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About JRoss

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    Propeller Head
  • Birthday 06/05/79

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  • Website URL http://www.rossautomation.net

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  • Gender Male
  • Location Dillsburg, PA
  • Country United States

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  1. Allen Bradley Vs. Mitsubishi

    I started out in the Mitsubishi world, and now do a lot of programming in the AB world, though I still do a fair amount with Mitsubishi. Here's my two cents: Price - Mitsubishi is the clear winner here, especially for the higher-end PLC equipment. For lower end (Micrologix vs. FX), the price differential isn't that great, though it doesn't take much savings to make sense for an OEM, since you'll be buying more than a few. Support - I actually think AB has better support, mostly because I make heavy use of their knowledgebase, which is well-maintained. The phone support is pretty good too, but frequently they are just looking up knowledgebase articles for me... The problem is, of course, the paywall, which sticks in many peoples craw. All that said, Mitsubishi does have decent support, and the fact that it's free is a bonus. PLC Software - Since you are coming from RS Logix 500, you won't have any complaints about GX Works once you learn how to use it, it's a well-built software package, and the simulator integration is fantastic, and works perfectly with the HMI simulation. Best I've seen of all the brands I've dealt with. I would recommend learning how to use structured projects. I don't like the drag-and-drop style of programming since I'm used to keyboard entry from the previous version, but that won't necessarily hold you up. Structured projects will give you the ability to break your program into programming units, like routines in Logix. PLC Hardware - The Micrologix is a good little PLC, and I still use them a lot. But the FX is a good little PLC too. Which is better is really dependent on the application, they each have their strengths. For example, the MLX 1400 with it's Ethernet and two (2!) serial ports does great with communications, while the FX series (all of them) are really easy to use for simple motion. HMI - Not much to say here except that I'm not fond of FactoryTalk and PanelView Plus. They have a lot of capability, including features that are missing from other HMIs, but they're a pain to deal with. GT Works is much easier, and with the release of the 2000 series of HMIs, has a bunch of new features including visibility control (finally!). The HMI's themselves are quality components. Reliability - I have heard stories about people opening 20 year old panels and finding Mitsubishi components they didn't know were there, which is a testament to the quality of the hardware. On the other hand, I regularly find 20 year old AB equipment in panels, working just fine thank you. I don't think there's enough data to claim a winner in this category. However, Mitsubishi can claim a win for backwards compatibility. This one is big for what I do. I had to work on a machine just last month with an original FX PLC (no 0,1,2, or 3!). At least 20 years old, possibly more. I was able to upload and go online using the same cable (SC09) and software (GX Works 2 running on Win7) that I use for the FX3G, which is a current product. That's just one example I have. For me to work on an AB SLC100, which is similar vintage, I have to use a special cable and a DOS-based programming software that I got from a colleague with more years experience than me. Customer Expectations - Some eight years ago I helped another OEM switch from AB to Mitsubishi a number of years ago. They developed a really nice system with all sorts of features that performed very well for most of their customers. However, those were just the "economy" (i.e. low profit) line of products, and they still went after large projects (i.e. high profit) that, (a) required Allen Bradley and (b) usually had specific user requirements. They had never spent as much time developing their AB software, so those projects were often nightmares of resurrected code from older projects hacked together to meet the programmers interpretation of the user spec. So a couple of years ago, they brought me back in to take their Mitsubishi system and create an AB version of it as a base for these larger projects! My point is, make sure you understand what your customers will want and include that as part of the decision making process.
  2. hi JROSS,


    I am using Allen Bradley micrologix 1200 C series PLC for my research project and i am trying to read data from the analog  module(1762 - IF2OF2) that is connected to it  in hyperterminal software but i couldn't see any data .Is there any way to read the data from plc or to access the register externally other than RSLogix 500.Please help.



