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Old September 16th, 2008, 04:38 PM   #1
NCUDAVE
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SLC 50/4 to Ethernet Flex I/O

In a Water Plant I have a SLC 50/4 as a Master PLC. Serial port is connected to radio modem. DH+ is connected to two other SLC 50/4's, three DH+ Panelviews, and DH+ Card in a Computer with RS View. The other two SLC 50/4's have the serial port unused.

Want to move toward ethernet in the future. Considered Flex I/O with ethernet by using either a DH+ to Ethernet bridge or a 1761-NETENI on one of the open serial ports.

I am learning Flex I/O requires a PLC to control its configuration and messaging.

Is there an Ethernet I/O that can be configured and read by at least my RS View??
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Old September 16th, 2008, 09:26 PM   #2
Paully's5.0
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You want to move toward Ethernet in the future..... please refine that statement.

Are you looking to replace the DH+ network with Ethernet? Or are you just looking for a way to access that network via Ethernet so you can connect from your desk?

If the latter then the 1761-NET-ENI will serve just fine, just connect to a serial port on one of the slave PLCs and you should be able to drill into the DH+ network to get to your master PLC. Keep in mind it is still a serial connection so it's not very fast.

I have not messed with any DH+ to Ethernet bridges so I can't ellaborate on that.

You mention you are considering Flex IO? For what purpose? Do you need to add IO and you don't have room in the PLC rack? Are you adding a remote cabinet so you need some form of remote IO? Flex IO is just an extension of the PLC IO, therefore a PLC still needs to control it.

When using 5/04 CPU we've tended to use a 1747-SN RIO scanner card in the PLC rack to talk to a Flex IO RIO adaptor, in turn controlling the Flex IO that we need. This setup is pretty straight forward when it comes to discrete IO, however does get a little dicey when messing with analog IO as you need to use block transfers in your logic to control the analog IO. Not very difficult, a little reading of multiple manuals and it all begins to make sense.

Expand on your project a little more for us and we'll be able to give you better feedback.

Oh, welcome to the forum!
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Old September 17th, 2008, 07:13 AM   #3
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My suggestion is if you are moving toward distributed Ethernet/IP remote I/O racks to switch away from using SLC processors. A much easier alternative is to use the Compactlogix PLC (if you want to stay AB) as you can get an Ethernet/IP port built into the processor. No SLC has that capability. If you want to stay with the SLC platform I recommend what Paully states in using good ol RIO with a 1747-SN card to read and write out to your Flex I/O modules.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 09:02 AM   #4
NCUDAVE
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Thank you Paully and LJBMatt

I am getting a much clearer understanding of Flex I/O.

My first mission is to locate some remote I/O for about 6 4-20 mA devices in another part of the building.

In other parts of our utility we are using ethernet radio modems and ethernet devices at sub-stations.

I am trying not to buy more of the old technlogy like DH+, Device Net.

I realize the moment I move to Coompactlogix, I will have to purchase Logix 5000. I suppose that is where we will end up eventually.

Yes, to the question about adding a remote cabinet and want some I/O at different locations, plus clean up wiring that is now in series with National Insturments I/O and Sensaphone auto dialer.

I have a Device Net Card in the SLC 50/4. That requires running the right cable for Device Net. That is a bit of job in the building and was hoping to use shielded Cat 5 and be done with it. Plus, buying the Device Net module for the Flex I/O is still more of old technlogy.

Changing to Contrologix might be a reasonable option, but will need learn if it will talk to the three DH+ Panelviews. If not, it is a lot of hardware to change out to migrate to new technolgy.

Thank you very much for the great insight.

Dave M
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Old September 17th, 2008, 10:03 AM   #5
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ControlLogix is very versatile in the communications department.

Even such that you could use a ControlLogix chassis with no processor to bridge Ethernet to DH+ networks. I am not saying that the SLC will be able to "own" the IO (like what you have described previously), but you would be able to eliminate the DH+ from your PC and utilize the Ethernet.


But yes, you can use DH+ to privide data to your existing PanelViews. Albeit, through some data mapping in the ControlLogix, it can be done.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 10:43 AM   #6
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Dave -

Realistically what is you budget? I know you want to migrate to newer technology but how soon will it be before it pays off?

You may want to look into Oakley's suggestion of using a ControlLogix to handle the communications, allowing you to use your Ethernet to get to the DH+ network. It's a good step toward the newer technology. You may also consider the Flex IO using a ControlNet adapter, this is newer technology, easy to incorporate into a ControlLogix system if you go that route in the future, and you can buy a ControlNet scanner card for your existing SLC500 system. I've never used the ControlNet card for a SLC so I'm not sure how easy it is to get up and running, but it would be a better choice over RIO if you're concerned about a ControlLogix/CompactLogix upgrade in the future.

Last edited by Paully's5.0; September 17th, 2008 at 10:45 AM.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 04:18 PM   #7
NCUDAVE
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Thank you for the great info.


I am going to make plans to go foward with Logix 5000 and Contrologix. That allows me to at least use my present DH+ panelviews.

I have in the same panel a Micrologix 1100 running ethernet to ethernet radio modems and also to RSView.

I talked with my AB rep today and he thought I should be able to have the 1100 talk to the Ethernet Flex IO. If that is true, then I would see the data from the Flex IO in RSView.

If I later needed any of that data in the SLC 504, can I send it from RS View to a SLC 504 N7 file?? The RSview has both ethernet and DH+ coming in.

Dave
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