About This File
This is a step-by-step writeup of how to do some automated Modbus protocol analysis on data passing through a Prosoft MVI56-MCM module using only Windows Hyperterminal, a text editor, and the excellent free Modbus Parser from Chipkin Automation Systems (www.chipkin.com).
This technique could be handy for debugging or monitoring a Modbus data stream during installation and commissioning of a MVI56-MCM, or for checking for a certain Modbus transaction in a stream of data. It's certainly a lot easier than trying to decode Modbus manually.
This technote works with the "classic" MVI56-MCM modules that Prosoft has been selling for about the past 10 years. It should also work with any of the MVI-series modules for the SLC, PLC-5, or FLEX platforms that run the same basic firmware.
The newest MVI56E modules have a web-based monitoring mechanism instead of a diagnostic serial port and I don't know if they have a Data Monitor function.
I still prefer the full-power Frontline Test Equipment (www.fte.com) NetDecoder suite of software, but that's because I do automation communication analysis for a living. For casual Modbus work, the Chipkin tool is a great labor reducer, and the amount of labor can be further reduced using Hyperterminal and a text editor such as UltraEdit.