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Connecting an HMI simulator to the Do-More simulator

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  • Connecting an HMI simulator to the Do-More simulator

    I'm using a red lion HMI and a do-more plc in a production facility. I have a duplicate installation to test changes but i don't always have access to it. Both red lion's Crimson software and Do-More Designer have built in simulators but it'd be nice to be able to connect them so I could see how things really work together when I don't have access. I'm curious is there's anyway to make these simulators talk to each other. Does the Designer simulator have an IP address that could be used? I thought 127.0.0.1 might work but it doesn't seem to. Neither does my PC's IP address. I saw one reference to using modbus TCP to connect to the simulator but it's hard for me to understand why that would be different that using the built in do-more connection protocols s that redlion comes with. Regardless, all the software is written with the do-more communications protocols and it would be a major piece of work to change it now. Perhaps the fact that I'm running both pieces of software on the same PC is the issue. If I run them on different PC's could I connect them? Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
    Last edited by scotbirmingham; 02-23-2018, 03:04 PM. Reason: Added Tags


  • #2
    Either the local host address or the PCs address will access the Do-more sim. That's how DmD talks to it, so there is nothing preventing it from working. Don't know anything about the HMI sim though. It might be a firewall thing.

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    • #3
      I remember getting that to work a few years ago but I don't remember any of the details. I know the Red Lion simulator will time out after I believe 15 minutes or so. You just need to run it again.

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      • #4
        In Crimson 3.0, go to Link, Options, at the bottom area called "Panel Emulation" click configure, and then select what you want each virtual ethernet port to be pointed at. The default is disabled. In your case, you might need to specify some virtual port created by the DoMore software.

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        • #5
          Thanks. I feel like that's gotten me a lot closer but it still doesn't seem to work. I've found that while connected to the simulator, I can open XY configure and see the simulator's IP address, subnet, and gateway. I also found the emulation configuration box in crimson and added an ethernet port. You're right Adisharr that if you give the emulator an ethernet port, it limits the session to 15 minutes. Now that I have the IP configuration for my simulator which is my ip address, (IP 192.168.11.123, subnet 255.255.252.0, Gateway 192.168.8.1) I would think that I could put the subnet and gateway into crimson, give it a different IP address in the same domain (I tried 192.168.11.225) and put my ip address as the do-more's address. Unfortunately that didn't seem to work. If anyone else has any insight I'd love to hear it. I feel like I'm so close but networking isn't my strong suit.

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          • #6
            I have not used DMD, but did have version 2.0 installed, so I tried to open an example and connect a Crimson Emulated HMI to it. What I found is that the IP address of the simulated PLC took the same IP address as my laptop network interface, and I am not experienced enough with DMD to know if that can be changed or where to do so. I tried to edit the IP address while connected but the software changed it right back. Offline, I could not access a port configuration for the Simulator. Maybe I am not looking in the right place.

            I think if the emulated PLC did have a unique IP address on the same network as my laptop and the Emulated HMI then it might work. Having the same IP address as the laptop itself is probably a show stopper.

            I also tried to use a serial port, but the Do-More only lets me choose COM200 as the mapped serial port, but the Red Lion emulator won't go past COM8...bummer

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            • #7
              Originally posted by OkiePC View Post
              I have not used DMD, but did have version 2.0 installed, so I tried to open an example and connect a Crimson Emulated HMI to it. What I found is that the IP address of the simulated PLC took the same IP address as my laptop network interface, and I am not experienced enough with DMD to know if that can be changed or where to do so. I tried to edit the IP address while connected but the software changed it right back. Offline, I could not access a port configuration for the Simulator. Maybe I am not looking in the right place.
              Since DMSim runs the actual PLC code, it has the comm functions there to change the IP address, but doesn't change the PC's NIC settings. Pretty sure doing so wouldn't be popular with users.

