Allen Bradley ControlLogix: How to use RSLinx to Find Ethernet devices

Qualitrol International provides support of major PLC brands through its remanufactured products, repair services, and technical field support.

Today we’re going to look at the Allen Bradley ControlLogix system and understand how to use RSLinx to find Ethernet devices so they can be connected using the programming software. Our Senior PLC Engineer will show us how to do this today.

Engineer:    The software that is used by Allen Bradley for connecting to all theirPLCs is calledRSLinx. Once you’ve installedRSLinx on your computer, there is an icon that will always be in the system tray at the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. When we click on that, this brings up theRSLinx configuration screen.Initially, we need to configure the driver. The one most often used for Allen Bradley Ethernet devices is the ETH driver. So, we will click on the “configure driver” icon. We’ll select “Ethernet devices”. We’ll click “add new”, and we’re going to create an Ethernet configuration called, “ABETH-Qualitrol”. I have to abbreviate that because I’m running out of characters, but we’ll call it “QUAL”. Click “okay”.

Now we need to add the IP addresses of the devices on our network. In a previous video, we went through the procedure to set the IP address of an Ethernet module, in our case, the 1756-ENET model. So, in that video, we demonstrated how to set the IP address to 192.168.2.2, so we’ll go ahead and enter that. 192.168.2.2. We’ll click “add new”, because we also want to add any other device on our network.

In this case, we have our PC, so the Ethernet address has been previously set on our PC to 192.168.2.1, and click “apply” and “okay”. Now, we can close the Configure Driver dialogue box, and now we want to go to RSWho. The tool tip, if you hover your mouse over top of the icon, it’ll show you it’s RSWho, so we select that. This brings up the box with all the configured Ethernet drivers.

We go look and browse for the AB ETH QUAL driver configuration that we just set up, and we click on that. Over on the right, we see that RSLinx has found the two devices on our network. The 192.168.2.1 says “ABETH-1”. This is the host, basically, which has RSLinx running on it. Then we have our Ethernet module. You can see it calls up the actual model number of the Ethernet module itself, the 1756-ENET/series A module.

RSLinx is used by all of Rockwell Software to communicate with our PLCs. So, if we were to call up a programming software and we can click on the Who Active button. Browse down. The system is looking at the last path that the software connected on, so we have to wait just a few seconds for it to time out. It’s looking at the last path we had, which was a different configuration.

So, it’s going to look for that and it’s not going to find anything. But it’s going to try for probably ten seconds or so, and then it’ll give up and say, “I don’t know where it is. You’re going to have to show me.” So, we’re going to go browse for our AB ETH QUAL configuration as soon as it quits looking.

Okay, it’s quit. Now we go down and look for the AB ETH QUAL. We notice that we have the two devices are listed underneath. What we want to do is browse to the processor. So, we have to initially connect to the ENET module. We go to the rack back plane, and then as we continue to expand we find our Logix Bell 55 processor, and we clicked on that. Now, we can go online.

The PLC is now online with a controller. We don’t have a program in the PLC at this point in time, so it’s asking us to select a file. So, we won’t go through that, but at this point in time, the new path has been established and we’re able to go online with our PLC.

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