Using Pactware with generic HART instructions?


Thread Starter


I downloaded Pactware 3.6 (arbitrarily, the Krohne) version and installed it with the intent of configuring the tag, eng. units, LRV & URV on a Siemens DSIII DP HART transmitter.

The Mactek Viator serial HART modem is on COM 1 and it apparently works OK, its ViatorCheck utility 'sees' the DSIII and reports its primary variable, as expected.

When I exit the ViatorCheck utility and launch Pactware, I can accomplish nothing in PACTware.

Attempts to 'connect' are stymied by lack of "TCI communication" (which appears to be affiliated with Profibus).

Attempts to "add device" displays HART under the 'protocol' tab, but there seems to be no method to add a generic HART device.

Project > "load from device" shows an upload status box, message: PACTware action active, one moment please; but the comm LEDs blink forever, (over 4 minutes before I gave up) without resolving anything.

Attempts through "up/download manager" to communicate go nowhere.

Under Extras > "Device Catalog Administration", "Generic HART" appears, but it isn't clear how to tie it to a device or a project, or otherwise use it.

I understand that Siemens does not have DTM's for PACTWARE, but my thought was that HART configurator software would likely do the 7-odd generic HART commands. But maybe not? Maybe it's "No DTM, no HART".

The HELP file says, "Before PACTware can be used at least one DTM must be installed". OK, so I go find & install a DTM, but will any installed DTM enable generic HART commands?

Maybe PACTware runs only devices with a DTM, but does not run generic HART?
I haven't used Pactware, so you can take the following with a grain of salt. I investigated it a while ago however, and my understanding of it is that it isn't a stand alone program. It's just a common front end for the various manufacturer's proprietary back ends.

The back end (DTM) does all the actual configuration and communications with the field device. The front end (Pactware) just provides the menus and forms.

Yes, "at least one DTM must be installed" - the DTM software for the actual field device you have. The field device manufacturers haven't all of a sudden embraced open standards and adopted a common protocol or common configuration method. You still need software from each device manufacturer.
PACTware can certainly be used to communicate with virtually any standard HART devices using the universal and some "Common Practice" commands. Typically PACTware is distributed with the two additional software components that are necessary for this; a HART Communication DTM and a Generic HART Device DTM.

If you installed these components along with PACTware, you should have all the software needed.

To use the software, you must add the HART Communication DTM to the HOST PC in the PACTware Project Window, and then add the Generic HART device DTM to the HART Communication DTM. (As for most Windows applications, there are several ways to do this; one is to open the Device Catalog window in PACTware (not the Device catalog administration window) and drag and drop the DTMs; refer to the Getting Started section in the PACTware Online help, if necessary). Note that the Generic HART DTM cannot be added directly to the HOST PC ; it connects to the HART Communication DTM, which must be added first.

Once you have done this, it will be very easy to repeat (or you can save your PACTware project and these steps will already be done the next time you open it).

When you have the DTMs added to the project, you select the Generic HART device DTM and select Connect from the Device menu (or the context menu), then you can choose Online Parameterization from the Device \ Parameter menu to access the standard HART parameters.

Note that the ViatorCheck software probably must not be running in order for the HART Communication DTM to access the HART modem.

Chris Turcotte
Thank you, Mr. Turcotte.

Your answers were exact and precise and enabled me to get Pactware talking generic common-usage HART to a variety of field instruments.

I now have a Pactware project with both a HART communication DTM and the generic HART DTM installed which connects to any HART device I connect the HART modem up to.


Thanks for the feedback; it's nice to know that my comments were helpful.

As you probably know, there are full-featured DTMs (that can be used with your PACTware setup) from a number of device manufacturers, often available at no cost. The membership directory or the product catalog at will give you a good idea of which companies may have available DTMs.