How to Use Ethernet Drivers with RSLinx Classic

Learn Logix Part 4.3. In this article, we learn how to connect to a Logix 5000 system using RSLinx Classic and Ethernet drivers.

Learn Logix is a series of articles designed to teach you everything you need to know to work with Rockwell Automation’s Studio 5000 Logix Designer and the Logix 5000 series of PLCs.

In the last part of the series, we learned how to configure a USB driver in RSLinx Classic and work with devices on the network. You can find that part here or if you’re new to the series, you can find all of the previous parts here.

In this part of the series, we’ll learn how to use Ethernet drivers to connect to a Logix 5000 system through RSLinx Classic.

In this article, we’ll learn how to connect to a Logix 5000 system using RSLinx Classic and an Ethernet driver. In RSLinx Classic, there are two types of Ethernet drivers available to use to connect to a Logix 5000 system. These are the Ethernet/IP driver and the Ethernet devices driver.

Let’s look at the details of each of these drivers.

The Ethernet/IP Driver

The Ethernet/IP Driver uses a computer’s Network Interface Card (NIC) to scan either a local or remote subnet for Ethernet/IP capable automation devices.

Using this driver you can discover all of the Ethernet/IP capable devices that are configured and connected to the subnet such as controllers, communication modules, PowerFlex drives, Kinetix servo drives, and PanelView Plus operator terminals.

The Ethernet Devices Driver

The Ethernet Devices Driver uses a computer’s Network Interface Card to communicate with devices at specific IP addresses, rather than scanning the whole subnet.

With this driver, only devices on the same subnet as the computer, who’s IP addresses have been manually entered in the driver configuration will be available.

How to Configure an Ethernet Devices Driver

To configure an Ethernet/IP Driver, launch RSLinx Classic and click Communications > Configure Drivers.

Communications > Configure Drivers

The Configure Drivers dialog opens.

In this dialog, choose the type of communications driver to create and click Add New…. In this example, we will choose to create an Ethernet Devices driver.

Ethernet Devices > Add New

The Add New RSLinx Classic Driver dialog appears. Here you can give you Ethernet Devices driver a meaningful name. For the sake of keeping our example simple, I’ll accept the default driver name and click OK to create the driver.

Name the Driver

Once the Ethernet Devices driver is created, the Configure Driver dialog opens. In this dialog, you can enter the IP addresses of all the devices you want to connect to using this driver.

In this example, I have only added the IP address of my controller, 192.168.100.2. In a larger system, you will add multiple IP addresses to connect to multiple devices through your driver.

When you have added the IP addresses, click Apply and then OK.

Add IP Addresses > OK

Close the configure drivers window.

Now in RSLinx Classic, you can see your newly created Ethernet Devices driver.

Ethernet Devices Driver in RSLinx Classic

How to Configure an Ethernet/IP Driver

The steps for configuring an Ethernet/IP driver are largely the same as for configuring an Ethernet Devices driver.

Configuring an Ethernet/IP Driver in RSLInx Classic

To configure an Ethernet/IP driver, you;

  • Open RSLinx Classic
  • Click Communications > Configure Drivers
  • Choose Ethernet/IP Driver in the Available Driver Types dropdown and click Add New
  • Give the driver a name and click OK to create the driver

Once the driver set up is complete, you can click on the driver’s name in RSLinx Classic to view all of the nodes on the Ethernet/IP network.

Ethernet/IP Driver

Working with Devices on an Ethernet Driver

View Device Properties

Just like with a USB driver, you can right-click on any device found through an Ethernet driver to view the node’s properties (Right-click > Device Properties) or configure the node (Right-click > Configure Module)

Conclusion

In this article, we learned how to connect to a Logix 5000 system using RSLinx Classic and Ethernet communication drivers.

In the next part of the series, we will learn how to interpret the state of devices on a network. If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to the mailing list below to be notified when the next part is available.

Update: You can find the next part of the Learn Logix series, Understanding Device States in RSLinx Classic, here. In this article, we learn how to understand and fix abnormal device states in RSLinx Classic.

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