Mark V Logger Configuration - Removing Line Printer


Thread Starter

B. Grave

I know this is an older topic, but does this ALARM_HISTORY function work on the Mark V. I have only seen it referenced in mk6 topics except this one.

I too am seeking a solution to remove our line printer from service and possibly send our alarm files to a hard disk. Actually to generate them in a file and save them.

I was considering adding a network box only for this purpose.

Has anyone tried this?

Thanks for the great forum and all the superb info. You all have been a great help to me will little issues seen at this site.

B. Grave
You haven't told us which operator interface is used with your Mark V(s).

I believe that ALARM_HISTORY only works with GE Mark V HMIs (running MS-Windows, CIMPLICITY, and TCI (Turbine Control Interface)). And, I believe it only works with "newer" versions of TCI and CIMPLICITY (but I can't say which ones, specifically).

If you have <I>s, it doesn't work.

There are several companies that make software packages that can be used to collect data from parallel and/or serial ports onto a hard drive and then sorted and filtered, etc. Prism is one such vendor, I believe. I don't know how expensive it is, but it's pretty easy to set up, just requires a second PC on which to collect the alarms.

As a last resort, I've seen people set up a second PC and configure a serial port to "read" the data from a serial printer (you can configure a serial printer on an <I> or on a GE Mark V HMI), and record the information to a text file. It's pretty kludgey, but it's been done. I believe people have used HyperTerminal as the software app to "read" the data coming in. There might be a couple of extra characters here and there, but not too bad.

Wish there was better news.

Hope this helps!
We are running GE Cimplicity (4.01 SP 8b) on Windows NT with TCI. Our unit were put in service in 02' so I am not sure what version TCI I have or where to find that info.

Thanks for the info.

While I have a response...... if we were to look into upgrades for our HMI's, Is there anything that maintains Cimplicity and TCI but places them into modern computer systems with a more supported OS?

I appreciate the assistance!
To try to find the TCI version number, you might look in G:\LOG at the file VERSIONS.DAT (it's an ASCII text file) and see if the version of TCI is listed there.

You might also look at the TCI Control Panel applet and see if you can find the version number there.

But, those are fairly old GE Mark V HMIs, and I don't know if ALARM_HISTORY works on them. There's one way to find out: That's to add the option to the OPTIONS section of F:\CONFIG.DAT and then stop CIMPLICITY, stop TCI, then re-start TCI and after a few minutes re-start CIMPLICITY.

It's been a very long time, and I seem to recall you might have to add another statement to CONFIG.DAT to specify the location of the Alarm History file. Perhaps someone with a working Alarm History on a GE Mark V HMI could tell us what statements are in their CONFIG.DAT.

GE sells GE Mark V HMIs with newer versions of CIMPLICITY and WinXP. They really like them, however, as the pricing indicates they are reluctant to give them up....

There are also alternatives to GE, though there's only one that I know of that completely replaces the GE operator interface (Rung Display; AutoCalibrate; Control Constants Adjust; compilers, etc.): the CSE Engineering, Inc., ITC.
It looks like we run V01.06.09C for our TCI.

Is anyone using this function currently to remove their line printer?

B. Grave
To enable the Alarm History you should have 2 lines in the file F:\CONFIG.DAT

HST_DIR = C:\Historian_Data\HMIDATA

where you should replace C:\Historian_Data\HMIDATA with whatever folder you want.

I have another question regarding the problem. Anyone knows where can I find the settings for how many days this history will cover? Standard is 90 days but I am now on a project where it is set for 30 and I would like to change it. No idea how.
Never thought of it but I think I can write a piece of software to replace the printer. You would probably need also a piece of cable but it should not be anything complicated. Unfortunately I have no way to test it.

So, if you're still interested and if you have a way to test the solution, we can discuss about it.