Crossbow

iQ Works Q & A

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Again Kazah you are posting screen captures from a beta version. The numbers after the 1.24A indicate ENGINEERING SAMPLE. This is not official released software.

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I was told that at least gx works 2 1.15R is an official release. We don't use the other software from iQ works so i can't comment on that. But it's great to see that development is on-going. Edited by Mitsu

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In the US, 1.15 is the latest released version. The Japanese version is at 1.20W as per the MELFANSWEB site.

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Just out of curiosity, for the people who have access to the latest beta or "non-official" releases (currently at 1.24 so it seems): does every new version come with a readme detailing the new features added with each version number? In the manuals which came with 1.15R, there was a nice version history (starting from 1.05) in the appendix in the common manual. I'm really curious in which way they are currently updating the software. Edited by Mitsu

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The revision history is always in the back of the common manual for the software. I don't see these beta versions so can't say what is included with them.

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Just to let everyone know, one of the biggest complaints about GX Developer was always that there wasn't good help on the PLC programming instructions in the software. In GX Works2 version 1.24, complete command help has been added to the Help menu, as well as to the command selection dialogs on the screen. The GX2 manuals have been in the Help menu since the first release. This is the PROGRAMMING MANUAL, the one with all the command help. And it's not just a PDF. It's a Windows Help file, and you will open it directly to an instruction when you select an instruction and hit F1. Finally!!!

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I've seen the new help system in action and it's nice (and long awaited). So Mitsubishi, since you are adding long needed things, how about multiple undo's in gx dev ladder? :) Edited by Mitsu

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GX2 structured ladder has 10 undos. Still only one for simple ladder. No plan for further mods to GX Developer from what I've heard.

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With gx dev ladder, i meant simple ladder in gx works 2. I was wondering: would there be any point in compiling a list of most wanted features for gx works 2 from users on this forum? Is anybody from the forum closer to Mitsubishi than the usual customer/dealer/Mitsubishi relationship and would Mitsubishi be interested in such a list?

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I do know some people from Mitsubishi Electric (in the US and other countries) do frequent the forums, so anything you put here could be viewed by them. I do know some of the US tech support guys, and so I can give them anything pertinent that comes up to advance to their marketing group.

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Maybe we should start a topic here on the forum aimed at compiling a list of ideas/features/improvements for gx works 2. Gx works 2 is definately a step in the right direction but it needs some (big and small) changes to make it even better. A small question about gx works 2: does anybody know why the column sorting options on the cross reference dissapear when the option "digit/multiple word" is selected. Is that a bug? I don't see the reasoning behind this.

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That's what this topic was for, discussion of all of the components of iQ Works, which would be GX Works2, MELSOFT Navigator, GT Works3, and MT Works2.

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In Gx works 2, the watch window is a nice and very useful addition (especially for those who used gx developer before). However, there are a couple of things that could make it even more powerful: - possibility to have a different monitor value format for each registered device/label. For example: first registered variable in HEX, next variable DEC,... This could be done by adding an extra column to the watch window where the user can define the monitor value format (DEC/HEX). BINARY as a third monitor value format would also be useful. - ability to insert a device/label anywhere in the list. Currently, it is only possible to append at the end of the list, which makes it difficult to group devices. - ability to sort the columns (similar to the cross reference: i realise this is an alphabetic sort and not a pure device sort but it's better than nothing and would actually be useful to group devices) - option to batch insert a group of devices. For example, insert device: X0, number of points: 16 => X0 -> XF are added in one movement (see siemens step 7) - option to show/hide columns in the watch windows. Some columns are only useful for some ways of programming (structured, with or without labels,...). For example, if you program the gx dev way (simple ladder without labels), then the comment column is very important but the class (empty column) + device column (same as first column) have no importance. The option to show/hide columns is already possible in the cross reference - option to open cross reference on a device/label: right click on a device/label from the watch window => menu opens => option to open cross reference on that device (similar to device list, as implemented from 1.24) Does these suggestions make sense to anybody? Anyone has other ideas to improve the watch windows? Edited by Mitsu

