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tmoulder

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Everything posted by tmoulder

  1. Hello Unigurus! A small (hopefully simple) suggestion - give us the option to add a 1-pixel black border to HMI items, such as raised buttons and recessed indicators. Especially on certain color schemes, it gives a much cleaner look.
  2. Greetings Uni People! Okay, I'm trying to design a screen in a new V1210 project, my first time with an HMI bigger than a 570, and I discover to my dismay that I can't zoom in on the screen (cntrl-I does not work.) Now, this is a big issue for me. I don't have a 50" monitor and my eyes aren't what they used to be 10 years ago. To get things aligned on the screen "just right", I really NEED to be able to zoom in on parts of the screen. Am I missing something? I checked the menus, but no options there I could find. If zooming has been left out of large HMIs for Visilogic 930, I think it really needs to be put in. Thanks, TM
  3. Hi All! Ever since the birth of the V700, I sometimes pop my head in here, hoping to see a new V570-compatible ethernet module with support for seven sockets. I wonder if such a thing would be possible? I don't want to have to change the hardware, some of the HMIs are way too intricate... Thanks! TM
  4. Hi Cara! Form factor is an issue for me, this is an existing installation, with 30+ complex screens that I don't want to have to redraw. Changing the ladder program to accommodate a different sort of ethernet card would be just fine though. As for market demand, pretty sure folks have been asking for more than 4 sockets since the V280 days Thanks! Edit: On a related note, on this very project of which I speak, I have two robots and a vision system connected on Modbus TCP. I have one socket left (Socket 1) for programming via wireless router. Due to some obsolete servo drives, I are now moving to a different motion scheme, which involves a separate motion controller that connects via - you guessed it - Modbus TCP. Bye-bye convenient wireless programming, hello serial port. So this one is kind of a big deal for me, personally.
  5. tmoulder

