AutomationDirect
DirectSOFT32 Programming
1-800-633-0405
Service Pack Demo Documentation FAQs
DirectSOFT32 is our full-featured PLC programming package that supports all of the DirectLOGIC families of PLCs, including all DL05, DL06, DL105, DL205, DL305, DL405, and all of their Koyo cousins from GE, TI and Siemens. 

There are reduced cost versions (OEM versions) that support only certain families. This affords the OEMs an economical way to ship a copy of the programming software with their machines.

There is also a site license version available for corporations that need several copies of the programming software at the same physical location.

 
Operating System Windows 98 / Me / NT4 / 2000 / XP
CPU Pentium III Class / 500mHz or greater
RAM 64Mb
Hard Disk 20Mb
PLC Connectivity RS-232 Serial Port
USB port with USB-to-Serial adapter
10Base-T or 10/100 Ethernet network card
Manufacturer Host Engineering, Inc.

This is the recommended system configuration for what we consider to be a good performing PC with this application. As with any Windows application, a faster processor, more RAM, etc. will definitely improve the performance. While you can definitely run the software on PCs with less capability, you run the risk of resource bottlenecks that can cause serious performance problems and in some cases, even system crashes.

Fast CPUs and RAM are cheap, engineering time and system downtime aren't,
 plan accordingly!

Service Pack

All Release 3.0 and 4.0 products are 32-bit only software packages. They will work with Windows  98, ME, NT4, Win2000, and  XP. These Service Packs are NOT complete installations. You must have a previous release of the product installed to use these service packs. 

If you have DirectSOFT32 Release 4.0, here's the latest service pack.

The installation product key is : DSP-SERVICE-PACK

DirectSOFT32 v4.0 (Build 25) Service Pack   ( ~11.5Mb )                View  the Release 4.0 Revision history.

If you have DirectSOFT32 Release 3.0, here's the latest service pack

The product key is : DSP-SERVICE-PACK

DirectSOFT32 v3.0c (Build 80) Service Pack               View the Release 3.0 revision history

We are no longer actively developing these products. They are still available for customers needing to upgrade.

DirectSOFT v2.4a Maintenance Release Jan '1999  (~3 Mb)

  • This will upgrade any DirectSOFT Programming Release 2.x to Release 2.4a. This maintenance release will NOT work for DirectSOFT Release 1.x. This is NOT a complete installation. You must have a previous 2.x release of our DirectSOFT Programming installed to use this maintenance release.
  • DirectSOFT v2.4a DL350 Bit Override Jan '1999 (58 kb ) This download will allow for proper operation of the new Bit Override feature in a Koyo DL350 CPU. It consists of one file: ProtoKSQ.Dll, which simply replaces the one currently in your '\Dirctsft\Bin' directory. This download is only applicable to DirectSOFT v2.4a.
Demo
Take a test drive of the latest release of DirectSOFT32 Programming for Windows! This is a limited use version. Refer to the restrictions below:
  • Can Save Online / Monitor Status on a 10 Ladder-word program (maximum) in the PLC.
  • Can Monitor Status on a maximum of 4 items in Data View.
  • Can have a maximum of 4 Data Views.
  • Can have only 1 Communication Link active at a time.
  • Can have only 1 Ladder (Stage, Mnemonic, XRef/Usage) View open at a time.
  • Cannot Save to Disk.
  • Displays a 'Nag Dialog' encouraging Customers to purchase the Full Version of DirectSOFT-Programming!

The installation Product Key is: DSP-DEMO

DirectSOFT32 v4.0 (Build 25) Demo   ( ~11.5 Mb )

Documentation

Use these following links to view the user manuals for these products. 

 

Product Advisories

  • None

NOTE: you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the files (available at Adobe Acrobat Free Reader ).

FAQs

COMMUNICATION Problems? . . . See FAQ0013
INSTALLATION Problems? . . . See FAQ0016
PRINTING Problems? . . . See FAQ0018
DOCUMENTATION Problems? . . . See FAQ0040


FAQ0001 (see also DS Data FAQ0002)
05/06/02 qty=1
Q: Using both DirectSOFT Programming and DS Data simultaneously, why does my PC lock-up?
A: You are probably using a common link. Instead, create two different links.


FAQ0002
05/21/02 qty=1
Q: Can I import rung comments in DirectSOFT?
A: Yes, but only in v4.0. Earlier versions do not support this.


FAQ0003 
05/21/02 qty=2
Q: How can I prevent my rung comments from getting corrupted?
A: Upgrade to at least DirectSOFT v3.0c Build 80 (many comment issues were fixed). DirectSOFT v4.0 supports export comments. Therefore exporting comments often would provide you with a safety guard in a text format. Also, DirectSOFT v4.0 provides ability to do backups of project. Also, it is better to work with the project directly on the hard drive and not a server.


FAQ0004
05/21/02 qty=1
Q: What causes "Error, invalid path values .DTA"?
A: The .DTA files are for Data View in DirectSOFT. If you copied your project to a different folder, but you didn't copy the .DTA files as well, you will get this error.


FAQ0005 (see also ECOM FAQ0002)
05/28/02 qty=1
Q: What causes "Task code error response" with extended E353 error?
A: Error is from PLC and means "timeout in the background communications." Error is due to backplane comm problem (ECOM, DCM, etc.)


FAQ0006
05/28/02 qty=1
Q: What causes "Error filter error reading internal op codes importing TISoft to DS" error?
A: This is a bug that was fixed with DirectSOFT v3.0c Build71 + patch.


FAQ0007
05/29/02 qty=1
Q: What files are effected by a save?
A: For details, see file DSP save and load chart.PDF. The following is a summary of the file extensions:

File --> Save Project --> to Disk (Ctrl+S):

  • PRJ - Ladder program
  • VD - V-memory data
  • VF - V-memory editor format
  • TLS - PLC parameters, I/O configuration, pause bits
  • ESD - Element documentation (nickname, wiring info, description)
  • ESX - Index for element documentation
  • LDA - Maps rung comments to rung numbers
  • LCD - Ladder comment data
  • LCX - Ladder comment index
  • LDO - Online only, maps rung comments to rung numbers (temporary until saved offline to LDA)
  • SCD - Stage comment data
  • SCX - Stage comment index
  • WSP - DirectSOFT window layout
  • RD - 305 R-memory data
  • RF - 305 R-memory data editor format
  • PRT - Print layout config
  • DV - DV1000 setup
  • PID - PID documentation
  • INF - Project information

Write-to-Disk (Ctrl+F12) button:

  • PRJ - Ladder program

FAQ0008 (included in FAQ0066)


FAQ0009
06/07/02 qty=1
Q: Getting CSMain.exe error when doing a Find for an element in Ladder view.
A: Upgrade to at least v3.0c Build71 +patch or v4.0.


FAQ0010
06/10/02 qty=4
Q: In DirectSOFT under Add Link get double listings (two COM1's, two COM2's, etc.).
A: One of two things: 

  • Installed DirectSOFT two times under itself or . . . 
  • Installed DirectSOFT v3.0c B71 patch (DEVASYNC.DLL file) in the wrong folder (and thus has two copies of it). Should only be in the BIN folder underneath DirectSOFT folder.

The bottom line is that you have two copies of the DEVASYNC.DLL file and you only need one.


FAQ0011 (see also DS Data FAQ0053)
06/17/02 qty=11
Q: Trying to get USB adapter to work, getting "Comm Error - Cannot access comm port. The port may not be present or another application might be using it."
A: Make sure that there are not any other devices (like internal modems) using the COM port that the USB adapter driver is trying to use. Also, it is recommended that you upgrade DirectSOFT to at least v4.0 Build 18, or v3.0 Build 80. Or make sure you use a USB that has been approved and tested by Host Engineering for use with DirectSOFT. Also, it is recommended that you:

  1. Install USB device driver first.
  2. Connect the USB device secondly.

 This list is updated as we go:

  • Automation Direct USB-RS232 (Win98, WinME, Win2K, WinXP).
  • Belkin F5U103 USB-to-Serial adapter (Win98, WinME, WinNT, Win2K, WinXP).
  • Belkin F5U105 USB-to-Serial adapter (customer using and it worked).
  • Belkin F5U109 PDA adapter (Win98, WinME, WinNT, Win2K, WinXP).
  • Belkin F5U409-CU (works but incompatible with Toshiba 5005 laptop).
  • Keyspan USA-19QW (at least DirectSOFT v4.0 Build 16 or DirectSOFT v3.0 Build 80 required; WinXP).
  • Digi AccelePort USB 2 two-port adapter (Win98, WinME).
  • Xircom PGSDB9 USB-to-Serial adapter (Win98, WinME).
  • Prolific (customer using on WinXP and it worked).
  • Targus (DOES NOT WORK!)
  • Quatech (DOES NOT WORK!)

FAQ0012
06/17/02 qty=1
Q: Using Targus USB converter, WinXP, Toshiba Satellite 2405 S201, getting, "Error connecting to PLC"
A: Host has not tested the Targus USB converter and it is therefore we cannot recommend it. However, upgrading your DirectSOFT to the latest Build is always recommended because Host continuously attempts to improve communications with the wide variety of USB drivers now being sold. (see DS Progrogramming FAQ0011 for list of compatible USBs).


FAQ0013 (see also DS Data FAQ0045; similar to ECOM FAQ0024)
06/20/02 qty=43
Q: Need general help on communications from PC to PLC and establishing a link.
A: First of all, always make sure you are using the latest version of DirectSOFT possible.

You can control which communications resources on your PC you want to let DirectSOFT4 use by entries in DS400.INI.

COMMUNICATIONS RESOURCES

To access the DS400.INI file:

  1. From Windows Desktop: Start --> Run...
  2. Type in "ds400.ini"

  1. Press <OK> button. This will pull it up into the Notepad text editor.

There are two sections in DS400.INI file regarding communications resources:

[devasync.dll]
COM1Enable=1
COM2Enable=1
COM3Enable=0
COM4Enable=0
ModemEnable=1
COM5Enable=0
COM6Enable=0
COM7Enable=0
COM8Enable=0

[devether.dll]
EthernetEnable=1

To disable a resource, type a zero "0".
To enable a resource, type a one "1".
(If values are changed you must save the file DS400.INI, and restart DirectSOFT).

STARTUP

  1. Using the resources enabled in the DS400.INI file, DirectSOFT's CommServer tries to find PLCs.
  2. If it finds some, it creates DirectSOFT links to them.
  3. If it finds none, then it comes up without creating links.
  4. As it attempts to use communication resources on your PC then one of the following happens:
  1. DirectSOFT comes up normally. Yippie!
  2. "Error connecting to PLC!"
  • This means DirectSOFT found the resource on your PC OK, but it had trouble connecting to the PLC.
  • Check cabling or other physical things outside the PC.
  • Could be Microsoft ActiveSync is using COM port.
  1. "Error: cannot access comm port. The port may not be present or another app may be using it"
  • This means DirectSOFT can't gain access to the COM port because something else is using it.
  • Check to see if anything else is using COM port:

    i)    RSLogix
    ii)   PDA Software (Palm Pilot, Pocket PC, etc.)
    iii)  GPS Software
    iv)  Digital Camera Software
    v)   IR (infrared) Drivers
    vi)  Microsoft ActiveSync
    vii) Palm OS HotSync
     
  • Sometimes if upgrading operating systems (e.g. Win2K to WinXP) the COM ports somehow get dysfunctional. May have to disable all COM ports in the BIOS and then reinstall the upgrade, then re-enable them in the BIOS.
  • If using a USB-to-Serial converter or a USB Port Replicator, its driver may not act like a regular COM port. (DirectSOFT "thinks" it is talking to a regular COM port). If this is the case there is no immediate fix. Host Engineering periodically updates DirectSOFT attempting to compensate for these kinds of driver problems.
  • If using a USB-to-Serial converter, sometimes it is very important that you load the driver first, before connecting the device itself. In fact, in some cases, if this is done in the wrong order it takes special steps to fix the problem. See the website of the manufacturer of your converter for details. See DS Programming FAQ0011.
  • Try disabling all resources in the DS400.INI file.
  1. "Transport protocol error"
This means you are using Ethernet as a link and it timed out and is commonly due to one or more of the following issues:
  • Bad cabling; check all cables to make sure they are OK.
  • Using wrong cable (crossover instead of straight-through, or vise versa). Make sure that the Link light is ON; this means that the cable electrical connection is good.
  • ECOM not seated properly. Make sure it is.
  • There are multiple LAN connections in your Network Connections. Disable all but the one you are planning on using.
  • There are "Bridged" LAN connections in your Network Connections. Unbridge them by setting them simply to "Enabled."
  • There are WAN connections enabled. Disable them.
  • If your PC has 2 NICs (Network Interface Cards), then make sure that you either: (1) Uninstall one NIC, or; (2) Make sure that they don't have common protocols enabled (i.e. IPX and TCP/IP). In other words, you might enable IPX on one NIC and TCP/IP on the other NIC, but not on both simultaneously.
  • Using an H0-ECOM and the PLC firmware is not up to date. Make sure it is.
  • Using an H0-ECOM and a D0-06LCD display but it is not up to date. Make sure the LCD has a date code of 032A or later.
  • Using an H2-ECOM and you have it installed in Slot 0 (the slot adjacent to the CPU). Install it in a different slot.
  • Using an H4-ECOM and it has bent pins on the ECOM and/or the CPU. Check for bent pins.
  • The ECOM, CPU or the backplane is bad.
  • Extremely busy network traffic. Isolate the network.
  • Busy network or PLC sluggishness. Under the Link's Advanced Settings (Link Editor, Port Tab), try increasing the Timeout and Retry values. (e.g. Try going to a DOS command prompt window and using the "ping" command to ping the ECOM's IP address. If Ping works, note the response times. In the link's Advanced Settings (Link Editor, Port Tab), increase the Timeout value to at least 2 or 3 times that response value.)
  1. "PLC is not in terminal mode!..."
  • The mode switch on the PLC is in the RUN or STOP position. Switch it to the TERM position.
  1. "Unable to open Online Program"
  • The mode switch on the PLC is in the RUN or STOP position. Switch it to the TERM position.
  1. "CSMAIN.EXE error" or DirectSOFT locks up or mouse hangs up.
  • This means that DirectSOFT's CommServer has accessed a resource on your PC that has a conflict or doesn't exist.
  • First try upgrading to DirectSOFT v4.0 Build 22. We believe we have fixed the last of these types of failures in this build! (If you have v3.0 there are some improvements in Build 80, however, it could still have some problems since we have stopped development on v3.0).
  • If you have DS Data simultaneously using the same link as DirectSOFT then instead make separate links (i.e. one link for DS Data and one link for DirectSOFT).
  • Try disabling all resources in the DS400.INI file.
  • Make sure TCP/IP protocol is loaded.
  • If using v4.0 Build 16 or earlier, or v3.0 Build 71 or earlier, you may need to: (1) Upgrade to later version; (2) Make sure IPX protocol is loaded (see DS Programming FAQ0037) for the NIC you are using.
  • Could be Microsoft ActiveSync is using COM port.
  1. "Error opening connection to Ethernet device"
  • This is usually caused by having 2 NICs. Make sure that one has IPX only, and the other has TCP/IP only.
  • After insuring the above, try rebooting the PC.
  1. "Comm error reading program from PLC"
  • The mode switch on the PLC is in the RUN or STOP position. Switch it to the TERM position.
  • This error means that DirectSOFT received an incorrect response from the PLC, so the physical connection is probably OK.
  • If you are using a USB-to-Serial converter it could be there is an incompatibility between your PC and the converter. (e.g. we know of an incompatibility between the Belkin F5U409-CU converter and the Toshiba 5005 laptop).
  • Make sure you are not running two copies of DirectSOFT simultaneously (like v3.0 and v4.0). Also, along these lines, if you do install two versions, this is OK as long as they are in different folders and are not run at the same time.
  • We have found that RSLogix (Allen-Bradley) software interferes with the PC's communcations over serial ports (e.g. COM1). So if doing a serial link and you get this error, it could be due to this software. Make sure that this software is not running in the background, or that it does not run in the Terminate Stay Ready (TSR) fashion.
  • Increase the link's Retries and Timeout values; especially if using a modem link.
  • If using a modem link, make sure that both the Compression and Error Correction are turned off.
  1. "Knowledge base mismatch"
  • Message means the CPU picked for the link is not supported in the installed version of DirectSOFT.
  1. "Error attempting to access unlocked device"
  • This is caused when trying to reconnect to a PLC in which DirectSOFT did not disconnect from previously in a clean manner. Solution is normally to either try again, or power cycle the PLC.
  • To prevent this from happening in the future, either:
    - Use the PLC --> Disconnect from DirectSOFT before unplugging the cable to the PLC.
    - Close DirectSOFT before unplugging the cable to the PLC.
  1. Goes offline by itself after using the link.
  • The only thing that we have seen that cures this strange behavior is to uninstall DirectSOFT and then reinstall.