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I noticed something "strange" today. If you select a network (or multiple networks), then right mouse click => register watch, the devices/labels are automatically added to the watch window, which is useful. The strange thing is: it works different (and better) in structured ladder compared to simple ladder. In structured ladder, labels/devices that are used more than once, are only added once in the watch window. That is the way it should work imo. There is absolutely no point in having the same device more than once in the watch window. So if you use D100 10 times in the network, it is only added once to the watch window. Also, constants are filtered out, which is also logical, since there is no point in monitoring a constant (for example "K10"). Let's do the same with a simple ladder and things turn out completely different. In simple ladder, the program scans each line, step by step, and adds each and every device/variable as it encounters them, line per line. If you use D100 10 times in the network, it's going to be added 10 times, which is pointless. Also, constants are not filtered out. In short, in structured ladder, the program filters the devices/labels before adding them to the watch window. In simple ladder, each "entry" into the ladder is added to the watch window. The structured ladder method is far more useful than the simple ladder method. One would expect the same behaviour from both ladders. Edited by Mitsu

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Is there any webpage to upgrade my GXW2?

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There's no website to upgrade, your local Mitsubishi office should be able to tell you if you are eligible for free upgrades. The US side offers one year of upgrades with software purchase and registration, and they email me a link when updates are made available.

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What's the most up2date version?

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US has just released 1.31H.

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Can't find the download on meau.com yet for it though. Well, I work with 1.24... Gotta cell'em up. Thanks for the info

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Has anyone had problems transferring a decent sized project from IEC to GX Works? I have converted one of my machines to GX Works 1.08J and it compiles and runs (after some minor tweaking of the project) but I can't monitor the code while its running. I made a second project from scratch and it monitors fine, so its not likely the way I installed it or the way I'm using it, but the fact that I converted an IEC project. Should I upgrade to the latest version? I don't want to buy it before I know if it will work for us since we have several IEC developer based projects. One quick note: I am using shared libraries between projects, which is a great feature but I wonder if this could be causing a problem. Thanks, ~Ken Edited by KenE

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Would be great if you could list some of the changes since 1.24A. Is it allowed to post the version history online (changes since 1.24A) from the manual? I'm always interested in finding out how Gx works 2 software evolves. Edited by Mitsu

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After using gx works 2 for a couple of months fulltime, here is my wishlist: general: - more intelligent function modules (modbus in particular would be a very welcome return) - support for the profibus card as an intelligent function module (i know: profibus is a european thing...). When you import a gx dev project with a profibus iparam file (auto refresh settings), it just flags the module as reserved but doesn't seem to have a clue as to what that module actually is. - improved watch windows (see my post above: batch insert of variables, link to cross reference, sorting of colums, ability to append or insert a variabele anywhere in the list instead of just at the bottom, support for binary monitor value notation, ability to have different monitor values notations for each variable, possiblity to show/hide columns) - improved english translation (some messages are still head scratchingly difficult to understand) - batch password insert simple ladder general: - multiple undos (i'll open a bottle of champagne when that feature is in) - more contacts on one line (why limit to 11?) - support for proper program documentation (instead of the "one line at a time with 64 chars length per line" limit). Proper documentation can save a programmer many hours wasting time trying to figure out how code works. - proper functioning of "register to watch" on a ladder selection (see post above: double entries and constants filtered out and the list preferably sorted by device. This is already functioning correct in the structured ladder) simple ladder with labels (simple project/structured project): - instructions should not get wider when the label name gets longer. Combined with the 11 column per line limit, programming with labels is virtually impossible! Make the instruction higher, not wider. (there are other brands of plc's who have solved this same problem in such an easy and neat way) - better implementation of arrays (there is no dynamic indexation possible now which makes array's virtually useless) - smarter compiler. All that the simple ladder compiler does is replacing the label names with their address. As far as i can tell, the compiler is totally unaware of datatypes (which makes moving a real into an integer totally ok for it) and there is no code check - proper support for variable tooltips (similar to the structured ladder: datatype, address,...) simple ladder with labels (structured project): - allow more pou's within one task (making it possible to divide the program in a lot more smaller pou's, which are then compiled in one program block within the cpu) - list of unused labels structured ladder: - only one remark: after having tried out 3 iec ladder editors so far, the mitsubishi structured ladder is by far the most complicated, counterproductive and frustratingly difficult ladder i have used so far. Make it easier to use. Let the editor guide and help the programmer. I don't care about the ability to bend my lines thousand times before i reach my next instruction. Get rid of the whole "interconnect/select" mode switching. Why make it so difficult? Take the simple ladder as a base and build from there. Work with a grid and stick to that grid (i know there is a guided mode btw but it doesn't work well either). Try to bring both the structured ladder and simple ladder more together instead of treating them as two totally different packages. Use the same shortcuts and methods to paste contacts and outputs,... Attach the variables to the instructions instead of needing to connect them separately,... I think Mitsubishi needs to rethink/work hard on both simple and structured editors to make the software better. Bring both editors closer together. An iec ladder is in essence virtually the same as a simple ladder with the main (and only) difference being that the instructions are shown as a block in iec. Again, as a reference, there are other brands who have both a simple ladder and structured (iec) ladder and they are virtually 100% the same, with the only difference being instructions as blocks. In that particular brand i tried out, it took me 5 minutes in total to learn both editors. When i'm explaining what i want to see on simple ladder with labels, i'm told that Mitsubishi is not going to improve their simple ladder anymore and that if i want to program in a structured way (labels, function, function blocks, structured, arrays,...) there is no other option than to use the structured ladder. At the same time, i've also been told that Mitsubishi in Japan is never going to abandon the simple ladder because it's the preferred method of programming in Japan (iec being more of an european thing). And indeed, if you look at the official gx works 2 brochures, you will find more emphasis on simple ladder compared to structured ladder. So what is the future going to be? No further support for simple ladder (and leave it like it is now)? In conclusion, i'd really want a simple ladder where you can program with labels, use arrays and have a decent compiler. On the other hand, i'd love to see an easier to use structured ladder editor. And best of all, i'd love to see the two programs growing towards each other instead of being two completely different things which have been merged in the same software. Don't get me wrong: gx works 2 is a big step in the right direction (especially coming from gx developer). It just needs that little bit extra to make it great. Edited by Mitsu

