The popular C-more HMIs have always been a great value, but now they are better than ever. We have included some of the latest technologies in the new EA9 series C-more panels, and all for a lower cost to you. But don’t let the lower price fool you; with a redesigned more robust housing, thinner bezel, LED backlights and more communication and data storage options, the EA9 series offers even more value and performance than the earlier EA7 series panels.

 

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Here we review some of the new hardware features and answer some frequently asked questions about the new C-more panels:

Q: Since you now have the new the C-more EA9 series, what is going to happen to the EA7 series?

A: The EA7 series has served many customers well over the years and many continue to operate in the field. However, the older technology components for the EA7 series are becoming more difficult to acquire. AutomationDirect plans to continue offering the EA7 series until 2016 if possible. We have made every effort to make the transition into the EA9 series as smooth as possible for our EA7 series customers.

Q: What programming software will I need for the new EA9 series?

A: We have released a new software part number (EA9-PGMSW) for the new EA9 series. This software starts with version 5.0. (You did not miss anything. There were no previous released versions). This new software platform will allow us to offer new features into the future.

If this is your first time using the C-more product, you will only need to purchase the EA9-PGMSW software for $99. If you already own a version of the C-more programming software, you simply download the EA9 software from our Web site and use your existing software key code to install it free of charge.

Q: Will my earlier version C-more projects work in the new hardware?

A: The EA9 series is designed to work with projects that were created for previous EA7 versions. If you have C-more projects from earlier versions, you will need to open the EA7 version of the project in the EA9 software. The EA9 series software will recognize the saved EA7 series file format on your PC and guide through conversion.

One item to note is that the software version 5.0 and later cannot connect to the earlier EA7 version C-more panels. The earlier software is still used to connect to the EA7 series panels (EA-PGMSW).

Q: Can I mount the new panels in the same enclosure cutout?

A: The EA9 series has the same cutout size as the previous EA7 series. This allows you to take the old out and place the new in without any hassle; with the exception of the EA-6-ADPTR. The adaptor was made to adapt C-more EA7 to the old EZTouch wide bezel cutout. EA9 panels do not fit into this adapter.


Q: What improvements should I expect in the panel performance levels?

A: The EA9 series was designed to offer better performance for communications and project execution. We have updated the processor from 400 MHz to an 800MHz processor. This should create a strong foundation for applications that require several background tasks to be carried out while in operation.

We have also increased the memory size for the project runtime code and project storage. The 6, 8 and 10-inch units now contain 26MB project memory while the 12 and 15-inch units now contain 82MB of project space.

Q: How many serial ports does the EA9 series have?

A: Communications is a primary task for any HMI. That’s why we have increased the ability for multiple devices to be connected to the C-more panel. We now have a total of three serial ports that can be used with PLCs. These ports give you the ability to use RS-232C, RS-422, or RS-485 wiring based on which port is selected.

Q: Has the screen resolution changed?

A: The EA9 series displays offer higher resolution options on the 8 and 10-inch models. Using the higher resolution settings, you can fit more objects on the screen and the image will be sharper. Users starting a new project in the EA9 software will be able to take advantage of these higher resolutions when they create their projects.

The EA7 C-more series resolution on some panels was lower than the EA9 series. For projects created in software versions previous to version 5.0, the original resolution will be maintained when the project is saved into the new format and the user has the option to reconfigure the resolution size under the panel settings in the software at any point after conversion.

Q: How can I use the HDMI video output on the 12-inch and 15-inch panels?

A: The C-more EA9 series 12-inch and 15-inch panels now have an HDMI video output port. This allows you to connect HDMI devices like larger screen TVs to the C-more panels for longer distance viewing of the operator screens.

Q: What type of external memory support do you offer in the EA9 series?

A: SD memory card slots have been added to replace the older Compact Flash memory cards. The SD memory format is smaller and is also more readily available in the market. SD cards also offer much larger memory capacities.
Although the panel will support most SD cards in the market, AutomationDirect sells a recommended 2GB SD card that has been tested and proven to work well with the C-more product line.

Q: What voltage range does the EA9 series support?

A: We have added support for 12VDC to the EA9 series. The panels can now be powered by 12-24 VDC. The optional AC power adapter (EA-AC) that works with the EA7 series also works with the EA9 to power the panels from a 100-240 VAC 50/60 Hz voltage source.

By Greg Philbrook,
HMI & Communications
Product Manager, AutomationDirect

Originally Posted: June 9, 2014