# RSLogix Opinions

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#### Bryan Weir

I would be interested to hear the opinions (Good or Bad), of a few people on RSLogix as a programming package. Especially when compared to AI.

Bryan Weir

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#### Joe Jansen

I have used APS, AI, and RSLogix. My favorite was APS, because I could code without having to remove my hands from the keyboard, stringing the mnemonics and addresses together to build up a rung. AI took me a step away from that by demanding that I use F-keys to get the instructions. RSLogix allows me to enter a rung at a time the 'old' way, but I am still having to reach for the 'rodent' too often. Also, RSLogix's documentation system is a step back. I do like the larger text areas for instruction comments, but preferred APS and AI's ability to associate the address comment from a timer word to each of the status bits if no other data had been entered. ie: if T4:1 is called Pulse Timer, then it auto-magically copies this to T4:1/DN, T4:1.ACC, T4:1/EN, etc. rather than making me copy and paste to each of the others.

My final gripe is the fact that RSLogix is dependant on RSLinx to communicate to the PLC. RSLinx, although better than the trainwreck known as interchange, is still a terrible hack-job of a driver. My NT Workstation laptops need a reboot anytime I try to change what driver talks to the com port, and if RSLinx has been used, I have to reboot before any non-RS product can use the comm port. Defintely a hatchet job.

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#### Peterson

RSLogix is Ok, but for pounding out code stick to AI. Your productivity is much higher if you are well versed in the AI software. If you are a casual user, or using it mostly to make minor
modifications and online monitoring either works OK, however the display format of RSLogix is annoying and less rung information is actually displayed on a screen.

The only thing I prefer RS for over AI is I/O card configuration. Regretably i have been told a fair number of the cards do not configure correctly using the RS config utility and have to be done manually. i cannot say for sure whether this is true or not as I use AI to write my code when I do AB programs.

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#### James Fillmore

WOW! I couln't have said it better myself! WHEN are they going to give us the option of being able to copy timer descriptions to the timer bit identifiers?!?!? We used to have this when ICOM was creating Kick-butt AB programming software.

Jim

> I have used APS, AI, and RSLogix. My favorite was APS, because I could code without having to remove my hands from the keyboard, stringing the mnemonics and addresses together to build up a rung. AI took me a step away from that by demanding that I use F-keys to get the instructions. RSLogix allows me to enter a rung at a time the 'old' way, but I am still having to reach for the 'rodent' too often. Also, RSLogix's documentation system is a step back. I do like the larger text areas for instruction comments, but preferred APS and AI's ability to associate the address comment from a timer word to each of the status bits if no other data had been entered. ie: if T4:1 is called Pulse Timer, then it auto-magically copies this to T4:1/DN, T4:1.ACC, T4:1/EN, etc. rather than making me copy and paste to each of the others.

>

> My final gripe is the fact that RSLogix is dependant on RSLinx to communicate to the PLC. RSLinx, although better than the trainwreck known as interchange, is still a terrible hack-job of a driver. My NT Workstation laptops need a reboot anytime I try to change what driver talks to the com port, and if RSLinx has been used, I have to reboot before any non-RS product can use the comm port. Defintely a hatchet job.

