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Messages - nealbert

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Technical support / PLC paused by DIP Sw #4
« on: April 23, 2024, 09:39:37 AM »
I'm using a Nano-10 as the brains in a microwave generator.  A fairly simple design with three digital inputs (2 thermal switches and "mag energize" from the main System PLC) and one analog input (transformer current).  Digital outputs consist of 1 output to energize the transformer and another output to send feedback to the System PLC.  Jumpers J1 and J4 are OPEN.

So, I'm looking at On-Line Monitoring to monitor the Analog Input (transformer current) and this weird message pops up... "PLC paused by DIP SW #4    Turn OFF DIP Switch #4 to release it"
According the documentation, DIP #4 is the same as J4 on the Nano-10.  And, it should be OPEN for NORMAL RUN mode.  Which it is. 
Also, the PLC is still running.  It's NOT paused.  I can monitor the Analog Input and see it changing values.  I can turn the microwave ON and OFF.  I get feedback to the System PLC.  But, the message remains.  Oh yeah, it only pops up when On-Line Monitoring is active.

The message is not currently a problem.  It's just weird.  I've never seen this before.  But, this is only the second generator of this design I have built.  I'm building a third unit and I'll let you know if the same message pops up.  Meanwhile, if anybody has any ideas about this weird message, I'm all ears.

Neal Cooper

Technical support / Re: NANO-10 and Weintek MT8050iE 4.3" Touch panel
« on: August 22, 2022, 02:33:26 PM »
Sorry to be a little slow getting back to this topic.  I'm building a controller for a powder coating oven.  It's an in-house project, but gets put on the back burner when the customers need something.
Anyway, this has been a comedy of errors on my part...telling the MT8050iE to talk to the Nano-10 thru COM3 on the PLC (when there is NO COM3 on the PLC), Building the RS-485 cable to use COM3 on the HMI, when apparently it prefers to use COM1 (I still haven't figured out how to tell the HMI to use COM3, since there's no way to change the HMI Interface in EB Pro) and lastly, throw in a few used NANO-10 purchased off eBay with unknown history.  Whenever I did get the PLC to talk the HMI it was only for a few seconds.

Fast forward to yesterday and I broke out a brand new, in-the-box NANO-10.  I also downloaded the HMI and PLC demo software that is in the file available at .  Fixed my RS-485 cable to be on COM1 of the HMI, installed the demo software in the HMI and PLC.  Viola, it worked!  PLC and HMI are talking.  So, then I got brave because I wanted to see indicators change on the HMI.  I added 2 lines of code, INPUT_3-------OUTPUT_3 and INPUT_4-------OUTPUT_4.  Already had switches on INPUTS 3 and 4.  Download the modified program to the PLC.  Boom, they stopped talking again.  I give up!

So, I took your advice...HMI and PLC are talking over Ethernet.  Temperature controller is talking to PLC over RS-485.  Everything seems to work.

Two questions though.  When I'm done programming, can I remove the switch from the equation and just have the NANO-10 connected directly to the MT8050iE thru a straight (or cross-over) Ethernet cable?
I occasionally get the "PLC no connection" message popping up.  Only pops up for a second and only when I'm doing something on the HMI that changes a variable in the PLC.  Is this normal?  I never saw that with the FMD88-10 and MT8050iE combination.


Technical support / NANO-10 and Weintek MT8050iE 4.3" Touch panel
« on: August 10, 2022, 04:33:26 PM »
I'm having difficulty getting a NANO-10 and Weintek MT8050iE 4.3" HMIl to work together. According to the TRI PLC web site, these devices are supposed to be compatible.   I've used the 4.3" HMI on a project with an FMD88-10 PLC and that was a breeze to get working.  I've tried the default com settings of 38400, n, 8, 1.  on COMM1 (SETBAUD 11, &H06) and COMM3 (SETBAUD 13, &H06).  Changed my cable to match COMM 1 or COMM3.  Every time I boot up these devices I get a "PLC not responding" message on the HMI.

