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Author Topic: TCP/IP socket control of EBC (DS205)  (Read 10041 times)

BretB

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TCP/IP socket control of EBC (DS205)
« on: March 02, 2007, 05:42:28 PM »
I would like to know if anyone has a way to control an Automation Direct DS205, 4-slot base EBC, with inputs only, (no CPU connected) using a TCP I/P socket - not DDE or OLE.

I am putting together a network of PLCs that will very simply poll the status of about 150 rooms that will be built with switches  beside the doors (switched manually by the people using the rooms) that will indicate whether or not each of those rooms are in use.  Very simple, each room is 1 or 0 -  in use or not in use.

I want to be able to see the status of each room on our networked computers (not internet, internal network).

We are programming the software that we are going to use this "in use" / "out of use" data in Java Eclipse.  I consulted our CTO about the DDE and OPC formats of data that are supplied by the standard Automation Direct software, he said that these would not work.  We would have to program our own method of making this work, or find someone that has compatible software, or fine someone that sells hardware with compatible software to what we are doing.  By compatible I mean something we can control using a TCP/IP socket.  DDE and OPC won't work for us, though the hardware that Automation Direct looks good and looks like it will work.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to software or hardware that could be used to accomplish this?

Thanks.

- Bret

franji1

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Re: TCP/IP socket control of EBC (DS205)
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2007, 06:14:41 PM »
There is a free SDK available on Host Engineering's website for communicating directly to all the various flavors of EBCs and ECOMs
http://www.hosteng.com/Ethernet_SDK.htm

If you are not on a Window's platform, we will gladly send you the source code to compile it on your desired platform.  All the info is on that web page.

BretB

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Re: TCP/IP socket control of EBC (DS205)
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2007, 12:22:43 AM »
That sounds great!

I submitted my request.  I know it's Friday night, but if that could be sent to me ASAP I can get it recompiled in Java over the weekend and have it ready by Monday.

Anything you can do to help me get my web-page-form-request fulfilled fast would be much appreciated.

Thanks.

- Bret

BobO

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Re: TCP/IP socket control of EBC (DS205)
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2007, 01:51:16 PM »
The keeper of the code won't be in till Monday, but I snarfed something that might work. Check your email inbox. If that doesn't do the job, we can take another shot Monday.
"It has recently come to our attention that users spend 95% of their time using 5% of the available features. That might be relevant." -BobO

MikeS

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Re: TCP/IP socket control of EBC (DS205)
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2007, 08:32:19 AM »
Bret,

I've sent replies to your earlier SDK source requests (1/19/07 & 1/30/07). I didn't get an error response from either, so I assumed they got through.

I sent it agian this AM. So maybe the 3rd time is a charm ...
Good design costs a lot. Bad design costs even more.

MikeS

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Re: TCP/IP socket control of EBC (DS205)
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2007, 09:22:36 AM »
Bret,

I'm glad you got the code that time. Please don't hesitate to get back to me if you have any questions or problems using the Ethernet SDK or the source code.
Good design costs a lot. Bad design costs even more.

BretB

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Re: TCP/IP socket control of EBC (DS205)
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2007, 08:56:03 PM »
Thanks so much for the source code.  Our CTO and programmer looked through it. 

I also got a little ladder logic programming sample program and messed around with it.  I actually made an app that would do the job, it would handle the entire "logic" that needs to go on for our purposes.  That's kind of the joke here, there is no "logic" other than "when input 1 is on, turn on output 1".  It is literally:

Input 1 ----------------------------------------- Output 1
Input 2 ----------------------------------------- Output 2
Input 3 ----------------------------------------- Output 3
...
up to 20 or 30, then we go to another set of rooms on another floor and do the same thing.

It could even be more like:

Input 1 ------/---------------------------------- Ethernet to Computer
Input 2 -----/
Input 3 ----/
...
meaning that all of the inputs can just be sent straight to the computer.

I don't know what other "logic" is needed here.  It seems pretty much like a relay of a signal.

Taking that into account, what do you (mike or bob or anyone else) recommend hardware- and software-wise?

- Bret

BobO

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Re: TCP/IP socket control of EBC (DS205)
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2007, 10:34:13 PM »
Many ways to solve that problem Bret...

PCs are less robust than PLCs, but provide better high-level programming support and data integration. Unless you need the PC to provide data integration as part of the control problem, I'd use a PLC for primary operating logic, and use an ECOM to interface to the PC. If you need to do some work on the data in the PC as part of the control problem, you could use an EBC and run the logic in the PC.

It sounds to me like you are wanting an input to drive an output, but would like to monitor or log that at the PC...sounds like a PLC/ECOM problem to me. That way your lights work even if your PC doesn't...
"It has recently come to our attention that users spend 95% of their time using 5% of the available features. That might be relevant." -BobO

BretB

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Re: TCP/IP socket control of EBC (DS205)
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2007, 02:55:15 AM »
Bob,

You have some good points there.  You are right about us wanting to take the signal to the PC, then drive the output from there.  Reason being that the output is not a series of lights, but a full blown digital display on big LCD screens.  I'm not worried about the PLC going down,  I am sure the PLC is reliable.  But speaking of reliability, our system is being built to be very stable, as if it goes down, a lot of people stand around.  This system will be providing data to hundreds of people to act. 

Based on that, I was thinking of starting with the 4 slot base, a 16 input card and an EBC where I used an Ethernet cable to connect to my PC.  This would just be for development purposes, but I could theoretically get 16 switched hooked up to this thing and at least get some signals going into my PC so we can set up our system to recognize these types of signals and respond accordingly, is that right? 

The spec that we're looking at is:

DL 205 4-slot base
H2EBC Ethernet Base Controller
16ND3-2 DC Input (16 inputs)
PSP24-024s Power supply

Will that at least get us started and let us start getting signals from this guy so we can program our software?

Thanks.
- Bret

MikeS

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Re: TCP/IP socket control of EBC (DS205)
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2007, 02:41:06 PM »
Brett,

That set of hardware will definitely get you going. If the extra 24v power supply is for powering the switches, you might be able to get by without it as the DL205 base w/ power supply has an onboard 24v supply - the amount of current is limited, so make sure there's enough there before you leave off the extra power supply).

Let me offer you one alternative configuration - assuming this is hardware just for testing out the communications. If all you're after is an input signal, look at the F2-08SIM - 8pt input simulator. With this module, don't have to wire up any switches and you don't need the extra 24v power supply. If this will work for you it will save you a few bucks.

--MikeS
Good design costs a lot. Bad design costs even more.