GE series 3 programming


Thread Starter


We have an old GE series 3 plc running an automated parts washer and would like to back up the program. What do we need to pull a copy of
this program out of ram. The unit went down last year for maintenance, battery did not last, did not have copy of the program . . . three
months later its up and running. I do not like the keyboard interface and would much rather download the program for analysis and backup.
Any suggestions to the best way to do this?

Steve Bailey

There was a portable programming unit that could connect to both the Series One and the Series Three. Check with your local GE Fanuc distributor to see if they have one gathering dust somewhere. You might try Automation Direct to see if Koyo still has anything to support it.

My recommendation would be to retire the Series Three. Sooner or later, something else is going to fail on it, and parts and support availability is only going to get worse. There is not a very large installed base of those units.
[email protected]
The old series 3 still running........
In regard to the question, there are a few ways to backup series 3 programs. None of them are perfect.
The first and simplest way is to make an audio cassette tape of the program. That is what Series 3 was designed with back in early or pre-80's. You need a reasonably good cassette recorder with both a volume and tone control, and it works best with the special cable made by GE for this purpose. The cable, gray with a red tracer, contains a resistor in line which stabilizes the line signals. You also need the series 3 manual which walks you through the sequence. Cassette tape backups are fairly good, but are somewhat subject to the analog tone settings when the recording is made, and will sometimes present difficulty in restoring. Furthermore, the program is not visible in any high level form. It is purely an archive method.
Secondly, Series 3, I believe, also had a prom option which required a prom burner. These may be difficult to come by these days, but may provide a very reliable non-volitale program medium.
Thirdly, there is the Logicmaster software made for series 3. No one ever gave this software package any awards for excellence, but under the right circumstances, it can work fine. Its requirements are the software itself, 2 special cables, and a 232/422 converter box. The software is dos based, and not updated in a very long time. It would have to run on a pure dos environment. Nothing after win95. If you could get all this together, seeing as how the product has been declared obsolete for more than 10 years, you would connect everything up and load the program back from the CPU to the programmer. It displays in ladder logic format, and can be securely archived to disk or CD. The other problem people run into is that the logicmaster program limits the rungs to 9 contacts in series, and 8 in parallel. The Boolean programmer has no such limitations. So if ladder rungs exceed this, those rungs are not loaded, and the user has to go to those places in memory, translate the Boolean, and create an equivalent rung that Logicmaster can compile.