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Some answers from my knowledge: LeDude: Software upgrade downloads are not public. You must have registered the software with the website, and you will be emailed a link to download while your SMA is current. KenE: Never done it, we don't use GX IEC Developer much in the states. Mitsu: The upgrade list is in Appendix 13 of the GX Works2 Version 1 Operation Manual (Common). Updated each version of software. It's in the help menu in the software or available online. DeviceNet and Modbus are already available for GX Works2. In the US, they are on the CD with GX Works2, though they need to be installed separately. They are not built into the release, but once installed, show up in the intelligent module list just like the others. Profibus is a European designed module, and requires the GX Configurator-DP software, it should not be included in IPARAM. The utility downloads straight to the module. It has no interaction with GX Developer or GX Works2. Since it's an entirely separate utility, if there was enough demand I suspect they would work out a way to enter it. But the fact is, it's not a big priority for the Japanese market. Support for proper program documentation??? What do you mean? Create some structured programs and enter all the text boxes of any size you like. You are not limited to 64 character comments like in ladder. Smarter compiler??? Start using structured programs and you will find there is far more to it. Or I am misunderstanding your comment. As for the English issues, write them up and send them to Mitsubishi tech support. They will forward them to Japan so they can be corrected. A couple I sent in have already been changed. As for the number of POUs, structured ladder can have hundreds combined into a few program files. I think you are forgetting that simple ladder is restricted by the rules of the standard PLC program. That's why 11 contacts per row, because those are the rules of the Mitsubishi simple ladder language. They can't add all kinds of things to simple ladder, since it's the GX Developer compatible method. So you can't use IEC functions like structures and arrays in the simple ladder. As for the end of simple ladder, not likely. But the capabilities of simple ladder are the same as they ever were. It's not until you start to use structured programs and structured ladder that you will find all the IEC functions. So if you continue to use simple ladder, don't expect huge changes to the way you write ladder. The PLC didn't learn a new way to think, it's still the same PLC it was 10 years ago. Instead, the IEC compiler takes the new functions and converts them back to the simple ladder when compiled for download. There is no reason you cannot continue to use simple ladder and just have a better editor than GX Developer. Simple ladder isn't going anywhere.

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