MODEM LINKS

Modem links must be configured manually. Here is a checklist for getting a modem connection working:

  • Are you using the correct cabling?
  • Are the port settings the same for the modem as they are for the PC comm port (baud, parity, data bits, etc.)?
  • Make sure PC modem data compression is turned off.
  • Make sure PC modem error correction is turned off.
  • May need to set the modem link Retries to maximum.
  • May need to set the modem link Timeout value to maximum.

USB-TO-SERIAL

These devices have drivers with them that should make them act like regular COM ports. (See DS Programming FAQ0011 for approved USB-to-Serial devices tested by Host Engineering). However there have been a few vendors that don't do this with their drivers. DirectSOFT "thinks" it is talking to a COM port, Ethernet NIC, or modem. It doesn't know a USB-to-serial device.

The order of installation, however, seems to be important:

  1. Install USB device driver first.
  2. Connect the USB device secondly.

AUTOSENSE

Once links have been created for DirectSOFT, it validates these each time you start it. You can stop this from happening by editing the DS400.INI file and changing AutoSense:

[Comm Server]
Autosense=0

DUMP (for troubleshooting SERIAL and MODEM links)

When you can't figure why things won't work exactly right, you can use this debug function with a little help from Automation Direct, or Host Engineering. This parameter is in DS400.INI:

[devasync.dll]
Dump=1

After making this change you should start the debug window logger:

  1. Start --> Programs --> DirectSOFT 4 --> DirectSOFT 4 Program Tools --> DBWin32 Logger
  2. Start DirectSOFT.
  3. DirectSOFT will ask you if you want to enable the debug mode. Answer <YES>.
  4. Now DirectSOFT will dump information into the open debug window.
  5. Save this data into a text file and send to Automation Direct or Host Engineering.

FAQ0014
06/24/02 qty=4
Q: Mouse scroll wheel doesn't work in DirectSOFT, but works in other applications.
A: The first thing to try is to update to at least DirectSOFT v4.0 Build 24. If that doesn't work then you may need to download the mouse control software for your mouse. For example, download and install Microsoft Intellipoint for Microsoft mice, and Logitech MouseMan software for Logitech mice, etc.


FAQ0015
06/25/02 qty=1
Q: Using DirectSOFT v3.0c Build 71 + patch; why is there no option to export program to CSV file.
A: This is not supported in v3.0c, must have v4.0.


FAQ0016
07/08/02 qty=36
Q: Having DirectSOFT installation problems.
A: Primary things to check before consulting the errors listed below:

  1. Consult FAQ0140 to make sure that Windows operating system you are using supports the version of DirectSOFT you are attempting to install.
  2. If you have to log on to your PC (i.e. WinNT, Win2K, WinXP), make sure you are logged in with Administrator privileges.
  3. A wide variety of problems can be solved on Win95, Win98 and WinME PCs by installing DirectSOFT in Safe Mode.

Below are various installation errors that have been encountered and their solutions.

  • Entered the keycode and it appears to install but it stops on the last screen. If you try to close it, it says, "Setup is not complete."
    This could be due to you trying to install DirectSOFT on a Windows system that is not supported. For example installing DirectSOFT v4.0 on Win95. On Win95 it will probably install but by default it will try to go ahead and install the CTRIO Workbench and ERM Workbench. These will sometimes not install properly because they will definitely not run on Win95. You may try the "custom" installation and then choose not to install the Workbenches. However, getting DirectSOFT to run on Win95 may be a problem as it is not guaranteed to work on this OS.
     
  • Entered the keycode and it unpacks, but nothing else happens; or it returns to the Showcase screen.
    This is a Windows system problem regarding InstallShield that we believe is related to your PC's Temp folder. This sometimes happens after your PC has recently crashed instead of being shutdown. Or if a previous install of a software package crashes. You might try:

    Making sure there are no other applications running.
    -  Close all applications, reboot your PC and try again.

    If this doesn't work, try deleting the files and folders under the TEMP folder (particularly any folders beginning with "pft" and ending in "~tmp":
    1.  Close all applications that are currently running.
    2.  Right-click on "My Computer" icon and pick "Properties."
    3.  Pick the "Advanced" tab.
    4.  Click the <Environment Variables...> button.
    5.  In the top window you can see the pathname of the TEMP variable. (You may have to press the <Edit> button to see the whole path).
    6.  <Cancel> out of all these windows.
    7.  Use Windows Explorer and browse to this TEMP folder.
    8.  Delete folders and files in this TEMP folder.
    9.  Reboot your PC and try install again.

    If this doesn't work, then:
    1.  Make sure you have the latest system updates for your version of Windows.
    2.  Reboot PC and try install again.

    If this doesn't work, then:
    1.  Create a temporary folder on your hard drive.
    2.  Copy the entire installation CD to this folder.
    3.  Run the install from there by browsing out to the folder and double-clicking on the SETUP.EXE.

    If this doesn't work, then:
    -  You may have a defective CD; contact AutomationDirect or the vendor you purchased it from and talk to a tech.
     
  • "Error 112 - Contact software vendor"
    This error is an InstallShield error. It occurs when you do not have Administrator privileges (WinNT, Win2K, WinXP). Generall speaking it is a system problem. InstallShield website (http://www.installshield.com) lists Error 112 as a decompression problem. With regards to DirectSOFT it means for some reason the system can't open the DATA1.CAB or DATA2.CAB, etc. file(s). InstallShield website gives some suggestions on what to do to fix this conflict:
    1.  Go to http://www.installshield.com/.
    2.  Click on Support.
    3.  Click on Knowledge Base.
    4.  Enter "Q100198" as the Article ID.
    5.  Click Search.
    Article entitled "Q100198 - HOWTO: Eliminating General Setup Initialization Errors Jan 16,2003" should be found.
     
  • "Win16 modem config not compatible with Win32 modem config"
    This has occurred because you are upgrading from v2.0 to v3.0. The installation cannot automatically reconfigure the Modem Links created in v2.0. Thus, the upgrade installation outputs the old Modem Link information (phone numbers, etc.) into the MODEM.TXT file so you can use the information there to recreate your Modem Links for v3.0 manually.
     
  • "Ctl3d32.dll which is not the correct version. This version of ctl3d32.dll is designed only for Win32 or Win95 systems."
    If you are trying to install v4.0 Build 18 or earlier onto Win95 or WinNT, DirectSOFT's install engine puts this version of the CTL3D32.DLL file on your system. This is great if you actually have Win95 PC. However, if you have a WinNT PC this could cause a problem. This has been corrected in v4.0 Build 20 and greater. To fix this you can either download the latest Build of DirectSOFT v4.0 or replace the incorrect CTL3D32.DLL with the correct one. There are three versions of the file:

    CTL3D32.DLL     26 KB     5/18/1997 8:54am   (Win95 version)
    CTL3D32.DLL     44 KB     5/11/1998 8:01pm   (Win98 version)
    CTL3D32.DLL     27 KB     5/30/1997 10:02pm (WinNT version)

    If you have Win95 or Win98 this file is located in your Windows\System folder. If you have WinNT it is in WinNT\System32 folder. Whichever one you have there is the wrong one. You can download all three here, then extract them and rename and use only one of them. Only one version of this file should exist on your system, so hunt down the others using your Search and either rename them or eliminate them altogether.

    The above zipped file (CTL3D32.ZIP) contains 3 files:

    CTL3D32_95.DLL (for Win95)
    CTL3D32_98.DLL (for Win98)
    CTL3D32_NT.DLL (for WinNT)

    You must rename the one you use to CTL3D32.DLL.
     
  • "Can't run 16-bit program. Can't find file <pathname> or one of its components. Check to insure the path and filename and that all required libraries are available."
    With this error dialog notice there is an <Ignore> button. Try that first. If that doesn't work, notice in the "Can't find file..." message, the "Documents and Settings" path was shortened to "docume~1" but the "local settings" folder name is NOT shortened to "local~1." This is why it doesn't work. This is evidently a bug in WinNT, Win2K and WinXP, where a login is required on the PC. To fix:
    1.  Create some temporary folders (e.g. c:\temp).
    2.  Right-mouse on the "My Computer" icon.
    3.  Select "Properties."
    4.  Select "Advanced" tab.
    5.  Press the <Environment Variables> button.
    6.  Write down the TEMP and TMP variables' pathnames (if you intend on restoring them later after this procedure).
    7.  Select TEMP variable from the top list.
    8.  Press <Edit> button.
    9.  Change pathname to something very simple (e.g. c:\temp).
    10. Select TMP variable from the top list.
    11. Press <Edit> button.
    12. Change pathname to something very simple (e.g. c:\temp).
    13. Attempt to install DirectSOFT.
    14. Restore the TEMP and TMP variable settings to those you wrote down if you want to.
     
  • Error with GPID-VDD.DLL file.
    This seems to be a Win2K system error/problem. Make sure your Win2K has the latest updates. A simple work-around is to just press the <Ignore> button and DirectSOFT should install properly.
     
  • "Congrats you have found a new keycode!" - but can't find the DSP.LOG file.
    You probably got this message after upgrading to v4.0 Build 16. This is a known bug. It was fixed in v3.0 Build 80 and v4.0 Build 18. To get your new Product Key, you will have to contact Automation Direct or the distributor that you purchased it from and have proof of the purchase of your upgrade package. Sorry for the inconvenience!
     
  • "Unable to load instctr.dll" error.
    You get this error if you are installing CTRIO Workbench on Win95. It is not compatible with Win95.
     
  • ERM Workbench won't run.
    You will encounter problems if you installed ERM Workbench on Win95. It will probably install without error, but it will not run properly.
     
  • "Hlvdd - Hardlock virtual device cannot find /// Fast Hardlock driver error."
    "Hardlock is a software protection hardware dongle device driver. You will probably have to uninstall Hardlock; or resolve the issue with the software that utilizes it.
     
  • "Error occurred during move data process:-115."
    Regarding this error, the Microsoft Knowledgebase says, "The directories into which files are copied do not have Change or Modify NTFS permissions for the account under which the setup is run. Or the directories have a Read-Only attribute set." Therefore it could be:
    - Your Login permissions do not allow you access to this folder.
    - The folder and/or the files there are Write Protected.
    - Other applications are using the folders/files.
     
  • Trying to upgrade, but install says it doesn't see the previously installed version.
    The upgrade program first looks for the DSP3x.EXE or DSP4x.EXE file. Then it looks inside the actual .EXE file it finds for support information. If it fails either of these, it will report that it can't find the previously installed version. The only time we've seen this is when the actual downloaded upgrade program was corrupt. So, if you downloaded it, try it again.
     
  • "Uninstaller setup failed to initialize" and then a crash with message "InstallShield engine has encountered a problem and needs to close." (similar to DS Data FAQ0085)
    This means that InstallShield was unable to create the UnDSP.ISU uninstall log file for some reason. This error is just a warning and shouldn't interfere with completing the installation. Possible fixes:
         - Just press the <OK> button and ignore the message.
         - Make sure you have Administrator rights on your PC.
         - Uninstall and then delete all the .ISU files associated with DirectSOFT and then try again:
              Files to delete:
              1)  UnDSP.ISU
              2)  UnDSD.ISU
              3)  UnCTRIO.ISU
              4)  UnERM.ISU
     
  • "The Win16 SubSystem was unable to Enter Protected Mode..."
    This is an NTVDM (WinNT Virtual DOS Machine) subsystem error. Try the following link for a fix:
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;314106
     
  • "16-bit MS-DOS SubSystem error."
    (See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article #314452). This is a bug caused by either of the three things listed below. CAUTION: You may want to get your in-house System Administrator to do this for you!

    - Autoexec.NT file needed.
         a) Copy the AUTOEXEC.NT file from the c:\Windows\Repair folder into the folder listed in the error message itself (e.g. c:\Windows\System32).

    - Corrupted registry entry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\VirtualDeviceDrivers\VDD.
         a) Find the above using Regedit.
         b) On Edit menu, click Delete.
         c) On Edit menu, point to New, and then click Multistring Value.
         d) Type VDD in the Value Name box, then press <ENTER>.
         e) Exit Regedit.

    - Command.COM file is damaged or wrong version.
         a) Verify that the proper version of Command.COM file is installed in the Systemroot\System32 folder. Should have:
              Size: 50620
              Date: 08-23-2001
              Time: 4:00 A.M.

FAQ0017 (included in FAQ0016)


FAQ0018
05/28/02 qty=14
Q: Trying to print from DirectSOFT and having various problems.
A: Various printing issues are listed below:

  • Sometimes when I come back to the printer options my "Use default" printer is no longer selected and the <OK> button is greyed.
    This was a bug in v3.0c Build 71 (or less) and v4.0 Build 16 (or less) for mainly Win2K PCs. To fix upgrade to a later version. A temporary work-around:
    1.  Deselect "Use default" and select printer.
    2.  Do not reselect "Use default" and it will always use that printer.
     
  • Is it possible to get a printout of what is displayed in the Documentation Editor?
    Yes; use Export Documentation and then print the resultant file.
     
  • Cannot print to a network printer.
    This is a known bug in earlier versions. Must upgrade to at least v3.0c Build 80 or v4.0 Build 18. Even though it was fixed in v4.0 Build 18, it was not reported in the ReadMe_P.HTM file until v4.0 Build 20.
     