    Thoughts on Linux

    Like alot of people, I still use Windows XP for running my work-related programs. I know, lost in the 90's, but it works well for me. About a year ago, I had a PC crash that set me back severely. I didn't lose any data - for years now, I've kept all my project data in a single folder, and copy-pasted to my backup hard drive regularly. However, it took three days to reinstall all the software after I recovered the PC. That got me thinking - there's got to be an easier way to do this. As the first entry on this blog describes, I've dabbled with Linux for a while, and with some sound advice, I decided to make the leap. I wiped Windows from my PC and installed Linux Mint 11. Then I downloaded VMware Player, created a new Vitrual Machine, and installed XP on that. I was prepared for a raft of headaches arising from this - oh no, linux! oh no, vmware! - hardware issues, software issues, pain, hate, discontent! What I got was - nothing at all. No problems, no issues. The whole thing ran magnificently. Best of all, I can now back up my entire windows virtual machine to my backup drive. Why is this so grand, you ask? Because my work PC is now essentially indestuctable. I can drop my laptop in the swimming pool, buy a new one, load Mint and VMware, drag-drop my saved VM into my home directory, and get right back to work. Alternatively, I can upgrade to a new pc and get rolling equally fast. In the process, I've learned a few things, so if you decide to go this route, you may find these experiences helpful - 1. You can't do this with a netbook, at least not an Acer. Not enough ram, and atom chips lack the needed horsepower. Get a laptop with a 64-bit architecture, that you can upgrade to at least 8 Gig of Ram, and a hard drive large enough to accomodate everything you'll need. On the ram side, get as much as you can - mine has 5 gig, and I'll be upping it to 8 gig after the holidays. 2. The temptation is to use a minimalist distro, so you can allocate maximum resources to the VM (where you are doing all the work, after all). Resist this. I've played with Puppy, DSL, Bodhi, and Mint LXDE, and what you gain in performance for the VM is neglible, particularly in relation to the difficulty of using a minimal distro (unless you're into that kind of configuration headache). Choose something that provides all you need up front. Linux Mint is an excellent option - it's based on the widely used Ubuntu, but includes alot of extras that Ubuntu makes you find yourself. I'm using Pinguy OS, which is derived from Linux Mint, and offers even more eye candy - who wants an ugly desktop? 3. As you can probably guess, I tried a lot of distros. Everybody makes a big whoop about live cd and live usb, but I found testing them that way to be a little pointless - you can't add software (need to test with VMware) and performance lags going that route, so you don't get a true flavor of what you'll have when installed. Apart from seeing if you like the screen, you'll pretty much have to install it to try it out. So the first time you go to set up linux, create a home partition on your hard drive. When you install most distros, you'll have the option to assign this partition as your home directory. You can install the new system into the rest of the drive, and usually not have to move your important personal files around. WARNING - that's not fool-proof, so make sure you back up your files first. If it works, it will save you alot of time and aggravation. But if something gums up, it'll kill you if you haven't backed up first. 4. When creating your Windows VM, dedicate some thought to division of responsibility. Simply put, if it doesn't need to be in the VM, put it in the linux host instead. I have about 2 gig of PDF reference files that used to be under windows, that now rest comfortably in my linux home directory, outside my VM. Accessing them is a breeze, with or without windows open, and it keeps the VM smaller. When you do run a backup, you can just backup the contents of the home directory - drag, drop, done - and preserve everything you need, including your VM and external files. On the hardware side, 99% of everything I've tried has worked great. The most obscure thing I use is PCanOpen Magic Pro, with a USB adapter, and it worked right out of the box. I use an Iconcepts USB to serial adapter for most programming jobs, and it runs flawlessly. Oddly, the only thing I've had trouble with is a Unitronics 1040 PLC - can't do direct USB to the panel. Apparently, there is a known issue with the linux driver for the usb-serial chip Unitronics used in this device. It's a linux issue, not a Uni issue (just to make that clear). So I just use my usual serial port adapter instead - no problems there. Detailed instructions for how to do all of this are readily available on the web. Personally, I've found it a huge help (already recovered once [me and my distro hopping]). Best of Luck, and remember - backups are your friend. This mainly about making them more complete and portable. TM
  6. This is not the first time I've seen this, but I think it's the first time I ever brought it up: I am using UTC to a data table to date/time-stamp an hourly production output. On my first sample, the UTC returned: 3724498800 I used this formula to convert it in Excel: =(F24/86400)+DATE(1900,1,1) where F24 contains the UTC value. This produced a result, after formatting, of 1/8/18 3:00 PM Which would be great - except today is 1/9/18 Simple enough to correct for with DATE(1900,1,2), but the inaccuracy is concerning. Am I doing something incorrectly? Edit: PS, I checked the Real Time Clock from Info Mode and it is correct. Thanks! TM
