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Everything posted by Nathan

  1. RA Software for Linux?

    I agree with Paul. There is no reason to try emulation when virtualization is an option. I'm very familiar with how the "legacy" RSView/RSLinx activation works and I'm fairly certain you'd have no problem with EVMove and virtual machines. As far as the newer FactoryTalk activations...I wouldn't expect issues, but I really have no idea.
  2. CX-One now officially supports Windows 7!

    I have to put in my +1 for VMWare here...
  3. I've had to hold my tongue about this for quite awhile now, but it's finally official! The Ignition Platform (evolution of FactorySQL and FactoryPMI) includes a free OPC UA server (module). Watch as the capabilities and features continue to grow. The Gateway (web server) has a built in "quick client" that's pretty slick. In Internet Explorer/Firefox you can browse the memory space of your PLCs, write values, have it automatically update, etc. This works from any computer on the network, even from home via a VPN, etc. It should satisfy a lot of situations where you've been forced to use Excel with DDE just to read/write simple values to your PLCs - and more. Of course, when used with the Vision module (Formerly FactoryPMI), you can create as extensive an HMI/SCADA/MES application as you want or the SQL Bridge Module (Formerly FactorySQL) you can do historian/batching/transactaional/recipe/downtime type applications as before. As of now, there are drivers for all Allen Bradley Ethernet PLCS. I've played with beta versions of Modbus, Automation direct, and Siemens...I'll provide an update as to what's actually supported. More will come with time. The platform runs on pure Java so it's 100% supported on Linux, Windows, etc. Also, the platfrom is modular, so as API documentation and example code is released, savy users will be able to create their own modules and drivers. There's a lot more info on the new Inductive Automation web site.
  4. There is the other exciting surprise with the Ignition Platform release (evolution of FactorySQL and FactoryPMI). Inductive Automation is offering a free HMI called "Panel Edition". The limitations are that it doesn't include historical support (trending), database support, and only runs on the local PC (one instance instead of the usual ability to run on any computer(s) on your network). It is extremely capable as an HMI platform - you could even install multiple copies on separate computers - a lot like the traditional RSView model. The idea is that you use an Industrial Touch PC such as from AB, Hope Industrial, etc for small projects, or even supplement large ones. Since the OPC server is also free, you can do a whole project - for yourself or your customer, for $0 in software. I've seen a number of people on this forum doing home/student projects that this would be perfect for. It would also serve you well as a stand alone backup in the event of a failure for existing systems. Only OEMs and software companies can't have the software for free. The way it works is you contact Inductive Automation for a free license - it applies to the "Vision" module (Formerly FactoryPMI). As soon as you activate the Gateway with that license, the 2 hour demo trial goes away. The Historian/DB capabilities will still run in trial mode. The HMI (Vision) projects becomes only launchable from the local machine. You can add/remove licenses if you purchase packages, want to revert to the fully functional (but 2 hour runtime locked) demo mode, etc. I'd encourage anyone who might use Panel Edition on customer projects to set up an in-house demo in their office. You can download the software for free. The entire install literally takes 2 minutes. You also get free high quality support on the IA forums. Existing FactoryPMI customers will immediately recognize what a great deal this is!
  5. I Got My New Laptops!

    This issue has got to die sometime - it's 2010! I can't imagine a good reason why PLCs made in the last decade don't all support Ethernet...minimally USB. That said, I wish Dell would continue to support serial ports on their new models. You need 'em for Cisco equipment too :(
  6. Windows 7

    Bob - if you love Vista, you'll certainly love 7! It's pretty much the same at the core, with a lot more done right.
  7. Ethernet Communication

    They're on 2 separate IP networks. Your options are to use a router between them or to change addresses.
  8. No worries - hit me up if you have any more questions.
  9. For all the FactoryPMI users out there - the security certificates recently expired in the current version. This causes a warning message and possible incompatibility with Java 6u14. The following announcement explains the problem and fixes - download and install the most current version, 3.3.3 (changelog), including updated modules. Remember to do a gateway backup before upgrading. I'll be happy to help anyone who has problems with this.
  10. Windows XP SP3

    I've been playing with the Betas/Release Candidates - they are much friendlier with my hardware and software than the the first production version of Vista that came with my laptop. I like Win 7!
  11. +1 Having a separate network is a sound plan...unless you have really strong support from IT, which tends to be less common.
  12. Windows XP SP3

    I've been running XP SP3 on my personal laptop for awhile now. No issues.
  13. Keep 'em coming - these are fantastic! :burn:
  14. I don't follow why the datestamp logged by the system, which gets its time from the database, doesn't work. But I'll assume you have some good reason to construct a datetime based on the PLC. The question has some answers here and here that address your question. I'd go with the FactorySQL toDate approach that was suggested. Let me know how it goes. I'll try it on my setup if you can't get it.
  15. Bye everyone...

    Panic - drop me a line if you're in or near Seoul. I have a feeling you'll stick around the forum more than you claim ;)
  16. Home Network Setup

    Ken - you can also block ports 6881-6889. The Bit Torrent ports can be changed, but it might help if he's a novice or not very determined.
  17. Ha, ha - fantastic. They probably got sweet shots of the firemen in bunny suits! Dang toxic inert gasses that compose 1% of our's gonna blow!
  18. Home Network Setup

    I'm a little late, but here goes (for your home application): 1. WPA2 (or even WPA) is a must. It's safe against a determined attacker given a reasonable passphrase (pre-shared key). WEP is trivially broken. 2. Not broadcasting your SSID is probably a waste. Packet sniffers still catch the traffic and log that. It's really only good to keep the casual user from trying to connect, which encryption will accomplish. 3. MAC filtering for wireless client access is also a waste for the same reason. Packet sniffers and spoofing is trivial. Paul - I was surprised to find this, too. ACLs are very applicable applicable in a wired environment... I had good luck with m0n0wall as well. Linux based routers (a PC with 2 NICs) can be very powerful and cheap. If you want to learn or do some obscure things then this is the way to go - permanent GRE tunnels/VPNs/act as an enterprise router/etc. For a home application I'd recommend just using an appliance router (it's basically the same thing, but pre-configured and pre-canned). I especially like my D-Link "gaming router" for the super easy to configure QoS. They're locked down pretty tight and support a number of cool features.
  19. Please describe your project and how much it will be running. Kepserver EX has a free 2 hour at a time trial OPC server. FactorySQL will also log data for 2 hour trials - to Access if you want, but why not at least use SQL Server Express or MySQL (both are significantly more powerful and free).
  20. Who is your comment directed toward? I'm missing the point. Integrators are asking about current equipment with a serial port so that they can service their customer's legacy installations. Beyond that, serial ports are used with modern equipment - PLCs, routers and switches, etc.
  21. PLC for cold environment?

    Did everyone here know that -40F=-40C? Hum....
  22. Electric train shock

    OMG! That wasn't at all what I expected.
  23. Thanks Ken! All the CISSP study I've done of sprinkler system types, off site backups, disaster recovery and continuity planning and I don't remember that ever coming up...

    Are you sure Express Edition won't work?