Modbus+ SA85 board and WinXP

T

Thread Starter

T. Connolly

I am getting conflicting stories on the Modicon SA85 board and WinXP. I have several SA85 boards for ISA slots. The computers are getting upgraded to WinXP (IT mandate) and latest rev. of Citect. I have heard that ISA slot SA85 boards will not work with WinXP and that we will need to purchase the PCI version of the boards. Is this true? I really dont want to replace all these boards if I don't have to, they aren't cheap and replacing them all will get very expensive.
 
On issue could be to use one old PC with ISA slots running NT4.0, for exemple, that will drive a SA85 card. Using Modicon Modbus Plus Driver Suite, you could share your MB+ Access with all nour XP computers via TCPIP network.
You'll have a lot of spare SA85 on hand...
Installed on you XP Stations, the Driver will emulate a local MB+ Card.
 
The entire ISA bus is not supported under Windows XP. Microsoft retired it. Nothing you can do to get the SA85 to work under XP, short of a dual-boot operating system with Win98. The only card supported under windows XP is the PCI85 for the desktop, and the Type 3 Plug & Play PCMCIA card for laptops. Not even the older PCMCIA cards will work under XP.

CK
 
A

Alex Pavloff

I'm curious as where you come by this information that the ISA bus is "not supported." Open up the Windows XP HCL at
https://winqual.microsoft.com/download/display.asp?FileName=hcl/WinXPHCLx86.
txt (warning - huge, multimegabyte list) and search for "ISA". You'll see ISA network cards (as long as they're ISA PnP) and ISA modems explicitly listed as "Compatible" in this list.

Now, if a manufacturer doesn't have ISA drivers for Windows XP for a specific card, maybe they should lean on the manufacturer to get one
available.

Alex Pavloff -- [email protected]
Eason Technology --- www.eason.com
--- Linux-based industrial HMI ---
-------- www.eason.com/5k --------
 
It's really very simple. Since IT doesn't have a clue about control systems, ask them to kindly keep their noses out. It is still possible to purchase PCs with ISA busses, if your computers die. Win2K supports the ISA bus, and it is not yet obsolete. If IT insists on the conversion, then stick them with the cost of the upgraded boards too.

You may have to do your own tech support, but with my experience, you don't get much support from IT anyway, especially on real-time systems.

Dick Caro
============================================
Richard H. Caro, CEO
CMC Associates
2 Beth Circle, Acton, MA 01720
Tel: +1.978.635.9449 Mobile: +1.978.764.4728
Fax: +1.978.246.1270
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: http://www.CMC.us
============================================
 
> It's really very simple. Since IT doesn't have a clue about control systems, ask them to kindly keep their noses out.

truer words have never been spoken. This is a battle i fight all the time (with different IT departments). Although, i try to be kind about it, because some of them are good resources. Tell IT to leave your computers the hell alone unless and until they crash. THEN maybe upgrade them to win2k.

-jeff
 
A

Alex Pavloff

Well, there are some things that IT guys should be utterly paranoid about. One major thing I can think of is computers connected directly to the internet. Any computer connected directly to the internet, regardless of OS, should be managed by the IT department so that they can deal with security problems.

Another instance is if your PC is doing horrible things to a network that slow everyone down.

No, IT folks doesn't always know whats going on, but neither do automation people.

Alex Pavloff -- [email protected]
Eason Technology --- www.eason.com --- Linux-based industrial HMI ---
-------- www.eason.com/5k --------
 
Alex,
Speak for yourself. There are plenty of us who understand the need for network security. What I am looking for is configuring a firewall with port
502 open for Modbus/TCP or ports 1089-1091 open for Foundation Fieldbus. There is no magic in the IT organization that cannot be learned by a control engineer.
Dick Caro
============================================
Richard H. Caro, CEO
CMC Associates
2 Beth Circle, Acton, MA 01720
Tel: +1.978.635.9449 Mobile: +1.978.764.4728
Fax: +1.978.246.1270
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: http://www.CMC.us
============================================
 
L

Lynn at Alist

Dick Caro wrote:
> There are plenty of us who understand the need for
> network security. What I am looking for is configuring a firewall with
port
> 502 open for Modbus/TCP or ports 1089-1091 open for Foundation Fieldbus.
> There is no magic in the IT organization that cannot be learned by a
control engineer.

Very true - provided the IT guys allow you to access. In most companies, the average control guy would have a hard fight to be given or retain the password to a true IT-grade firewall even if the control department paid for the darn thing.

The only "lacking" in normal firewall is once you open up Modbus/TCP's port 502, then any activity - read, write, reprogram, put PLC on or off-line, or even a firmware reflash is possible (ExecLoader still uses port 502).

What's really needed is a firewall a step up the food-chain so that you could say open up TCP port 502 but only for messages with the value 3 in the
8th byte (ie: meaning it is a common Read Multiple Registers command). I've heard some firewalls allow this type of app-level filtering, and no doubt there are a few vendors targeting the IA market who may even prewrap such filtering in protocol terms such that you can turn "Modbus/TCP" on and off and limit functions by name.

Best regards
- Lynn
 
L

Lynn at Alist

You're right Dick - I have a Dell notebook which I rolled back from WinXP to Win2K - all against the IT dept's wishes. If I'd wanted IT to supply me a computer turn-key, then I'd have to live with their choice of HW and XP. But I had reasons that their choice won't work, so I just asked my boss for Ok, bought my own notebook and expensed it. If I hand-carry it into the IT support group they happily help me, but overall I'm on my own and happy with that.

This common complain that "Oh, IT made me buy a notebook with OUT RS-232 ports" sounds bit hollow to me. More likely IT offered a new computer and
the complainer jumped at the chance without checking to see if it has an RS-232 port or not.

I find it hard to accept that if ISA bus slots are required and IT doesn't want to allow you to buy, that going to the VP of Engineering (or
Operations) and explaining the situation would cause the VP to side with IT. After all, better manufacturing is the company's reason to be - not
stream-lining IT work.

Thanks
- Lynn
 
C
And conversely, us old IT types can bring a great deal of insight to automation. But, I do see a trend towards newer IT types being very specialized and high level. In other words they are about software from one particular dominant family and X86 servers. The broad general knowledge about _computers_ formerly required is dissappearing. I get along with new IT types OK because they know a lot more about Windows, but I know a lot more about almost anything else. No conflict. I do think this trend has a lot to do with the problems when you want to color outside the lines. It takes them out of their comfort zone. But, I would adamantly refuse to compromise valid automation requirements for the sake of mere consistancy simply on the basis that it's stupid. The cost to the company for you to have what you need is very minimal, and the benefit of consistancy is often far outweighed by the impact of churn and artificial problems on the business of automating things. These policies seldom stand up to any analysis. If they don't accept that, try to make management understand that IS should mind their own wretched business. Then, mind their business a bit. Ask if they shouldn't be spending more time on speed, downtime, security, and virus protection, etc..:^) That usually works like a cross on vampires.

Regards

cww
 
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