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NetToPLCsim S7online Version

V 0.9.5

Introduction
The old NetToPLCsim-Version used the S7ProSim-COM-Object to exchange data with Plcsim.
The version described in this document uses the so called S7online interface. The old version had
to dissect the S7-protocol and read/write data through the S7ProSim interface. The new version
starts a IsoOnTCP server and forwards the payload into the S7online-interface.
The main differences between 'old' and 'new' version:
Support of multiple clients (max. 100)
No limits in supported data areas, it's possible to read and write timer (T) and counter (C),
read digital-inputs (I) and write digital-outputs (O)
Support of multiple Plcsim instances
Improved data throughput
Support of other PLC functions, like Run/Stop, timesystem, reading of SZL (maybe different
to a 'real' PLC)
To use this new version, you have to configure a PLC with a network interface, like a PN-CPU or a
classis CPU with additional Ethernet CP.
NetToPLCsim acts as intermediary between Plcsim and your real network interface.

The service SIMATIC IEPG Helper (SIMATIC S7DOS Help Service since V5.5 SP2)
As you have Step7 installed on your PC, then there is a Windows service called SIMATIC IEPG
Helper running in the background. This service holds TCP port 102 in use. But this port is used for
S7-communication, so this service must be stopped before starting NetToPLCsim.
At program start, NetToPLCsim checks if port 102 is free. If it's not, then it asks to stop the
SIMATIC IEPG Helper service.
When you ended with testing with NetToPLCsim, it's recommended to restart the service before
doing other work with SIMATIC software.
Alternitavely you can stop the service with the following two little batch files:
32-Bit Step7:
Stop IEPGhelper.bat:

net stop s7oiehsx

Start IEPGhelper.bat:
net start s7oiehsx

64-Bit Step7:
Stop IEPGhelper.bat:
net stop s7oiehsx64

Start IEPGhelper.bat:
Thomas Wiens (th.wiens@gmx.de), 14.03.2015

net start s7oiehsx64

Hint
You need administrative rights to make changes on the windows service control. On Windows XP
your actual user account needs admin-rights, on Windows 7 you need to start NetToPlCsim with
administrative rights

Simulation with one single Plcsim instance


Example configuration:
S7-300 PN-CPU with IP-address:
LAN interface IP-address:

192.168.1.101
192.168.1.10

PLCSIM
(IP 192.168.1.101)

NetToPLCsim

S7-Protokoll
S7online

IsoOnTcp

LAN-Schnittstelle
(192.168.1.10)

Figure 1: Simulation with one single Plcsim-PLC


1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)

Start PLCSIM out of the SIMATIC-Manager


Set PG/PC interface in PLCSIM to 'PLCSIM(TCP/IP)'
Load your PLC program including system data into PLCSIM
Start NetToPLCsim
In NetToPlCsim add a new station
Insert unique name in Name field for this station
In Network IP Address field, insert the IP-address of your LAN interface, on which Plcsim
should be reachable (e.g. 192.168.1.10). Clicking on () shows a new windows where all
interface IP-addresses are listed.
8) In Plcsim IP Address field, insert the IP-address of your PLC (IP-address which is shown in
Plcsim status bar). Clicking on () shows a new windows where all PLCSIM reachable PLCs
are listed.
9) Apply station configuration with OK
10) A click on Start all will start the servers
When state changes to 'RUNNING', a client like SCADA/visualisation-systems can reach the Plcsim
PLC on IP-address 192.168.1.10
To stop the simulation, at the first step stop NetToPLCsim. At the second step stop PLCSIM.
Settings in station configuration dialog:

Thomas Wiens (th.wiens@gmx.de), 14.03.2015

1
2
3
4
5

1)
2)
3)
4)

Unique name for the station


IP-Address of the LAN-Interface where this server should be reachable
IP- Address of the Plcsim-CPU
Rack/Slot position of the CPU. This setting is only relevant for the optional TSAP check
(maybe in later versions of Nettoplcsim it's possible to connect to TIA-Portal Plcsim for
1200/1500 CPUs)
5) If this option is checked, the TSAP-settings on client-side and the rack/slot settings above
must be consistent (for experts: Nettoplcsim allows connection ressources 1=PG, 2=OP, or
3=Step7Basic)

Simulation of multiple Plcsim-Instances

Thomas Wiens (th.wiens@gmx.de), 14.03.2015

PLCSIM1
(IP 192.168.1.101)

LAN-Schnittstelle
1. IP-Adresse
(192.168.1.10)
PLCSIM2
(IP 192.168.1.102)

NetToPLCsim
LAN-Schnittstelle
2. IP-Adresse
(192.168.1.11)

PLCSIM3
(IP 192.168.1.103)
LAN-Schnittstelle
3. IP-Adresse
(192.168.1.12)

Figure 2: Simulation with three Plcsim-PLCs


To connect to multiple PLCSIM-simulations at the same time, NetToPLCsim needs a separate IPaddress for each server to start on. It's possible to realize this with inserting more than one
network interface card, or by simply adding additional IP-addresses to the existent interface.

