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Printing and logging data from DL205 controller

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  • Printing and logging data from DL205 controller

    Hope this is the correct forum; I don't think it's essentially communications.

    I have a DL205 with a 260 cpu, 8 ch analog in, 8 ch analog out, 16 channel on/off in, and 16 channel on/off out. I left slot 1 empty in case I ever needed a networking adapter. User interface includes an EZ Text 220P on the 9 pin cpu port. The application is batch process control, and it works just great.

    The client wants to print out and electronically archive (eg to disk) the date, time, operator, job parameters etc - all the customary and usual stuff.

    I could write code to implement this on the PLC (except perhaps the disk) but it's going to be a lot of work .... most likely more than the job can support. Just arranging alpha data entry through the EZ Text and formatting the print would be major programming time eaters.

    So I'm thinking: add some communications to the PLC, then access the plc variables and do the printing and data storing from an attached (Windows) pc.

    This might involve some additional plc programming (have DS4.0 b18), but would also need some software on the Windows machine to request or fetch the relevant plc data. I can use (Microsoft Visual Studio) C++ OK.

    This sounds like the sort of thing that must have been done before. Does anyone have any advice to offer or experiences to share? Routes to avoid and horror stories also welcome!

    Caron


  • #2
    What you need to set up it the interconnecting method for data retrievel between the PC and the PLC and the protocol software. You can use the same RS-232 link used for programming or step up to Ethernet, if you want to use that space. The software needed on the PC is DSDATA. Once you have that it's very simple to get the data using a Windows based program.
    thePLCguy

    Bernie

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    • #3
      bcarlton

      thanks for the insight; I really apprecate it.

      Is that all, folks?

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      • #4
        Pretty much. You can set up excel to log the data directly into a spread sheet so you don't even have to program in C++.

        Mike

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        • #5
          I agree. DSDATA is pretty easy to setup to receive data from the PLC.

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          • #6
            Thanks to you all for the helpful advice.

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            • #7
              When I went to buy PC-DSDATA I found it was not recommended for new development. AD suggest using PC-KEPPLC instead. Does anyone have any experience of this, or comments about it versus dsdata?

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              • #8
                DSDATA and KEPWare both support DDE which is very simple to implement from most any windows program but is SLOW and not suitable for a lot of data. They both also support OPC which is faster but a bit difficult to set up. Unfortunately DSDATA only supports an older version of OPC while KEPWare supports the newest version. It sounds like your application is simple (only one PLC) and not requiring a lot of data. If you want to keep your future options open, go with the KEPWare (being mindful that it is sold on a 'number of CPU's' basis where DSDATA is not limited this way).
                thePLCguy

                Bernie

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                • #9
                  bcarlton - thanks for info.

                  The traffic will likely be about 250 bytes per transaction, and two or three transactions per hour (from plc to pc) excluding and protocol/framing/polling or other overhead.

                  I suspect that speed will not be an issue. Do you agree?

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                  • #10
                    So it looks like your choices are open. I guess the main question is how well you want to be prepared for future requests like "we want to look at this thing 10 times a minute". Then maybe it's best not to use an already obsolete product. I'd go with the KEPWare but start off playing with its DDE capabilities. Then if speed becomes an issue you can start dealing with OPC complexities. (By the way, I program the PLCs and I only wrote one DDE application getting info from 5 networked PLC's. When our company wanted more speed and we had to go to OPC, I gratefully turned it over to the IT people. I'm a chicken.)
                    thePLCguy

                    Bernie

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                    • #11
                      bcarlton - Thanks for the insight - yes, we are in agreement as to how to start - DDE. This is also because I'm unsure about the client's IT capabilities, so want to avoid OPC at least for now. I've ordered the KEPware product, and I'll post my observations.

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                      • #12
                        We have been using DSData for data logging and real-time machine status viewing, and even when viewing hundreds of data items at a time it provides excellent response times. People say DDE is slow compared to OPC - I don't to what extent this is true but I suspect it is also related to PC speed. I have also noticed that DDE runs better on Windows XP PCs than it does on 98, if that helps.

                        As for DSData being obsoleted, I had a scare when I called for an order and was told about that. But after a frantic email sent to AD's sales people, they called me to let me know they'll still be stocking DSData for a year or two; they are just not recommending it for new projects. Hope this info helps.

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                        • #13
                          Is it possible to use a raspberry pi (linux, not windows) to datalog from the DL205 family of processors?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by eckirchn View Post
                            Is it possible to use a raspberry pi (linux, not windows) to datalog from the DL205 family of processors?
                            If you know how to program and write protocols yourself, there is a DirectNET specification PDF available on AD's website. If you want to use Ethernet, you can do DirectNET over Ethernet, you will also need the source code for the HEI DLL available from Host Engineering (developers of the ECOM module) and port that C++ code yourself (the source is for a Windows DLL; it's free, but that also means no support for porting the source code).
                            There are 10 kinds of people in this world, those who know binary, and those who do not.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by C R Williams View Post
                              bcarlton - Thanks for the insight - yes, we are in agreement as to how to start - DDE. This is also because I'm unsure about the client's IT capabilities, so want to avoid OPC at least for now. I've ordered the KEPware product, and I'll post my observations.
                              KEPware products work well.

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