EtherCAT Explorer User Manual

Overview

EtherCAT Explorer is an EtherCAT network exploration, logging and diagnostics tool. Together with EtherCAT SDK Slave Editor and SOES EtherCAT Slave Stack the developer have an all-in-one tool for developing slaves in an efficient way easy to support and maintain throughout the lifecycle.

Start the EtherCAT Explorer

  1. Install WinPcap to use EtherCAT Explorer (WinPcap is part of Wireshark. If it is already installed there is no need to install again.)
  2. Start the stand-alone EtherCAT SDK or workbench hosting the EtherCAT SDK plug-in.
  3. Open the EtherCAT Explorer perspective, goto Windows > Perspective > Open Perspective > Other....
  4. Choose EtherCAT Explorer
ethercatexplorer_perspective.png
Open the EtherCAT Explorer perspective

Connect to an EtherCAT Network

Follow these instructions to configure and connect to an EtherCAT network.

  1. To add a new EtherCAT master press the + button in the network tree-view toolbar
  2. Select network interface and Finish
  3. Start the network by pressing the Play arrow button
  4. The slave network start is logged in the Console view
  5. Individual slave information is presented in the columns. The State column can be edited, but the rest of the columns are read-only. Via state you can change individual slaves state from the drop-down list. No state change is validated and it have to be done in the correct sequence according to the EtherCAT state machine.
  6. Starting, stopping, adding and removing masters in the network tree-view is handled by the buttons in the tree-view toolbar.
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EtherCAT Network Overview

Explore EtherCAT Network Process Data

Select the Process Image tab to monitor and control the EtherCAT network process data image, all PDO objects are listed by name, type, bit length and value. For outputs it is possible to enter and change values. PDO:s can be drag-and-dropped to views for logging, EtherCAT Trace, EtherCAT Watch and EtherCAT SDO Watch.

ethercatexplorer_process_image.png
Process Image view

Explore EtherCAT Slave Object Dictionary

Select Object Dictionary view to browse slaves Object Dictionary, select a slave in the network tree-view to populate the view, data is only read on-demand by pressing the 'Refresh'-button in the top right corner.

ethercatexplorer_object_dictionary.png
Object Dictionary view

Explore EtherCAT Slave Data Link Layer Configuration

Select Configuration for view of slaves' physical/logic mappings for the SyncManager and FMMU objects.

Write a file to EtherCAT slave

Press the 'Download File'-button to transfer files to the slave over FoE (File Over EtherCAT). It will open a file browser dialog to select the file to transfer. The result of the transfer will be presented in the Console.

ethercatexplorer_configuration.png
Configuration view

Manage EtherCAT Slave EEPROM

Select EEPROM view for slave EEPROM management. It supports Read and Write EEPROM online, Save and Load EEPROM images offline. It is possible to modify a read or loaded image by editing or adding EEPROM entries via the tree-view fields. However, the proper way to modify the EEPROM content, to keep slave identity information aligned, is by making the necessary changes in the EtherCAT Slave Editor.

Read online EEPROM

Select EtherCAT Slave in the tree-view. Press the 'Read EEPROM'-button to populate the data view with EEPROM data read online.

Write Online EEPROM

Select EtherCAT Slave in the tree-view. Press the 'Write EEPROM'-button to write the date to the slave.

NOTE! A faulty EEPROM can cause problems starting the EtherCAT slave.

Save an EEPROM Image File

Press the 'Save File'-button to write present data in data view to an image file on disk.

Load EEPROM image file

Press the 'Load File'-button to load data to data view, the data view is write to the slave by Write EEPROM. A loaded file can be opened in the external linked editor if associated.

ethercatexplorer_eeprom.png
EEPROM view

Explore EtherCAT Slave ESC Registers and RAM

Select ESC Memory for EtherCAT Slave Controller Register and RAM view, select a slave in the network tree-view to populate the view, data for expanded sections are read on-demand by pressing the 'Refresh'-button in the top right corner.

ethercatexplorer_esc_mem.png
ESC (EtherCAT Slave Controller) Register and RAM view