I've gone back to using Weintek's Easy Builder Pro version 5.X (the one with the TRI-PLC drivers written specifically for it.  I've copied/pasted the drivers to new versions of EB Pro, but thought I may have missed something)  I've tried the TRI_PLC driver and the TRI_FX driver.  Neither work for me.

In addition to the touch panel, I also have an Autonics TX4S temperature controller connected to the RS-485 line (MODBUS-RTU).  This device talks to the NANO-10 just fine.  However, I've noticed that when I connect the wires from the HMIl, the NANO-10 and TX4S stop talking.

Please, tell me what I'm overlooking.

Thanks in advance.
Neal Cooper

Technical support / Re: Unwanted Stepper motor movement
« on: September 14, 2020, 10:03:14 AM »

Your last sentence nailed it...the 0-5VDC logic input to the stepper driver.  I'm probably using the same $6 Chinese stepper drivers as you and I had 24VDC going to the stepper driver inputs.  Dropped in a 1K resistor into the Clock wire, got a solid 0-4VDC logic input.  Jumping and jerking disappeared.  Everything nice and smooth when the SSRs turn on now.  My machine has been running for 1.5 hours and has completed 273 up/down cycles.  It stops with 0.001" of the Home position every time.  Color me happy.

I should have thought about this.  Had to do the same thing on some Oriental Motor drivers.  (But, you don't have to add a resistor to Anaheim Automation drivers.)  Guess I should have looked at the data sheet more carefully.   Oh yeah, parts are from China.  No data sheets!

Anyway, thanks a lot for the help and for jogging my memory.


Technical support / Re: Unwanted Stepper motor movement
« on: September 13, 2020, 04:44:29 PM »
I agree, I think it's time to break out the scope.

I should have attached this video in my initial post.  It shows the elevator movement to "Home", there is a 2 second pause, then the SSR are turned ON (you can see {on the dial indicator} and hear the "jerk" at about the 00:04 second mark).  You may need to turn up the volume on your PC to hear the "jerk".  Sorry for the poor video quality, but when you're limited to a 512KB upload, somethings gotta give.

I'll also disconnect the SSRs one by one and see if one Output is worse than the others.  If the problem is coming from Output Channel 4 (the one right next to Stepper Clock Output), then moving that one channel to Output 7 or 8 might solve the problem.

Any new ideas after seeing the video?


Technical support / Unwanted Stepper motor movement
« on: September 11, 2020, 08:37:10 AM »
I have a FMD88-10 PLC and am using the Stepper motor output to move a small elevator.  I also have three 24VDC Solid State Relays wired to PLC Outputs 2, 3 and 4.  These SSRs drive 3 heaters but they are disconnected for now, so it's just SSRs wired to the PLC.

I issue a move command to move the elevator upward.  It moves up, stops where it's supposed to, pauses a couple of seconds, then the 3 SSRs turn on.  At that point I see and hear a jump or jerk of the Stepper motor.  Sometimes a strong jerk, sometimes weak, sometimes not at all.  Note, this occurs when the SSRs turn ON, so it is not related to an inductive kick when inductors turn off.  The jerk motion is actually moving the stepper motor.  Over time, the elevator inches upward away from it's original stopping point.  This is unacceptable.

I have not looked at the output of the PLC (Output 5) on the o'scope yet.
I installed a small ferrite bead on the wire from PLC Output 5 and the Stepper Driver, but that didn't seem to have any effect.
I have some UF4001 diodes (as suggested in the FMD88-10 Users Manual) on order, but won't have those until next week.

Looking for solutions or suggestions at this point. 

Thanks in advance,
Neal Cooper

Technical support / FMD88-10 and UL 61131-2 and UL 60730-2-9
« on: April 13, 2020, 12:27:36 PM »
Can someone please tell me if the FMD88-10 conforms to UL Standard UL 61131-2  OR  UL 60730-2-9 ?   I've designed the FMD88-10 into a vending machine where the PLC controls a cooking device.  The UL representative is telling us that the FMD88-10 MUST comply with one of the above Standards per UL Standard UL-197 (Standard for Commercial Cooking Appliances), or we can't use it.

