How to Use USB Drivers with RSLinx Classic

Learn Logix Part 4.2. In this article, we learn how to connect to a Logix 5000 system using RSLinx Classic and a USB driver.

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 got an introduction to RSLinx Classic, the software tool used to configure communication drivers with a Logix 5000 system. 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 USB drivers to connect to a Logix 5000 system through RSLinx Classic.

There are three main driver types used to communicate with a Logix 5000 controller. Of the three driver types, USB drivers are the easiest to understand and work with.

The USB driver and virtual backplane are automatically created in RSLinx classic when you connect your computer to a Logix 5000 controller or communications module using a USB cable.

This connection is a temporary point-to-point connection, it is not intended to create a permanent connection between a computer and a Logix 5000 system.

Working with a USB Driver

With RSLinx Classic open, connect your computer to a controller or communications module using a USB cable. Once connected, a USB driver is automatically created in RSLinx Classic

USB Driver in RSLinx Classic

You can expand the USB driver to see the connected controller. You can further expand the controller and backplane to view all of the modules connected to the backplane of the controller.

Expand the backplane to see the devices on the backplane

Once the connection to the Logix 5000 system is established, you can view the properties of the accessible devices by right-clicking them and choosing Device Properties.

Right-click > Device Properties

The Device Properties dialog opens up.

Device Properties dialog

Through the USB driver, you can also configure the properties of a module by right-clicking and selecting Module Configuration.

Right-click > Module Configuration

The Module Configuration dialog opens.

In the General tab, you can modify the device’s name.

General > Device name

In the Port Configuration tab, you can modify the device’s network configuration.

Port Configuration

Disadvantages of USB Drivers

The USB driver creates a point-to-point connection to a controller. This is designed to be a temporary connection between a computer and a controller.

To use the USB driver, you need direct access to the controller which is not always possible.

For permanent or remote connections, you need to use an EtherNet/IP connection to the controller or communications module. We’ll learn how to work with EtherNet/IP drivers in the next lesson.

Conclusion

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

In the next part of the series, we will learn how to connect to a Logix 5000 system using EtherNet/IP communication drivers. 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, How to Use Ethernet Drivers with RSLinx Classic, here. In this article, we learn how to connect to a Logix 5000 system using RSLinx Classic and Ethernet drivers.

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