Linux OPC

D

Thread Starter

Donald Pittendrigh

Hi Curt and others

I have been contamplating building a Linux machine to use as a critical data monitoring tool and have to accelerate my progress with this dream
for various pressure related reasons.

Is there anyone out there who can verify if there is a comms driver other than the 5,000 USD Softnet for Unix, that I can run to interface a Siemens or other ethernet interface to an S7 400/300.

Alternatively any RS232/485 or Profibus DP drivers.

Preference is for OPC of course and I intend to capture data with Oracle, is there any comment for an aspirant novice in this regard.

Regards
Donald Pittendrigh
 
H

Helmut Meissner

Hi Donald,

try to contact the company process-informatik in germany. on there homepage they have a link to an email adress:

[email protected]

I used their S5 and S7 drivers for DOS and Windows to SIMATIC, and they work well.

Greetings
Helmut Meissner
 
C

Curt Wuollet

Hi Don

There have been some mentioned but I haven't saved them as I have little interest in MS intellectual property. A search on the archives
should get some hits. I remember discussing this on the lplc list if not here. You might try SAL and folks like dreamweavers. Profibus may be an option with a SST card, but Siemens was not very open about their Ethernet proto when I asked
them. Once you get past the comms, Oracle should work very well on recent versions of Linux. I have seen this run very fast.

Regards

cww
 
K
One approach I've thought about but never tried would be to use Software Wedge to handle the Windows side (OPC or DDE), and configure SW to talk a protocol that you provide on the Linux side. Just a thought.

--
Ken Irving
 
R

Ronald Nijssen

I know that Siemens newer S7-400 and S7-300 CP cards support Socket communication. Particularly from a Linux machine you should be able to
create the driver you need yourself easily
Please contact Siemens Hotline or Product Manager for more info on the on-Driver Socket interfaces the newer CP's provide

Kind Regards
Ronald
 
N

Nijssen Ronald

Curt,

I have been able to learn about this feature from a US Siemens colleague. He created a document and VB samples that implement a Socket
Client and Server communicating with a S7 without any Siemens Driver or CP card on the PC If that's not "Open" :) The examples he created
should be on the support website as well, described with the CP cards: Here is the URL

Hardware:
Any Wintel PC with an Ethernet NIC and a TCP/IP stack. This code has only been tested on Windows NT 4.0 but it should run on Windows 9X as
well.

CP443-1 TCP or CP343-1 TCP Rel.. 7.0 with FW Ver 5 (supporting the new TCP connection type). For the CP443-1 and CP343-1 Upgrades Please
refer to: "http://www4.ad.siemens.de/csinfo/livelink.exe?func=cslib.csinfo&lang=en&aktprim=0&nodeid0=4000024":http://www4.ad.siemens.de/csinfo/livelink.exe?func=cslib.csinfo&lang=en&aktprim=0&nodeid0=4000024

A CPU supporting the new functions: Refer to the Web site above.

Software:
No Siemens software of any kind is required on the PC.

For configuring the PLC and CP you will need STEP7 Ver. 5.0 with Service Pack 3

You will also need NCM IE Ver. 5.0 with SP 3. Please Refer to: "http://www4.ad.siemens.de/infocs/livelink":http://www4.ad.siemens.de/infocs/livelink.exe?func=cslib.csinfo&startNode=2526&table=ProductNodes&nodeID0=170594&aktprim=0&nodeid=759989&lang=en&open0=-167-183-192-21-&siteid=cs

Kind Regards
Ronald
 
D

Donald Pittendrigh

Hi Curt Ronald and others,

I have taken a look at this code which Ronald very kindly sent me, I feel sure it can be implemented on Linux which was the original issue. I confused my original request somewhat by referring to Linux OPC, I don't think the use of
OPC on linux is really realisable as it is as far as I know, rather a microsoft thing relying on OLE and COM+. What I in fact would like to acheive is to make OPC tags available from the data recorded in Linux with oracle, but for
processing on a networked microsoft machine, I am not sufficiently informed about Linux but as far as I know it doesn't support COM+ or in this case DCOM. There are certainly ways around this problem
should this be the case.

What does worry me about the software Ronald is discussing, is that I am not sure it handles the flexible type of addressing required by a scada system, I will still get to this detail.

For further info, there is a package released recently by Siemens which is termed Softnet for Linux, I do not as yet have the details or manuals on this product however I am hoping that it may be a little more affordably priced than
the equivalent softnet for SCO, UNIX or HP-UX which at 5000USD (approx) are way out of reach for what essentially is a recording tool for my
personal use, and is only likely to develop into a saleable product quite far down the line.

I will keep you informed of the next steps in this project as we take them, the next of which will be to set up a Linux machine with Oracle on it, for which I have the offer of help from a very competent engineer who works daily in this
field. CJ if you are lurking that means you. This will probaly only happen in a week or two and then of course Xmas is going to intervene so it will surely be the new year before I get to the Simatic communications part of the adventure.

Just by the way the "new cards" that Ronald refers to are some of the most powerful cards to come of the Simatic Net product line and one of the most interesting features of these cards (or at least the IT versions of them) is that they also contain an HTML server and are capable of setting up to communicate with an email server with no more than PLC code in the CPU to send
the emails. This is very neat stuff and in many applications the HTML would be adequate to implement a scada system, it would of course not be suitable for trending and historical trending without generating a great deal of PLC code.
The HTML uses Java beans to access the various addresses in the CPU, this is another project which is on my "to tackle next year" list, but I have run the demo software and have been most impressed whith what I have seen so far.