Neal Cooper

Technical support / Re:Perplexed by puzzling parentheses pecualiarity
« on: March 06, 2019, 01:37:21 PM »
Gary, et al,

Thanks for the explanation.  I totally forgot I'm working with Integer math.

The conversion equation works fine without the extra parentheses and the client is happy now.

I'll keep in mind the methods you describe to increase accuracy.  I may need that some day.

Thanks again,
Neal Cooper

Technical support / Perplexed by puzzling parentheses pecualiarity
« on: February 18, 2019, 03:26:21 PM »
I'm not sure if this is a bug or a feature, but I'll throw it out there for your consideration....

In my FMD88-10 I have a Custom Function that takes an incoming analog voltage, scales it and converts the voltage to a temperature.  The last step in my CF is to convert the temperature from degrees C to degrees F using the commonly known equation:

F = (C * (9/5)) +32

Great, right?  WRONG!  The unnecessary pair of parentheses around the "9/5" causes the TBasic to yield an incorrect answer.
At room temperature (25C), the above equation yields and answer that's 17F degrees low.  At a temperature of 200C, the answer is over 150F too low.

What I know is...
  • That the "()" around the "9/5" is unnecessary.  
  • That "F = (C * (9/5)) +32" is mathematically identical to "F = (C * 9/5) +32".
  • That with or without the "()", the above equations will yield the identical answers when calculated in a spreadsheet, with a hand calculator or using simple pencil and paper.
So, the question is... why does TBasic yield an incorrect answer when unnecessary "()" are there?  Shouldn't it just ignore them?

Technical support / Re:Stepcount() and stepcountabs()
« on: May 21, 2018, 08:25:26 AM »

Thanks again for the great feedback.   We took the easy way out this time and just overnight an FMD88-10 to my client that had working code in it.  That'll get my a$$ out of the fire for now.

I think you hit the nail on the head about the software version  I installed the version on their laptop when I was out there a couple of months ago.  I used the Trilogi Started Kit DVD so it's an older version than what I'm using here in my office.  Oops.

Guess It's time I learned how to log into a remote FMD88-10 to upgrade software.  Always something new to learn.

Neal Cooper

Technical support / Re:Stepcount() and stepcountabs()
« on: May 17, 2018, 01:09:33 PM »

Thanks again for the feedback.  You obviously did not get this wealth of information from reading the Trilogi online documentation.  I'm glad you know this stuff.  You should write a book  ;-)

I have been bitten by the 16/32 bit stuff.  And yes, it is hard to debug.  That's why  I wanted to make sure what size word it is before I shoot myself in the foot, again.

Strangely, today I do not get the "unknown keyword" error when I put the statement "DM[1] = stepcount(1)" in my CF.  I'm positive I was typing it correctly the other day,  so who knows.

On a related topic, I was trying to download software in to a clients PLC in Los Angeles today (I'm in Dallas, TX) and I got the "unknown keyword" error on a relay name that has been in my code almost since day one.  The exact same version of software download to the PLC in my shop yesterday with no problems.  But today, 600 miles away..."Unknown keyword".  I'm going to send them a newly saved file and just chalk this up to sun spots or ebola or that wild & crazy Vlad Putin hacking my computer.  Unless, of course, you have a any suggestions.

Neal Cooper

Technical support / Stepcount() and stepcountabs()
« on: May 15, 2018, 12:59:45 PM »
How do I use the functions STEPCOUNT(X) and STEPCOUNT(X) in a CF?  The documentation only says this function returns the relative (or absolute) number of step moves.

There are no examples in the documentation, so I assumed I just need a simple equality in oder to use the value that STEPCOUNT returns.  Something like....

DM[1] = STEPCOUNT(1)   or    A = STEPCOUNTABS(1)

Is this correct so far?

If it is, then why do I get Error : unknown keyword:"stepcount"  (or "stepcountabs") every time I run Simulation or try to download my program?

