This quick connect will guide through the setup and loading of an EtherTRAK2 (E2) controller for the first time. It is divided into three sections
The Sixnet I/O Toolkit is used to configure, load and maintain Sixnet IPms and I/O modules. All initial configuration is completed within the I/O toolkit. The latest toolkit can be downloaded from here: https://www.redlion.net/resources/software/sixnet-software/automation-devices-software-firmware
Loading a Project for the first time
There are two steps in configuring any I/O module:
- Configuring the module within the I/O toolkit
- Loading that configuration on to the IPM or I/O module
1. Configuring a module within the I/O toolkit
This step can be completed without a connection to the E2. This step will define the parameters for the device including I/O transfers, and Datalogging. For this example, a simple base configuration will be loaded. This guide will use an E2-MIX24880 for configuration. While some options may vary between E2 modules, the essential configuration steps will be the same.
1. Open the Sixnet I/O toolkit, and create a new project
2. From the wizard selection choose the option “Add a new station to the project”
3. From the dropdown select “EtherTRAK2”
4. Choose a name and location for the project
- The default location is: C:\Program Files\SIXNET Tools\Projects
5. This will open the station configuration window; from here all of the configuration of the E2 will be completed. To get back to this configuration window. Select the E2 module and click Configure --> Configure station/module, or select the three ellipses next to the station type.
6. From the general Properties, enter a station name and serial number
7. For this example, change the station number to 2. By default, all Ethernet enabled Sixnet IPms and I/O modules have an IP address of 10.1.0.1. Starting a project with a station number of 2 (and by default, an IP address of 10.1.0.2) will avoid any network conflicts when adding new modules to the project. 8. This example will load a default configuration, so no additional steps within the configuration utility are necessary. Click the “OK” button to save the default configuration and exit out of the configuration utility.
2. Loading a configuration onto a module
This step will load the configuration created in step 1 onto the new module. There are two options for loading a configuration within the I/O toolkit; either via Ethernet or a USB connection. The first step in this process is to connect the E2 to the computer by one of the two connection options. To specify the connection method chosen, use the communication device selection menu by clicking Device --> Select.
Loading a configuration over an Ethernet connection
When loading over an Ethernet connection, the I/O toolkit will need to be told to communicate to the IP address already configured on the IPm, rather than the IP address within the newly created configuration. This is true whenever changing the IP address on the IPm.
1. Within the communication device selection menu select the “Use Ethernet” radio button
2. Select the “Specify an IP address” radio button and enter the address 10.1.0.1
- The “Use station’s IP address” option is used after the initial configuration loading. Because the default IP address is 10.1.0.1, we must tell the I/O toolkit to load the new configuration to this address.
3. Make sure the Computer is setup with a static IP on the same subnetwork as the I/O module. For example, the default IP address of the E2 is 10.1.0.1. In order to communicate over Ethernet, the computer must have an IP address of 10.1.0.X where X is any number not already on the network. More information about setting a static IP on windows XP can be found here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/305553
4. Click OK and select Operations --> Load --> Load Now (basic parameters only)
Loading a configuration over a USB connection
When loading over a USB connection, the computer will need to install the USB drivers. When an EtherTRAK2 module is plugged into a computer via USB and powered on, it should automatically prompt the driver installation window. If this prompt does not appear, or you are having difficulty installing the drivers; you can install the driver manually from our Automation software and firmware download page: https://www.redlion.net/resources/software/sixnet-software/automation-devices-software-firmware
1. Within the communication device selection menu select the “Use com port” radio button
2. Choose the correct COM port that is connected to the E2. Use the device manager to determine the correct COM port. Information about the device manager can be found here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/283658. USB COM ports will identify themselves within the I/O toolkit with a “(USB)” marking within the dropdown menu.
3. The COM port settings must match the settings within the IPm and must be within the capabilities of the computer connected to it. The default settings will work for USB connections
4. Click OK and select Operations --> Load --> Load Now (basic parameters only)
The EtherTRAK2 modules are configured to communicate via Sixnet protocol which uses port 1594 or via Modbus protocol which uses Port number 502
Troubleshooting & Advanced Connections
Network/Passthru vs. Single station mode
The two connection methods within the Communications Device selection menu are used based on the complexity of the connection to the IPm.
The default single station mode is used only when there is only one Sixnet device connected to the RS232 or Ethernet connection. This mode uses an “any station respond” message that doesn’t require knowledge of the station number. It is important that only one Sixnet station hears the messages when Single Station mode is used. Otherwise, the communication may be unsuccessful or the incorrect station may accept the messages.
Select Network / Passthru Mode when communicating over Ethernet and over party line media such as radio modems or RS485, to multiple SIXNET stations. Messages in this mode will include the specific station number. Although all of the stations will hear the messages, only the correct station will respond to them.
Also select Network / Passthru Mode when communicating through a master station that has slave stations connected to one of its other ports. For example, you can communicate via Ethernet to the master station, and have the master station pass the commands out one of its serial ports to a network of RS485 stations, or a radio modem link to other stations. (Note that the master station needs to be configured in a passthru mode for this to work.) In this mode, messages not applicable to the master station are routed through the passthru port to the slave stations. The sending and receiving station numbers are specified automatically within the messages. Only the correct station will respond to the request.
Auto Find Ethernet Stations
The Find Ethernet stations utility is only for legacy EtherTRAK devices and will not work with the EtherTRAK 2 line.
When a module loses its configuration, it is generally due to a dead battery in the unit which would be an RMA replacement.
EtherTrak2 Slow Firmware Load
Some computers will load the EtherTRAK-2 firmware slower than others. The typical time it takes to load EtherTRAK-2 firmware over Ethernet or USB is under 3 min. It has been observed that some computers take 5 to 15 minutes to load firmware. The cause of this issue is not yet known. A fairly easy work around is available. The work around involves changing the performance settings on the computers display appearance. Please follow the steps below.
1. Navigate to the computers Control Panel by clicking on the start button.
2. Click on the “Performance Information and Tools” in the Control Panel.
3. Click on the “Adjust visual effects” link.
4. In the Performance Options window select the “Adjust for best performance” radio button.
5. To complete, click “Apply” then “OK”.
E2 Communication Time Out Formula
1. The number of attempts sent before taking out a unit offline is 1 + number of tries (retries). 2. If ((number of attempts) * timeout ≥ scan time), a retry maybe sent earlier than you expect, resulting in an earlier detection of the unit going offline. The formula to detect a station going offline appears to be: number of attempts * timeout If you time it right, say, right after it has a successful response to an I/O request, you may have to wait an additional cycle time. So worst case, barring system load: number of attempts * timeout + scan time + overhead where overhead is context switching, system load, etc.
It is the customer's responsibility to review the advice provided herein and its applicability to the system. Red Lion makes no representation about specific knowledge of the customer's system or the specific performance of the system. Red Lion is not responsible for any damage to equipment or connected systems. The use of this document is at your own risk. Red Lion standard product warranty applies.
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