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Old January 30th, 2013, 08:22 PM   #1

IanR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2
Red face PV550 Micrologix 1200 Communications Question

Hello everyone! I've been loaned a Micrologix 1200 (1762-L24BWAR) and Panelview 550 Keypad model (2711-B5A16) with the goal of using my free time to learn far more about PLCs than our course covers.

The PLC came with a laptop and cables, and I've confirmed that RSLinx communicates with both devices.

From RSLogix500 I can access the PLC, and from PanelBuilder32 I can access the PV550. (Both have nothing in memory)

Here are my questions/problems -

* Our course only included an introduction to PLCs, it's only goal was to enable us to recognize them in the field, and have an idea of their capabilities

* I'm interested in learning far more

* I have no reference materials except the help files from RSLogix and PanelBuilder (the RSLogix help files are fantastic, PanelBuilder, not so much)

* I have some experience (from way back when) in java programming, so using the ladder editor is fairly straightforward

* I have nothing to relate PanelBuilder to

* After 2 days searching the internet I *THINK* that I should be using the MSG function in my ladder to both send and receive data from the PV550

* what do I do on the PV550 / in PanelBuilder to initiate or receive a communication from the PLC?

For the sake of simplicity, and learning one thing at a time all I want to do is program start and stop buttons on the screen of the PV550.

The PLC runs this :
 XIC B3:0/0 BST XIC B3:0/1 NXB XIC O:0.0/3 BND OTE O:0.0/3
that's it. Two bits. O:0/3 is just a little green indicator light.

* MSG needs a message file, do I just use the first two bits here instead of B3?

* Where does SVC come into things?

* In the "MSG Setup Screen" what should my communications protocol be? (500CPU, 485CIF, PLC5)

* In the "MSG Setup Screen" what is my data table address?

* In the "MSG Setup Screen" what do I enter for the "Target Device" info?

Hell, let's just admit that I have no idea what I'm doing with the MSG Setup Screen...

In PanelBuilder I can create two momentary push buttons, set them to 'single bit' and set one normally open (start) and the other normally closed (stop)...

* Data tags - what the heck do I do with them?!

Each button has a Write Tag and Indicator Tag, and if I hit 'edit tag' I need Tag Name, Data Type, Initial Value, Description, Node Name, Tag Address, and Update Frequency.

My brain asplode.

I am going to infiltrate the campus library tomorrow, where they have 12 copies of Programmable Logic Controllers which I'm hoping will help shed some light. But I have my doubts.

So if anyone can help point this very confused neophyte in the right direction, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 08:42 PM   #2
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jrwb4gbm is offline
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: NC
Posts: 2,245
Welcome to the forum!
I haven't bothered to look up what kind of comm ports each of your units have. I'm going on memory here so some of this may be wrong. They both appear to have RS232 ports so you would just match comm parameters such as baud rate, etc. and connect a straight thru serial cable available with the proper connectors from AB. Maybe this cable, 1761-CBL-HM02, I'm not sure of the part number. If you can find the correct ends, you could build your own. In each device you would might need a unique node number. See 2nd link below for more comm's and node info.
Without getting too deep, consider the PV550 as the Master and the ML1200 as a Slave. All the communication is initiated from the PV550. It is continuously interrogating the PLC. The MSG instruction "might" be what you need but almost all of the Tags in PanelBuilder will communicate directly to an address in the ML1200. The MSG instruction is generally used to allow communication between two cable connected PLCs such as a PLC5 and a CPU500 (ML1200).

Link to a ML1200 installation manual:

Link to a Panelview PV550 manual, page 85 has some info on Comm's and Node numbers:

Last edited by jrwb4gbm; January 30th, 2013 at 09:38 PM.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 08:54 PM   #3
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bernie_carlton is offline
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Location: Yakima, Washington
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Get "Getting Started with Panelbuilder Software" at the following link 2711-qs002_-en-p.pdf. See if that helps

Then come back for more.
Controlling outputs is the PLC's way of getting its inputs to change.
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Old January 31st, 2013, 02:51 PM   #4

IanR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2
Thank you both so much for those links! I didn't even know that the publications existed.

I am extremely happy to report that following the serial cable setup (it was already connected, but I went through and verified everything step by step) and the PanelBuilder Quick Start document - IT WORKS!!!

Well. Sort of. We won't mention the hour or so of frustration when everything seemed to work, and I got no errors, but the bloody pilot light would. not. come. ON. ... all I could hear was the PLC relay going click... clack... click... clack... click... clack... ... ... ... click... clack... But no light!

I'm sure you can all see where this is going - there was no light bulb in my indicator lamp.

So, now that my heart rate is more or less normal, and I've glued the hair back on so you can hardly tell, I am very happy to report that it works.

jrwb4gbm Thank you particularly for telling me that the PLC doesn't need to do anything to initiate communications. I'd been thinking of the PLC as the controller, and the PV550 as just a display. It honestly hadn't occurred to me that the PV550 would handle everything.

*sniff* It's beautiful!
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