Figure 3: Adding a aditional IP-Address to your LAN interface (Windows 7 german version)
Hint
To avoid later network problems, you should delete the additional IP-addresses when finished with
testing (my experience)
A new PLCSIM instance can be started out of the first PLCSIM instance by menu File New Plc

Thomas Wiens (th.wiens@gmx.de), 14.03.2015

(or something like that, I've got only the german version).
The following steps are equal to simulation with on PLCSIM instance.
For the constellation shown in fig.2, the configuration shown in this image is needed:

Figure 4: Nettoplcsim configuration with three PLCs

Monitoring of the data-exchange


When the nettoplcsim servers are started, the Start monitoring entry in the context-menu of the
station list is enabled. For each station a separate monitoring-windows can be started. In the
monitoring-windows only the usually telegrams for data-exchange (Read/Write-Requests) between
a PLC and a SCADA-system are shown.
To debug more details of the protocol, you can use Wireshark with my s7comm plugin-dll.
http://sourceforge.net/projects/s7commwireshark
Notice
The activated monitoring reduces the data exchange rate significant.

Thomas Wiens (th.wiens@gmx.de), 14.03.2015

Figure 5: Nettoplcsim protocolmonitor

Command-Line Arguments
The following command-line arguments are possible:
-f=configurationfile.ini
-s=Option
-autostart

Loads this station configuration file


Autostop control of IEPG-Helper service.
Options:
YES=Automatically stop the service, NO=Don't stop, ASK=ask
Is a valid configuration file given, the servers for activated station are
automatically started

Example:

NetToPLCSim.exe -f=testconfig.ini -s=NO -autostart

Further it is possible to Drag&Drop a configuration file on the NetToPLCsim.exe file. Then this
NetToPLCsim starts with this configuration.

Thomas Wiens (th.wiens@gmx.de), 14.03.2015

Special for using Nettoplcsim with Step 7 V5.5 SP2 under 64 Bit Windows
Since this version the Service which uses Port 102 seems to have got new functions, and is now
called SIMATIC S7DOS Help Service.
If the service is only stopped, then programming functions can't be used any more.
If you want to use Nettoplcsim under this circumstances, you have to use it in this order:
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)
8)

Make sure you don't have used Step7 after Windows was started, otherwise reboot
Start Nettoplcsim with administrative rights
Let Nettoplcsim stop the service
Choose "Get Port 102" from Tools menu, should be ended with success
Start Simatic Manager
Start Plcsim and upload your station and program
Add station in Nettoplcsim, start the Nettoplcsim server
Use your client application

Notice
If you want to do programming real PLCs after testing with Nettoplcsim, a reboot of Windows is
highly recommended!

Thomas Wiens (th.wiens@gmx.de), 14.03.2015

Version history
0.9.0
First version using the S7online interface
0.9.1
added optional monitoring of the data exchange
0.9.2
Fixed: Data exchange with plcsim doesn't hang up any more, when packets of some PDU
sizes occur
Check of the running IEPG-Helper servicename to stop/start service in Windows 32 or 64
Bit OS
Added Command-Line Arguments, and the possibility to Drag&Drop a configuration file on
the NetToPLCsim.exe
0.9.3
Temporary fix: Implemented own response for SZL-ID 0x0131 index 3 request, to force
clients not to use the cyclic data exchange mechanism, which causes sometimes
communication failures
Usability: Automatic name generation when a new station is added
0.9.4
Nettoplcsim answers a client that only one single request at time can be handled
(MaxAmQCalling/MaxAmQCalled)
Added optional setting for rack/slot combination of CPU (maybe possible to connect to TIAPortal Plcsim)
Added option for TSAP check corresponding to entered rack/slot. Connection ressources 1,
2 or 3 are valid (1=PG, 2=OP, 3=S7basic)
Protocol monitor: requested index and ID of SZL requests are shown
0.9.5
Adding Tool Get Port 102 in Menu Tools, which helps to get Nettoplcsim working under
Step 7 V5.5 SP2 and Windows 64 Bit

Thomas Wiens (th.wiens@gmx.de), 14.03.2015