  • Cross Reference printout shows counters that are not even available for the PLC I am using (e.g. CTA200 is shown when my PLC's range is only CT0-177).
    You program probably contains documentation items that are not in your PLC's range (e.g. a cut/paste from a DL450 program to a DL130 program). Thus, documentation can exist in ranges that are invalid for that PLC. Also, the selection of what documentation to print has nothing to do with the validity of the program. The bottom line is this is actually a feature, not a bug.
     
  • Is it possible to print out Cross Reference (Xref) on the Ladders printout?
    No, not yet. But we are considering putting this feature in later versions of DirectSOFT. Perhaps v5.0?
     
  • Getting various errors when trying to print (e.g. "Can't read from memory...")
    Sometimes the print layout file gets corrupted for various reasons. So the first thing to try is to delete the PRNTSERV.RST located in the folder c:\DirectSOFT4\Program\Bin.
     
  • When I do a Print Preview get "DSP4x.EXE" error and "Unable to save workspace. Disk is write protected or file is read-only!"
    This is caused by the Project files (mainly the .PRN and .WSP files) being write-protected. If you copied the project from another PC, a write-protected disk or a CD-ROM this can occur. To fix:
    1.  Close DirectSOFT.
    2.  Use Windows Explorer and browse to the location of your project.
    3.  Click on the first file of the project.
    4.  Hold the <Shift> key down and click on the last file of the project. (This will select the full range of your project files).
    5.  Right-mouse click on the group and select Properties.
    6.  Under Attributes, uncheck the Read-Only box.
    7.  Click Apply, or OK button.
     
  • Using "compressed" print and some of the Ladders lines are missing.
    Normally when you use compressed printing there is a loss of data in the printout. However, make sure that you are using the latest printer driver on your PC and Windows operating system.

FAQ0019
05/28/02 qty=3
Q: Importing CSV file causes DirectSOFT to crash.
A: We work very hard to keep all reported crashes from happening. If a crash happens with an import, the first thing to do is to upgrade to the latest Build for your version. So far this has fixed every case to date.


FAQ0020
05/29/02 qty=1
Q: Pressing the Default button for color options (View, Color Setup) does not restore the colors to their defaults.
A: This is a bug in v3.0c Build71 (or less), v4.0 Build16 (or less). To fix, upgrade to later versions. Temporary workaround is to:

  1. Either set the colors manually back to the defaults in DirectSOFT (View, Color Setup) using the color matrix buttons:

    ATTRIBUTE NAME COLOR (right, down)
    Normal Background 1,1
    Uncompiled Background 2,3
    Unsaved to Disk Background 1,4
    Unsaved to PLC Background 3,2
    Disabled Background 3,3
    Selected Background 2,1
    Status Background 3,1
    Status Foreground 4,1
    Comment 6,4
    Description 6,2
    Wiring Info 4,5
    Nickname 5,1
    Element 6,5
    Token 6,5
     
  2. Or, edit the DS300.INI/DS400.INI located in the root directory of the DirectSOFT installation (usually c:\DirectSOFT32) and set the colors to the following, and then restart DirectSOFT:

    In DS300.INI/DS400.INI file:

    [PROGRAM COLORS]
    0=0
    1=0
    2=0
    3=128
    4=8388736
    5=8421504
    6=8453888
    7=8421376
    8=16512
    9=16711680
    10=16777215
    11=65408
    12=12632256
    13=8454143
    14=16711680
    15=16776960
    16=12582912
    17=16777088
    18=0
    19=0
    20=0
    21=0
    22=0
    23=0
    24=0

FAQ0021
06/03/02 qty=1
Q: Help file is hard to use.
A: Host is continuing to update and improve the help file, but the manual is always up-to-date.


FAQ0022
11/15/02 qty=1
Q: Having trouble connecting to Port 1 of DL250. Port 2 works fine.
A: Port 1 is K-seq protocol only. Next, make sure the link properties are 9600 bps, 8 data bits, odd parity. Also don't rule out the possibility that the port on the DL250 could be bad, or that the cable is bad.


FAQ0023 - VOID - duplicate of FAQ0010.


FAQ0024
12/09/02 qty=1
Q: Need to scroll through the program that advances the screen to the next stage. Currently have to scroll down until it is found.
A: Should use Stage View. This allows one to navigate through Stages easily.


FAQ0025 (included in FAQ0018)


FAQ0026
01/15/03 qty=2
Q: What is the earliest version of DirectSOFT that supports Exporting Documentation?
A: DirectSOFT Programming v3.0.


FAQ0027
01/16/03 qty=1
Q: When you enable the dump=1 in the DS400.INI file, where does it place the dump file?
A: You must also start the dbwin32.exe. Then in that window you can save the dump to any file you like.


FAQ0028
01/17/03 qty=1
Q: Can DirectSOFT program an SA-21 (0.5K-words version of D3-330P)?
A: Yes.


FAQ0029
01/17/03 qty=1
Q: Saving or opening a project gets an error. "Couldn't open new database. Reopened failed." But can still get program to come up.
A: Check the Projects Path in the DS400.INI file and make sure it is pointing to a folder that you have access to.


FAQ0030
01/21/03 qty=1
Q: What is the meaning of all the files in a project?
A: See DSP save and load chart.xls document.
Summary:

CSV - Comma seperated variable
CWB - Counter I/O configuration
DTA - Data view
DV - DV1000 setup
ERM - Ethernet remote master config
ESD - Element documentation (nickname, wiring info, description)
ESX - Index for element documentation
INF - Project information
LCD - Ladder comment data
LCX - Ladder comment index
LDA - Maps rung comments to rung #'s
LDO - Online only, maps rung comments to rung #'s (temporarily until saved offline to LDA file)
PID - PID documentation
PRJ - Ladder program
PRT - Print layout config
RD - 305 R-memory data
RF - 305 R-memory data editor format
SCD - Stage comments
SCX - Index for stage comments
TLS - PLC parameters, I/O configuration, pause bits
TXT - Text file
VD - V-memory data
VF - V-memory editor format
WSP - DirectSOFT window layout


FAQ0031
01/21/03 qty=1
Q: Is the 330S in DirectSOFT the same as a 330P?
A: Yes.


FAQ0032
01/21/03 qty=1
Q: Can source code of DirectSOFT be obtained?
A: The source code of DirectSOFT is not for sale.


FAQ0033
01/21/03 qty=1
Q: Does Host customize DirectSOFT for customers?
A: Customizing DirectSOFT is not something Host has the resources to devote to at this time (January 2003).


FAQ0034
01/24/03 qty=3
Q: Why do the messages in DirectSOFT come up in German?
A: You have Siemens Step7 software installed on your PC. First try renaming the MFC42LOC.DLL file to *.OLD and reboot. If that doesn't work you may have to uninstall both Step7 and DirectSOFT and then just reinstall DirectSOFT.


FAQ0035
09/10/02 qty=1
Q: Are there any plans to have Ladders view wrap around instead of scrolling?
A: Host Engineering does not have any plans to change the scrolling Ladders to a wrap-around view.


FAQ0036 (included in FAQ0018)


FAQ0037 (similar to FAQ0013; see also DS Data FAQ0046)
02/03/03 qty=6
Q: First time starting DirectSOFT v4.0, crashes and gets CSMain.exe error.
A: The first thing to check is to make sure that IPX protocol is loaded for the NIC that is installed. Part of this problem was remedied in v4.0 Build 18 so upgrading may very well fix the problem. ReadMe_P.htm file says: "3. CommServer -- Fixed CommServer crash when IPX not installed -- we hope!" However, we know there are still some other issues centered around IPX protocol that we are currently debugging.


FAQ0038
07/16/02 qty=1
Q: Does DirectSOFT support USB converters that work, not as COM devices, but rather show up as an Ethernet device?
A: No. The type of USBs that DirectSOFT supports are those that show up as COM devices. Ethernet-to-USB will not work because in order to talk to Ethernet, DirectSOFT assumes that you have an ECOM. Thus if you make an Ethernet link, DirectSOFT wants to talk to an ECOM not a serial device. Thus when the Ethernet-to-USB converter converts the Ethernet signals to USB, then the serial device will not understand the ECOM protocol. See DS Programming FAQ0011 for compatible USBs.


FAQ0039
02/04/02 qty=1
Q: Will DirectSOFT export a Ladder file to Tisoft .VPU format?
A: No.


FAQ0040
07/16/02 qty=23
Q: Having various problems with documentation files (comments, etc.); can this be fixed?
A: There are known problems that can occur when documentation files get corrupted. When corruption has occurred it can cause quite a variety of unpredictable symptoms. Some of the more common:

  • Documentation files (ESD, LCD, LDA, SCD) are huge!
  • Strange looking characters.
  • DirectSOFT locks up.
  • Strange behavior when editing documentation (e.g. change one thing and two things change)
  • Won't accept comment entries.
  • Partial or incorrect printouts.
  • Partial or incorrect documentation export file (.CSV or .TXT).
  • "DSP4x.EXE - Application Error"
  • "Error opening documentation"
  • "Can't paste - We are sorry for the inconvenience"

Corruption can happen over time due to system/software crashes, power loss, etc. To facilitate recovery, Host strongly recommends that you utilize v4.0's Backup Project feature to help minimize any rework. In times past some of these documentation corruptions have caused DirectSOFT to crash. Crashing behavior in all known cases to date have been remedied in later Builds of DirectSOFT. Therefore the first thing to do is to upgrade to the latest version

If the documentation is corrupt, sometimes it can be salvaged. There are 3 file critical to documentation:

ESX - This file is the database Index for the Element Documentation.
LCX - This file is the database Index for the Ladder Comments.
SCX - This file is the database Index for the Stage Comments.

If these files don't exist, don't worry, DirectSOFT will create them, building backward from the documentation files themselves:

ESD - This file is the database for Element Documentation.
LCD - This file is the database for Ladder Comments.
LDA - Maps Ladder Comments to Rung Numbers.
SCD - This file is the database for Stage Comments.

First, backup the project (if possible). Or print out the documentation. In DirectSOFT v4.0 there is a new Backup feature that allows you to create backups of your projects that are time stamped.

ELEMENT DOCUMENTATION ERRORS

  1. Try Deleting the ESX file.
  2. Open DirectSOFT and pull up the project.
  3. Export the Documentation to TXT or CSV file.
  4. Edit the TXT or CSV file and correct any mistakes.
  5. Save the TXT or CSV file.
  6. Import the documentation from the new TXT or CSV file, choosing the “Delete Existing” option.
  7. Save the new project.

NOTE: If this doesn't work, you may have to repeat it, deleting not only the ESX file again, but also deleting the ESD file between Step 3 and Step 4 as well.

LADDERS COMMENT ERRORS

NOTE: If Ladders Comments are corrupted in DirectSOFT v3.0 there is no solution! To prevent the loss of Ladders Documentation in DirectSOFT v3.0 you should print it out often.

  1. Delete the LCX file.
  2. Open DirectSOFT and pull up the project.
  3. Export the Program to TXT or CSV file, choosing the “All” option.
  4. Edit the TXT or CSV file and correct any mistakes.
  5. Save the TXT or CSV file.
  6. Import the Program from the new TXT or CSV file, choosing the “Delete Existing” option.
  7. Save the new project. 

NOTE: If this doesn't work, you may have to repeat it, deleting not just the LCX file again, but also deleting the LDA, LCD and LDO files between Step 3 and Step 4 as well.

STAGE COMMENT ERRORS

NOTE: If Stage Comments are corrupted in DirectSOFT v3.0 there is no solution! To prevent the loss of Ladders Documentation in DirectSOFT v3.0 you should print it out often.

  1. Delete the SCX file.
  2. Open DirectSOFT and pull up the project.
  3. Export the Program to TXT or CSV file, choosing the “All” option.
  4. Edit the TXT or CSV file and correct any mistakes.
  5. Save the TXT or CSV file.
  6. Import the Program from the new TXT or CSV file, choosing the “Delete Existing” option.
  7. Save the new project. 

NOTE: If this doesn't work, you may have to repeat it, deleting not only the SCX file again, but also the SCD file between Step 3 and Step 4 as well.


FAQ0041
02/04/03 qty=1
Q: Is it possible to run 2 NICs on 1 PC to 2 separate ECOMs?
A: Yes. But the only way Host has seen this work is if one NIC has IPX-only protocol loaded (and not TCP/IP), and the other NIC has TCP/IP-only protocol loaded (and not IPX). DirectSOFT has no other way to choose between which NIC to use.


FAQ0042
07/17/02 qty=2
Q: Used the "Save As..." function and lost documentation!
A: This was a known bug. If you used "Save As..." and then used the same filename for the project documentation would inadvertently get deleted! This was fixed in DirectSOFT v3.0 Build 62. However, the newer Build 71 and Build 71 patch reintroduced the bug because the code (contained in prgrm30.dll) that gets replaced is actually old Build 59 code (3.0.059). Problem completely eradicated in v3.0c Build 80 and any version of v4.0.


FAQ0043
06/19/02 qty=1
Q: Is there a color setup for monochrome monitors?
A: Monochrome color selection button (View --> Color options...) has been added to v4.0 Build 18. For earlier versions you: 

  1. Either set the colors manually in DirectSOFT (View, Color Setup) using the color matrix buttons:

    ATTRIBUTE NAME COLOR (right, down)
    Normal Background 1,1
    Uncompiled Background 3,3
    Unsaved to Disk Background 3,3
    Unsaved to PLC Background 3,3
    Disabled Background 3,3
    Selected Background 4,5
    Status Background 6,5
    Status Foreground 1,1
    Comment 6,5
    Description 6,5
    Wiring Info 6,5
    Nickname 6,5
    Element 6,5
    Token 6,5

  2. Or, edit the DS300.INI/DS400.INI located in the root directory of the DirectSOFT installation (usually c:\DirectSOFT32) and set the colors to the following, and then restart DirectSOFT:

    In DS300.INI/DS400.INI file:

    [PROGRAM COLORS]
    0=0
    1=0
    2=0
    3=0
    4=0
    5=0
    6=8453888
    7=0
    8=16512
    9=16711680
    10=16777215
    11=12632256
    12=12632256
    13=12632256
    14=8421504
    15=0
    16=16777215
    17=12632256
    18=0
    19=0
    20=0
    21=0
    22=0
    23=0
    24=0

FAQ0044
02/04/03 qty=1
Q: Using DirectSOFT v2.0 Build 23, trying to communicate to DL250, get "Unknown PLC type" and then "Attempted access of unlocked device."
A: Support was added for the DL250 to DirectSOFT v2.1. Since this is no longer available, you should upgrade all the way to at least v2.4a. It's free and can be downloaded from Host website. See DS Programming FAQ0059 for a table showing which versions of DirectSOFT support which DL CPU.


FAQ0045 (included in FAQ0016)


FAQ0046
02/04/03 qty=1
Q: Can you create an Ethernet link offline?
A: Yes.

For DS Launch:

  1. Right-click on Comm Links.
  2. Select "Add link..."
  3. When the Link Wizard comes up, press the <Link Editor...> button.

