Introduction: PLC TSX-17 PC Hookup

Picture of PLC TSX-17 PC Hookup

The TSX 17 is a Telemecanique vintage Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) that was used in factories in the 1980's and 90's. They were programmed in the field by using a portable TSX T407 or TSX T317.

This instructable will help you in hooking up a TSX-17 PLC to a PC running the MSDOS PL7-2 Ladder/Grafcet Programmer. This programmer is MSDOS based, not windows based. It works without a mouse, only by keyboard key instructions analogue to how the above mentioned portable programmers are used.

While being programmed the TSX 17 communicates under the RS485 standard wiring. RS485 standard means 2 twisted pair wires going away from a single server. One or more client devices can then be attached to the twisted pair at any point of its length. Optional is a shield around the twisted pair grounded at all devices against severe outside electromagnetic interference.

Here we will connect a TSX 17 to a PC running the MSDOS PL7-2 programmer. Officially, according to schneider-electric that took over Telemecanique, the PC may not be faster than 500 Mhz: On the other hand my HP DC7600 motherboard with dual core 3Ghz Pentium 4 worked just fine.

You need an RS485/RS232 converter such as what is available on Ebay from China. I recommend using the ready made modular converters you can plug on the serial port of your PC. A twisted pair of 100m from the TSX-17 PLC to the RS485/RS232 converter did not necessitate any power supply to the converter to be successful in my setup. Get yourself one if you don't have any as yet. I used a twisted wire pair ripped out of a LAN network cable. They are thin enough to squeeze into the TSX-17 DB15 Centronix connector inserts on the left side of the PLC module.

Step 1: The TWISTED PAIR Wires and Connectors.

Picture of The TWISTED PAIR Wires and Connectors.

About RS485: RS485 works half-duplex and by use of only two wires. This means communication traffic goes only in one single direction at the time. The server includes in the data it sends for whom the data is intended. All clients hear the data, only one will act or respond to it. When a client wishes to send data to the server the server usually already expects this and has been waiting for it. Clients will not send data except when explicitly asked by the server.

On a desktop situation with relatively short wires from one end of the table to the other and an obvious slow baud rate of 9600 we do not need to worry about reflections, cable dissipation nor twisting of wires. I had success using a 100 meter long twisted pair without any terminal resistor at any of its ends.

Other guides elsewhere on the internet and also asks to also connect other pins: At the end of the day a single set of twisted pair going from the TSX-17 DB15 (insert 7 and insert 14)* to the RS232/RS485 converter (B-,A+)* hooked up to the PC serial port was sufficient in my setup. Everything else except TSX-17 DB15 insert #12 was already hardwired in my case. The RS232 side of the converter plugs right into the serial port of the PC. No extra wiring hassle there neither. Therefore avoid DIY pcb converters to save yourself a lot of headaches. I speak from experience.

(*) Twisted pair connections: TSX-17 DB15 insert 7 to RS485 'B-' aka 'D-' aka '485-' and TSX-17 DB15 insert 14 to RS485 'A+' aka 'D+' aka '485+'. No other wiring necessary and no converter power supply necessary. TSX-17 DB15 insert #1 is marked black on the photo as reference. Count going up the right side (1 to 8) and subsequently continue counting going up the left side (9 to 15).

Step 2: Making the Bootable SDcard/USB Stick or HD.

The MSDOS PL7-2 PLC Ladder/Grafcet programmer we use to program the TSX-17 is the only one available for use with the TSX-17 besides the portable industrial programmers. There is no mouse oriented Windows programmer available for the TSX-17. There's only the MSDOS version.

RUFUS enables you to create MSDOS bootable SDcards/USB sticks. Once you've done that copy paste the inner contents of the [file reserved for now - contacted Schneider-electric] file to the SDcard/USB stick. Make sure you also include the hidden files. Changing the folder options to show hidden files and system files assures you won't miss any. RUFUS may also work in Linux (Wine) or Apple OS (Winery). I can't tell for sure.

Now boot up from the SDcard/USB stick. Remember you can't boot MSDOS on 64-bit PC systems.

In case you cannot boot from your USB or SDcard your only option is to transfer its contents to a hard disk. I used HDCLONE and a 6GB harddisk to do this transfer, then connected the IDE hard disk to a dusty Pentium 3 motherboard and booted successfully.

Once booted into MSDOS you will see two extra lines I have added myself at the C:\ prompt. Type TE and <enter> to start the MSDOS TSX-17 programmer. The use of the MSDOS TSX-17 programmer is beyond the scope of this guide but Schneider-electric provides the following manual:

Step 3: Testing Connection Between TSX-17 and PL7-2 Programmer.

Picture of Testing Connection Between TSX-17 and PL7-2 Programmer.

After having entered TE to run the MSDOS PL7-2 programmer we choose PL7-2 to enter the second main menu similar as the screenshot provided.

To test if your TSX-17 is recognized by the MSDOS TL7-2 programmer press F1 (WORK MEM) and arrow down to select TSX MEMORY. Press <enter> and the programmer should recognize the PLC and provide the RUN TSX en STOP TSX buttons.

You can find an extended manual on how to use the MSDOS PL7-2 programmer to use with the obsolete TSX-17 PLC here:


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