Also, is the number that is returned 16 or 32 bit?

Thanks in advance,
Neal Cooper

Opinions & Feedback / Unwanted "features" in TL6
« on: May 14, 2018, 04:19:04 PM »
I've documented a couple of "features” in TL6 (V6.52, build 5) that are somewhat annoying.  I'm surprised that nobody has complained about them before.  The "features” exist in TL7, too.

Both of these "features" show up when printing hard copies of your Ladder Diagram, I/O Tables and Custom Function.

The first problem is that the date printed in the Header on each page is 1 month off.  The day and year are correct, but the  month (shown in the Header and printed) is the previous month.  The problem is NOT originating from the computer.  I’ve installed TL6 on 3 computers with the correct BIOS date and the problem is on all 3 copies of TL6.  If you have  a good monitor and good eye sight you can see the incorrect date in the Print Preview screen.  

The second had me thinking I was losing control of my documentation skills.  I tried typing an explanation but it got so wordy that I decided an example describes the problem best.  But, it’s still somewhat wordy......

First, let’s assume that you save your TL7 files using sequential filenames as you make significant changes to you code (ie Ladder_1.PC6, Ladder_2.PC6, Ladder_3.PC6, etc)  AND you save your files to a thumb drive, network drive or some location that forces TL6 to print the file path in the Header of each printed page.
So, you open Ladder_1.PC6 and make some edits.  Next, you save this modified file as Ladder_2.PC6. Now, you decide to print a copy of the project for your co-worker or customer.  You first print the Ladder Diagram and it comes out fine.  The Header says “Page 1  Z:\Ladder_2.PC6”.  Good, the Header matches the filename.  (Of course, the date is still  1 month off.  Aaargh.)

So you go ahead and print the I/O Table and Custom Functions.  But, to your chagrin, the filenames in the Header are WRONG!  The filename in the Header is from the previously opened file (Ladder_1.PC6).  And, the date is a month off.  Double Aargh!  This can really screw up your documentation.

I’ve created 3 small projects with sequential filenames (Ladder_1 thru Ladder_3) and attached them.  I inserted the filename of each project as comments in the Ladder Diagram and in ALL Special Functions.  I also named Relay 3 in each project with the corresponding filename.   I am able to print each project and verify that the data (Ladder diagram, I/O table and CF) that is printed is correct and only the filename in the Header is wrong.  The 3 projects are attached if you want to verify this.  Also, like the incorrect date, the incorrect filenames can be read by clicking on Print Preview.

Neal Cooper

I was reviewing some of the information on your TBASIC Custom Function Help site ( and noticed that some of the images do not show up.   I pulled up the same page on another computer and the same images are missing.  And it doesn't seem to matter if I'm using FireFox, Chrome or Internet Explorer...the images are missing in all 3 browsers.

Primarily, the missing images are located in sections 1. Overview through section 2.3 Search/Find.  I did not read thru every topic so there may be more.

Just thought you'd like to know.

Neal Cooper

Technical support / Re:Stepper motor homing sequence not behaving
« on: May 10, 2018, 02:37:54 PM »
Gary and Lorne,

Thanks again, y'all are great.

Gary, thanks for the description of servo motion operation.  We discussed servo motors during our initial designsessions but I thought it would be more difficult and costly to implement.   I appreciate the link to the low cost servo.  I'm going too buy one so I can get familiar with their operation and control.

Lorne,  thanks for the code.  I've printed it out and at first glance it looks very similar to my code. (I can't seem to upload a *pc6 file).  I hadn't thought about adding a timer to the circuit to prevent changing directions too quickly.  On my HMI I have grayed out some of the buttons to prevent "operator induced accidents".  For instance, on my Manual Control screen, when the door is closed (all the way up) the button labeled "CLOSE" is grayed out so the operator cannot try to close the door more.  Also, in the HMI I have put limits on the numerical inputs so the operator cannot input step values that exceed the maximum step travel of the door..

I'm trying to make operation of this machine "fool proof", but as you know, the fools keep getting more creative and ingenious.


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