If inside DirectSOFT:

  1. Choose PLC --> Connect.
  2. Press the <Add...> button.
  3. When the Link Wizard comes up, press the <Link Editor...> button.

FAQ0047 (included in FAQ0016)


FAQ0048 (included in FAQ0018)


FAQ0049
02/09/03 qty=5
Q: How do I upgrade to the latest version of DirectSOFT?
A: If you have DirectSOFT v3.0, or earlier versions, then you will have to order the upgrade (Part No. PC-R40-U) from Automation Direct:

Automation Direct
63 Railway std
Mudgeeraba Qld 4213
1-800-633-0405
http://www.automationdirect.com.au

If you already have DirectSOFT v4.0, then click on the following link, then click on “DirectSOFT32 v4.0 (Build xx) Service Pack.”

http://www.hosteng.com/SW-Products/DirectSOFT32/DirectSOFT32.htm - Service Pack

If that doesn’t work:

  1. Go to http://www.hosteng.com/
  2. Click on “Please Continue >>.” 
  3. In the left column, under “Products” click “Software.” 
  4. Click on “DirectSOFT32.” 
  5. On the menu at the top, click on “Service Pack.” 
  6. Click on “DirectSOFT32 v4.0 (Build xx) Service Pack.” 

Then you can either download the .EXE, or run it from our website. Make sure when you are asked for the Key that you enter “DSP-SERVICE-PACK” (it is case sensitive). Make sure that if you are copying it (using Windows Copy function) that you don't inadvertently put quotes or leading/trailing spaces there.


FAQ0050
11/19/02 qty=1
Q: Can I copy contacts from one rung to another?
A: This feature is not in the current versions of DirectSOFT (v3.0 Build 80; v4.0 Build 18) and there are no plans to add this to these versions. However, this feature will be included in v5.0 of DirectSOFT (no date as to release). Also, to get around this issue now, it is possible to Export the Program to a text file, then use the copy and paste of your favorite text editor to copy contacts from rung to rung. Then use the Import Program to get them back into DirectSOFT project.


FAQ0051
08/28/02 qty=1
Q: It would be nice to have the optional lines already added to the DS400.INI file, yet commented out, so one doesn't have to try to remember what to type in, or what heading to put them under, especially since these are not always documented.
A: Added the following to DS400.INI file in DirectSOFT v4.0 Build 18 (to activate them, you simply remove the ";"):

[Comm Server]
;AutoSense=0 (To turn OFF autosensing of Comm Links during Comm Server startup.)

[devasync.dll]
;Dump=1 (To enable a dump of Serial Port debugging information.)

[devether.dll]
;UDPPortNumEnable=1 (To enable display of the UDP Port Number.)

Added support for parameters in [UTILITIES] and [APPLETS] sections in the DS400.INI file using <:> syntax:
Your Favorite App=0,C:\YourFolder\YourApp.exe<:>parameters


FAQ0052
12/10/02 qty=1
Q: Can I open the same project with two instances of DirectSOFT on two different PCs?
A: No. If you do, then unpredictable results can happen. (e.g. comment files can be corrupted!). DirectSOFT doesn't comprehend other instances of itself wanting to use the same project file. It is only one client per project at a time. However, we are considering putting a mult-client feature in v5.0.


FAQ0053
02/12/03 qty=1
Q: Do v3.0 and v4.0 have problems opening up projects that are read-only?
A: Yes. DirectSOFT needs to open up the files as read/write.


FAQ0054
12/13/02 qty=1
Q: There is no information in the v4.0 Build 16 help file regarding the setup of the second comm port of the DL06 or the DL260.
A: This was added to Build 18. Read_Me.htm file says, "29. Setup Secondary Comm Port Dialogs now show correct Help files based on PLC type."


FAQ0055
02/12/03 qty=2
Q: How can I change the default project folder that DirectSOFT uses?
A: You must edit the DirectSOFT INI file (DS300.INI for v3.0, or DS400.INI for v4.0):

  1. Close DirectSOFT (if you have it open).
  2. From Windows desktop, Start --> Run...
  3. Type in "ds400.ini" (if you have DirectSOFT v4.0), or "ds300.ini" (if you have DirectSOFT v3.0).


     
  4. Press <OK> button. This should open up a text editor (usually Notepad) showing the contents of this file.
  5. Find the heading [PATHS]. Under this heading you will see a "PATH" line, looks something like:
    PATH=C:\DirectSOFT4\Projects\
  6. Edit this path to point to one of your own choosing.
  7. Save the file and exit.
  8. Restart DirectSOFT.

Now when you use "Save" or "Save As..." or "Open," etc., in DirectSOFT the default folder will be the one you entered.


FAQ0056
02/18/03 qty=1
Q: If customer has OEM DirectSOFT v2.0, can he update to v2.4 from website?
A: Yes.


FAQ0057
02/18/03 qty=1
Q: When trying to download and make diskettes for DirectSOFT v2.4a from website, get "Not enough space on disk."
A: You must first download the file on the website to your hard drive, then execute it (double-click), then choose "Make disks" from menu.


FAQ0058
02/19/03 qty=1
Q: What is the difference between the Demo version of DirectSOFT and the regular version?
A: The DEMO version:

  1. Can Save Online / Monitor Status on a 10 Ladder-word program (maximum) in the PLC.
  2. Can Monitor Status on a maximum of 4 items in Data View.
  3. Can have 4 Data Views maximum.
  4. Can have only 1 Comm Link active at a time.
  5. Can have only 1 Ladder (Stage, Mnemonic, XRef/Usage) View open at a time.
  6. Cannot Save to Disk.
  7. Displays a "Nag Dialog" encouraging customers to purchase the full version.
  8. Cannot use the DRUM instruction that is available in some CPUs (because of the 10-word maximum of #1 above).

FAQ0059
02/20/03 qty=5
Q: Trying to load a project but getting "DirectSOFT recognizes the document <filename> but features or support level is not installed."
A: This error usually means one of the following two things:

  • You are using an earlier version of DirectSOFT to try to read a project file that was written for a PLC that is not supported in your version. (e.g. if the project was for a DL260 in v4.0 and you tried to use v2.4 to read it). See table below::
Direct Logic CPUs DirectSOFT Version
v1.12i v2.0 v2.1 v2.2 v2.3 v2.3a v2.4 v2.4a v3.0 v4.0
05             X X X X
06                   X
130   X X X X X X X X X
230 X X X X X X X X X X
240 X X X X X X X X X X
250     X X X X X X X X
250-1     X (1) X (1) X (1) X (1) X (1) X (1) X (1) X
260                   X
TI-325 X X X X X X X X X X
330 X X X X X X X X X X
330P X X X X X X X X X X
TI-330S X X X X X X X X X X
TI-335 X X X X X X X X X X
340 X X X X X X X X X X
350       X X X X X X X
TI-425 X X X X X X X X X X
430 X X X X X X X X X X
TI-435 X X X X X X X X X X
440 X X X X X X X X X X
450   X X X X X X X X X

(1)  Partially compatible. The restriction is that the 250-1 local expansion I/O cannot be seen in DirectSOFT.

  • Your project is corrupt to the point that DirectSOFT cannot read the PLC Type field in the project header - If this is the case you might try using File --> Export --> Program... and then closing DirectSOFT, reopening, and then using File --> Import --> Program... to see if the corruption gets cleared up.

FAQ0060
03/04/03 qty=1
Q: Can I use the RTS/CTS Flow Control setting in the Link Wizard to talk from DirectSOFT to DL PLC?
A: No. The reason is that the PLC port does not listen to its CTS line for incoming data. It only uses the Flow Control RTS/CTS lines when it wants to send data. So, if you choose RTS/CTS Flow Control in DirectSOFT, then when DirectSOFT wants to talk to the PLC, it will set the RTS line, which, if wired correctly, would tell the PLC it wants to send data. However, because the PLC is not listening to that line, it would never send DirectSOFT the CTS, so DirectSOFT would time out.

This begs the question, "Why is the Flow Control option selectable in DirectSOFT?" The answer is that if you used a Serial Link to say, COM1, and had an external modem, for example, the modem would be listening to the RTS line and would respond properly. But the PLC port does not function in this manner.

This also begs the question, "Why is Flow Control configurable on the PLC Port?" The answer is that it was specifically designed for sending data to the F2-UNICON and FA-ISONET devices.


FAQ0061
02/28/03 qty=1
Q: While a Ladders program is pulled up, can I switch to a different CPU?
A: Yes. Use PLC --> Disconnect; move the communication cable (if necessary); then use PLC --> Connect. However, keep in mind that a program has a CPU type associated with it. This is very necessary for programming due to the different ranges of the PLCs as well as their different functions. (You can display what CPU type is associated with the program by using File --> Properties). For example, there are many more functions available for a DL06 than there are for a DL240.


FAQ0062
03/06/03 qty=1
Q: After making a link to TI335 using an Automation Direct DCU, it is seen as a "stage CPU" and repeatedly gets "Knowledge base mismatch - cannot connect" error.
A: This is a known problem with a TI335. Here are some things to try:

  • Power up the TI335 in Program Mode.
  • Make sure dipswitch #6 is set to ON.
  • Check Hex/ASCII mode setting in the link.
  • A DCU is not really necessary. Instead you can connect directly with a cable.

FAQ0063 (see also ECOM FAQ0013)
03/06/03 qty=3
Q: Connecting to DL PLC with ECOM and getting "????" as the CPU type; or just getting communications errors.
A: Check the following:

  • If using H4-ECOM, check for bent pins on ECOM or CPU; or possible bad ECOM, CPU or base.
  • If using H2-ECOM make sure ECOM is not in slot 0.
  • If using H2-ECOM and DL260, you must have at least DirectSOFT v4.0 Build 18 for the "????" to not be displayed.
  • If using H2-ECOM and DL250-1 and DirectSOFT v3.0, must have at least Build 80 for the "????" to not be displayed.

FAQ0064 (included in FAQ0018)


FAQ0065 (similar to DS Data FAQ0009; see also DS Data FAQ0034; ECOM FAQ0014)
03/07/03 qty=1
Q: How can I speed up the data throughput of my ECOM?
A: Consider the following:

  1. Give the ECOM an isolated network if possible, as network traffic can effect data through-put.
  2. ECOMs do at least 1 comm cycle of approximately 128 bytes per PLC scan, but in faster CPUs (e.g. DL260, DL05, DL06) it can do as many as 3. So using a faster PLC CPU will help. 
  3. Since the ECOM comm cycle is PLC scan dependent, then anything you can do to make the PLC scan faster will help. 
  4. Make sure no other applications or devices are talking to the same PLC via the same ECOM or serial port (e.g. like having DS Programming doing status while DS Data is running, or PLC doing/responding to RX/WX from other PLC). There is only so much bandwidth between the serial port/ECOM and the CPU itself.

FAQ0066 (see also ECOM FAQ0016; DS Data FAQ0089)
03/17/03 qty=5
Q: How can I connect to a single ECOM or multiple ECOMs over the Internet?
A: There are two methods for doing this as outlined below. The examples give are to connect from the Internet to 4 different DL205 PLCs that reside behind a Gateway/Router.

     METHOD #1 requires that the ECOMs themselves have registered Internet IP Addresses.
     METHOD #2 requires only that the Gateway/Router have a registered Internet IP Address and that this particular Gateway/Router can be configured to translate Port #'s.

NOTE: Host Engineering, Inc has an ECOM on the Internet that you can practice configuring a link to. Its IP Address is 204.248.240.61. We do NOT have multiple ECOMs as shown in the following examples; only one.

METHOD #1: DIRECT CONNECTION (PLCs differentiated by IP Address)

DirectSOFT Link Configuration to connect to PLC1:
     1.  Edit DS400.INI file and set UDPPortNumEnable=1
     2.  Build link in DirectSOFT.
          a.  On PLC tab select:
               PLC Family - Direct LOGIC 205 Series
               PLC Type - 250
          b.  On the Port tab select:
               Devices - Ethernet
               Transport - Winsock
               Transport Protocol - UDP/IP
               Node Address - IP Address 204.248.240.61 (Registered Internet IP Address of ECOM)
               Advanced Settings - Timeout (Increase?)
               UDP Port Number - 28,784 (must always be this number)
          c.  On the Protocol tab select:
               Protocols - ECOM
          d.  Click <Auto>. Should beep for success.
          e.  Enter a name for the link and click <Accept>.

Gateway Configuration Table:

PLC DirectSOFT Link Node Address (ECOM) DirectSOFT Link Port # Nontranslated ECOM Node Address ECOM Port # (cannot be changed)
PLC1 204.248.240.61 28,784 (0x7070) 204.248.240.61 28,784 (0x7070)
PLC2 204.248.240.62 28,784 (0x7070) 204.248.240.62 28,784 (0x7070)
PLC3 204.248.240.63 28,784 (0x7070) 204.248.240.63 28,784 (0x7070)
PLC4 204.248.240.64 28,784 (0x7070) 204.248.240.64 28,784 (0x7070)


METHOD #2: USING ROUTER IP ADDRESS ONLY (PLCs differentiated by Port #)

DirectSOFT Link Configuration to connect to PLC4:
     1.  Edit DS400.INI file and set UDPPortNumEnable=1
     2.  Build link in DirectSOFT.
          a.  On PLC tab select:
               PLC Family - Direct LOGIC 205 Series
               PLC Type - 250
          b.  On the Port tab select:
               Devices - Ethernet
               Transport - Winsock
               Transport Protocol - UDP/IP
               Node Address - IP Address 204.248.240.61 (Registered Internet IP Address of Gateway/Router)
               Advanced Settings - Timeout (Increase?)
               UDP Port Number - 28,787 (can be any free configurable Port # on your particular Gateway/Router)
          c.  On the Protocol tab select:
               Protocols - ECOM
          d.  Click <Auto>. Should beep for success.
          e.  Enter a name for the link and click <Accept>.

Gateway Configuration Table:

PLC DirectSOFT Link Node Address (Gateway) DirectSOFT Link Port # Translated to ECOM Node Address ECOM Port # (cannot be changed)
PLC1 204.248.240.61 28,784 (0x7070) 192.168.20.1 28,784 (0x7070)
PLC2 204.248.240.61 28,785 (0x7071) 192.168.20.2 28,784 (0x7070)
PLC3 204.248.240.61 28,786 (0x7072) 192.168.20.3 28,784 (0x7070)
PLC4 204.248.240.61 28,787 (0x7073) 192.168.20.4 28,784 (0x7070)

FAQ0067 (included in FAQ0018)


FAQ0068
06/04/02 qty=1
Q: There is nothing in the manual nor the help file that indicates the maximum size of the documentation fields.
A: DirectSOFT v4.0 software has this added to the help file:

  1. Click the Help button.
  2. Click the Index button.
  3. On the Index tab, type, "Import Documentation"
  4. Click the Display button.
  5. Click on the "CSV File Format" hotlink.

Here you will see that the size of the documentation fields are listed as:

  • Element type and ID:  valid element name, based on specific PLC.
  • Nicknames:  0-16 characters
  • Wiring Info:  0-16 characters
  • Description:  0-144 characters

Automation Direct is currently adding this information to the manual.