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#### Dale Witman

List,

I have heard from AB guys about the lack of acceptance of the windows based programming packages from Icom and Rockwell. I have used 6200 series, A. I. Series and have used WinLogix and RSLogix packages since they were introduced
with very little trouble for most support functions. Rockwell has removed features that existed in prior releases that greatly enhance development, like the compare function, but when you consider the added benefits of working in a
windows environment, I like the overall product. Yes, I would love to have the compare instruction back, I too keep support on my old A.I. series just to allow me to do this. Hopefully someone from Rockwell is listening? I used Wiring logistics with Autocad, which worked quite well with the AI series. Rockwell and Icom had no upgrade path to RSWire Detailer, which replaced it and costs $1450. If I need to keep the AI series for other functions, why should I update my other packages until the windows products have all of the functionality? Rockwell support was not what Icom had either, but it is getting better. I am hoping the same will happen with the programming packages as well. The latest RSLogix5 package has some features that drive me crazy, but once you are used to them, I lie, I still hate them. I don't like it that every time I open a project that it asks me to save it, my plant guys have destoyed more program images this way than I care to admit. Printing has improved in RSLogix. I have more issues with communications than the RSLogix packages and this is improving as well. They removed, what they now call RSLadder functions when it became RSLogix. I sold our company on using Winlinx because of this feature, so when we moved to NT based SCADA, we dumped it. This decision was based on this and problems with activation as well. It seems that Rockwell is getting to a point that they are able to refine the software, where in the past they were just trying to keep up with issues. I haven't seen any real innovation since Icom was bought out, but maybe this will change too. Honestly, Innovation seems to have stopped. I was hoping that another Icom would appear on the market to push these guys again, they need it! Icom had a customer wish list with items that would almost always make it into their products, maybe Rockwell needs this to help them innovate? It appears that the software development coming out of Rockwell has been focused on gaining market share to plant floor information systems and not for the developers that drive their products onto the shop floor. Most of us probably use AB products because of the reliability of the hardware. If a company like Icom appeared on the market, I would drop Rockwell Software in a heartbeat. I am hoping the previous owners of Icom are not enjoying themselves in the Florida Keys too much and are planning their comeback into the controls software arena in the near future. We really need their vision to drive the software products in step with the hardware development we are seeing. Dale D #### Darin Jett I have no experience with AI, I learned on APS (yuck) and immediately switched to RSLogix upon taking my current position about 2 years ago. >From the standpoint of not knowing any better, I'm happy with RSLogix because of a couple of features. The trending that is installed with TrendX (comes with RSView) is wonderful for troubleshooting systems. When you have a control system not responding as expected, it is so easy now to create a couple of graphs to monitor everything related to it and find the root cause of the problem and be able to make changes from within the same program. I have to admit that the first version I used was lacking in several features, but things have been added along the way and it is IMHO getting better. I'm trying out v4.0 on my laptop today and from what I saw in 5 minutes yesterday, it seems to have some new useful tools and it's W2K comliant. Now a question, if I were using AI on my NT desktop, could I run RSView at the same time using the same KTX card? I do this all the time while developing apps now. Darin Jett Carbide/Graphite T #### Tom Rhodes I dropped AI PLC-500 in favor of RSLogix500 for all my SLC/MicroLogix tasks. Some of my reasons: Single file instead of lots of small subfiles. Import/export to Excel to touch up symbols and comments. Cut and paste works everywhere, including data files. Easy to shift between subroutines, cursor stays at last rung observed. Much bigger fields for comments and rung documentation. Minor annoyances include non-automatic labeling of timer contacts, plus a tendency for rung comments to show up on the wrong rung. My other complaints aren't with the performance of the RSLogix software, but with A-B's marketing policy. I'd upgrade to RSLogix5, but I only have one customer actively using the PLC-5 dinosaur. A-B wants another$2800 for RSLogix5, even though I've
been paying \$400 a year for AI maintenance for the last 8 years.

I will spring for RSLogix5000, even though the package only runs on WinNT. I fail to understand why this program can't be compiled to run on
W95/W98/NT like everything else in A-B's software universe, so I assume its A-B's corporate arrogance in action. God save us from the MBA
product managers.

Regards,

Tom Rhodes
Pyxis Engineering Corporation

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#### R A Peterson

Amen. I think the main problem RSI has is that they decide what features to have based on what their marketing geniuses say they should have with little input from actual serious users. Since I suspect few of these guys would even know a PLC if it bit them, you can guess why they have gone for the Windows bells and whistles while forgetting the stuff for the serious programmers. I also think they are trying to make the software easier for the less sophiscated users. I am not all that sure they have accomplished this either.

