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Suggestions to make C-more the ultimate Touch Panel

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  • Suggestions to make C-more the ultimate Touch Panel

    I'm posting here for lack of knowledge of a better place to share it.

    My application: I program automated produce cooling machines called MACS Coolers. We have about 20 in the field at the moment. Every one of them is identical programmatically. In my PLC, I have variables for customizing timers and labels for each facility's MACS cooler(s). I do this so that one program can be installed and/or updated at any and all facilities and I don't have to reenter their custom data again.

    Way to improve the C-more panel greatly to meet my application: Since our PLC programs are always the same, the C-more panel programs are also always the same...except when there are multiple MACS Coolers on a site. Then, the IP addresses are the only unique identifiers.

    If I could point to a string variable in the PLC, read by the "Panel Manager" and "Touch Panel Network" sections of the C-more, then I could plug the IP addresses into the PLC once and have the C-more know which one to read based on it's variable data. These variables could reside "outside" of the memory space that gets overwritten every time you program a panel.

    This would operate in the same manner as the Contacts in the Address Book. Then I could update small changes to a touch panel without having to dig into menus to change IP addresses every time.

    I believe this to be a good design choice, but I am not sure if it's possible to do without a complete redesign. If this can't be done, I'd love to know why. Take care!


  • #2
    This is on the list of improvements that we would like to make. In the meantime, the IP address can be changed from the system screen on the C-More panel itself.

    From the system screen go to settings. Hold the upper left corner for three seconds and a popup will appear that will allow you to change the IP address, provided that the project does not have a hard coded address. Press Enter after typing in the IP address and again after typing in the Subnet. Press Ok when finished and the C-More should now respond to the entered address.

    Note that if you have a hard coded address, it will revert to the hard coded address after power cycle.
    If you have an urgent issue, please contact AutomationDirect's Technical Support team.

    AutomationDirect.com Technical Support: 1(800) 633-0405 or (770) 844-4200 Email Tech Support

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    • #3
      I'm so glad to hear that this is in the pipeline for my beloved C-more panels.

      BTW, I am aware of the "hidden menu" and the "hidden hidden menu' to change IP addresses. It has come in handy when I have hardcoded an incorrect IP address. Mistakes like that are among the best reasons to bring the IP addresses into variable territory accessible to and from the PLC.

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      • #4
        So long as we're listing improvements to the Cmore panels, I'll add a few to the list. We like the Cmores and use a lot of them, but there are some things that could be improved:

        object property boxes take over 1s to open (tag db has 10-15k entries, but still)

        tag db import very slow - my db has 15k tags, and importation takes 2 minutes on core i5 at 2.4 GHz. This is less data than would fit on a floppy disk!

        sort tag DB by unused - allow deletion of multiple unused tags

        tag cross-reference - list where a tag is used in the cmore program - at least which screen. A tag cannot be deleted or changed if it is in use, and it can be very hard to locate such a tag in a large project.

        color palette - 64k supported colors is ok, but we only get 128 ugly ones! allow custom colors. Some of us have moved beyond the Windows 95 aesthetic.

        screen saver lockup issue - I have had to turn off screen savers to keep these panels running.

        more trend objects - 16 is too few.

        event mgr - write tag - "OFF" is cut off, says OFI

        import tag name DB - example pic under My file contains a header row - "discrete" is misspelled.

        allow clipboard to be used to copy objects from one cmore program to another

        when replacing one character in a tag, it autocompletes the rest to something else. Changing tags in the P3000 software works the way it should.

        remember window options and arrangement - every time I start the program, I change the display of the screen list to Detail, sort by screen number, and change the column widths.

        NTP clock setting.

        Kevin
        Last edited by kevindedwards; 04-22-2014, 10:36 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by kevindedwards View Post
          when replacing one character in a tag, it autocompletes the rest to something else. Changing tags in the P3000 software works the way it should.
          I discovered the same issue and a "fix" for it. I place my cursor to the right of the character to be replaced, hit backspace, and then the new character. This method won't autocomplete and will work as long as the tag is valid after the character change. I use this a great deal when dealing with numbered objects. i.e. Fan1Output, Fan2Output, etc.

          Great list!

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          • #6
            I will pass these along to the C-more Product Manager.
            If you have an urgent issue, please contact AutomationDirect's Technical Support team.

            AutomationDirect.com Technical Support: 1(800) 633-0405 or (770) 844-4200 Email Tech Support

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            • #7
              4 years later to the week. That is some long-distance pipeline you guys are working on. What're the plans for 2022?

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              • #8
                Lol! Nevermind. The new System tags are Read Only. So this is not what I asked for. Maybe in a future version. :/

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                • #9
                  Hopefully write tags are coming. In the mean time at least the screen can know its identity and display that intelligently to the humans. I'm with you though, I could make very good use of write tags for the C-more IP.

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                  • #10
                    My wishlist:

                    Proper array support please!

                    A calendar object. More time management and scheduling objects.

                    Also, screen templates with parameter files. If you have many different similar screens that control many different similar systems, it would be nice to have the GUI generated from a single template, then have a companion parameter file which allows you to populate the tags.

                    Some way of getting trend data off of the memory device without having to physically unplug it.

                    ODBC writes as an action in the event manager.

                    The ability to compare tags in the event manager. (IF TAG1 > TAG2 THEN EVENT)

                    The ability to enable/disable notification recipients based on a tag. This would be really useful for shift staff, so that emails/sms' are only directed to the staff who are actively on shift.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by FishFacs View Post
                      Also, screen templates with parameter files. If you have many different similar screens that control many different similar systems, it would be nice to have the GUI generated from a single template, then have a companion parameter file which allows you to populate the tags.
                      That would be a seriously cool and useful feature!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FishFacs View Post

                        The ability to enable/disable notification recipients based on a tag. This would be really useful for shift staff, so that emails/sms' are only directed to the staff who are actively on shift.
                        I second most of that list, but this one is particularly interesting as I was just coming up with a screen/PLC solution to this very problem this week.

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