FAQ0069
06/07/02 qty=1
Q: Import Documentation rejects using a Nickname of "S0".
A: That is true. S0 is a valid Element Name and means "Stage Bit 0." Therefore it is not possible to assign a valid Element Name as a Nickname.


FAQ0070
06/07/02 qty=1
Q: Import Documentation imports Nickname "UB" as "-----".
A: That is true. "UB" is a valide Nickname and means "Unassigned Bit." This is a type of unassigned Nicknames that DirectSOFT will allow you to create. This means that you can have Nicknames that do not have corresponding Elements assigned to them. Normally in the Documentation Editor, these show up as "-----" under the Element Type. When these are Exported, however, instead of getting the "-----" in the text file, you will see things like "UB" or "UW."

These have certain meanings based on the following list. If generating documentation outside of DirectSOFT (like in an Excel CSV file), use these types based on the following list. They will show up in your Documentation Editor with "-----" under the Element Type:

  • UB - Unassigned Bit
  • UBY - Unassigned Byte (useful only for R-memory in DL305)
  • UW - Unassigned Word
  • UDW - Unassigned Double-Word (nothing yet is a double-word natively in any DL PLC)
  • UU - Unassigned Unknown (used for uninitialized types, should never be used)

In summary, DirectSOFT exemplifies the following behavior:

  1. The Export of Unassigned Nicknames show up in the resultant text file as the above types.
  2. The Import of the above Element Types, will show up in the DirectSOFT Documentation Editor with "-----" under the Element Type column.

FAQ0071
06/12/02 qty=1
Q: The PID View window doesn't show Autotune.
A: This is a known display bug with DirectSOFT v4.0 in Builds less than Build 20. You can either download the latest Build or simply resize the PID View window and Autotune will appear.


FAQ0072
06/25/02 qty=1
Q: I have two copies of the DS400.INI file, one in the Windows directory and one under the DirectSOFT4 folder. Which one do I modify if I want to change the startup characteristics of DirectSOFT?
A: The one in your Windows directory is the one utilized by DirectSOFT. This extra copy of the DS400.INI file has been removed from later versions of DirectSOFT. However, the easiest thing to do to make sure you are modifying the correct one is:

  1. Click the Start button on your Windows desktop.
  2. Select Run...
  3. Type in "ds400.ini" (without the quotes).


     
  4. Click the OK button.

This will pull up the correct DS400.INI file in the default text editor (probably NotePad).


FAQ0073
06/25/02 qty=1
Q: COM3 and COM4 are enabled by default in my DS400.INI file even though my PC only has COM1 and COM2.
A: By default older versions of DirectSOFT did have these COM ports enabled by default. However, due to the fact that most PCs these days only have COM1 and COM2, DirectSOFT has been changed so that these COM ports (COM3 and COM4) are now disabled by default. This change was made for DirectSOFT v4.0 Build 18.


FAQ0074
06/25/02 qty=1
Q: When troubleshooting DirectSOFT links, I always forget the syntax for adding the dump feature and turning off the Autosense feature in the DS400.INI file and also what headings they are supposed to go under.
A: For convenience these lines were added to the DS400.INI file in DirectSOFT v4.0 Build 18. To activate them all you have to do is find them and delete the semicolon.


FAQ0075
06/25/02 qty=1
Q: Where can I get the DBWin32 program for helping troubleshoot DirectSOFT links while the dump feature is turned on?
A: This program is now installed with all versions of DirectSOFT v4.0 or later. However, if you don't have it, it can be downloaded here: http://www.hosteng.com/SW-Products/SP_Demo_Utilites.htm#Utilities


FAQ0076
07/18/02 qty=1
Q: Accessing the help in DirectSOFT and received the error: "Cannot find the Progrun.hlp file. Do you want to try to find this file yourself?"
A: This is a known bug in DirectSOFT v4.0 in Builds less than (<) Build 20. As far as we know it only occurs in the following manner:

  1. Click the Help button.
  2. Click the Contents button.
  3. Select "Document a project."
  4. Select "Assign Nicknames."
  5. Select "Export/Import - Adding unassigned nicknames to element documentation."

To fix you can use the following work-around or simply download the latest Build.

  1. Click the Help button.
  2. Click the Index button.
  3. Type "Import Documentation."
  4. Click the Display button.
  5. Select "Import/Export - Adding unassigned nicknames to element documentation."

FAQ0077
07/24/02 qty=1
Q: At the PLC Password prompt, the mouse cursor remains an hourglass and I am unable to click on the OK button.
A: This is a known bug in DirectSOFT.  This was fixed in DirectSOFT v3.0 Build 80 and v4.0 Build 18, so upgrading to at least these builds is advised. A work-around is simply to press the <ENTER> key on the keyboard.


FAQ0078 (included in FAQ0016)


FAQ0079
08/06/02 qty=1
Q: When Merging two programs how are duplicate Nicknames and Element Types handled?
A: When you invoke the Merge function, DirectSOFT asks you which program should be given authority in such cases as duplicates.


FAQ0080
08/06/02 qty=8
Q: Trying to open or import a project and get error "PLC type is not supported by any installed knowledge base," or "Unknown file format unable to import program," or "Can't load knowledge base."
A: You can get these errors for about four reasons. Below are the ways and possible solutions:

  • You were attempting to open a project file and the project was written for a CPU that is not supported in your version of DirectSOFT. Therefore make sure your version supports the CPU that the project you are attempting to open was written for.
  • You were attempting to open a project file and DirectSOFT cannot read the CPU type from the file. This is usually fatal in that the project you are trying to open is corrupt. Unless you have a backup copy of this file, it is probably lost! Backup! Backup! Backup!
  • You were attempting to import a Series One Plus program, but the DirectSOFT you are using is v3.0 Build 58. This was a known bug in this Build. To fix, simply download the free upgrade from our website.
  • You were attempting to import a Series One program (NOT SUPPORTED) instead of a Series One PLUS (i.e. CPU 105, 106). DirectSOFT does not support the Series Ones; only the Series One Pluses. A possible solution here is:
    (a)  Open the ladder program with the GE LogicMaster Programming software.
    (b)  Change the CPU type to 105 or 106.
    (c)  Resave the file. Since the difference between Series One and Series One Plus is memory, this shouldn't alter the program.
    (d)  Try the Import function again in DirectSOFT.

FAQ0081 (included in FAQ0016)


FAQ0082
03/28/02 qty=3
Q: Attempting Open/Close Project and get "DSP4x.exe" error and "Unable to save workspace. Disk is write protected or file is read-only!" error.
A: This is caused by the project files (mainly the .PRN and .WSP files) being write-protected. If you copied the project from another computer, a write-protected disk or possibly a CD-ROM this can occur. To fix:

  1. Close DirectSOFT.
  2. Use Windows Explorer and browse to the location of your project.
  3. Click on the first file of the project.
  4. Hold the <Shift> key down and click on the last file of the project. (This will select the full range of your project files.)
  5. Right-mouse click on the group and select Properties.
  6. Under Attributes, uncheck the Read-Only box.
  7. Click Apply, or OK button.

FAQ0083
10/21/02 qty=1
Q: Using Win2K PC with DirectSOFT v4.0 Build 18. If I create a Data View and save it to my server (e.g. mapped drive K:\), then reopen it, make a change, and try to save it again, I get "Access to K:\<pathname> was denied" error.
A: This is a know problem with MFC/Win2K. This means there is a bug with MFC (Microsoft Foundation Classes) Win2K. MFC is a large library of C++ classes developed by Microsoft. For Windows-based applications written in C++, MFC provides an enormous head start. One of the hardest parts of developing C++ programs (like DirectSOFT) is designing a logical hierarchy of classes. With MFC, this work has already been done. MFC is bundled with the C++ compiler that Host uses to write DirectSOFT. Thus this "toolkit" though extremely useful, is not perfect. In this case the problem is with this "toolkit" and not with DirectSOFT.

To work around: Instead of using "Save" . . . use "Save As..."


FAQ0084
04/01/03 qty=1
Q: Can the colors of the PID graph be changed?
A: No.


FAQ0085
04/01/03 qty=2
Q: After upgrading from v3.0 to v4.0, is it OK to delete the v3.0 Projects folder?
A: Yes, but it is important to insure that you have copied your old v3.0 projects (that you want to keep) to your v4.0 projects folder. This can be done manually if need be. However, the upgrade process will ask you if you want to do this, and it will do it for you. It simply does a blind copy of the old v3.0 projects folder to the v4.0 projects folder. Thus no files are lost (e.g. documentation). All documentation is therefore kept with your project.


FAQ0086 (see also CTRIO FAQ0025; ERM FAQ0015)
04/02/03 qty=2
Q: In DirectSOFT (PLC --> Tools) there are listings for CTRIO Workbench and ERM Workbench that I don't need. How do I get rid of them?
A: We believe this could be caused by using Windows Uninstall instead of the Workbenches' uninstalls; or perhaps storing these software packages underneath non-default folders. Regardless, these menu options are setup in the Windows Registry. To remove them manually it is required that changes be made directly to the Registry. This is not recommended for the normal user! And on some PC's the Administrator does not permit it. However, if you dare:

  1. From the desktop, Start --> Run...
  2. Type in regedit and press the <OK> button.
  3. Open HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder.
  4. Open SOFTWARE folder.
  5. Open Host Engineering, Inc. folder.
  6. Click on the HAPTools folder.

Now in the right window you will see five string values:

  • (Default)    REG_SZ    (value not set)
  • a                REG_SZ    CTRIO Workbench 2;;CTRIO configuration utility;;C:\HAPTools\CTRIOwb2.EXE
  • b                REG_SZ    ERM Workbench;;Ethernet Remote Master Workbench configuration utility;;C:\HAPTools\ERMWB.EXE
  • InstallList    REG_SZ    ab
  • NextInstall  REG_SZ    c

To remove them completely right-click on a, b, InstallList and NextInstall one at a time and delete them. The only string value that should remain is (Default).

If you are plagued by multiple menu selections, then just make the registry entries look exactly like the above.


FAQ0087 (see also CTRIO FAQ0026; ERM FAQ0016)
04/02/03 qty=3
Q: Just selecting PLC --> Tools inside DirectSOFT causes my PC to lock up.
A: We have found this to sometimes happen in versions earlier than v4.0 Build 18, when you have installed CTRIO Workbench and/or ERM Workbench under a different folder other than from c:\HAPTools. To fix:

  1. Uninstall Workbench (CTRIO & ERM) from Start --> Programs --> AutomationDirect Tools --> Uninstall.
  2. To reinstall, insert DirectSOFT Installation CD into drive.
  3. Use Windows Explorer to browse out to CD drive (e.g. d:\Tools).
  4. To install CTRIO Workbench, open CTRIOwb folder and double-click SetupCTR.exe.
  5. To install ERM Workbench, open ERMwb folder and double-click SetupERM.exe.

For each install take the default c:\HAPTools installation folder.


FAQ0088 (see also DS Data FAQ0042)
04/10/03 qty=1
Q: What is DBWin32 application?
A: It is a debugging tool used to troubleshoot and log vital information for applications like DS Data and DirectSOFT Programming.

With DS Data it can be utilized in two ways:

  • FOR LOGGING ITEMS: After starting DS Data, DBWin32 can be invoked by pressing the "Launch Logger" button and is commonly used to record data for particular Items that you may want to log. By clicking on the empty box beside the particular Item you are interested in and causing an "L" to appear, the transactions for that Item will be recorded in the DBWin32 window. Then the file can be saved for review later.
  • FOR TROUBLESHOOTING PROBLEMS: More detailed troubleshooting information can be obtained, however, closing down DS Data, then editing the DS400.INI file. In that file under the heading [devasync.dll] you should add a line that says Dump=1 (It may already be there. If it is, then, by default, it usually is preceded by a ";". If it is just remove the ";" from in front of it.). Then start DBWin32 (Start --> Programs --> DirectSOFT4 --> DirectSOFT4 Program Tools --> DBWin32 Logger). Lastly start DS Data. Now the window will fill with messages. You can then save this data to a text file and send it to Automation Direct or Host Engineering for help in troubleshooting.

With DirectSOFT Programming it can be utilized for troubleshooting only. Follow the same procedure as above except, of course, start DirectSOFT Programming instead of DS Data. When you start the applications (e.g. DS Data, DirectSOFT Programming) you may be asked if you are sure you want to dump information in the logger. Just answer "Yes."


FAQ0089
08/15/02 qty=2
Q: My original DirectSOFT was PC-PGM-105. Will installing the v4.0 Upgrade gain me the ability to program the new DL06?
A:  No. The PC-PGM-105 allows you to only program the DL05 and the DL105, and upgrading to v4.0 will not buy you the ability to program a new DL06. To get DL06 programmability you must purchase at least the PC-PGM-BRICK package.


FAQ0090
08/15/02 qty=1
Q: Why does my DL06 link show up as a 250(-1) in DirectSOFT?
A:  Earlier versions of the DL06 had DL250-1 firmware. Upgrading the DL06 firmware will solve this. Firmware and firmware upgrade tools can be downloaded from the Automation Direct website: http://support.automationdirect.com/firmware/index.html. If that link doesn't work:

  1. Go to http://www.automationdirect.com/.
  2. Click on Tech Support.
  3. Select "Software/Firware Downloads" from the pull-down menu.
  4. Select Firmware.

Now you can download the Koyo support tool for upgrading the DL PLCs, as well as the specific DL06 firmware file.


FAQ0091 (see also DS Data FAQ0047)
08/16/02 qty=1
Q: I have DirectSOFT v4.0 Build 16, and in DS Launch, all the versions show as v4.0.016 except for one; DSData.exe shows up as v4.0.012.
A:  This is a bug in v4.0 Build 16. To fix, upgrade to at least v4.0 Build 18.


FAQ0092
08/19/02 qty=1
Q: When I tried to delete an unused link in DS Launch I get a CSMAIN.EXE error.
A:  This is probably caused by a corrupt COMMSERV.RST file. This is the file that stores all the links. Unfortunately there is no way to repair this file. Therefore the only solution is the delete it and re-create all your links again. It is stored in the c:\directsoft4\bin folder.


FAQ0093
08/19/02 qty=1
Q: How can I tell if I have v3.0 Build 71 patch installed?
A:  Follow these instructions:

  1. In DS Launch, double-click on Versions (this will pull up the Versions Browser).
  2. Select "DirectSOFT32 - Communications Server" under "Applications."
  3. Select "Async Device Handler" under "Modules."

The version of DEVASYNC.DLL should be v3.0.073.


FAQ0094
08/19/02 qty=1
Q: Purchased PC-PGM-305 software. If I go to PLC --> Diagnostics --> Scan Time, why is the Setup button grayed out?
A:  This function is only supported in some CPUs (e.g. DL405). None of the DL305s support this function.