No doubt RSI has made it near impossible for the ICOM people to come back into the market. AB had to buy them out or AB would have only had as much
market share as they were willing to give away.

True ICOM story (circa 1992). I had a quirk in a version of ICOM when trying to compile for a new version of a SLC500. At about 6 pm that day I called ICOM. Tech support was gone for the day but someone answered the phones anyway. I told him my problem and he was able to reproduce it. He said to give him a couple hours and he would put a fix on their BBS for me to download. I went out and got some supper and came back and sure enough the fix was on their BBS and it worked. I found out later the guy that answered the tech support phone at 6 pm at night was their chief programmer.

Try calling AB tech support about ten to five some night. The last time I did it put me on hold and at 5pm the phone system disconnected me.

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#### Richard Carey

I agree that RS Logix is better than the old 6200 series (although long keyboard entry was nice once you learned the mnemonics). However, given the resources of Rockwell, I would be ashamed to
put out the buggy software at the prices they charge. Perhaps the Justice Department should look into their pricing? The PanelView package is equally trashy. Last July I installed my first PC based control system using Steeplechase Software. If it is any indication of the things to come, AB had better watch out. The software was intuitive, performed well, and since July, the system has had no problems (running on a cheap Tristar P2-266 with NT4.0). Has anyone else had similar experiences with Steeplechase or other
PC based control packages?

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#### Bill Sturm

>AI took me a step away from that by demanding that I use F-
>keys to get the instructions.

I have used AI for years and I rarely use the F-keys. You can enter the commands APS style by the command line by using the forward slash key (I think) or simply use the one key commands,
ie. x = xic, y = xio, t = tmr...

The one key commands were by far the fastest for me. I could enter logic as fast as someone could explain what they wanted. Try that in RSLogix.

Bill Sturm

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#### Joe Buote

Bill,

I have tried that in RSLogix, and It works GREAT! I've found the interface of RS is easier to navigate between files, and yes, the method of coding they talk about and train you for is more time consuming by using the buttons and such, but if in RS you put your cursor on the rung you want to edit, (insert is alt+i I think) and just start typing. when instruction is done, just hit enter then tab to get to the next rung.

I love it!
Joe

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#### Scott Brown

Bryan:
I have used both AI and RsLogix 500. Both packages seem to do a pretty good job. The AI software just has a few more key strokes that are more mouse driven in the RSLogix. RSLogix, in my opinion, really shines for the programmer. The big thing that I would look at is standardization through the plant. If maintenance is still using AI and know it fairly well, and you aren't involved with much programming, I would probably stay with AI. If maintenance isn't involved with the PLC software, and you do a lot of programming, then I would suggest going to RSLogix.

Just My Opinion,

Hope it helps.

Scott Brown
Gemtron Corporation

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#### Ken Roach

I learned to code using AI-5 and I think in mnemonics, so that's how I program in RSLogix 500; I just start typing "XIC B3/0 XIO B3/1....." and the software opens up a mnemonic entry field and paces along reminding me what sequence to enter the arguments in. I think that's great.

I'd much rather use the mouse to find my way around a project tree (thank goodness I still have a trackball Dell laptop instead of one of those horrid touchpads) than subject myself to the APS "function key menu randomizer". I'll trade two extra keystrokes to put in a mnemonic instead of a quickkey for the simplicity of good old Windows Control-C and Control-V for documentation and instructions. And I'll take the relaxed mode online editor in RSLogix 5/500 any day instead of the one-rung-at-a-time method in APS or AI.

One of our listers pointed out one of my personal peeves; the loss of auto-association of description text between the program element and
sub-elements (i.e. between a timer and it's .DN and .EN bits). I was very pleased to find that it's been added to version 4.0, which went to Release Candidate status last week.

