AB Options


Thread Starter

Jansen, Joe

I have 7 production lines using various flavors of the AB SLC-500 family of processors. I am replacing all of the 5/01 and 5/02 units with 5/03 to gain the online edit capability. Do I have any options other than DH-485 for
networking these processors together? I would like to avoid extra expense beyond some sort of link adapter. Also, there are some Micro 1000
processors on some of the machines, but those can probably be picked up on devicenet (?)

Any advice would be appreciated.



R A Peterson

Typically you can add a net-aic to the micros and get DH485 for them as well.

Its the only relatively cheap solution.

Bob Peterson
DH-485 might not be a bad option. The Micro 1000's can talk it with an inexpensive (well...for AB it is inexpensive<g>) NET-AIC
module. Unless the SLC-500's already have DeviceNet scanners you'll end up spending a lot more $'s for DN.

Watch the speed specs! DH-485 is not a fast and speedy protocol.


Christopher Di Biase

With the SLC product family the communication option is tied to the SLC model number you purchase.
SLC 5/03 processors support DH-485 and DF-1 (full and half duplex)
SLC 5/04 processors support DH+, DH-485, and DF-1 (full and half duplex)
SLC 5/05 processors support Ethernet, DH-485, and DF-1 (full and half duplex)

If you add a 1747-SDN module to one of the SLC racks, you can use 1761-DNI modules to tie the MicroLogix processors into whatever network SLC network you decide on. You could then have the SLC processor with the SDN module scan information from the MicroLogix processors. You could also use the DeviceNet pass through capabilities of the 1747-SDN to gain programing and small scale HMI access to the MicroLogix processors.

You're best solution, apart form a DH-485 network, would be to use DeviceNet. The SLC 5/03 can be connected to a DeviceNet network with a
1761-DNI, just like a MicroLogix1000 can. This doesn't allow the processor to scan I/O but it can communicate to a workstation for programing and HMI. Should you later want to add DeviceNet I/O to the system you could then just add a 1747-SDN module to the SLC racks that needed it.

Hope that helps!

Christopher Di Biase
[email protected]
I have a customer with a similar application in a plastic blow-molding factory. He uses DeviceNet as his I/O network as well as to do information
networking via 1761-NET-DNI modules. The 1761-NET-DNI does something called "PCCC encapsulation", in which it wraps a DeviceNet explicit message around an Allen-Bradley DF1 full-duplex serial packet. This in effect gives you a multidrop DF1 full duplex environment.

He uses SLC-5/03 Channel 0 serial ports, MicroLogix serial ports, and on some installed Fixed and SLC-5/01 systems we've even used 1747-KE modules.

If you're not using DeviceNet already on your system, the initial cost for DNet cabling and power supplies might not be too attractive. Configuring the system is't very difficult; one of the 1761-NET-DNI's needs to be hard-set for data rate, then the others will autobaud to it. Then you just set node addresses and you're off.

I have had moderate success using Lantronix CoBox Ethernet/Serial interfaces for this sort of application over Ethernet. It's not as simple
to set up as the A-B solution (and there will be an industrialized A-B version in late 2000), and the interfaces are more expensive than the
DeviceNet ones. Lots of Ethernet hackers do like it, though.

DH485 might still be your cheapest option. You can gateway through a SLC-5/05 from Ethernet to DH485 for data collection if you want.

Ken Roach
Tech Specialist
A-B Seattle
[email protected]
I should elaborate.

Each of the production lines has (or will have) a 5/05 in the conveyor control panel. This will handle the relatively brainless task of
controlling conveyors, and will also act as a data concentrator for sending data up the ethernet to a database/VB stuff that I write.

I am looking for something to do peer-to-peer between the machines along the line (anywhere from 5 machines up to 12), each with a 5/03. The problem with 5/04 and 5/05 in each machine is:

1. price
2. IIRC, the 5/05 can only keep 3 ethernet connections open at a time. I need to talk to more equipment than that from each processor (Central control plc, next machine upstream, next machine downstream, HMI terminals, database server).
3. price

did I mention price? the cost of a 5/05 is absolutely ludicrous. I would actually like to find a way to get from DH-485 (or whatever) to ethernet without the 5/05. I may have found that by replaccing a TCP touchscreen with a panel mount PC, throw a KT card into it, and use VB to move data from one network to the next.

This is probably the best answer. I just don't like the bandwidth limitations of DH-485, nor the 32 device limit.

Thanks to all who answered.

Hi Joe,

Why not just upgrade to SLC5/04s or SLC5/05s instead of SLC5/03s if you don't want to use DH485? This would give you access to DH+ or Ethernet networks (depending on which SLC you upgrade to).


Aly Mawji
DataLink Technologies, Inc.
(800) 851-7883 x 23
Hi Joe,

I believe the SLC5/03 only has 1 DH485 port and 1 RS232 (DF1) port. Another way to network them all is to connect a DF1 to DH+ protocol converter to each Channel 0, putting them all onto DH+.


Aly Mawji
DataLink Technologies, Inc.
(800) 851-7883 x 23
Price, mostly. My cost on a 5/05 processor is $2494.75.
My cost on a 5/04 is $1507.50.
My cost on a 5/03 is 932.31.

(note that these are based on the models I purchase. I could go for the lowball processors, but want to keep the memory space)

The $600 - $1400 per processor is pretty prohibitive when you are looking at upgrading the entire plant.(30 processors or more). I would be looking at about $18,000 to $42,000 without gaining anything other than a different protocol. Plus, this does not address the Micrologix processors at all. They would most likely be moved from peer status to slave status off of one of the 5/04's. This would probably be done via device net, which would then entail more cabling, cards, DNI interfaces, etc.

I will probably just stick with 485, and deal with the issues that are there.



Michael Moskin

Channel 0, the serial port on the 5/03 can be configured for either DF1 or DH485. If it is set for DH485 you can go thru an AIC+ to get onto a DH485 network.