FAQ0095
08/22/02 qty=1
Q: COM5 is not available to select for use when configuring a link.
A:  This is because your DS400.INI file does not have that resource available by default. You must enable it by editing this file. To access the DS400.INI file:

  1. From Windows Desktop: Start --> Run...
  2. Type in "ds400.ini"


     
  3. Press <OK> button. This will pull it up into the Notepad text editor.

There are two sections in DS400.INI file regarding communications resources:

[devasync.dll]
COM1Enable=1
COM2Enable=1
COM3Enable=0
COM4Enable=0
ModemEnable=1
COM5Enable=0
COM6Enable=0
COM7Enable=0
COM8Enable=0

[devether.dll]
EthernetEnable=1

To disable a resource, type a zero "0".
To enable a resource, type a one "1".
(If values are changed you must save the file DS400.INI, and restart DirectSOFT).


FAQ0096 (included in FAQ0016)


FAQ0097
09/05/02 qty=2
Q: On WinME my DirectSOFT v4.0 Build 16 Backup failed and some of the original documentation files are missing!
A:  This is caused by having trailing spaces in your project file name (e.g. ProjectName<space>.prj instead of ProjectName.prj) and the fact that WinME was being used. WinME is particularly affected by this because it cannot create directories (which DirectSOFT v4.0 Backup attempts to do) with a trailing space in the name. Other OSs (e.g. WinXP, Win2K) do not have this problem. But if you have a ProjectName that has a trailing space in it and you are using WinME, your original documentation files can be corrupted or deleted if a Backup is attempted! This problem is remedied in DirectSOFT v4.0 Build 18 or greater. We fixed this by adding a trailing $ to any ProjectName with a trailing space. To upgrade go here: http://www.hosteng.com/SW-Products/DirectSOFT32/DirectSOFT32.htm#Service.


FAQ0098 (Deleted; Redundant; see FAQ0013 instead)


FAQ0099
05/15/03 qty=1
Q: Is there a version of DirectSOFT that will run on a MAC PC?
A: No, and Host Engineering has no plans of creating one in the future. However, you might try a PC Emulator for the MAC PC. It is possible that this could work, however, we can offer no support if it doesn't.


FAQ0100
05/21/03 qty=2
Q: Under View --> Options, Ladders tab, deselected 3D Tokens, but if the project is closed, DirectSOFT doesn't remember the setting.
A: To get DirectSOFT to remember the settings you must check the "New Views" under the "Apply options to:" parameter:


FAQ0101
05/27/03 qty=1
Q: Is DirectSOFT available in German?
A: No. Koyo makes DirectSOFT available in Japanese, but no other foreign language is supported at this time.


FAQ0102
09/09/02 qty=1
Q: What is the minimum requirement for PC to run DirectSOFT?
A: None. The general rule is that if it runs Windows, then DirectSOFT should work on it. But performance is another issue. We recommend:

Operating System: Win98, WinME, WinNT, Win2K or WinXP
CPU: Pentium III Class / 500MHz or greater
RAM: 64Mbytes
HardDisk: 20MBytes
PLC Connectivity: RS-232 serial port, USB port with USB-to-Serial adapter, 10Base-T or 10/100 Ethernet NIC

This is the recommended system configuration for what we consider to be a good performing PC with DirectSOFT. As with any Windows application, a faster processor, more RAM, etc. will definitely improve the performance. While you can definitely run DirectSOFT on PCs with less capability, you run the risk of resource bottlenecks that can cause serious performance problems and in some cases, even system crashes. Fast CPUs and RAM are cheap, engineering time and system downtime aren't, plan accordingly!


FAQ0103
09/11/02 qty=1
Q: Is it possible to convert a TI305 program to DL340 program?
A: Yes.

  1. Import the VPU file (TI305 program). File --> Import --> Program...
  2. Select Tisoft (*.vpu) as the Files of type:
  3. Click on VPU file and click the Open button.
  4. Change the PLC to DL340. PLC --> Offline Setup...
  5. Select the PLC Type as 340 and press the OK button.

FAQ0104 (included in FAQ0016)


FAQ0105
09/13/02 qty=1
Q: Can you have the Usage view and Ladder view open simultaneously?
A: Yes, unless you have the Demo version. Otherwise Xref has two views, Xref and Usage, and all can be open simultaneously.


FAQ0106
09/19/02 qty=1
Q: Can the DL105 be put into RUN mode without DirectSOFT?
A: No.


FAQ0107
09/20/02 qty=1
Q: Can the regular DirectSOFT package be installed over top of the Demo version?
A: No. It is best to uninstall the Demo version before installing the regular packages of DirectSOFT.


FAQ0108
09/24/02 qty=1
Q: When using the Import function and selecting "delete existing," DirectSOFT still reported that there were conflicts between the imported file and the existing documentation database.
A: This is a software bug and was corrected by v4.0 Build18.


FAQ0109 (included in FAQ0016; similar to CTRIO FAQ0005; ERM FAQ0018)


FAQ0110
09/30/02 qty=1
Q: In DirectSOFT v3.0c the PID usable range was V36000-37777, but in v4.0 the range is limited to V36000-36777.
A: True. The range stated in v3.0c is wrong. The correct range is in v4.0.


FAQ0111
08/14/03 qty=1
Q: How big can a single rung in DirectSOFT be?
A: A rung in DirectSOFT is a height/width matrix. The matrix cannot exceed a size of 8192 cells. One cell in the matrix contains a coil, contact or empty space. General guidelines:

  1. Maximum number of parallel output coils (rung height) = 250.
  2. Maximum number of series contacts (rung width) = 250.
  3. The product of rung height and rung width cannot exceed 8192.

Thus if you had 250 parallel output coils, you could only have 32 series contact columns (250 x 32 = 8000).
Likewise, if you had 250 contacts in series (32 contact columns), then you could only have 32 parallel output coils (250 x 32 = 8000).

These are good guidelines but not exactly correct. But being that the sizes are enormous we seriously doubt you will really need to know exactly how it is calculated. DirectSOFT will complain if there are any violations.


FAQ0112
09/24/03 qty=1
Q: When trying to Autotune a PID loop, the message "Cannot place PV 5% below SP - SP is too low" is unclear.
A: We changed the message to be much more descriptive in DirectSOFT v4.0 Build 22:

Before v4.0 Build 22:

After v4.0 Build 22:


FAQ0113
09/24/03 qty=1
Q: I configured my PID loop to use the Auto Transfer for my analog output card, but, my analog output card is not working properly.
A: Most of the time this is because having configured the Auto Transfer for that analog output card, you are also trying to use the pointer method of output to the same card. Therefore, we added the following warning message in DirectSOFT v4.0 Build 22 to help circumvent this from happening:

In later versions of DirectSOFT (i.e. > v4.0 Build 22) the above text will also include the following additional text, "In other words, if you select auto transfer to/from I/O, do not setup the analog in the ladder code. If you setup the analog in the ladder code, do not select auto transfer to/from I/O."


FAQ0114
11/04/02 qty=3
Q: When trying to save a project I get "Filter error writing PLC type."
A: This is more than likely a self-inflicted "wound" in that the folder name for an open project must've been changed and then a Save As... was attempted.


FAQ0115
09/30/03 qty=1
Q: When trying to Configure I/O keep getting "Error reading from disk."
A: This could be caused by:

  1. Having copied project files from a server drive or a floppy directly to a new location.
  2. Write-protected project files.
  3. Real system hard drive problems.

However, the probable solution is just to Export the project and then Import it back. Or, sometimes deleting the TLS file, opening the project, and then resaving it works.


FAQ0116
10/01/03 qty=1
Q: Can I make a DirectSOFT link over a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to an ECOM?
A:  This should work. However the NetEdit tool nor the DirectSOFT Link Wizard will help because they utilize broadcasts; and VPNs will block broadcasts. So the only link-aiding tool you will have is the Ping command from a Command Prompt. If the VPN is set up such that you can Ping the remote ECOM, this should work. You may have to adjust the timeout values for the link, however.


FAQ0117
10/03/03 qty=1
Q: PC crashed while transferring a project to the PLC. Now when I open the project all I get is the comment for the first rung of ladder logic but nothing else.
A:  Whatever caused your PC to crash probably corrupted the project file. If DirectSOFT isn't locked up then you can try a File --> Export and then a File --> Import to see if this clears up the project. Otherwise you will either have to start from a previous backup copy (hopefully!) or start all over from scratch (yikes!). Unfortunately this is the nature of a PC crash and there is no way to UN-corrupt your project file.


FAQ0118
07/09/03 qty=1
Q: Why does DirectSOFT beep at me after opening an offline project for Koyo Kostac S-series, PZ1 and going into the Edit mode?
A:  This was a bug in DirectSOFT related to the options on the toolbar. To fix download the latest version of DirectSOFT, Build 22 or greater.


FAQ0119
11/06/03 qty=2
Q: While using Cut and Paste with Ladder Comments I get the message that this cannot be done.
A:  Generally this is one of two things. Either the Ladder Comments documentation files are corrupt (see FAQ0040 above for fix), or the Projects entry in the DS400.INI is missing or corrupt. When using the Cut/Paste in DirectSOFT for Ladder Comments, the Cut does not place data in the system clipboard. Instead data is written to a file that is pointed to by the Projects setting in the DS400.INI. So if this entry is missing or corrupt, then the Cut/Paste feature will not work. You can check your setting by:

  1. Start --> Run...
  2. Type in "DS400.INI" (without the quotes).


     
  3. Press <OK>.

This should pull up the DS400.INI file into a text editor (usually NotePad). Scroll down until you see the heading [PATHS]. It should look something like this:

[PATHS]
PROJECT PATH=C:\DirectSOFT4\Projects\

Make sure this folder actually exists.


FAQ0120
11/21/03 qty=1
Q: Every time I open a project, it tries to connect online to my PLC, which may or may not be connected. How can I prevent this from happening?
A:  This happens because the project was saved while connected to the PLC (i.e. it is an ONLINE PROJECT). If you don't want this to happen, then before you save the project, use PLC --> Disconnect.


FAQ0121
11/21/03 qty=1
Q: Every time I open DirectSOFT it wants to create a new project by default and I have to close it. Is there a way for it to open up and not do this?
A:  This happens because you did not open DirectSOFT with an existing project, so it "thinks" you must want to create a new one. If all you want to do is open up existing projects then the easiest thing to do is use DS Launch (Start --> Programs --> DirectSOFT32 --> DS Launch). From here DS Launch remembers the projects you had opened previously and all you have to do is double-click on the correct project under the Projects icon and DirectSOFT will open up with this project instead of trying to create a new one.


FAQ0122
11/21/03 qty=2
Q: In Ladder View the Syntax Check button is grayed out and I can't use it. Why?
A:  This is because the link you are using is configured for DirectNet protocol, and DirectNet protocol does not allow this.

With DirectNet protocol:

With K-sequence protocol:

If you will edit the link and change the protocol to K-sequence then the Syntax Check button will work (PLC --> Link Setup... --> Edit... --> Protocol). Or better yet, if you are using an ECOM then pick the ECOM protocol because the ECOM will then use DirectNet when it can and K-sequence when it needs to:


FAQ0123
11/21/03 qty=1
Q: When viewing status in Ladders and attempting to use the Change Value button to change a bit (X, Y, C, etc.), the Write-to-PLC button is grayed out. Why?
A:  This is because the link you are using is configured for DirectNet protocol, and DirectNet protocol will not allow bit writes.

With DirectNet protocol:

With K-sequence protocol:

If you will edit the link and change the protocol to K-sequence then the Write-to-PLC button on the Change Value dialog will work (PLC --> Link Setup... --> Edit... --> Protocol). Or better yet, if you are using an ECOM then pick the ECOM protocol because the ECOM will then use DirectNet when it can and K-sequence when it needs to:


FAQ0124
12/08/03 qty=1
Q: Can V-memory bits have their own Nicknames, Wiring Information and Descriptions?
A:  Yes. A V-memory address (e.g. V2000) can have its own documentation as a word; but each of its 16 bits (designated by by B2000.x; where x is the bit number) can also have their own documentation. Park the cursor on the B bit in ladders view and then go to Tools --> Documentation Editor... to edit them.


FAQ0125 (see also DS Data FAQ0069)
09/26/02 qty=1
Q: When configuring a link, on the Port tab, Advanced Settings, what does "Application Timeout" VS "Timeout" mean?
A:  Refer to the diagram. "Application Timeout" is the time the client will wait on the link CommServer for a response. "Timeout" is the time the CommServer will wait for a response from the PLC.


FAQ0126
12/09/03 qty=6
Q: When trying to open a project, I get "Error 1006: Module load failure = 126 in module c:\DirectSOFT32\Knowbase\KB430M.DLL."
A:  The number "126" in this message is a Global Windows System Error number. Therefore this error is some kind of Windows system problem. In general "Error 1006" is telling you it couldn't open the file named and the reason is the Windows System Error, so the first thing to do is to make sure that the file being named is actually there. We have also seen other variants of this error that report different a Windows System Error number and different files. Here are some we've seen:

  • Module load failure = 126 in module c:\DirectSOFT32\Knowbase\KB430M.DLL
  • Module load failure = 126 in module c:\DirectSOFT32\Bin\DEVETHER.DLL
  • Module load failure = 31 in module c:\DirectSOFT4\KnowBase\KB340L.DLL
  • Module load failure = 31 in module c:.DLL
  • Module load failure = 31 in module c:\DirectSOFT4\Program\Bin\PRGRM40.DLL

The number "31" is designated by Microsoft as  ERROR_GEN_FAILURE.
The number "126" is designated by Microsoft as ERROR_MOD_NOT_FOUND.

We have found that doing the following steps has made any and all of the variants of this error disappear even though we admit we don't know specifically why.

  1. Uninstall DirectSOFT.
  2. Defrag the hard drive.
  3. Delete the files in the c:\windows\temp folder (this step may not be necessary; some have had success without doing it).
  4. Increase Virtual Memory size to at least twice the size of your physical memory.
  5. Reinstall DirectSOFT.

FAQ0127
01/09/04 qty=5
Q: Is there a software utility that can be used to upload/download programs without using DirectSOFT?
A:  Yes. Host Engineering has created a free program called DNLoader that does just that. You would use it to read the program and (optionally) the retentive V-memory from a DL PLC and save this data in a file. This file cannot be read by DirectSOFT. You can then use DNLoader to write the contents of this file to another DL PLC of the same type. It supports serial or Ethernet connections and also supports PLC Passwords. It is the ideal tool for an OEM or System Integrator. You can download your copy from our website under the Support --> Utilities section.


FAQ0128 (included in FAQ0016)


FAQ0129 (see also DS Data FAQ0070; ECOM FAQ0030; NetEdit FAQ0009)
10/03/02 qty=1
Q: Does the ECOM work with DHCP? Or does the PC's NIC have to have a static IP address in order to communicate with an ECOM?
A: The ECOM does not support DHCP addressing. It must have a static IP address. However, the PC that is talking to the ECOM does not have to have a static IP address. Things to consider:

  • If the NIC's IP address is not static, it may change to a different IP address without warning (e.g. reboot of the PC or when the IP address expires).
  • A change of the NIC's IP address may have no effect at all (e.g. if you are only using the NIC for a simple link for DirectSOFT programming).
  • A change of the NIC's IP address may result in a timeout or retry of some transaction with the ECOM (e.g. if the ECOM is doing RX/WX operations back to the PC).