              Originally posted by OkiePC View Post
              I think if the emulated PLC did have a unique IP address on the same network as my laptop and the Emulated HMI then it might work. Having the same IP address as the laptop itself is probably a show stopper.
              IP addresses are associated with NICs, not apps. When DMSim runs, it just listens on port 28784 (0x7070) and does not specifically bind to an adapter. DmD makes no specific provision to connect to DMSim (as opposed to a physical PLC), it just establishes a normal link to 127.0.0.1, but the primary NIC IP works fine as well. I don't know what the HMI sim does, but there is no such limitation in DMSim.

              Originally posted by OkiePC View Post
              I also tried to use a serial port, but the Do-More only lets me choose COM200 as the mapped serial port, but the Red Lion emulator won't go past COM8...bummer
              DMSim is simply listing the ports that are currently configured on your PC. You can change the PCs serial port mapping in the Windows device manager.

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              • #8
                Thanks everyone. It does seem to be an issue on Crimson/Red Lion's end, specifically with their do-more network protocol which probably doesn't get a lot of attention. When I use the do-more specific protocol, I can't get it to connect but I made a test HMI program using the modbus tcp protocol I then I can interface with the modbus registers of the do-more. I use my pc's network address for the PLC specification in the HMI program and it connects fine. Doesn't really help my situation today as I'd have to rewrite 90% of the program to make that change but it's certainly good learning for the future.

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                • #9
                  Good info, Bob, thanks! The Red Lion HMI allows you to communicate through the mapped ethernet port to real hardware and has its own IP address separate from that of the PC NIC. Obviously in order to work, the IP addresses of the emulated HMI, the PC NIC, and the real hardware need to be compatible in order for them to all "talk". I had no luck using the PC NIC address or 127.0.0.1 trying to link to the DM Simulator.

                  @scotbirmingham: How did you get it to work with Modbus TCP protocol? I tried several things to no avail...I have no dog in this fight, but now I am challenged!

                  Thanks.
                  Last edited by OkiePC; 02-23-2018, 07:02 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by OkiePC View Post
                    The Red Lion HMI allows you to communicate through the mapped ethernet port to real hardware and has its own IP address separate from that of the PC.
                    Those definitely exist, virtual adapters. Not too common for apps though, generally used with network services. Most apps just sit on the stack and leave network management to the OS. I'm sure the HMI sim can be coerced into playing, but who knows what that takes. I'm sure it's easy once you know.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BobO View Post

                      Those definitely exist, virtual adapters. Not too common for apps though, generally used with network services. Most apps just sit on the stack and leave network management to the OS. I'm sure the HMI sim can be coerced into playing, but who knows what that takes. I'm sure it's easy once you know.
                      I don't even think the Red Lion emulator creates a virtual adapter. You can't ping it when running, and you can't use the web browser feature to access it, and it doesn't perform data logging while running in the emulator. All those features can be set up to work on real hardware, the emulator just won't do them, but does everything else including "talk" to real hardware making it an extremely valuable development tool.

                      I might try installing a USB to serial converter so that my PC has a COM number for DoMore simulator to see and then see if I can get the two communicating.

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                      • #12
                        Sorry, I dropped off the face of the earth after I solved this and didn't see that there was a request for my solution. Here's what I did to test:
                        Open Do-More. Load an empty program into the PLC-Simulator. Click XY-Configure to verify the IP Settings (it should match the IP address of your hard wired network and as far as I can tell, you can't change the IP of the simulator in Do-More.) I had my PC IP set to 192.168.9.230 and subnet 255.255.255.0.
                        Open Crimson. Create a new file and enable the Crimson Network Adapter. Set the IP to the same subnet, I used manual configuration and set the HMI to use 192.168.9.231 and subnet 255.255.255.0. Then I created a Modbus TCP/IP Master Protocol and pointed it at my PC/Simulator (192.168.9.230), made a few tags for the holding register 40001, 40002, etc and popped them onto the display. Then I loaded the emulator.
                        Back in Do-More, I opened the data view and changed MHR1 and MHR2 and verified that it changed back in the crimson emulator.

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