  7. What is the difference between the V100-17-ET1 ethernet card and the V100-17-ET2 ethernet card, electrically and functionally? I have several of the older cards I've kept from replaced / decommissioned PLCs and can't seem to find a difference in the specs. Thanks! TM
  8. But I still use Visilogic, and I'm not as young as I used to be, so please please please consider adding zoom functionality to the HMI designer for the V1210? I can't tell if my screen elements are lining up anymore. And it's tricky using a wooden ruler and masking tape on my computer screen. Thanks, TM
  9. The latest Visilogic, in addition to having full-width ladder nets, has ZOOM ON THE V1210 HMI DESIGNER! Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou
  10. Hi guys, I have an older project on a V570 that needs replaced. It's a very intricate project with alot of Modbus TCP and lots of CanOpen communications. I'm trying to upgrade to the latest OS first, but if I run into any issues, I'd like to clone the project from the original V570, along with the older OS, and restore it into the new unit. I was wondering if this is a viable approach, and if there are any "gotchas" I should watch for. Edit: The original is programmed in Visilogic 9.3, the new one is 9.8.9. Thanks! TM
  11. In general, I also avoid this, but on the other hand, I like to keep reasonably current. This was the last project under 9.3.0, so upgrading it also eliminated a version from Swapper. The transition went smoothly enough, only one major hiccup. I had a Modbus TCP PHR function block that was writing to memory address 0x402 in the target device, and it spontaneously changed to decimal "4" out of the blue. I corrected it, and communication was restored. The peculiar thing is, there are two of these FB in the program, but only one was "mutated". On a side note, we also have an AB SLC running on their OS version 307, and programming in RS Logix 500 version 7. We never upgraded because we have never needed to, and still don't - only two of these in the building. We needed to get some spare parts, so I contacted our local vendor, and they informed us we would have to purchase the spare processor with the latest firmware (around $2k for 1 card!) and our RSLogix would not support it, so we would need to buy that too ($2500 more!). Of course, we could always sign up for a Tech Connect contract that we would never use, but includes software upgrades, etc etc etc. Just one more reason I love Unitronics - we could actually have this discussion about whether or not to update. With Rockwell, it's forced on you, a planned-obsolescence money-making scheme... grrrrr,,,
  12. Well, that was less painful than I thought.I installed the wireless USB adapter and it appeared in the network manager as "Wireless Adapter 4". It has it's own listing in the Windows 7 wifi manager, and can select every network independently.So for laughs, I left my laptop wifi on "PlantWifi" and selected one of my machine networks, and boom - I was in. Well, not quite boom, it's fairly slow, but it worked. I used my phone to remote to the laptop and was able to manipulate everything. On top of that, I could still reach the internet and get email.For my next trick, I'll set up some wireless profiles with fixed IP addresses and see if that improves the speed any.
  13. Greetings all, Not strictly a Visilogic question, but related. Like a lot of facilities, ours has a plant-wide wifi connection for internet access on the floor, etc. And like a lot of people, I am using wifi to connect to my equipment for programming and troublshooting. Each of my machines has it's own wireless router, so connecting is as simple as changing my wifi connection from SSID "PlantWifi" to "Mill5", and I can connect without cables or opening doors. Now I've got a new challenge - I need to be able to remote into my laptop to help maintenance troubleshoot if I am not in the building. I can remote into my laptop as long as it is on "PlantWifi", but lose my connection once I tie into "Mill5" (no internet to the machines) So my thought was to bind my laptop internal adapter to "PlantWifi" for remoting, then use a second USB wireless adapter to connect to "Mill5". Turns out this is a lot more challenging than I thought it would be. Windows 7 wants to route everything across one or the other, and it seems there is little control for this. Options I've considered - 1. IP filtering in the laptop - the machine networks have a small range of IPs in common within their own setups, so force traffic with that IP across the USB nic. 2. Sandboxing or a virtual machine to allow Visilogic access to only see the USB nic, but that seems like a lot of overhead. 3. Been seeing programs online like ForceBind, but apparently that would somehow hack Visilogic (insert hooks, they call it) to restrict it to the USB nic, not very comfortable with that idea. Also, these utilities all seem pretty old and unmaintained. For the record, connecting them all to factory LAN is not an option. So my question is, has anybody here done something like this? And if so, what did you use to pull it off? Thanks, TM
  14. Anybody try running an unmodified Win 10 host and running Win7 or XP on a virtual machine? It's gotten me out of trouble in the past.
  15. Are there any plans or dates for the discontinuation of some of the older vision lines, like the V120 or V280? We are looking at our upgrade paths. Thanks! TM
  16. tmoulder