FAQ0130
08/13/02 qty=1
Q: Can I install DirectSOFT on a LAN Server and then have multiple PC's run it from there?
A: No. You will need to install the software on each PC that will be using it. It cannot be run remotely over a LAN system (see DirectSOFT License Agreement).


FAQ0131
08/13/02 qty=1
Q: Is there an annual maintenance agreement for DirectSOFT?
A: No, but there are free upgrades from time to time. The general rules are:

  • If the DirectSOFT you are interested in has the Version number increased (e.g. v3.0 to v4.0), then this upgrade will cost money.
  • If the DirectSOFT you are interested in adds additional CPU support (e.g. PC-PGM-105 to PC-PGM-BRICK), then this upgrade will cost money.
  • If the DirectSOFT you are interested in has only the Build number increased (e.g. v4.0 Build 18 to v4.0 Build 22), then this upgrade is free and can be downloaded from the Host website.

FAQ0132 (included in FAQ0016)


FAQ0133
02/16/04 qty=1
Q: Is there a quick reference as to which PLC instructions work on which PLCs?
A: Yes. You can access a matrix in DirectSOFT by going to Help --> PLC/Instruction Set Matrix, or a PDF version of this matrix can be downloaded for printing here.


FAQ0134 (see also DL Plus FAQ0002)
10/15/02 qty=1
Q: DL Plus v3.0 installed on PC; loaded DirectSOFT v4.0. Now when clicking on DL Plus object to add it, then Lookout (NI v3) crashes.
A: Cannot run DirectSOFT v4.0 and DL Plus v3.0 simultaneously. They use two different CommServers and this will cause a conflict.


FAQ0135 (see also DL Plus FAQ0003; Lookout Direct FAQ0006)
10/15/02 qty=1
Q: My DL Plus and Lookout Direct do not support the DL06, DL250-1 nor the DL260 CPUs. If, however, I install DirectSOFT v4.0 (which supports these CPUs) will my DL Plus and Lookout Direct now be able to talk to them?
A: Here are the general "rules:"

  • If your Lookout Direct/DL Plus came only with v3.x of DSCOMM.CBX then they would use only the v3.x CommServer which does not support the DL06, DL250-1 nor DL260 CPUs. By default the DSCOMM.CBX file is stored in c:\DirectSOFT32\bin folder.
  • If your Lookout Direct/DL Plus came only with v4.x of DSCOMM4.CBX then they would use only the v4.x CommServer which supports the DL06, DL250-1 and DL260 CPUs. By default the DSCOMM4.CBX file is stored in c:\DirectSOFT4\bin folder.

However:

  • If you start up DirectSOFT v4.0 (which loads the v4.x CommServer), and then Lookout Direct v3.8 is started (which wants to use v3.x CommServer), then Lookout Direct will talk to the DL06, DL250-1 and DL260 by using the already-loaded v4.x CommServer. In other words, it will not try to load its preferred v3.x CommServer because it "knows" a CommServer is already loaded.
  • If, however, you start up Lookout Direct v3.8 first (which loads the v3.x CommServer), then it will not talk to the DL06, DL250-1 nor DL260 because the v3.x CommServer gets loaded first.

FAQ0136
10/10/02 qty=1
Q: DirectSOFT project has been stored on a file server. However, if the project is open and the file server happens to reboot, the project gets deleted!
A: This is caused by a bug check procedure by DirectSOFT. We have fixed this in DirectSOFT v3.0c Build 80 and v4.0 Build 16. However, the files, instead of getting deleted, could still become corrupted because the file server should never be rebooted while files are opened on it.


FAQ0137
10/14/02 qty=1
Q: If I use PLC --> Clear PLC Memory... --> Clear All the C-bits in my DL250 or DL260 do not get cleared.
A: This was fixed in DirectSOFT v3.0 Build 18 and v4.0 Build 18.


FAQ0138
09/12/02 qty=2
Q: My Cross Reference table is corrupt. How can I fix it?
A: The best and easiest way is to force DirectSOFT to rebuild it for you:

  1. Bring up the Xref View (View --> Cross Reference View).
  2. Select View --> Options.
  3. Scroll tabs to XRefDB tab.
  4. Unselect the Auto Rebuild and press <OK> button.
  5. Go back to Ladder View.
  6. Make a dummy change to the program and Accept it (press <F8>).
  7. Switch back to the Xref View.
  8. Select Edit --> Rebuild Xref.
  9. Select View --> Options.
  10. Scroll tabs to XRefDB tab.
  11. Select the Auto Rebuild and press <OK> button.

FAQ0139
09/12/02 qty=1
Q: What are the main advantages of upgrading my DirectSOFT from v3.0 to v4.0?
A: The main reasons:

  1. V4.0 supports the new DL06, DL250-1 and DL260 CPUs.
  2. V4.0 allows you to Export Ladders and Comments into a text file.
  3. V4.0 has an added Project Backup feature.
  4. V4.0 has improved CommServer performance.

FAQ0140
10/14/02 qty=5
Q: Which versions of DirectSOFT work with which versions of Windows?
A: See chart below:

DirectSOFT Versions Windows Operating Systems
Win3.11 Win95 Win98 WinME WinNT4 Win2K WinXP
v1.12i X X X X      
v2.0 X X X X      
v2.1 X X X X      
v2.2 X X X X      
v2.3 X X X X      
v2.3a X X X X      
v2.4 X X X X      
v2.4a X X X X      
v3.0     X X X X X
v4.0     X X X X X

FAQ0141
10/15/02 qty=1
Q: Getting error message: "Permanent project <filename> will be overwritten! Continue?"
A: You are trying to use the New Project dialog to open an existing project name. You probably pressed the <Browse> button in this dialog and selected the name of an existing project. You need to do one of the following:

  • Use Projects Browse on the DS Launch window, or...
  • Use the File --> Open Project in DirectSOFT.

FAQ0142
10/15/02 qty=1
Q: Will DirectSOFT support a PCMCIA COM port card?
A: It is up to this device's drivers to make the PCMCIA COM port card look and act exactly like a regular PC COM port. If it does a sufficient job, then DirectSOFT would not be able to distinguish it from a regular PC COM port. But since we have improved DirectSOFT's CommServer it is best to use the very latest version of DirectSOFT as possible.


FAQ0143
10/09/02 qty=1
Q: Will DirectSOFT damage other .PRJ files that are used by other programs (e.g. Exor Uniop HMI)?
A: No, it will just simply not be able to open them.


FAQ0144
10/09/02 qty=1
Q: Can't use Cut/Paste in DS Launch description window.
A: Cut/Paste is not supported in this window. It is merely for information only, and not for editing.


FAQ0145
10/18/02 qty=1
Q: When doing a compare in DirectSOFT why does it not do 100% of the files?
A: DirectSOFT compares binary files, not text files. When it finds a difference, it tries to do some intelligent work to see what is different (e.g. extra rung, extra contact, etc.) Doing this for every possible difference could take a huge amount of time because it is possible for the entire program to be different. So a solution (if you are using v4.0) would be to do a File --> Export to a text file and then use your favorite text comparison utility.


FAQ0146
10/21/02 qty=1
Q: When using the DL05 with MC (Memory Cartridge), calendar function is not highlighted.
A: Must have at least DirectSOFT v3.0 Build 33 for this to be supported.


FAQ0147
10/22/02 qty=1
Q: DirectSOFT seems to freeze briefly sometimes on WinXP.
A: This happens with other applications on WinXP as well. If you go to http://www.computing.net/ website and search for "freeze" on WinXP you will find several problems and issues and some work-arounds. Some think it is USB device code and/or device drivers for WinXP. We know this does not solve the problem, but we don't know what else to do. DirectSOFT works well on Win2K and Win98, but WinXP is really different. But if anyone reading this hears of any systemic issues with WinXP, then please let us know!


FAQ0148
10/22/02 qty=1
Q: If you use the Save As... for the Data View DirectSOFT saves the file to the different filename but it doesn't change the title bar.
A: Known bug fixed in v4.0 Build 18.


FAQ0149 (removed; duplicate; see FAQ0122)


FAQ0150
11/07/02 qty=1
Q: Can I permanently turn off the Ladder palette?
A: Yes, this capability was added to v4.0 Build 18. To change this you must edit the DS400.INI file (Start --> Run... --> Type in "ds400.ini" and press <OK> button).

Scroll down to:

[SETUP]
LadderPalette=1

To turn the palette off, just change the "1" to a "0" and save the DS400.INI file and then restart DirectSOFT.


FAQ0151
11/07/02 qty=1
Q: How can I make the icons in DirectSOFT small instead of large?
A: You must edit the DS400.INI file (Start --> Run... --> Type in "ds400.ini" and press <OK> button).

Scroll down to:

[SETUP]
UseLargeBtns=1

Change the "1" to a "0" and save the DS400.INI file and then restart DirectSOFT.


FAQ0152
09/17/02 qty=1
Q: Why don't the Toolbar buttons' colors match the color status bars in Ladder View?
A: This was a great suggestion. We updated the arrow button colors to match Ladder edit save/download color status: Cyan = Write to PLC; Light Green = Write to Disk.


FAQ0153
11/13/02 qty=1
Q: Importing a project and get, "Filter error: Reading Program Size."
A: The only time we've seen this happen is when the import file actually has two programs stored in it. Edit the file and eliminate the unwanted program. Why is there more than one program in the file?

  • You had previously used File --> Export using the same filename and selected "Append."
  • You had previously used File --> Export using the same filename and selected "Replace" but you had a version of DirectSOFT earlier than v4.0 Build 18. (It was a bug in earlier versions that DirectSOFT would append the file no matter what you picked.)

FAQ0154
11/14/02 qty=1
Q: What is the maximum length of a project path and filename?
A: This is not a limitation of DirectSOFT but rather a function of the Windows operating system.


FAQ0155 (see also DS Data FAQ0074)
11/15/02 qty=1
Q: Are there any plans for a DS Data, or DirectSOFT version for Pocket PCs (WinCE)?
A: Not as of 2004; but we are considering it.


FAQ0156
12/02/02 qty=1
Q: My DL405 PLC seems to hang up in Pause Mode when DirectSOFT is doing a download of the program (Ladders).
A: The only way to get stuck in Pause Mode is by doing a Runtime Edit. When in the Run Mode, the PLC supports Runtime Edit. DirectSOFT will switch to Pause Mode, download the program, then switch back to Run Mode. The PLC does a syntax check before going to Run and this is probably where the "hang up" is occurring. For example, if you had a GTS instruction without the SBR instruction, or a JMP instruction without the SG instruction, etc. the syntax check would fail. You can test this by just trying to go to the Run Mode, or, from DirectSOFT, trying a manual syntax check to see if it fails.


FAQ0157
12/02/02 qty=1
Q: My Cross Reference table does not show the use of V-memory in the V7000 range (System Memory).
A: By default, older versions of DirectSOFT did not enable the System V-memory range for Cross Reference. You can fix this via 2 ways:

  • Upgrade to at least DirectSOFT v4.0 Build 20.
  • Go to View --> Options --> XrefDB, and select the System Element classes.


FAQ0158
04/13/04 qty=1
Q: What happens if I install certain DirectSOFT packages over top of different versions with different levels of DL PLC support?
A: Please refer to the following chart:

  INSTALL:
DirectSOFT v3.0 DirectSOFT v4.0
START WITH PC-PGM-105 PC-PGM-205 PC-PGM-305 PC-R30-U PC-PGMSW PC-PGM-105 PC-PGM-BRICK PC-PGM-205 PC-PGM-305 PC-R40-U PC-PGMSW
Nothing Installs v3.0 DL105 in DirectSOFT32 Installs v3.0 DL205 in DirectSOFT32 Installs v3.0 DL305 in DirectSOFT32 Installs nothing. Installs v3.0 for all DL PLCs in DirectSOFT32 Installs v4.0 DL105 in DirectSOFT4 Installs v4.0 DL05, DL06, DL105 in DirectSOFT4 Installs v4.0 DL205 in DirectSOFT4 Installs v4.0 DL305 in DirectSOFT4 Installs nothing. Installs v4.0 for all DL PLCs in DirectSOFT4
DirectSOFT v3.0 PC-PGM-105 Updates v3.0 Updates v3.0; adds DL205 Updates v3.0; adds DL305 Updates v3.0 Updates v3.0; adds all DL PLCs Leaves v3.0 DL105 alone; installs v4.0 DL105 in DirectSOFT4 Leaves v3.0 DL105 alone; installs v4.0 DL05, DL06, DL105 in DirectSOFT4 Leaves v3.0 DL105 alone; installs v4.0 DL205 in DirectSOFT4 Leaves v3.0 DL105 alone; installs v4.0 DL305 in DirectSOFT4 Leaves v3.0 DL105 alone; installs v4.0 DL105 in DirectSOFT4 Leaves v3.0 DL105 alone; installs v4.0 for all DL PLCs in DirectSOFT4
PC-PGM-205 Updates v3.0; adds DL105 Updates v3.0 Updates v3.0; adds DL305 Updates v3.0 Updates v3.0; adds all DL PLCs Leaves v3.0 DL205 alone; installs v4.0 DL105 in DirectSOFT4 Leaves v3.0 DL205 alone; installs v4.0 DL05, DL06, DL105 in DirectSOFT4 Leaves v3.0 DL205 alone; installs v4.0 DL205 in DirectSOFT4 Leaves v3.0 DL205 alone; installs v4.0 DL305 in DirectSOFT4 Leaves v3.0 DL205 alone; installs v4.0 DL205 in DirectSOFT4 Leaves v3.0 DL205 alone; installs v4.0 for all DL PLCs in DirectSOFT4
PC-PGM-305 Updates v3.0; adds DL105 Updates v3.0; adds DL205 Updates v3.0 Updates v3.0 Updates v3.0; adds all DL PLCs Leaves v3.0 DL305 alone; installs v4.0 DL105 in DirectSOFT4 Leaves v3.0 DL305 alone; installs v4.0 DL05, DL06, DL105 in DirectSOFT4 Leaves v3.0 DL305 alone; installs v4.0 DL205 in DirectSOFT4 Leaves v3.0 DL305 alone; installs v4.0 DL305 in DirectSOFT4 Leaves v3.0 DL305 alone; installs v4.0 DL305 in DirectSOFT4 Leaves v3.0 DL305 alone; installs v4.0 for all DL PLCs in DirectSOFT4
PC-PGMSW Updates v3.0 Updates v3.0 Updates v3.0 Updates v3.0 Updates v3.0 Leaves v3.0 alone; installs v4.0 DL105 in DirectSOFT4 Leaves v3.0 alone; installs v4.0 DL05, DL06, DL105 in DirectSOFT4 Leaves v3.0 alone; installs v4.0 DL205 in DirectSOFT4 Leaves v3.0 alone; installs v4.0 DL305 in DirectSOFT4 Leaves v3.0 alone; installs v4.0 for all DL PLCs in DirectSOFT4 Leaves v3.0 alone; installs v4.0 for all DL PLCs in DirectSOFT4
DirectSOFT v4.0 PC-PGM-105 Leaves v4.0 DL105 alone; installs v3.0 DL105 in DirectSOFT32 Leaves v4.0 DL105 alone; installs v3.0 DL205 in DirectSOFT32 Leaves v4.0 DL105 alone; installs v3.0 DL305 in DirectSOFT32 Installs nothing Leaves v4.0 DL105 alone; installs v3.0 for all DL PLCs in DirectSOFT32 Updates v4.0 Updates v4.0; adds DL05, DL06 Updates v4.0; adds DL205 Updates v4.0; adds DL305 Updates v4.0 Updates v4.0; adds all DL PLCs
PC-PGM-BRICK Leaves v4.0 DL05, DL06, DL105 alone; installs v3.0 DL105 in DirectSOFT32 Leaves v4.0 DL05, DL06, DL105 alone; installs v3.0 DL205 in DirectSOFT32 Leaves v4.0 DL05, DL06, DL105 alone; installs v3.0 DL305 in DirectSOFT32 Installs nothing Leaves v4.0 DL05, DL06, DL105 alone; installs v3.0 for all DL PLCs in DirectSOFT32 Updates v4.0 Updates v4.0 Updates v4.0; adds DL205 Updates v4.0; adds DL305 Updates v4.0 Updates v4.0; adds all DL PLCs
PC-PGM-205 Leaves v4.0 DL205 alone; installs v3.0 DL105 in DirectSOFT32 Leaves v4.0 DL205 alone; installs v3.0 DL205 in DirectSOFT32 Leaves v4.0 DL205 alone; installs v3.0 DL305 in DirectSOFT32 Installs nothing Leaves v4.0 DL205 alone; installs v3.0 for all DL PLCs in DirectSOFT32 Updates v4.0; adds DL105 Updates v4.0; adds DL05, DL06, DL105 Updates v4.0 Updates v4.0; adds DL305 Updates v4.0 Updates v4.0; adds all DL PLCs
PC-PGM-305 Leaves v4.0 DL305 alone; installs v3.0 DL105 in DirectSOFT32 Leaves v4.0 DL305 alone; installs v3.0 DL205 in DirectSOFT32 Leaves v4.0 DL305 alone; installs v3.0 DL305 in DirectSOFT32 Installs nothing Leaves v4.0 DL305 alone; installs v3.0 for all DL PLCs in DirectSOFT32 Updates v4.0; adds DL105 Updates v4.0; adds DL05, DL06, DL105 Updates v4.0; adds DL205 Updates v4.0 Updates v4.0 Updates v4.0; adds all DL PLCs
PC-PGMSW Leaves v4.0 alone; installs DL105 in DirectSOFT32 Leaves v4.0 alone; installs DL205 in DirectSOFT32 Leaves v4.0 alone; installs DL305 in DirectSOFT32 Installs nothing Leaves v4.0 alone; installs v3.0 for all DL PLCs in DirectSOFT32 Updates v4.0 Updates v4.0 Updates v4.0 Updates v4.0 Updates v4.0 Updates v4.0

