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Communicating with ControlByWeb Stand-Alone Products

This video explains several different methods about how the X-600M can monitor and control ControlByWeb stand-alone products.

Video Transcript:

The X-600M is a powerful web-enabled programmable logic controller. It can be expanded to monitor and control over 1,000 I/O points by adding ControlByWeb I/O modules and 1-wire sensors. This video explains two different options for connecting ControlByWeb I/O modules to the X-600M controller.

The first type of I/O modules are a series of slave/expansion modules such as the X-11s, X-12s, and so on. These directly connect to the X-600M through a ribbon cable which we refer to as the expansion bus. The expansion bus powers the modules and provides differential serial communications, between the modules and the X-600M. We offer a variety of expansion modules that include relays, digital inputs, thermocouples, analog inputs, and more. The expansion modules are easy to use because they don’t require a separate power supply, Ethernet connection, or IP address.

The second type of I/O modules which can be used with the X-600M are all of our existing stand-alone Ethernet modules that we have offered for many years. Although these modules can be used as stand-alone devices, they can also be used as slave devices to the X-600M. These modules also include relays, analog inputs, digital inputs, and more. The advantage of these devices is that they don’t have to be physically located next to the X-600M, they can be located anywhere on the local network, or even anywhere on the Internet as long as you properly configure access to your network routers.

In most cases, to configure ControlByWeb I/O modules to work with the X-600M, you will add the modules under the Devices tab in the X-600M’s setup pages by clicking on Find New Devices button which will automatically scan for devices located on the expansion bus, or on your local network. Once you give the device a name and description, click Add. You can then fill out any additional information for the device’s I/O.

Once the devices are added, you will add their inputs and outputs that you are interested in by clicking on the I/O tab, then selecting the type of I/O you want. After clicking Edit, fill in the relevant information about the I/O. This is the only way to add inputs and outputs from expansion modules, and it is the only way to add outputs (such as relays) from stand-alone devices over the Ethernet network. Inputs from stand-alone devices can be configured in two different ways:

First, on the X-600M, you can configure the input by adding the device and then the I/O they same way that you would set up an output. In most cases, this works great and is easy to set up and the configuration is clearly documented in the X-600M setup pages. The disadvantage of this approach is that an input could change and the X-600M might not know about it for a few seconds. This is because the X-600M updates the input status of each device by periodically polling all of the devices that are set up. Typically this is done every few seconds.

In many cases, a few-second delay on an input will not make any difference; however, for some applications the X-600M must know immediately when the input changes because it must quickly act upon that input change. For example, a light switch connected to an input should immediately turn the lights on (rather than waiting a few seconds).

To avoid this delay, you can configure the ControlByWeb stand-alone devices to immediately send input status updates to the X-600M whenever an input changes. This second option is done by setting up registers on the X-600M and then configuring the stand-alone devices to change the status of those registers whenever an input changes. Once the registers are created, you would configure the X-600M to perform a function whenever those registers change.

To set up a register on the X-600M, click on the I/O tab. From there you can click on Registers, and then click on Add New Register on the right side of the window. A small pop-up window appears where you can enter the Register’s information. The Register name must be the word “register” followed by a numeric value. This is because commands from other stand-alone devices only send register values to those types of names.

For this example we will type the name “register1,” and give it a description. You can also select the type as well as fill out other information about the register. Once you are done, click Add. After you create the register, you can configure a conditional event to occur whenever that register changes. You would then configure an action to do something based on that conditional event. Once finished, click Commit Changes.

The final step is to configure the stand-alone device’s input to change a register in the X-600M. For example, if you want the X-310’s Input 1 to change register1 on the X-600M, you would do the following:

  • Open the X-310’s setup pages by typing in its IP address followed by /setup.html
  • Click on I/O Setup, and then Remote I/O tab.
  • Specify the IP address, TCP Port, and Password of the X-600M.
  • Select I/O Type “Register” and specify I/O 1 (this means we want to change register1).
  • Below that, set up the Control Source to Digital Input 1 because that’s the input that will trigger the event in the X-600M.
  • Select Remote I/O action “I/O equals Source.” This means for this example, when the X-310’s Input 1 turns on, register1 on the X-600M will be set to 1, and when Input 1 turns off, register1 will be set to 0.
  • After you have made those changes, click Submit.

You can now test the setup and make sure everything works properly. If it doesn’t work, carefully check the settings and network configuration. For troubleshooting tips, please see our support page at www.ControlByWeb.com/support

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