How do you set Mark V control panel date and time using HMI not <I>?


Thread Starter


Dear experts,

The power station where I work runs on GE Mark V. Recently we have upgraded from <I> to HMI Windows 2000. Both HMI Servers (Remote and Local) do not have Time Sync Card, i.e. the stage link does not have a time master.

The problem is that we wanted to change the time and date at the Mark V control panel.

How do I do that?

Previously on <I> DOS, you could do this by selecting the TIMESET command and the <I> date and time is transmitted to the control panel processors. Now I cannot see the TIMESET option anywhere in HMI Windows 2000/Cimplicity 5.5.

Your assistance is highly appreciated. Many thanks in advance.
Install NTP software for time synchronization.

BTW, have you installed the SP3 for Cimplicity 5.5?
Newer versions of the GE TCSS CDs seem to require a coded password to install what are considered to be options--such as NTP Server. Installing software from a TCSS CD could also be VERY risky unless it is certain that the software being installed is from _THE_ CD used to configure the GE Mark V HMI. This author has visited several sites complaining of problems only to find nore, two or three versions of TCI and CIMBRIDGE installed on various GE Mark V HMIs, by people trying to fix problems by "re-installing" from CDs left on site after commissioning.

It is believed that you can open the TCI Control Panel applet and click on the Time Synch tab, then select the PC to be the Time Source using the PC's clock (be sure that the clock on the PC is set as you would like it to be).

You will then need to close the TCI Control Panel applet--it will probably say something about needing to restart TCI for changes to work, and this is one of those changes.

So, open a command prompt, and stop TCI by typing:


then press enter. Wait approximately 30 seconds for CIMPLICITY to stop (which it will) and for TCI to stop, then type:


and press enter. You will need to wait about three minutes (seriously, unless you have a very fast CPU--and even then wait patiently) and then start TCI. (It might start on its own fairly quickly, and it might take as much as 10 minutes to start on its own, and it might never start on its own (depends on how the HMI was configured--or not, as the case may be).

LOTS of GE Mark V HMI problems can be traced to people starting CIMPLICITY before TCI and CIMBRIDGE were fully loaded and able to handle the request from CIMPLICITY and the messages passed to CIMPLICITY by TCI and CIMBRIDGE. Patience can be more than a virtue when working with the Mark V, and with the GE Mark V HMI. (Are we having fun yet?)

You may need to wait as much as an hour to see the change....

If you can and do choose to install NTP Server (again, not recommended), you will need to configure it. There are some instructions in the HMI manual. Just be sure you understand them BEFORE you try configuring NTP Server.

You can leave the PC configured to be the Time Master, or you can open the applet and de-select Time Master, stop and re-start TCI and CIMPLICITY.

Are we having fun YET?

Thank markvguy for always detailed and helpful information.

Have you tried to install NTP service on DCS, and set DCS as time master, and broadcast time to whole network?
Muggsy, you are welcome for the information.

The originator of this thread has not indicated he/she has a DCS which is communicating with the GE Mark V HMIs in any fashion. Ethernet communication would be required in order to install NTP Server on the DCS and be able to broadcast the time to the GE Mark VHMI, which would have to be an NTP Client to the DCS.

The DCS cannot talk directly to the Mark V turbine control panel, it has to do so through the GE Mark V HMI's ARCnet card. So, the GE Mark V HMI would have to receive the time signal from the DCS and then be configured to broadcast it to the Mark V.

And then it's not clear to this author if the GE Mark V HMI would have to be configured similarly as described above to take the PC clock time (set by NTP) and broadcast it to the Mark V turbine control panel(s).

Also, where would the originator find NTP Server and NTP Client to install and configure?

So how I configure the MarkV as a time slave? People in many power plants complain about they can use DCS broadcast time to whole network for control of HRSG, steam turbine, gas fuel compressor without gas turbine.
If the GE Mark V HMI did not have a time synch card and did have an Ethernet connection to some other control system which did receive a "master time signal", it would be possible to install NTP (Network Time Protocol) Server on the other control system and NTP Client on the GE Mark V HMI. (There are other proprietary time synch applications available on the commercial market, and it is believed there are other open-source ones as well--it's just that if you install something other than what GE would provide you run the risk of having them throw their hands up if "problems" start occurring...)

The PC configured to be the time "master" on the Ethernet connection between the PC and the GE Mark V HMI would receive the time signal from its source, broadcast the signal on the Ethernet connection to the GE Mark V HMI time client, and the GE Mark V HMIs PC clock would then be set to match the signal.

Then, it is believed that one would use the TCI Control panel applet to configure the GE Mark V HMI to be the time master on the StageLink, using the HMI PC's clock. Then, the GE Mark V HMI would broadcast the signal to the Mark V turbine control panel(s) it was connected to.

So, the signal would come from some time master source (IRIG-B, GPS/GPRS, Internet, etc.), to the Ethernet LAN time master, broadcast to the GE Mark V HMI time client over the Ethernet LAN, then from the GE Mark V HMI over the StageLink.

It's not clear which version of NTP GE distributes with GE Mark V HMIs configured with time synch cards. Does anyone know FOR CERTAIN? It is this author's belief that it is an open-source version (possibly from, but is not certain. Again, installing ANY software on a GE Mark V HMI other than what GE certifies or provides is asking for trouble--as well as limiting GE's ability to respond to requests for help with problems which might (will likely) arise afterward.



This is true, but you will also have to edit the f:\timesync.dat file. HMI's without time cards must be set to lowres (use the PC clock). There is a document GEI-100513, that explains all this in some detail.
It's believed that F:\TIMESYNC.DAT is modified when one makes changes to the TCI Control Panel Applet's TIMESYNC tab. Try it--note the file's date/time stamp, make a change to some setting on the applet's TIMESYNC tab and exit the applet, then check the file's date/time stamp. (Don't forget to reset the setting in the TCI applet.)



Good advice. Your results will depend on the version of TCI you have. Older versions will not modify the timesync.dat file. By the way, how many of you updated your operating systems and your timezone.dat files for the new daylight savings time?