EtherCAT SDK Introduction

EtherCAT SDK is a complete toolset for developing and maintaining EtherCAT slaves. It includes the following components:

  • EtherCAT Slave Editor: This component is used to specify the properties of EtherCAT slaves and to generate C source code for them.
  • EtherCAT Explorer: This component is used to connect to running EtherCAT slaves, to do network exploration, logging and diagnostics.

Together with SOES EtherCAT Slave Stack the developer has an all-in-one tool for developing EtherCAT slaves in an efficient way, which makes it easy to support and maintain them throughout their life cycle.

EtherCAT SDK is availible in the following two different packages:

  • EtherCAT SDK Eclipse plug-in
  • EtherCAT SDK stand-alone application

Requirements and Dependencies

Operating Systems

The EtherCAT Explorer component works only on Microsoft Windows operating systems (both 32 or 64 bit versions).

The EtherCAT Slave Editor works on GNU/Linux operating systems with GTK (64 bit versions) and on Microsoft Windows operation systems (both 32 or 64 bit versions).

Software Dependences

The following software must be installed on a computer in order to run EtherCAT SDK:

  • A Java Virtual Machine (JVM) version 8. The stand-alone version of EtherCAT SDK does not work with JVM:s version 9 or newer. The Eclipse plug-in version however should work in Eclipse hosts that are run by JVM 9.

    A JVM can be downloaded from the Java web page.

  • To use the EtherCAT Explorer the WinPcap library must be installed. It can be downloaded from the WinPcap web page.
WinPcap is installed as part of the Wireshark application, so if Wireshark is installed then WinPcap is already availible on the computer.

Download and Installation

EtherCAT SDK Eclipse Plug-in

To use EtherCAT SDK as a plug-in in an existing Eclipse installation, download and install it like an ordinary Eclipse plug-in.

Open Help > Install new Software..., enter the rt-labs download site hosting the plug-in:

Enter Help > Install new software...

A license is required for the application to work. See section EtherCAT SDK License for instructions on how to obtain and install the license.

EtherCAT SDK Stand-Alone Application

Download the stand-alone EtherCAT SDK application from rt-labs download site in one of the following versions:

Save the downloaded EtherCAT SDK zip file in a folder, unzip it and run the executable file (for example ethercat-sdk.exe) to start the application.

A license is required for the application to work. See section EtherCAT SDK License for instructions on how to obtain and install the license.

EtherCAT SDK License

A license is required to be able to generate slave code from the EtherCAT Slave Editor and to connect to an EtherCAT network with the EtherCAT Explorer. A time limited evaluation license can be obtained freely. A commercial license can be purchased from rt-labs.

A license file must be acquired and imported into the application license store. Use the Licenses** preferences page to request a license file for an existing license, or to request a new evaluation license. This page is found at Windows > Preferences > Licenses.

There are two action that can be performed on this page:

  1. Use Request to have a license file send to a given e-mail address.
    • If an existing license is availible for the given e-mail address (commercial or evaluation), then that license is sent.
    • If no license is availible for the given e-mail address, then an evaluation license is sent.
  2. Use Add License... to import an existing license file into the license store, so that it is availible to the application.
The Licenses preference page is availible at Windows > Preferences > Licenses.

Release Notes

Release 1.0.3

  • The license component has been updated to support and check licenses that are specific for one computer.

Release 1.0.2

  • The broken URL of the Nebual XYGraph dependency is updated. The Nebual XYGraph dependency has its version number set to a specific value.

Release 1.0.1

This release contains minor adjustments of the software.

  1. Add the EtherCAT Explorer component to the stand-alone application. #186
  2. Remove validation of item indices from the Application tab in the slave editor. #185
  3. Compute the generated Profile number and Add info from Device type #187
  4. Remove start modes that are only relevant for EAP networks. #188

Release 1.0.0

This is the first official release of the software.