Regards
Donald Pittendrigh
 
C

Curt Wuollet

> From: "Nijssen.Ronald" <[email protected]>
> Curt,
>
> I have been able to learn about this feature from a US Siemens
> colleague. He created a document and VB samples that implement a
> Socket Client and Server communicating with a S7 without any Siemens
> Driver or CP card on the PC If that's not "Open" :)

Well, here's the problem. I could probably write that and use it for my company IFF we hold Siemens licences. What I can't get is permission to write it and release it under the GPL. I'll settle for the documentation to write it myself
and a letter from a company officer that we can GPL the driver. Simply being able to do it under license between closed platforms doesn't make it open. Being able to do it as an individual or Siemens licensee doesn't make it open. I _could_ reverse engineer it with a sniffer, ask your legal dept. how they would react if I used those materials and a sniffer and released a GPL comm
library. If they smile and say no problem, then it's open. And if they do, I'll make a serious effort to obtain hardware and write it.

> The examples he created should be on the support website as well,
> described with the CP cards: Here is the URL
>
> Hardware:
> Any Wintel PC with an Ethernet NIC and a TCP/IP stack. This code has
> only been tested on Windows NT 4.0 but it should run on Windows 9X as
> well.

I don't own a Wintel PC. I own AMD/Linux PCs and an Alpha/Linux PC.

> CP443-1 TCP or CP343-1 TCP Rel.. 7.0 with FW Ver 5 (supporting the new
> TCP connection type). For the CP443-1 and CP343-1 Upgrades Please
> refer to:
> http://www4.ad.siemens.de/infocs/livelink.exe?func=cslib.csinfo&startN
> ode=25
> 26&table=ProductNodes&nodeID0=170587&aktprim=0&nodeid=759989&lang=en&siteid=
> cs&open0=-167-183-
>
> A CPU supporting the new functions: Refer to the Web site above.
>
> Software:
> No Siemens software of any kind is required on the PC.
>
> For configuring the PLC and CP you will need STEP7 Ver. 5.0 with
> Service Pack 3
>
> You will also need NCM IE Ver. 5.0 with SP 3. Please Refer to:
> http://www4.ad.siemens.de/infocs/livelink.exe?func=cslib.csinfo&startN
> ode=25
> 26&table=ProductNodes&nodeID0=170594&aktprim=0&nodeid=759989&lang=en&open0=-
> 167-183-192-21-&siteid=cs


I believe you're serious in trying to help. I am serious about trying at least, to support that proto for LPLC and othere non-Windows systems. Perhaps you could convince the powers that be, that opening it up and allowing GPL software
would be a generous gift to the automation community and the MAT project. It might even open doors for their products. All we need is that first case that demonstrates that the world won't end if we can talk to PLCs. The licenses are the problem. I've tried with Modicon and the lawyer I ended up with doesn't seem to get that. I actually believe they mean well and want their proto disseminated but don't understand what I need to do so with reasonable assurance I won't be sued out of house and home. We need special permission because we are not a legal entity, simply a group of volunteers operating in the public interest.

Regards

cww
--
Free Tools!
Machine Automation Tools (LinuxPLC) Free, Truly Open & Publicly Owned
Industrial Automation Software For Linux. mat.sourceforge.net. Day Job:
Heartland Engineering, Automation & ATE for Automotive Rebuilders.
Consultancy: Wide Open Technologies: Moving Business & Automation to Linux


 
S

Scott Cornwall

Donald,
There is a very easy and low cost solution to that - an ODBC OPC server. On the Windows machine run the ODBC OPC server configured to access the Oracle database on the Linux machine by ODBC. Then you have live read/write of the Linux database via your choice of OPC client on your Windows machines. You can get a trial version of an ODBC OPC server that runs for 2 hours at a time from our website - see http://www.sentech.co.nz/lwodbc.htm

There is no need to establish OPC or DCOM on the Linux box in this case.

Scott Cornwall
________________________
http://www.sentech.co.nz
 
N

Nijssen.Ronald

Thanks for your reply Donald,

Actually to my own surprise I ran into an application where a Dutch System Integrator had used the socket communication interface of Siemens and Mitsubishi to create a Peer to Peer connection between the two PLC brands, never thought that was possible until the end-user told me

Kind Regards
Ronald
 
D

Donald Pittendrigh

Hi Ronald

I heard yesterday that one of my customers has an ISO S7functions link running out of Unix on an HP-UX to Siemens S7 PLC's. This is apparently done without any comms blocks or other intervention in the PLC CPU, which interests me very much as he has acheived something which Siemens would have charged around 5000 USD for, if he can do it so can I. I will be finished with my years work load at the end of next week then I will devote the next week and probably the first two in January to finding my own solution to this one.

Keep you informed.

Cheers
DP
 
L

Lynn August Linse

Actually, Intrinsyc is someone I've had my eye on for a while - plus their PDF's normally load fast so it's probably just a transient problem. They
are one of the few companies I've seen who sells an effective low-cost, fully packaged WinCE or Linux node (with case etc). But it is pretty fat
hardware 16/32MB RAM range.

Best Regards

Lynn August Linse, Senior IA Application Engineer, Lantronix Inc
[email protected] www.lantronix.com

(Note: the opinions expressed here are Lynn's and not likely that of his employer)
 
Some of my colleagues in Stuttgart are working with them. Intrinsyc provides us with a baseline hardware (StrongArm, I think) and WinCE
platform. It's a very fast way to get your first boards (in your formfactor) up and running for an embedded computing application. We're very happy with them.

Best,
B.O. Dec. 5, 2001
--
Robert Old, System Architecture, [email protected]
Siemens Building Technologies, Inc., Building Automation
1000 Deerfield Pkwy., Buffalo Grove, IL 60089-4513 USA
Phone: +1(847)941-5623, Fax: +1(847)419-2401
 
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