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If you use test the application (aka the running man). Then you need to setup your communication under the design tab. The test application uses it for the communication path not the runtime path.
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Old December 1st, 2017, 10:39 AM   #11
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OK, I see there is nothing in 'Global Connections Area' and that it is the Communications Tab where you set this up. I went back in there and deleted the original shortcut, remade it, and then pressed the 'Copy from Design to Runtime' as you suggested. Once I verified, it confirmed the connections (see screenshot). However, I dropped the program in the HMI again and still no luck. Do you have to save the communications configuration file to the HMI program before .mer is created and downloaded?
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File Type: docx Screenshot.docx (88.4 KB, 4 views)
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Old December 1st, 2017, 10:49 AM   #12
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I set up network connection in HMI to download but I'm having trouble with the configuration on the panelview itself. I don't think it's a .mer problem. I think it's a hardware setting. Unable to edit properties for configuration.
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Old December 1st, 2017, 03:46 PM   #13
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I finally got it working. RSLinx Enterprise Configuration was showing nothing connected via ethernet in the panelview. Had to go into Enterprise and RSLinx and I think browsing the panelview did it. I went back in and loaded the application and it worked. Not sure if it was Enterprise or Linx that did it (or if it matters) but either way it's working. I have a way better idea of how to connect everything now. Thanks for all your help.
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Old December 5th, 2017, 10:18 AM   #14
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So I'm a reluctant fan of the OPC data server tags. I like that you can just browse for the tag and add it. Is this only available online? How do you add an offline programming file and add it to the shortcut? I've tried a couple times now and it is not allowing me to browse the tags in the PLC program. I'm using the connections tab on a momentary switch's properties and the window that contains the shortcut shows up but there is nothing within the shortcut. I have refreshed the folder using the button. Still nothing. Any suggestions?
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Old December 5th, 2017, 10:49 AM   #15
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Add your ACD into the offline section.

Makes sure your offline project isn't on a network drive, just on your hard drive and the project is saved.

Just click refresh and they eventually appear under the offline tags.
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