Beijer Electronics (formerly QSI Corporation)

Manufacturer of Mobile Data and Human Machine Interface Terminals.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:20 pm 
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We have many systems that have identical hardware and we have replaced one G-75 unit an A-12 with Qlarity. This unit has failed and we temporarily replaced it with an A-7 while we are getting the A-12 repaired. Now here is our problem. :roll:

The setup is like this. We have a HMI conected to an ethernet switch connected to a Wago PFC communicating with ModbusTCP. All seems fine but:

If we connect the G-75 directly to the PFC with a crossover cable they communicate correctly all the times.
If we connect the A-7 directly to the PFC with a crossover cable they will never communicate.

If we connect the G75 through a switch to the PFC and reboot them all they communicate correctly all the times.
If we connect the A-7 through a switch to the PFC and reboot them they communicate sometimes and sometimes not ever.

If we connect the G75 through a switch to the PFC and reboot first the PFC and then 30 seconds later the HMI they communicate correctly all the times.
If we connect the A-7 through a switch to the PFC and reboot and then 30 seconds later the HMI they communicate correctly all the times.

IF the G-75 and the PFC are communicating and then we disconnect all cables and switch then we reconnect them through a switch OR with a crossover... they communicate correctly all the times.

IF the A-7 and the PFC are communicating and then we disconnect all cables and switch then we reconnect them through a switch OR with a crossover... they communicate correctly all the times.

So when the communication has been going on correctly then we can do whatever we want, they will reconnect. If we reboot we have troubles, and only with the A-7 unit.

Does it have to do with WinCE?

We want to replace all our G-75 with A-12 but we must find out why this is happening before we do.

All units have fix addresses, no DHCP.

We have only one program version, they are all identical but for the net addresses.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:38 am 
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Did you replace the switch? I will get a couple of HMIs and write a simulation program. In the mean time, replace the switch and let us know if that solved your problem. It could also be that you are not using a switch, but a router.

Regards,
Stuart


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:42 am 
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Stuart Murry wrote:
Did you replace the switch? I will get a couple of HMIs and write a simulation program. In the mean time, replace the switch and let us know if that solved your problem. It could also be that you are not using a switch, but a router.

Regards,
Stuart


To describe simpler:

When there is a switch between the devices it WILL CONNECT IF and only IF I boot the HMI much later than the PLC.

When there is a switch between the devices and the connection is established THEN I can remove the switch and use a crossover cable to connect directly both device and it works.

I cannot boot and use a direct crossover connection, It NEVER WORKS WITH THE A-7 although it ALWAYS WORKS WITH A G-75.

The problem here is that we want to replace all of our G-75 with the new A-12 and the direct crossover connection is our emergency backup connection. But it does not work.

Why?
Is this normal?
Can we do something about it?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:45 pm 
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This is not normal, although I do not know off hand what might cause this.

Do the switches you are using offer a "mirror" or debug port option that can copy all traffic out the mirror port? In order to debug this we will need more information about the actual network traffic on your machines. If your switch has a mirror port you can use a network analyzer to inspect the packets being transferred between the PLC and the A12/G75. Specifically a capture of a successful boot sequence of the G75/PLC and a capture of a failed boot sequence of an A12/PLC would be of interest.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:16 pm 
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Jeremy wrote:
This is not normal, although I do not know off hand what might cause this.

Do the switches you are using offer a "mirror" or debug port option that can copy all traffic out the mirror port? In order to debug this we will need more information about the actual network traffic on your machines. If your switch has a mirror port you can use a network analyzer to inspect the packets being transferred between the PLC and the A12/G75. Specifically a capture of a successful boot sequence of the G75/PLC and a capture of a failed boot sequence of an A12/PLC would be of interest.


I just received an A12 from Beijer to test this. Unfortunately, when there is a switch involved it ALWAYS works... its with a direct crossover cable that we have problems... with the A-xx series but not with the G-xx... we believe it has to do with the WinCE under which runs Qlarity... we will start some testing tomorrow (Wednesday July 24th) in our shop^and update the results.

We have a quite old ''dumb hub'' ... maybe this will work work snooping discretely when the crossover fails... we.ll see.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:20 pm 
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In your original post, you indicated three scenarios. If I understood it correctly, scenario two was a failure mode that sometimes occurred when the A12 was connected via a switch. That was the mode I was hoping to capture.

A dumb hub is also perfect for such a capture assuming that the failure mode exhibits when using the switch.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:06 am 
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Jeremy wrote:
In your original post, you indicated three scenarios. If I understood it correctly, scenario two was a failure mode that sometimes occurred when the A12 was connected via a switch. That was the mode I was hoping to capture.

A dumb hub is also perfect for such a capture assuming that the failure mode exhibits when using the switch.


This is when ths switch has something, its not open cable or failed switch. It is very rare and we have the direct connection has solution for when this happens. For instance when the IT guys duplicate addresses.. before we find what they have done we connect the devices (G75 and Wago PLCs) directly with a crossover... now we can't do this anymore with the A12...

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:35 pm 
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We will do some looking on our end as well. Let me know if you see anything. I have never had issues with the A12 and Ethernet, but at the same time, I have not done much with a crossover cable.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:14 pm 
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Now with the loaned A12 AND the repaired one we have this situation where the units just won't fail anymore... but once.

We have installed the repaired unit on Line#2 and have the loaned unit on Line#1.

We have found that only Line#1 used to give us this kind of reaction... where the network is blinking rapidly showing some communication but where the Modbus com link has failed.

We have found only one thing that is making Line#1 special and its the firmware of the Wago PFC that is much older than the other Lines.

We will soon replace this PFC with another of earlier firmware and see if it solves it all.

We will keep you informed on the results.

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