AutomationDirect (Cumming, GA) has released the H4-ECOM100 Ethernet communication module for the DirectLOGIC DL405 PLC. The H4-ECOM100 can be inserted into any I/O slot of any local DL405 base, including expansion bases when using the DL450 CPU and -1 bases to implement master/slave Ethernet communication at 10 or 100 Mbit data rates. The module supports the industry-standard MODBUS TCP/IP Client/Server protocol, and IP and IPX protocols. This allows a DL405 PLC with an H4-ECOM100 module to serve as a client (master) or as a server (slave) on a MODBUS TCP/IP Ethernet network.

The H4-ECOM100 module can be configured to actively issue MODBUS commands to other nodes or devices on the MODBUS TCP/IP network. The module also can respond to connected MODBUS TCP/IP clients. The module allows PLC-to-PLC or PLCto- MODBUS TCP/IP device communications through the use of standard Read/Write instructions. When used with the DirectSOFT5 PLC programming software and the DL450 PLC, communications programming uses fillin- the-blank IBox instructions.

The H4-ECOM100 can be configured to serve as an e-mail client to send specified messages to e-mail addresses. The module ships with NetEdit3 software to configure ECOM modules for networking. NetEdit3 can be used to adjust parameters for PLC-to-PLC communications and to display all identifiers and troubleshooting information for each module on the network.

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This article first appeared in the December, 2006 issue of Embedded Technology Magazine.

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