- A quick review of the new major features in the DoMore Designer 1.1 release.
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With Ethernet I/O you can talk to remote slaves and GS Drives just like they were local IO – that’s right, no more cumbersome Modbus stuff – the DoMore does all of that for you in the background – and it is incredibly easy to use. You just enable it right here by clicking on this check box, and then click on this button right here to find all the compatible hardware on the network. You select the devices you want to use. Add them in. Click on each device to configure it. And you are good to go! That’s it. You can now talk ot each of these devices just like they were local I/O without any modbus commands at all. It’s so easy. There’s a whole series of videos on this new Ethernet I/O feature– including a quick start - so be sure to check those out to get up and running quickly with this powerful new feature. A number of string functions now have the ability to be either edge triggered OR power flow enabled – that’s really handy when using these in ladder code. That ability has also been extended to the instruction that queries information about data memory. Again, very handy. The Memory Clear instruction can now clear a range of bits – before you were limited to numerics and structures. Now you can specify bits that you want to clear. So you start at bit C2. How many do you want to clear. And away you go! In the PUBLISH and SUBSCRIBE instructions it used to be you could only swap bytes in a 16 bit element. Now you can swap words in a 32 bit DWORD too! NETTIME now accepts variables as inputs so you can configure your IP addressing during run time! That means you can now sync to different Time Servers while the program is running. Before they were fixed numbers that couldn’t be changed once the program started so you could only sync to one server. DEVREAD and DEVWRITE now allow you to read several SMTP email server parameters at runtime! The SCALE instruction used to be limited to operations that didn’t need more than 32 bits. Now it can handle anything you throw at it. That’s actually an internal firmware thing, not a software thing, but thought you might like to know … The new GSREGRD and GSREGWR instructions make working with GS Drives incredibly easy. Previously, to configure a GS Drive, you had to do a bunch of Modbus reads and writes, implement all the interlocking logic to make sure it all got done correctly and verify the results. And you had to look up each parameter and figure out what it’s scaling was, what values were valid, etc. It was cumbersome to say the least. And look – you don’t even have to look up the parameter. You just double click on an empty entry, and up pops a list of all of the parameters for that drive. You click on the one that is of interest to you, and up top here you get a description, a range of valid values, any implied decimal places with the default is, all the mod bus addresses is. You just fill in the blank with your value and hit OK. There are even direct links to the manual and spec if you need more details. How handy is that - everything you need to know in one place – just fill in the blanks and go. You can enter up to 50 parameters here and even have it set a bit or jump to a stage when it is done. All in one line of ladder code and you don’t have to do any Modbus stuff to make this happen – the DoMore does all of that for you in the background. The new PING instruction is awesome – you now have an instruction that allows you to verify the connection to a device in your ladder code. For IP Addressing it will work with ANY IP device including network gateways, email servers, network printers, etc. For Slave addressing, it uses an HEI directed broadcast request which means it will work with and HOST Engineering Ethernet Device like ECOM100, EBC100, DoMore, etc. using the NetEdit ID number – that means you don’t have to have a valid IP address in the devices to find them! That’s great for debugging network issues and now you can display the status of your network devices on an HMI for example from your ladder code. And look you can even measure the roundtrip time to that device. He new DNSLOOKUP instruction converts a text URL or computer name to it’s IP address and puts it in a DWORD register. So now you can use that DWORD register as an input to those instructions we just reviewed that accept IP addresses as variables such as DEVWRITE, NETTIME, MRX/MWX, etc .. That means if you have the user provide the name of the device, you can automatically convert it to an IP address that the rest of your instructions can use. That’s cool. The I/O System View utility – which is locatd under the PLC menu – is a new utility that shows you your entire system at a glance. Here’s my 205 base. Here’s my Ethernet I/O master and all the slaves that are reporting into that Ethernet Port. I can see my EBC100, my Terminator I/O, and my GS Drive. The cool thing about this is if you have an error on any of these modules, it will turn red and over here you can view all the information about that module, what the specific error is and you can even pull up direct links to the specs and the manuals for each and every module in the system. I love not having to go hunt for the manuals and specs when I need them. They are right here ready for me to use. This is all discussed in detail in the Ethernet IO troubleshooting video, so check it out. The new Ethernet IO Monitor Utility – which is under the Debug Menu - Shows you all the Ethernet statistics for the on board Ethernet port AND all the slaves connected to it. This is fantastic for debugging those ethernet issues. This dialog is also covered in the Ethernet I/O trouble shooting video. Normally you would create an init routine for the more intelligent analog modules. Specifically these guys and the Terminator analog output combo modules. Now you can do the configuration via a simple configuration dialog and eliminate all that cumbersome ladder code. And since it is stored as part of the program it will be executed on each Program to RUN transition with out you having to do anything. In both the Documentation editor and the Cross reference, you can now sort the tables in several different ways which makes working with TAGs and nicknames super easy .. You know what a pain it can be to keep up with which software is compatible with which firmware and which bootloader, right? We’ll with the new DoMore Technology version all of that goes away. At a glance I can now see which features are supported by which technology. For example, suppose this says that my PLC OS is 1.0. Well that means he can only support technology version 1.0 features. It’s ok to use DoMore Designer technology version 1.1, I just can’t use those advanced features in a 1.0 device unless I upgrade the firmware, of course. This is important – these are NOT firmware or software revision numbers. They are feature set numbers. Don’t confuse the two, they can look quite similar. If you want to see the actual software and firmware versions just click on this button right here. Note that this also tells you which version of Windows you are using. That can be real helpful when you are calling support. And look at this: you can even copy all of this information and all of the software versions directly to the clip board which makes it really easy to e-mail this information to tech support. And there is even a button right here that lets you check for updates without leaving this dialog. My software is up to date of course, but if it wasn’t you would see a list of all the things that need to be updated. You can now install independent versions of DoMore Designer – that is you can now install 1.1 and not loose the 1.0 version of DoMore Designer you were using. You can see both of those in the Windows start menu here. Also note that they are completely different folders on your hard drive, so all of your 1.1 projects will now be over here, not here. When it comes time to uninstall DoMore designer, just click on the uninstall executable here and it will take care of it for you. Make sure you select the right one! There are a number of new enhancements – many of which came from users like you. Those are covered in a separate Enhancements video – but the point is – AutomationDirect and Host Engineering take feedback seriously, so please keep it coming! How do you do provide feedback? Right here – Help, Support. And you can go directly to Automation Direct support, the automationdirect forums or the Host engineering forums. Drop them a note – they really appreciate the feedback – both the good and the bad! By the way, all the stuff we have covered in this video – and a lot more – are covered right here under the “What’s new” star. So be sure to check that out for more details on what we covered here. And of course you will want to check out the other videos in this series for more ways to get the most out of your DoMore system. --And don’t forget – Automation Directs tech support is always FREE and you will talk to a real live person here in the US within minutes. Got a question? You can call, e-mail, or even do on-line chat during regular business hours. Spend LESS. Do MORE. From Automation Direct