Answers To Questions About Our New C-more Operator Panel

AutomationDirect’s new operator panel is packed with lots of features. We’ve compiled a list of questions and answers that address some of these features:

Q: Can I use the serial port on my laptop or desktop computer to upload/download programs via the serial port on a C-more panel?


A: The C-more panel is designed to communicate with a computer via its USB or Ethernet port. The serial port located on the panel is for PLC communications only.

Q: Does C-more support multiple languages?


A: Yes, C-more software allows users to configure up to nine languages. First, go to Function Tab > Setup > Language and set up each language. Then, go to Object Tab > System > Set Language to configure the change language button(s). When pressed, this button will change the language of all objects on the panel. Configure one button for each language. The available languages and fonts are selectable. These change with updates to the software, so check your version. NOTE: To expedite configuring multiple languages, the Language Database can be exported to an Excel® spreadsheet, edited, and then imported back into the project.

 

Q: Can the C-more panel communicate to more than one PLC at a time?


A: Yes, C-more can communicate with multiple PLCs via a serial network, an Ethernet network, or both. To configure multiple PLC nodes go to Function Tab > Setup > Panel Manager. From the Panel Manager setup window, click on the Add button and select a New Device. NOTE: Not all PLCs can reside on the same network. C-more software only allows acceptable combinations.

 

Q: Can I create a common or master screen for the C-more panel?


A: Yes, C-more software allows any screen to be used as a Background Screen. You can configure one or several background screens, using them for one or more other screens’ backgrounds. Just click on Background Screen and select from the drop-down list. NOTE: Once a screen is used as a background screen, it can only be edited on the screen where it was created and cannot be deleted if being used as a background.

 

Q: I imported an EZTouch project into a C-more project. Where is the Alarm Database located?


A: C-more software uses an Event Manager Database where users can set up different types of events, including events that activate an Alarm Action. To view, edit or add new alarms simply go to the Database menu > Event Manager Database and select Add to create a new Alarm, or select an existing Event (Alarm) to Edit.

 

Q: I know that I can send an email based on an Event, but I get “Email Services are not configured” error when selecting Mail as an action during configuration. 


A: The Email feature requires at least one e-mail address to be set up in the Address Book. Go to the Database menu > Address Book and enter one or more Names and Addresses.

 

Q: I need to change a common property on more than one object. Is there a way to change it on multiple objects with only one edit?


A: Yes, by using the Property List feature located under View > Window > Property List (hotkey F4), you can select and edit common object properties. While holding down the Ctrl button, click on the objects to select them. Any common properties will be shown in the Property List for editing. NOTE: This feature allows editing of currently displayed objects only (current screen).

 

Q: Can I turn off the Beep sound on my C-more panel so it is silent when I press an object?


A: Yes, the panel Beep sound can be silenced by two methods. The first method is by going to the panels system screen Main Menu (press the upper left corner of the panel screen for three seconds) and set Enable Beeper to NO. The second method is by setting it up in the project. Go to Setup > Panel Manager and select OFF. Then save the project to the panel. NOTE: The default is Beeper enabled. The second method is recommended if the Beeper will need to always be OFF, as it is saved with the project.

 

Q: I get the error “A sharing violation occurred while accessing \Mounted Volume\Prj\EARun.net” when downloading a project to my C-more panel. What does this mean?


A: When this message appears, there is more than one PC attempting to send a project to the same panel. Click OK on the violation message and retry the Project Send from only one source.

 

Q: What is the screen resolution for each size of 
C-more panels?


A: X=width, Y=height in pixels
6 inch: X=320, Y=240
8 inch: X=640, Y=480
10 inch: X=640, Y=480
12 inch: X=800, Y=600
15 inch: X=1024, Y=768

 

Q: How can I modify the Tag Data Type of a Tag Name that is assigned to an object? I would like to change from a Signed Integer to a BCD data type, but when I try to edit it, the Tag Data Type is no longer selectable.


A: Once a Tag Name is assigned to more than one object, the data type cannot be easily changed. To change it, you must assign a different Tag Name to all the objects that are using it. Start by making a TEMP Tag Name and use it to replace the one to be edited. Then, go to the Tag Name Database and edit the Tag Name Data Type. Now go to each object and replace the TEMP Tag Name with the edited Tag Name. HINT: Use the Tag Cross Reference (Tool) to locate any objects using the Tag Name.

 

Q: Can the databases in C-more be exported for use in other applications?


A: Yes, the Tag Name Database, Message Database and Address Book can be exported as an Excel (.xls) or comma seperated values (.csv) file type.

 

Q: Can databases from other applications be imported into a C-more application?