    Gideon mathew

  3. FX1S communication and programming with a HMI

    Communications are set up on the HMI side, so how you do it depends on the model of HMI.
  4. ASCII assistance for writing serial

    Great, thanks for the update! This is exactly why I use a PC to verify each end of the communications before I try to put the two pieces together!
  5. ASCII assistance for writing serial

    On the Micrologix end, all you have to do is build the string and use an AWA instruction to send it out the serial port. There are more details of course, but that is basically all you are doing. First thing first, figure out how to control the scribing printer. This will be much easier using a telnet type program on a computer rather than the PLC. I use this one. You can adjust the protocol settings on the fly, easily send out strings and monitor response, all without having to figure out the PLC programs. Once you know the required protocol settings and the necessary ASCII strings to get the behavior you want, then switch to the PLC. Because you will (hopefully) have controlled the printer from the computer, you'll know that any problems you are having are on the PLC, which simplifies the troubleshooting. As an optional step, you can also use the telnet program to test communications with the PLC. I've done enough serial on the Micrologix that I usually skip this step now, but if it's your first time it might be worth doing.
  6. SEW Eurodive brake issues

    Definitely sounds like a mechanical problem keeping the motor from turning. That could be the brake or it could be something on the load side. I haven't worked with SEW much, but here's what to look for. If you have the motor apart, I guess that means you took it off the machine? Have you tried running it like that to make sure that the problem isn't in the load? Brakes are always power to disengage for safety. That way if you get a power failure the load won't move. With the motor on the bench (not connected to drive) you shouldn't be able to turn the shaft because of the brake. But if you put power on the brake terminals (usually 24V), then the brake should open and allow you to turn the shaft. If that test works, then verify that the drive is powering the brake when it's trying to run it. There is usually a relay between the drive and the brake since the brake will pull move power than the drive can supply, so check that as well.
  7. You can use FactoryTalk SE (not ME) local and run it on an industrial pc of your choice. FactoryTalk ME will only program the Panelview Plus. If you're looking for a cost-effective AB solution, check out the AB Panelview 800 (programmed with CCW). If you want to get away from AB entirely, check out Red Lion. Or, really, just about any other HMI. They pretty much all have drivers to talk to AB PLCs.
  8. FX1N output wiring

    Full part number should be on the end. Only the series number is on the front.
  9. retentive timer

    Post your code.
  10. Red Lion popup, grey out the background?

    Only way I can see doing this would be a lot of work. Create an internal flag tag called GrayOut (or whatever). Use "GrayOut==0" as the Enable condition for all the active elements on the main screen, and also use it to change the colors of everything to appear dimmer. Then in the display properties of the popup under the Actions tab, put "Set(GrayOut,1)" in the On Select area and "Set(GrayOut,0)" in the On Remove area. You might have to monitor some other conditions to set/reset the GrayOut tag, for example reset it when the HMI power cycles. It isn't simple, but it would give you the feature you're looking for.

    You would get a better response if you start a new thread rather than hijacking this one. Make sure to include the PLC that you are using and motion card of any, as that makes a difference.
  12. Real Numbers or Floating Point

    Thanks for the update! Glad you go it working.

    The MR-E should work with the ABS command, but if it is an incremental servo, then its position will also reset when power is lost.

    Depends. Is the servo encoder absolute? If so, and if it's a Mitsubishi servo, then you should be able to use the ABS instruction to poll the servo for current position on startup. If it's another brand, you might be able to use a fieldbus to do the same thing.

    DDRVI - Incremental. The axis moves the commanded number of pulses from it's current position. DDRVA - Absolute. The axis moves to the commanded pulse number, using the axis current position (D8340) as the reference. Note that the current position resets to zero when you lose power. You will have to use a homing function to reteach the axis where it is. Look at the ZRN and DSZR functions for this. Since you'll have to home after a power cycle anyway, there's not really any need to use the DDRVA instruction. I would probably recommend use go ahead and use it though, as it's useful if the motion is interrupted for other reasons (emergency stop, drive fault, etc.).