Can I Use a Beckhoff EtherCAT Device as a Master For NI 9144?

Updated Jan 2, 2018

Reported In

Hardware

  • NI-9144
  • NI-9145

Issue Details

I have a Beckhoff EtherCAT device that supports EtherCAT communication protocol. Can I use one of their cards as a master to multiple NI 9144 chassis?

Solution

If you have a Beckhoff EtherCAT device, you most likely have Beckhoff's master software TwinCAT. If so, you can use the NI 9144 directly with the TwinCAT software. You will not need any specific configuration files. 

It is also possible to use the TwinCAT software to pull the configuration file from the NI 9144 chassis. The configuration file consists of an XML file that provides details that will be needed for a master to communicate with the slave chassis. In the case of the NI 9144, this file is stored within the flash memory of the chassis. This configuration file can be uploaded to any EtherCAT master in order to read a NI 9144 chassis. 

Additional Information

Note: If you wish to use 3rd party EtherCAT master devices, make sure the device has the capability to pull the XML configuration via File over EtherCAT(FoE). Please refer to the following link for further information on How to use the NI 9144 EtherCAT slave chassis with 3rd party EtherCAT master tools?

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