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<== Date ==> <== Thread ==>

Subject: Re: Remote I/O
From: Chris Timossi <catimossi@lbl.gov>
To: nick.rees@diamond.ac.uk
Cc: tech-talk@aps.anl.gov
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 2009 09:22:30 -0800
At the Advanced Light Source we have two years experience with Modbus/TCP on Linux soft IOCs and VxWorks based IOCs communicating with the following instruments:

-IE Power custom power supply controller (running the Modbus/TCP protocol on and embedded Tiny Linux module) -Acrodyne Industries RF Transmitter with embedded Horner 'SmartStack' Ethernet Modules
-Alpha Systems magnet power supply controller built by Bira Systems.
-In-house Top-Off Interlock system again using Horner PLCs with 'SmartStack' Ethernet Modules. -WAGO 750 842. Used for thermocouple monitoring, water interlocks and other small scale monitoring projects.

The key for us has been the Modbus/TCP protocol. It's proved easy for vendors to provide this as an interface since so many PLC systems support it. For our in-house developed controls we've been deploying WAGOs for thermocouple monitoring and for water interlocks. Our RF engineer, Ken Baptist has used Horner 'SmartStack' modules for several systems he's developed. They've proved pretty easy to interface to EPICS with the async driver.

Chris Timossi
Advanced Light Source
Berkeley, CA, USA


On 12/16/2009 4:44 AM, nick.rees@diamond.ac.uk wrote:
At Diamond we are considering what to use for the next generation of
discrete I/O. Currently we have a lot of VME based hardware, but we are
considering a good architecture for a Linux world.

The model that we are considering is a soft IOC on a Linux system
communicating over Ethernet using an open, industry standard protocol to
distributed DIN-Rail mounted I/O points. These I/O points take in
Ethernet and are powered from a 24V bus that will run around the
hardware area.

This eliminates any dependence on a specialized bus architecture (apart
from Ethernet) on the Linux system, so they can be commodity PC's, and
hopefully allows us to use widely available, cheap, industrial modules
for I/O. It will not completely replace all of the requirements
currently serviced by VME, but would be able to satisfy most of them,
with the remaining few being serviced by the occasional VME system (or
FPGA, or some other bus, or something else entirely in the future...).

This email is to poll the EPICS community as to the experience people
have had, and recommendations for and against.

The sort of thing we have identified are:

 1. Modbus/TCP based modules, such as the Acromag Busworks series
http://www.acromag.com/models.cfm?Product_Function_ID=28&Category_ID=22&;
Group_ID=2
 2. EtherCAT base modules, such as those from Beckhoff:
http://www.beckhoff.com/
 3. Standard PLC systems where (as distinct from the other two), you
take Ethernet to a PLC controller which then has a series of modules it
talks to in a variety of possible ways.

So, is anyone willing to share their experiences with these or similar
systems,

Cheers,

Nick Rees
Principal Software Engineer           Phone: +44 (0)1235-778430
Diamond Light Source                  Fax:   +44 (0)1235-446713


References:
Remote I/O nick.rees

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