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Configuring the Ethernet Adapter

NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT® 17.6 Help

Edition Date: November 2017

Part Number: 372626P-01

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EtherCAT requires a special Ethernet adapter on the real-time controller to access the EtherCAT network. Complete the following steps to configure an Ethernet adapter for EtherCAT.

  1. Connect the real-time controller to the network.
    Note Note  By default, some real-time controllers, such as Real-Time Desktop controllers, do not have the special Ethernet adapter to connect to the network. Refer to the list of supported hardware in the NI-Industrial Communications for EtherCAT Readme for more information about the additional adapters that you can add.
  2. Launch NI Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX) from the Start menu or (Windows 8) from NI Launcher
  3. Double-click Remote Systems in the configuration tree to discover the real-time controller.
    Note Note  MAX discovers all devices in the network, which takes a few seconds. If you cannot find the real-time controller after MAX displays all devices, select Remote Systems and press <F5> to refresh the list. If this operation does not work, ensure that you connect the real-time controller to the network with required software installed or contact National Instruments.
  4. Double-click the real-time controller to launch the advanced configuration page.
  5. Click the Network Settings tab. MAX displays all physical adapters available.
    Note Note  If the real-time controller has a customized Ethernet adapter, you must enable the customized adapter before selecting the adapter for the EtherCAT mode. Refer to the documentation of the real-time controller for more information about how to enable the customized adapter.
  6. (Optional) Click the Log in button on the toolbar to log in to the target with an account.
  7. Choose the adapter for an EtherCAT network and select EtherCAT from the Adapter Mode pull-down menu.
    Note Note  Do not select the primary adapter for the EtherCAT mode to control the EtherCAT slave, because this adapter is reserved for configuration and programming.
  8. Specify the EtherCAT Master ID within the range of 0–255. If you do not specify the ID, MAX automatically assigns the smallest number available to the master ID.
  9. (Optional) If you use a PXI or an Industrial Controller, repeat steps 7 and 8 to configure multiple adapters for EtherCAT. Make sure that the master IDs are unique for each adapter. If you use a CompactRIO controller, you can assign only one network adapter for EtherCAT.
  10. Click Save on the toolbar to apply the settings. MAX restarts the real-time controller.
Note Note  If you change the device mode to EtherCAT, you cannot use the device in an ordinary Ethernet network. Change the device mode back to TCP/IP if you want to use the device in the ordinary Ethernet network later.


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