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  Top » Catalog » FAQ » - Comm. & Networking
- Comm. & Networking

COMMUNICATIONS & NETWORKING

  1. What communication ports do my TRi PLCs come with?

  2. What devices can my TRi PLCs communicate with?

  3. Can I connect a barcode reader to my TRi PLC? Or smartcard or RFID reader?

  4. Can I connect a 3rd-party HMI (human-machine interface) to my TRi PLC?

  5. How can I connect my PLCs into a serial comms network?

  6. What if my PC/laptop only has USB ports and no RS232 port? Can I use it to program my TRi PLC?

  7. What protocols do TRi PLCs support?

  8. How and what does 'web-enabled' mean for the M-series PLCs?

  9. How may I take advantage of the web-enablement of the M-series and the F-series PLCs?


  1. What communication ports do my TRi PLCs come with?


    F-series        1 RS232 port, 2 RS485 ports (independent), and 1 Ethernet port
    T100MD+      1 RS232 port, 1 RS485 port (independent)
    T100MX+      2 RS232 port, 1 RS485 port (independent)
    H-series        1 RS232 or RS485 (dip sw selectable)
    E10-npn+      1 RS232 port reconfigurable as RS485 by jumper
    E10-Relay+   1 RS485 port and IDC10 connector for external opto232 adapter.



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  2. What devices can my TRi PLCs communicate with?


    The F-series PLCs are the most versatile when it comes to the number of devices they can connect to and number of ways in which they can connect. Besides the 3 independent serial ports, there is a built-in Ethernet Port, and a socket for an XBEE radio module. The serial port connectivity is the same as for the M-series, described below. The XBEE radio module, which is available from Digi International, enables F-series PLCs to interface to futuristic ZIGBEE wireless sensors and control modules.

    The F-series Ethernet port has the following connectivity options:
    - Control & Monitoring via Internet
    - Remote Programming & SCADA
    - Built-in MODBUS/TCP Server
    - F-Server for i-TRiLOGI & ExcelLink
    - Up to 6 simultaneous Server connections
    - Send Emails to report real-time events
    - Connects to other F- or M-series PLCs
    - Connect to other Modbus/TCP servers

    Although all TRi PLCs have built-in serial ports, only the F-series and M-series super PLCs can be programmed to actively read/write to its serial ports. As such, F-series and M-series PLCs can be programmed to communicate with any RS232 or RS485 devices using ASCII or binary data. Two of the serial ports (Three for the F-series) can be configured from 300 to 100kbps (230k4bps for the F-series), 7 or 8 data bits, odd/even/none parity. Thanks to their built-in MODBUS protocol engine, F-series and M-series PLCs can be used as MODBUS master or slave and communicate with 3rd party SCADA, HMI or RTUs (Read more at: http://www.tri-plc.com/modbus.htm)

    The serial ports on E10 and H-series PLCs are "slave" only and respond automatically to ASCII hostlink commands sent by a host PC or an F-series/M-series master PLC, but the PLC program for E10 and H-series is unable read/write to the serial port directly.



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  3. Can I connect a barcode reader to my TRi PLC? Or smartcard or RFID reader?


    It is very simple to read from a barcode or smart card/RFID reader if the barcode reader can be connected to the PLC using RS232. Most bar code readers return data as ASCII string terminated by a Carriage Return (CR character, ASCII 13) so you can simply use the INPUT$(1) command to read the data from the COM1 port. The PLC keeps a 256 bytes circular buffer for incoming serial characters so you don't have to be monitoring the serial port all the time. As long as the data are read before the buffer overflows (i.e. more than 256 bytes are received) the buffered data will not be lost.

    Read more : http://www.tri-plc.com/yabbse/index.php?board=2;action=display;threadid=791



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  4. Can I connect a 3rd-party HMI (human-machine interface) to my TRi PLC?


    We recommend TRi's MD-HMI for low cost, character text only HMI. However, most third party touch panel HMIs that support the MODBUS protocol should work with the F-series and M-series PLCs.

    Read more: http://www.tri-plc.com/dataentry.htm#serhmi

    Additionally, the F-series PLCs can connect to Ethernet based HMI's via the built-in Ethernet port as long as the HMI supports the MODBUS TCP protocol.



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  5. How can I connect my PLCs into a serial comms network?


    All TRi PLCs now feature 1/8 power RS-485 interface which allow up to 255 PLCs to be networked  to a master PLC or a host PC (via Auto485 adapter), using very low cost twisted-pair cables. However, any F-series and M-series PLC may act as the network master of the serial comms network. The H-series and E10-npn+ PLCs are slave-only devices.

    If a PC is used as the network master, then the programming software, TRiLOGI or WinTRiLOGI can select any of the networked PLCs using only the device ID for programming, monitoring and control all from a single point of attachment to the network.



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  6. What if my PC/laptop only has USB ports and no RS232 port? Can I use it to program my TRi PLC?


    There are many USB to RS232 converters in the market but we have reports that some of them did not work well for this purpose. We have tested a BF-810 made by BAFO and one sold by www.serialio.com. Both units worked without problem in a Windows 98, Me and XP environment.

    Read more : http://www.tri-plc.com/yabbse/index.php?board=2;action=display;threadid=409



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  7. What protocols do TRi PLCs support?


    The competent F-series and M-series super PLC families support many different communication protocols to allow maximum application flexibility. In addition to its own native set of ASCII based communication protocols, these PLCs also understand and speak the following protocols :

        * MODBUS ASCII mode compatible communication protocol.
        * MODBUS RTU mode compatible communication protocol.
        * OMRON Host Link Commands for the C20H PLC family.
        * YOUR OWN CUSTOMIZED protocol using TBASIC!

    Additionally, the F-series PLCs can communicate in the industry standard "MODBUS/TCP" protocol using the built-in Ethernet port.



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  8. How and what does 'web-enabled' mean for the M-series PLCs?


    The TRi M-series PLCs are already enabled for web-connectivity. The iTRiLOGI software comes equipped with a TLServer to the PLC when run on a connected PC. As long as the PC is connected to the internet/intranet, the PLC can be monitored or programmed remotely. Up to 255 PLCs can be connected to one PC if daisy-chained on an RS485 setup.  You will be able to monitor or fully program the M-series super PLCs over the intranet or the Internet, since the TLServer provides a TCP/IP gateway for the PLCs.

    With the optional Ethernet XServer device, any M-series PLC may be connected to the corporate or home Ethernet network and be accessible within the Intranet or the Internet 24/7 without using a PC and TLServer software as its gateway.



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  9. How may I take advantage of the web-enablement of the M-series and the F-series PLCs?


    • troubleshoot equipment operation remotely
    • to load new programs remotely without providing source code to the user on the field (may be important to OEM equipment manufacturer)
    • for development of SCADA-like, centralized or remote monitoring applications at a cost that only very high-end applications could justify in the past.


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