Establishing a connection between Cimplicity & Mark VI


Thread Starter


In the our project, we have Mark-VI file configuration. In this file defined 4one EGD network with four EXCH. in the other hand in the Cimplicity project we configure the project for Devices, Port, Resources. the EGD protocol & MASTER_ENET0 defined to communicate with G4 (THE DEVICE NAME IN TOOLBOX AND Cimplicity).

we verify all setting, and every thing seem ok, but we have not any value for points on the Cimplicity. we can connect to the Mark-Vi controller using the toolbox.

our CIMPLICITY version: 6.10
toolBox: 11.05.05C

May we need the dongle to establish communication? if so how we can ensure that we need the dongle?

of course in the Cimplicity registration has written "LICENSED".

You can learn a LOT about how GE Mark VI HMI's work by reading this thread:

It has been established that CIMPLICITY 6.1 does not need a dongle, but TCI--at least version 3.05.10C running on MS-Windows XP--does require a hardware dongle.

Has the HMI ever communicated with the Mark VI? Specifically, the CPU/motherboard and hard drive of this HMI? Or are you trying to create a new HMI from a new CPU and copying software from an old HMI CPU?

What does the TCI.log file say?
Dear shakaramiali,

There seems to be a lot of problems with GE HMI's here lately. In your case it would be helpful to know if this HMI has communicated with this turbine before? If so, when did this problem start? What have you done to try and "fix" it? Download the MKVI? Build .hmb files? Start/Stop TCI service? Update the configuration of Cimplicity?

I will try to provide some background and explanation as to how I understand the GE HMI systems using Cimplicity to communicate with a GE MKVI controller operate.

With HMI systems using Windows 2000 the two most important services were TCI(Turbine Control Interface) service and Cimplicity that operated to communicate with the MKVI. Typically TCI was at version 2. something, and Cimplicity was version 5.something. Most slow communication(1 second update) was accomplished with EGD (Ethernet Global Data Communication), this includes analog values and digital animation on the Cimplicity screens. For a value to be accessible outside of the MKVI it has to be "declared" in a EGD network on an "Exchange". Typically there are several exchanges depending on the number of signals needing to be shared outside of the controller. The EGD is nothing more than a proprietary communication protocol from GE. It is a register based protocol; each EGD "word" is based on 8 bit architecture.

You say you have one EGD network with 4 exchanges. Most likely only 2 or 3 of these exchanges is "broadcast". When you view the "Exchange Destination" you will see it is broadcast to This address ending in .255 indicates this information is broadcast globally for anyone to read. There may be other exchanges declared but they may be exchanges only communicating with other devices and not broadcast to everyone.

Cimplicity has a driver to talk the EGD language. So when you look at the points in Cimplcity you can look at individual points for a "device" and or "Resource". For each MKVI controller typically it will use a port designated as Master_Enet0, which is just Ethernet in this case. The protocol will be GEDS_EGD, which is the GE Ethernet Global Data protocol. If you look at the properties of a point in the Cimplicity workbench on the device tab you should see an area for the address that defines which exchange/word/offset is used for this point.

Because alarms and events operate at a much faster rate GE uses another service called TCI to bring this information from the MKVI. The TCI service is responsible for many things, but most important to you is bringing alarms/events into the Cimplicity alarm viewer, and also into the TCI alarm and event reports for historical review.
With Windows 2000 and older systems Cimplicity was licensed with a license number similar to how windows is licensed. The TCI service DID NOT require any kind of license. It was installed and configured either when the HMI was built, or may have been tweaked during commissioning of the system.

In my experience when GE moved to Windows XP it was necessary to move up to Cimplicity version 6.1. TCI version moved up to version 3.something. With this new version of TCI and Windows it was now necessary to license TCI to operate.

So in my experience, any machine running windows XP, and a TCI version 3.0 or greater will require a hardware dongle for TCI to operate.

In my experience IF TCI is not running you will not see any alarms or events displayed in the alarm viewer and the TCI alarm and event report tool will not operate.

BUT TCI is not needed for values to be displayed on a Cimplicity screen.

So in your case you say you do not have any points displayed in Cimplicity. Typically when Cimplicity is unable to communicate with a device, the values will show as # signs, and any animated object will appear black. This tells me that Cimplicity is unable to communicate with the MKVI unit. This can be caused by many many many things, but in my experience NOT from an issue with TCI.

There are logs for TCI that can be reviewed. There are also logs from Cimplicity that can be reviewed. We need a lot more information about when this started, and what has been done, to effectively provide suggestions. And it would be helpful to understand your level of experience. Do you have a procedure as to how to add points, like add the point to the .m6b file, validate/build/download. Open the .hmb file, validate/put/get/validate/build. Stop TCI, update Cimplicity configuration, start TCI?