I sympathize with all those who suffer through NT's rough treatment of the RSLinx serial drivers. 95 and 98 are very gentle, Win2000 works fine with the DF1 drivers but breaks the PIC driver (hey, you're forewarned). I dunno if I'd characterize it as a hack job, but I do know that I use a PCMK whenever I can to avoid the PIC driver.

One thing that still isn't in the 4.0 release is the program compare utility. I expect it to be included in the late spring release of 4.1.
I think it's been a battle to get the utility to be part of RSLogix instead of part of a big compliance tracking or version control software. It will be nice to have that back.

Ken Roach
A-B Seattle

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#### Anthony de la Rosa

I'm a big fan of A.I. myself, I still have one on paid support while all my other licenses are
RSLogix 5. You may not have one key commands in logix but you could always double click on a rung and enter command line style. This is pretty much
how I program in logix.

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#### Geoff Lynn

The discussion of RSLogix programming software is kind of interesting from sociological perspective. As technology professionals we have all heard and participated in discussions of the reluctance of people to accept change. What I see in this thread are a bunch of people stuck in the past (AI Software) and automatically assume the new guy can't do it. It usually can, and usually better. One key commands. Right click in ladder window, select properties, quick key mapping and assign any key you want to any command. Then click edit, quick key mode or simply hit control E then you are in single key mode. For the person who said AI is better for banging out code
because of what you can see on the screen. If you bang out new code for every program you are wasting time. RSLogix 5 allows you to cut and paste between files, between programs and even allows drag and drop between RSLogix 500 and RSLogix 5. Further you can dismiss the project tree and change the font size. You can dismiss the tool bars. You can zoom in and out. You can use mnemonics and so on. To me RSLogix offers unprecedented control for PLC programming software. It is worthwhile to take the time to
learn what it can do. No I do not work for Rockwell.

Geoff Lynn
BP/Amoco
Alberta Pipeline Operation

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#### R A Peterson

You can directly enter a mnemonic code by using the command portal function in AI. Instead of using the function keys, type ".". This opens a small window. Then you can string together the commands (if you can recall the single character abbr.) and can add LL instructions and addresses as well. Very quick once you remember the 5-10 commands you commonly use.

Example: .UUI opens the command portal, then selects utility, utility, information (these letters are capitalized on the equivalent menu level function keys). When you hit return, its equivalent to having typed those 3 function keys.

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#### Jeffrey D. Brandt

Simple: A.I. ('ICOM') is the finest PLC programming tool, bar none. ALL OTHER packages are compared to A.I., even those of other
vendors. In that I mean, that the phrase "It's no A.I." has become the watchword and the litmus test of a package's ability.

As in "VersaPro is no A.I.", or "LSS is no A.I."
or, of course, "RSLogix is no A.I. (and never will be)"

The rest are simply too cumbersome for someone punching in a long program.

Jeffrey D. Brandt
[email protected]
http://users.supernet.com/jdbrandt/

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#### Dale Witman

I believe that AB developed a contract that prohibited the previous owners of Icom from competing in the controls market for 10 years. They took the money and ran, smart move. Scott worked at Rockwell for about 3 or 4 years and bailed out. I think he was fed up with the bureaucracy at AB. I don't remember when Icom fell into the hands of Rockwell, maybe 1992, but that 10 year period should be over soon, maybe they will consider going at it again? I would welcome it!

Dale

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#### Jack Gallagher

The thing that I don't understand is why people believe that Rockwell cannot add the best features of AI to their RSLogix product? Maybe if people forwarded their opinions of what RSLogix should add to make it more like AI their would BE a product that could be considered at least as good as AI. Stubbornness to change is not a good practice. Just as change for changes
sake is not good. If I had my way I would make all development environments work like the BRIEF editor. But that is life.

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#### Dan Hazel

Somewhat reminiscent of the transition from Wordstar to MS Word. I'd have a hard time going back to Wordstar now.

Dan Hazel
Rockwell Automation