Outdoor HMI using DH485 or Ethernet (repost)


Thread Starter

Bill Townsley

Hi all,
I while ago I was looking for an MHI that would be suitable for an outdoor location. The location is southern California so the only environmental condition to really worry about is the bright sunshine. We may build a 'telephone booth' to make the unit more readable in the sun.

The other requirement is using either DH-485 or Ethernet to talk to a SLC 5/05. We currently have both comm. highways available and we do not want to use a third (say DF1).

The only suggestion we received was a Siemens MP370 series. The unit does not have to be fancy, just some simple graphics and a few programmable pushbuttons (or touch buttons). Even the Panelview 500/600's would be adequate.

We would, however, like to review some other panels to see if any other one might be a better fit.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


David Bennett

I've used the Panelview 550 series on several varieties of projects and the hold up well when you prevent excessive heat build up and moisture.
I use NEMA 4x and 12X enclosures with see-thru front doors.

If you use the 550 and perform indirect addressing, remember to limit the min and max indirect address value before you use it. I learned that one "the hard way" a few years back.... seems that the 550 generates some random and bogus values while performing start up initializations after power failure. Once they are initialized they work great!


Mauricio Orellana

May be you can try the units PanelView 1000e with panel of TFT and the model PanelView 1400e with a CRT Display SVGA with keypads and touchscreens both.

Mauricio Orellana

At the risk of being called a cheerleader, I'd recommend that you visit your A-B dealer and have him bring a PanelView 300 or 300 Micro out into
the sunshine so you can get a look at it's transflective display. If you're used to the cruddy daylight readability of the PV550, you'll be surprised at the difference.

In my opinion, these small terminals have the best outdoor readability of the A-B line, with contrast very similar to those great blue backlit
screens Chevron uses on their gas pumps. I have a customer using these in an outdoor methane-recovery application and he likes them better than
the more expensive larger displays. We sell a lot of the model 300 to mobile equipment applications that are meant to be outside. Usually they do have an "awning" of sheet steel to protect them from debris and provide
some shade.

The model 300 might be available with Ethernet now, but the 300 Micro only has an RS-232 port that is available with DF1 and DH-485 protocols. You can do the conversion to RS-485 longline with a 1761-NET-AIC or to Ethernet
with a 1761-NET-ENI. DH-485 will be the cheapest way to go.


Ken Roach
A-B Seattle

Brian Webber

A-B has ethernet PanelViews available now. Sounds like your looking for a little more functionality. Check out the Windows CE version of RSView (Machine Edition) on a 6182 machine. Cost similar to PV1000 with added features of RSView.
Good Luck,
Brian Webber
Automation Specialist
Take a look at the Cimrex series of HMI. It is by far one of the best HMI's that I have seen to date. It can be configured to talk to virtually any device out there using almost all available protocols.