    DT to SD as CSV

    Sorry, couldn't resist I've been wracking my brain about this, and was wondering if anyone has tried it - or perhaps if it's even necessary. I'm working on a project where data is to be stored by the Vision to an SD card as an excel file (.csv if fine). Periodically, the user would remove the SD card to collect data. Simple, right? But when the card is removed, the system may continue to run, and I don't want to lose any data. My first thought was to use a data table as a buffer. Data collected goes into the buffer, and when the buffer is full, write to SD card, wipe the table and restart from the beginning. Simple, right? Thing is, it seems from the docs that I can write a DT to an SD, but not in the form of a CSV. It's two separate functions. And I don't want the user to have to convert the DT to a CSV via SD Suite, because that's one more piece of software and one more step to getting their data. It occurs to me I could read each row of data out of SD into operands, then write that line to CSV, then repeat. I get the sense this could take a long time to accomplish with a substantial buffer DT full of ML values, and my gut tells me this could be fraught with pitfalls. Is there a utility somewhere I am overlooking that writes DT to SD as CSV, or has anyone else faced a similar challenge in the past, and have some handy advice? Thanks! TM
  17. I'm going to throw a really stupid idea out here: Some models of unitronics label the terminals for the can port, and some do not. The diagram you posted from the documentation, and the image you took and labelled, is in reverse order. Top to bottom, on a V570 (where the terminals are marked on the side of the PLC), the terminals are V+, H, PE, L, V- This has gotten me more than once. Best of Luck!
  18. Hi Guys! I hope all my friends in Israel are safe and well during these troubles. I just got a brand new V570 for a project, along with an V200-19-ET1 card, and I was installing the card when I noticed something I'd not seen before: On the card is a connector, J102, which was covered by a plastic clip. I could not get the card to install until I removed this clip, and J102 docked with a set of four pins on the motherboard, marked JP1500. Pin 4 of JP1500 was connected when the card was in place. I cannot seem to recall ever seeing this connector in use before, but my memory is not what it used to be. I just wanted to make sure this was correct, since J102 was covered when I unpacked the ET1 card. Thanks, TM
  19. tmoulder

    Upgrading UniStream OS

    Hi all! I'm trying to update USP-070-B10. Actual OS files are: - bin files: 0.0.90, Jul-10-2013 - File System: 0.0.8, Jan-23-2013 - Kernel: 12.12.27, Dec-27-2012 I did not find where to download OS files, can you please advice me? Thanks!
  20. Hi guys! I'm using Visilogic 9.5.0, all updates, and doing some revisions on a previous project. The original was created in 9.0.3. Working on a V570. I upgraded the OS in the 570 to the latest, and downloaded my revised program. This program has a lot of images in it. Everything went fine until the warning to download new image files, when I did it showed "Erasing Flash Address 8388608", then after an extended period, came up with "Failed to Download Images". I tried a couple more times, including a "download all and burn", always alarmed at the same point. Did a compile and build all (did normally) and a rebuild database (not required). I finally downloaded and chose not to update images, and the download finished fine, but no images at all on the screen. Lastly, I opened the original, unmodified program - important note - I opened it in 9.5.0, not the old version - compiled and downloaded normally. Thinking something might be off on my program, I grabbed a spare 570, updated the OS, and downloaded the modified program. However, the modified program downloaded normally without any trouble at all into the new PLC. Any thoughts on this? Thanks! TM
  21. tmoulder

    Display a string on HMI

    Hi all! We have string data types available now, and a whole category of ladder stuff for searching and manipulating them,never the less, I cannot find any way to display a string on the HMI (analog to the ASCII String variable in VisiLogic). Where is this hide? Is there a way to invoke a variable within a fixed (or other) text object?
  22. http://forum.unitronics.com/index.php?/blog/16/entry-46-simple-1-node-modbus-tcp-master/?mode=show This may be of some help to you. It was written for a Vision 570, but should port pretty easily. It's a fully functional program I've used myself several times. Change the IPs, ports and addresses to match yours, and it may get you a bit closer. Best of luck, TM
  23. tmoulder

    UniLogic software and Vision

    Vista? I don't know if you'd want to go drawing THAT analogy. Let's say Windows 7
  24. tmoulder

    UniLogic software and Vision

    Come to think of it, the Unilogic platform makes most of the Visilogic modules I published over the last couple of years completely obsolete... heh heh but i'm not bitter
  25. tmoulder

    UniLogic software and Vision

    Just from what I've done so far, the new platform is light-years beyond Visilogic. It takes real "getting used to", and that's where I'm at with it, exploring capabilities, importing my favorite tricks and such. To directly answer your question - I don't see how UniLogic could be backported to the Vision series. Just as a single proof, look at the difference in Modbus TCP - controlled at the OS level, configured-not-coded, and theoretically no upper limit to the number of simultaneous connections (the Creators recommend 32, that's the most they've tried in-house). That right there makes it entirely incompatible with Vision. Heck, the Modbus FBs don't even exist in the new platform - it's all automated.
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