(1)  All OEM packages act like their "only" (e.g. -205, -305, etc.) package counterparts.
(2)  Service Packs do not install additional DL PLC support; they only upgrade the installed support levels.
(3)  If you have DirectSOFT v1.0 and/or v2.0 packages they act like the v3.0 packages do in the chart above.


FAQ0159
12/06/02 qty=1
Q: My Cross Reference table does not show the use of VC-memory.
A: By default, older versions of DirectSOFT excluded mapped and global memory range for Cross Reference. You can fix this via 2 ways:

  • Upgrade to at least DirectSOFT v4.0 Build 20.
  • Go to View --> Options --> XrefDB, and uncheck all Exclusions.


FAQ0160
12/09/02 qty=2
Q: How does the Trap Monitor function work?
A: You use Trap Monitor in DL250, DL250-1, DL260 and DL450 to diagnose problems by showing the contents of the PLC accumulator, stack and element values at specific addresses. The PLC has to be in the Test Mode. Also, it doesn't work with ECOM in DL205 system. The Trap Monitor  function was broken in DirectSOFT v3.0 Build 80 but works in DirectSOFT v4.0 Build 18 or later.


FAQ0161
12/10/02 qty=2
Q: Will DirectSOFT work with Ethernet-to-Serial converter devices?
A: Probably, but each product is different and each installation is different. There are too many products that would have to be tested in order to give an emphatic "yes" answer to this question; therefore Host Engineering does not make any recommendations. It is the responsibility of the device to make it look and act like a regular serial port; or regular Ethernet NIC.


FAQ0162
12/10/02 qty=1
Q: Will DirectSOFT run on a 200MHz or slower PC?
A: Yes, but the performance will be less than satisfactory. The minimum requirement we list is a Pentium III Class / 500MHz.


FAQ0163 (see also CTRIO FAQ0051; ERM FAQ0032)
12/10/02 qty=1
Q: Will DirectSOFT work on Win95 32-bit OS?
A: We have seen this work on a few and not work on others. If it doesn't work we do not know of anything that can be done to make it work. However CTRIO Workbench and ERM Workbench will not even install if the InstallShield engine (used to install DirectSOFT) recognizes that the PC is Win95.


FAQ0164
12/12/02 qty=1
Q: By default, the DirectSOFT install puts an icon on my Desktop.
A: This behavior was changed in DirectSOFT v4.0 Build 20 (and later) to ask the user if he wants to put the DS Launch icon on the desktop or not instead of doing automatically.


FAQ0165
12/30/02 qty=1
Q: What is the best way to copy a project to another location?
A: DirectSOFT project files are all named the same filename but with different extensions. Therefore the easiest thing to do is to just browse to the folder where your project is stored using Windows Explorer and select all the files there and Copy them. Then browse to the new location and Paste them there.


FAQ0166
01/21/03 qty=1
Q: Downloading to DL405 and sometimes get "Processing Op codes" message for a very long time.
A: When this message is displayed DirectSOFT is compiling the instructions into usable opcodes for the PLC. If this happens for a long time then chances are the project is corrupt. Try using File --> Export --> Program..., closing DirectSOFT, reopening DirectSOFT and then File --> Import --> Program... to see if this fixes it.


FAQ0167
01/20/03 qty=1
Q: Using File --> Export --> Documentation... and getting "Error on line 74 ("C10", "R1-In Line", "", ""), Data error; NickName field "R1-In Line" illegal, field is a valid PLC Type/ID; example: X7 cannot be a nickname for Y4."
A: This is a bug in DirectSOFT. The problem is that the NickName "R1" is being interpreted by DirectSOFT as meaning "a real number(R) with the value of 1." There are two ways to fix this:

  • Upgrade to at least DirectSOFT v4.0 Build 20.
  • Edit the file that is being imported and change the "R1" to "R 1" (adding a space).

FAQ0168
02/04/03 qty=1
Q: Sometimes I see the Edit Toolbar turned on but the Edit Mode button is off!
A: This is a bug. DirectSOFT v4.0 Build 20 fixes this.


FAQ0169
02/07/03 qty=1
Q: In Xref View for my DL06 project some of my valid V-memory addresses show up as CTAs (e.g. V1200 displays as CTA200).
A: This is a bug. DirectSOFT v4.0 Build 20 fixes this.


FAQ0170 (see also DS Data FAQ0084)
11/19/02 qty=1
Q: I need to make changes to my DS300.INI (or DS400.INI) file but I can't edit it.
A: This is because this file is in the Windows folder and you do not have Admin privileges. We plan on either eliminating the need for this critical file in later versions of DirectSOFT (probably v5.0) and DS Data, or putting it in a folder where Admin privileges are not required to edit it. But for now, you will have to have your Administrator help you out.


FAQ0171
12/30/02 qty=1
Q: In my DL450 project I am getting "E453 - Missing Timer or Counter at address 7" & "E464 - Missing Circuit at address 12," yet at these addresses those instructions are not present.
A: This is a bug in the DL450 firmware. You need to upgrade the DL450 to firmware v2.00.


FAQ0172
02/14/03 qty=1
Q: The default Retentive V-memory Range for the DL06 and DL260 is set to only V700-37777.
A: This was a setting that was wrong in DirectSOFT. The default should be V400-37777. This was corrected in DirectSOFT v4.0 Build 20.


FAQ0173
03/11/03 qty=1
Q: If I merge rungs in Ladders, the Rung Comments don't merge with them; instead the Rung Comments are lost!
A: Unfortunately this consistent with DirectSOFT's v1.0-v4.0 Documentation Editor design. This type of thing, however, is being redesigned for DirectSOFT v5.0 so that when a rung merge occurs, the Rung Comments are also merged.


FAQ0174
04/01/03 qty=1
Q: If I switch between PID loops in PID View it causes the Auto Transfer I/O to go on and off.
A: This was a bug in DirectSOFT that was fixed in v4.0 Build 20.


FAQ0175
09/29/04 qty=1
Q: Is DirectSOFT compliant with EN 61131-3 and/or IEC 1131-3 standards?
A: No, and there are no plans for making it so at this time.


FAQ0176
02/18/04 qty=2
Q: When tyring to use Copy/Paste get "Unable to write comments for Rung xxx."
A: The problem is that DirectSOFT cannot create the temporary files (CLIPPGM.LBD & CLIPPGM.LBX) in the project folder for some reason. Possible causes:

  • The PROJECTS entry in the DS400.INI file is corrupted, wrong, or doesn't exist. To fix you must edit the DS400.INI file (Start --> Run... --> Type in "ds400.ini" and press <OK> button).

             

              Scroll down to:

              [PATHS]
              PROJECT PATH=c:\DirectSOFT4\Projects\

              Make sure the PROJECT PATH is valid, then exit and save the DS400.INI file and then restart DirectSOFT.
     
  • The project folder is write protected.

FAQ0177
10/11/04 qty=1
Q: If using the Memory Editor and make some changes to Counter or Timer values and write them to disk (using the button), how come these values do not get written down to the PLC when I do a File --> Save Project --> to PLC like it does when I edit regular V-memory?
A: Timer/Counter accumulator values are not part of "User V-memory" or "System V-memory" and so they are not written as part of the project when you do the File --> Save Project --> to PLC, regardless of whether they were saved/edited using the Memory Editor, Data View, handheld programmer, etc. Thus, to write these values you simply have to read them from the file with the Memory Editor <Read from Disk> button and then write them manually to the PLC with the <Write to PLC> button.


FAQ0178
10/13/04 qty=1
Q: When I write my program down to the PLC using the <Write-to-PLC> button, why does it take a much longer time to do this in PROGRAM mode than it does in RUN mode?
A: The DL05, DL06 & DL205 CPUs' firmware is coded to work this way. RUN mode is considered more critical. Basically, RUN-mode writes go directly to RAM as a single big chunk, then, as a whole are written to the flash memory all at one time. This is very fast and efficient. However, PROGRAM-mode writes go into RAM about 128 bytes at a time. In other words, the CPU gets about 128 bytes then writes the entire area to flash memory, then gets another 128 bytes, writes the entire flash, etc. etc. This is because of the firmware coding in the DL CPU and not DirectSOFT. In the DL405 family, both modes will take an equal amount of time to write.


FAQ0179
11/29/04 qty=1
Q: In the Ladder View the following display problems occur: Timers (TMR) show up as 00206; Counters (CTR) show up as 00111; C-bits (C) show up as 00077.
A: These numbers happen to be the opcodes for these elements. This is probably a symptom of a corrupt knowledgebase file. Possible solutions are:

- Upgrade your DirectSOFT to the latest Build (in hopes that the corrupted file will be overwritten).
- Uninstall and then reinstall DirectSOFT completely.


FAQ0180(see also DS Data FAQ0087; NetEdit FAQ0012; EBC FAQ0052; ECOM FAQ0040; EDRV FAQ0010; ERM FAQ0034)
04/27/04 qty=3
Q: NetEdit is getting "Ext error 10065" when trying to see or establish a link to a Host Ethernet device.
A: This is not a NetEdit error but rather a Microsoft Winsock error. According to Winsock documentation this error means: "No route to host. A socket operation was attempted to an unreachable host." This just means that the local software knows no route to reach the remote host. In other words the Host Ethernet device (EBC, ECOM, EDRV, ERM, etc.) probably just has an IP address that is not on the same subnet as your PC's NIC.

For example if your PC was configured as:
     IP Address: 192.168.1.1
     Subnet mask: 255.255.0.0

And your Host Ethernet device was configured as:
     IP Address: 192.167.1.2

...then NetEdit on the PC would not be able to access the Host Ethernet device because of the "167" in its IP Address. Wherever the PC's subnet mask has a "255" these portions of the IP addresses must match exactly if the devices are to talk to each other using UDP/IP. There are basically three solutions to the above scenario:

  • Change the PC's subnet mask from 255.255.0.0 to 255.0.0.0, or...
  • Change the PC's IP Address from 192.168.1.1 to 192.167.1.1, or...
  • Change the Host Ethernet device IP Address from 192.167.1.2 to 192.168.1.2.

CAUTION: You may want to consult your Network Administrator before doing any of the above solutions! He/she may not want you to change your PC's setup at all!


FAQ0181 (see also ECOM 0028; EBC FAQ0033, ERM FAQ0020, EDRV FAQ0007, EZ Ethernet FAQ0017; DS Data FAQ0088; SDK FAQ0012; NetEdit FAQ0013)
11/20/03 qty=2
Q: What Ethernet protocols are used by your products?
A: Refer to chart below:

Product Ethernet Protocols
UDP/IP IPX TCP/IP Raw Ethernet Broadcast (1)
K-seq DirectNet ECOM (2) Koyo Backplane User Defined Data Proprietary (1) K-seq DirectNet ECOM (2) Proprietary (1) Modbus TCP Master Modbus TCP Slave Proprietary (1) Koyo Backplane
Hardware ECOM X X X X (3) X (4) X X X X (5)
ECOM100 X X X X (3) X (4) X X X X (6) X X (5)
EBC X X
EBC100 X X X
ERM X (7) X (7) (8)
EDRV X X X
EZ Ethernet X X X X X X
EZ EtherPLUS X X X X X X X
WinPLC X
Software DirectSOFT X X X X X X
DS Data X X X X X X
Ethernet SDK X (9) X X X (9) X X
NetEdit X (10) X (11) X (10) X (11)

(1)  Not an industry standard. However, protocol is available for 3rd-party development upon request.
(2)  Not really a distinct protocol. This setting is used to intelligently pick K-sequence or DirectNet as needed by the hardware/software.
(3)  Used when doing ECOM-to-ECOM via RX/WX instructions with RX/WX Node Map configured in sending ECOM.
(4)  Used when doing ECOM-to-PC (Report-by-Exception) via RX/WX instructions (Address 90 only) with ECOM's dipswitch 7 set ON.
(5)  Used when doing ECOM-to-ECOM via RX/WX instructions without RX/WX Node Map configured in sending ECOM.
(6)  RX/WX Node Map must be configured in ECOM.
(7)  ERM can talk to one slave with UDP/IP and another with IPX simultaneously.
(8)  Planned for Dec2004-Feb2005.
(9)  Requires K-sequence protocol spec (request from Automation Direct)
(10)  Uses K-sequence to perform "Test CPU Access!" function.
(11)  Uses this protocol to perform "Show Base Contents..." function.