Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Programming Allen Bradley Panelview Displays

We had a client who was having difficulty getting his program backed up on his Allen Bradley Panelview 550 display (2711-B5A2). He said that he was fairly certain that he was supposed to use the 1747-PIC box (the RS485 interface used to talk to early SLC5 PLCs) to communicate with it, and it should use Rockwell's PanelBuilder32 software to transfer the files, but for some reason it would not communicate.

We had run into this before, so I had him walk me through his procedures to make sure I was correct about what he was doing wrong.

He had taken the 1747-PIC box and connected it to the RJ-45 connector on the panelview 550 (marked RS485) and then opened up RSLinx to start communications. For some reason he never sees the panel. He tried changing the baud rate and the drivers used in the RSLinx software to no avail.

I explained to him that the 1747-PIC box gets its power from the PLC connection, not the PC's serial port. The Panelviews do not put power out on those RS-485 ports, so the PIC box cannot power up. This was his problem.

The solution is a bit odd. you can either make a pigtailed cable to inject the power needed into the connector (to directly connect to the panel), or you can daisy chain it through an SLC5 PLC. This latter method is what we used.

We hooked the panel up to the PLC CPU with a 1747-C11 cable (just like the cable on the PLC side of the PIC box) and then connected the PIC box to the PLC just as we normally would to talk to the PLC. The programs on the PLC CPU or the panel are irrelevant for this purpose. They could be running, faulted, or blank. it doesn't matter.

We then fired up Rockwell's RSLinx software, loaded the PIC driver, and checked for connectivity. we saw both the PLC AND the Panelview 550 listed. RS-485 is addressed serial, with each node on the daisy chain having it's own node address. That lets you talk to multiple devices using the same connection.

Once RSLinx saw the panel, we could start up Rockwell's PanelBuilder32 software and transfer the program off the panel for backup, modification, or whatever was needed.


  1. Hi, I am experience the same problems. I have connected the PV550 to the PC via 1747-PIC, but the panelbuilder says The device is not an operator terminal. Ok, I have the following devices:

    1.- PanelView 550
    2.- 1747-PIC
    3.- Cable 1747-C10 and C11
    4.- PC running WinXP with Panelbuilder32, RSLinx installed.
    5.- SLC 5/03

    I know the 1747-PIC is not connected to a supply, so is not working. Now, I'm going to try your connections described above. I have the following questions related to those connections.

    1.- PV550 (FRN 4.10) to SLC5 via 1747-C11 (RS485->PV550 and RJ-45->SLC5)
    2.- 1747-PIC to SLC5 via RS232. The SLC5 have two ports: RJ-45 (used by the PV550) and a DE9.
    3.- How I connect the PC to 1747-PIC?? I can connect the 1747-C10 to the 1747-PIC but, i will have a RJ-45 output. Can i use that terminal to communicate with the PC??

    BTW, I want to download a program to the PV550.


  2. it sounds like you're turning the pic backwards to connect it to the DB9 port on the SLC5. it won't work like that.

    to connect to that particular CPU you'd need something like this:

    PV550 to SLC using the 1747-c11 (you can use the one off the plc side of the PIC box if you need to) and set the PIC box aside. you won't need it.

    then to Connect the PC to the CPU you'll need to use the other port, the DB9...but the PIC box won't work on that port (it's rs232). you can use a 1747-CP3 cable to go from the PC to that 9 pin port on the PLC.

    that CP3 cable pinout is available online (search google), but if i remember right, i think it's just a null modem cable.

  3. that CP3 cable pinout is available here: