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TP177 Micro
TP177 Micro Communication Problem
By Raghupathy Padmanathan on 23 July, 2008 - 1:26 am

I have a Simatic TP177 Micro touch panel with CPU224. This TP177 Micro doesn't have the Job Mailbox option for creating POPUP (like displaying a particular screen after completion of some process) Screens. I could not create POPUP screens by alternative methods even though I have been trying with "TAG EVENT" & "VISIBILITY" at Animation options. Yet I couldn't reach results.

Could anybody help me to solve the problem?

By Marc Sinclair on 23 July, 2008 - 11:13 pm


I've used scores of these. Although they are great value and reliable units, their down-side is the truly awful configuration software. Siemens in their wisdom decided that ALL of their HMI offerings, (except the smallest TDs) should share the common interface of WINCC Flexible Micro. This means that the functions available, are tailored to the configuration software, rather that the strengths, weaknesses, or the suitability of the device itself.

The TP177micro is LINUX based and ideal for small machinery control, but the configuration software is biased toward high end SCADA interfaces. So to configure the TP177 you are basically using a huge program which has been crippled to avoid the features not available on the TP177. Other useful features like cross referencing have been removed to differentiate between the Micro and standard versions.

With the S7-200, which you are using, there is no TAG integration, which really complicates development, no use of the string variable, so sending messages is difficult, and the date processing of the TP177 is a dogs breakfast, so much so, that the alarm system is practically unusable.

I've got round these in various ways. I manage the TAGS in Open Office Calc (which has it's own Date issues), to Cut and Paste between MicroWin and IMPORT into WinCC Flexible Micro, this way there is a master variable (TAG) list and changes are easy.

I don't use the alarm system (which would be ideal to display random messages if the dates were correct) Instead (and here is the answer to your question) I add a status line on the screen showing a character string (not string, remember strings don't work) from the PLC, I then show the relevant status messages by BLOCK MOVE-ing a message configured in a DATA block to the status string area. OR, if you want a new screen to appear, use the event of a TAG value change, to activate a screen by number, (you could make it look like a pop-up) on which you have an OK button to take you back to the previous screen.

As for the date problem, I've had to write a date library for the PLC which I use to generate error messages, which are then logged. OR, persevere with VISIBILITY, it does work, the HIDDEN and VISIBLE sense can be confusing though. Try using a Button, on which you can show the text, and use the click event to acknowledge and clear the message.

Even with its problems, of which Siemens are aware, it is a useful little screen and graces many of my projects, some even have two!

Marc Sinclair

By Raghupathy Padmanathan on 30 July, 2008 - 1:29 am

Thank you for your valuable reply. One more thing is I have tried to modify the DATE&TIME of the PLC as well as HMI in the same setup with Siemens Library. Still it's not working. Can you help me with a sample program for date&time modification???

Thanks in advance.

By Marc Sinclair on 1 August, 2008 - 1:01 am


Date and time on the TP177 is, in my opinion, such a dog's breakfast, that it's best avoiding. The only date/time format (currently) available makes no sense to most of the world, (what is 02/03/05 anyway?) and it is not configurable. Worse still, unless all your calculations, and your PC/PG use this format, then you're stuffed. I've had to write a simple ISO date/time library to provide the date/time in ISO format, then I use this along with a selected error message to provide status and error log. This way, interrogating the PLC gives you the current status and the error log. which would otherwise be split between the two devices. Don't forget a clock setup screen, to allow PLC time and date setting, using the RTC commands. If you want more specific help, please contact me offline

Marc Sinclair

By Raghupathy Padmanathan on 5 August, 2008 - 11:36 pm

Please send me the sample code so that I can complete it at the earliest... Thank you for your continual guidance.

By Raymond Payne on 17 December, 2008 - 10:47 am

Marc, how can I find out exactly how to import the tag list from the spreadsheet to the TP177 HMI?