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RiLo73

PL7-3 Ethway in Virtual Machine

9 posts in this topic

Hey there,

I have a very special question for all experts in the old TSX-PLCs. We got about 20-30 TSX87 (and some 107) running in a big Ethway-Network.

Our Maintenance-Service is using an old PC with OS2 and PL7-3 for troubleshooting and programming the PLCs.

Is there any way to run a OS2-Virtual Machine on a Win10-Host PC and get the Ethway-Protocol routed inside the Virtual Machine?

We managed to get OS2 and PL7-3 running inside the VM, but we fail to get the Ethway-Connection inside of it. We use some PCI Ethway-Cards. I don't know the exact name of the card in the moment, but if it is necessary for an answer i will find it out.

 

Greetings from Germany

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Consider using Linux as your bare-metal host.  Virt-manager with QEMU-KVM and LibVirt allow you to delegate PCI devices to the guest OS.  I expect that would work.

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Problem with a card is using most VM software it belongs to the host PC, not the VM.  See if your VM software allows you to transfer ownership of it like a USB device can.  Then the VM should recognize it and be able to install drivers.

You need to get those things retired, they have been obsolete and out of production since the early 90s...

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13 hours ago, pturmel said:

Consider using Linux as your bare-metal host.  Virt-manager with QEMU-KVM and LibVirt allow you to delegate PCI devices to the guest OS.  I expect that would work.

@pturmel Would this work with a parallel port card? I have some old software that uses a sentinal hardware dongle that won't run anything more modern than WinXP. It's getting more and more difficult to find hardware that still has drivers for WinXP  

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4 hours ago, chelton said:

Would this work with a parallel port card?

Maybe.  But not with the PCI passthrough features.  QEMU-KVM can emulate serial and parallel ports at the hardware level, but I don't know if it includes the EPP/ECP functionality that a dongle would need.  It definitely works with serial ports--I've passed FTDI-based USB serial devices into DOS VMs emulating a "real" COM1 to work with very old DOS software.  I had to use some manual overrides in the VM definition that the Virt-Manager GUI didn't understand (via the XML tab).

Sounds like an experiment is in order.

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Thank you all very much for the answers. I think now we have a real chance to get it running.

 

@Crossbow i know that the PLCs are very old, but we have tons of spare parts for them and the machines are in a good condition. At the moment we see no point of changing them to new ones. Maybe you know the saying: "Never change a running system" ;-)

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5 hours ago, RiLo73 said:

"Never change a running system"

I usually quote this tacked on: "..., but have a plan."

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On 18/01/2022 at 0:15 AM, pturmel said:

Sounds like an experiment is in order.

Indeed. I will add it to my list. Thanks Phil.

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I prefer 'when you buy a control system, have an upgrade plan' over 'well its still running'.  I told all of my customers that when I installed a PLC, they need to make a plan to upgrade it at around 10 years.  Once a system is obsolete, it becomes harder to support.  As you are seeing here.  To me "Never change a running system" is utter nonsense.

 

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