A: Yes, Excel (.xls) file types can be imported into the Tag Name Database, Message Database and Address Book. To Import a Database from another C-more project, you must first Export it while in the other project.

 

Q: When configuring a screen using the C-more software, can an object be overlapped with another object?


A: Yes, objects can be placed overlapping each other anywhere on the screen. Objects can be stacked and accessed by using the visibility feature. This allows for efficient use of the work space.

 

Q: Does C-more support Floating Point data types, and if so, what types of objects can it be used with?

A: Yes, C-more supports Floating Point for use with Numeric Entry/Display, Meters, Bar and Line Graphs, PID Faceplates, Recipes, and Sliders.

 

Q: Why are some of the Discrete Tag Names in the Tag Name Database not selectable when configuring objects such as pushbuttons, switches, etc?


A: Some of the predefined Internal Tags (panel) and user defined PLC Tags are Read Only addresses and are to be used for indication purposes only. Tag Names will be selectable only for the object type they support.

 

Q: I know I can change the default font on each object, but is there a way to change the default font so I don’t have to do it on every object?


A: Yes, you can change the default font by going to Setup > Language and selecting a Font for each language used in the project.

 

Q: I would like to reorganize my screens in my project. Is there an easy way to do this?


A: Yes, select Tool > Screen Library to access the project screen list window with thumbnails of all the screens. Then simply click, drag and drop a screen into a new location. From this window you can also Add, Delete and Copy screens as well as save them to the Screen Library.

 

Q: Is there a limit to the number of screens that can be configured in a C-moreproject? 


A: C-more panels are designed to provide a capacity of up to 999 maximum screens. This amount may vary depending on the memory usage of some objects such as bitmaps, animation, trending, etc.

 

Q: Is there a limit to the number of Events that can be configured in a project’s Event Manager Database?


A: C-more panels are designed to provide up to 999 maximum Events.

 

Q: Is there a limit to the number of Messages that can be configured in a project’s Message Database?


A: C-more panels are designed to provide up to 999 maximum Messages.

 

Q: What is the difference between an STN and TFT screen?


A: STN: Abbreviation for Super Twisted Nematic. This is a passive matrix LCD technology that provides better contrast than a Twisted Nematic (TN) screen. The STN display is limited by color range, viewing angle and slow screen update.
TFT: Abbreviation for Thin Film Transistor. The term typically refers to active matrix screens on laptop computers. Active Matrix LCD provides a sharper screen display and broader viewing angle than STN and Passive Matrix. The TFT screen offers true color, wider viewing angle, and faster screen updates.

 

Q: I have serial communication and programming cables from an EZTouch panel. Can I use these with the C-more panels?


A: Yes and no. The serial communication cables for a panel to PLC connection will work with all models of the C-more panels. Since C-more panels are programmed via Ethernet or USB connection, not serial, the EZTouch programming cables will not work.

 

Q: Can C-more convert projects that were created in other operator interface programming packages?


A: Yes, C-more programming software will convert an EZTouch project as long as it was created using AutomationDirect’s version of EZTouch editor software version 3.1a. NOTE: Contact AutomationDirect’s Technical Support Team if you have a project that was created in an earlier version.

 

Q: What is the Library feature and what are its limitations?


A: The Library is a storage area for custom and user created objects, graphics, and sound files; all which are limited only by PC hard drive space and your imagination.

 

Q: Can you use commercially available standard CompactFlash memory devices with the C-more panels?


A: Yes, but AutomationDirect offers a high-speed version of CompactFlash cards for applications where fast update speed is critical. In addition, it is an Industrial rated component unlike common office supply CompactFlash.

 

Q: When using the Project Simulator in the C-more software, is the simulated screen size the exact size as the operator panel it will be used with? 


A: It is the same pixel size. The actual size in inches will vary depending on your monitor size and resolution.

 

Q: Does the C-more panel require an Internet connection in order to use the Email feature?


A: No, but it must have a connection to a SMTP server via Ethernet. Using the C-moresoftware, go to Touch Panel Network > Email Client to configure the SMTP server information.

 

Q: Is there a limit to the number of objects that can be placed on a single screen?


A: The amount of objects that can be placed on a single screen is limited by the buffer size, object type, and the range of PLC addresses used on the screen.

 

Q: When configuring a Tag Name, there is a selection to make the Tag Name Retentive. What happens if I select this feature? 


A: The Retentive feature is used to retain a tag status or data value during a power cycle or failure. The status or value will remain in the retentive state until one of the following happens:
1. The status or value is changed by an operation.
2. The battery fails or is removed without power to the panel.
3. A project is copied from or sent to the panel
4. The memory is cleared via C-more software or panel system screen

 

C-more

 

Originally Published: March 1, 2006