How to Backup an Allen-Bradley Logix Controller Program – Part I

March 23, 2017

How to Backup an Allen-Bradley Logix Controller Program - Part I

Your guide to backup your Logix Controller Program

Today we will cover the first three steps on how to backup your Allen-Bradley Logix Controller Program to your PC. The detailed steps include:

  1. Connecting to a Serial Controller
  2. Establishing a RSLinx Connection
  3. Launching RSLogix 5000

Stay tuned for Part II where we will connect to Ethernet and USB controllers.

Models CoveredRequired Materials
Serial ControllersSerial Cables
CompactLogix 1769: L23L31, L32, L35
CompactLogix 1768: L43, L45
ControlLogix L5x, L6x
9-Pin Serial Programming cable, typically 1747-CP3
If no serial port on PC, USB-Serial Adapter 9300-USBS, Quickstart Guide
Programing Software
CompactLogix: RSLogix/Studio 5000 Mini edition or better
ControlLogix: RSLogix/Studio 5000 Service edition or
RSLinx Classic Lite or better, included with RSLogix/Studio 5000

Windows-based PC

Connecting to Serial Controller

Connecting to Serial Controller
  • Connect the 9-pin serial cable to the 9-pin port on controller, and the 9-pin port on USB-Serial Adapter.
  • Insert USB end of the USB-Serial adapter cable into an open USB port on your computer.
  • Check COM Port assignment:
    • Go to "Device Manager", under your computer’s Control Panel.
    • Scroll down to the "Ports (COM & LPT)" section.
    • Expand the section, note the COM port number after the Serial to USB converter.
    • Close Device Manager.

Establish RSLinx Connection

Establish RSLinx Connection 1
  • Launch RSLinx Classic, usually Start > All Programs > Rockwell Software > RSLinx > RSLinx Classic.
  • Go to Communications > Configure Drivers.
  • Under Available Driver Types, select “RS232 DF1 devices” and click the “add new” button.
  • You can give the driver a name, or just select “OK” to use the default name (typically AB_DF1-1).
  • The "Configure RS232 DF1 Devices" window will pop up.
  • Under the “Comm Port” drop down menu, select the COM port that corresponds to the one assigned to the USB-Serial Adapter (e.g. COM3).
Establish RSLinx Connection 2
  • Under the “Device” drop down, select the “Logix 5550 / CompactLogix” setting.
  • Click the "Auto-Configure" button.
    • If successful, close window and minimize RSLinx.
    • If unsuccessful, check your serial and USB cable connections, and make sure you are using the correct COM port number assigned to the USB-Serial adapter.

Launch RSLogix 5000

Launch RSLogix 5000 1
  • Go to "Communications" and select "Who Active".
  • The RSLinx Who Active browser will pop up.
  • Select the DF1 driver you configured earlier (AB_DF1-1).
  • Expand the driver by clicking the plus sign to the left of the driver.
  • The controller should appear under the DF-1 driver.
  • Click once on the controller icon.
Launch RSLogix 5000 2
  • On the right hand side, several grayed-out options should now become available.
  • Click on the “Upload” button.
    • Important note: In the PLC world, “Upload” means transfer from the controller to the PC, and “Download” means transfer the program from the PC to the controller. If you ever forget, just remember “Download = Danger!” meaning, make sure you want to overwrite what is currently in the controller!
Launch RSLogix 5000 3
  • The "Connected to Upload" window will appear. RSLogix will ask you to find the corresponding offline project file. Let’s assume you are backing up the file because you do not have an offline file.
    • Click “Select File”.
    • Type in a file name and select where to save the file.
    • RSLogix will respond "Create project file 'xxxxx.ACD' and upload?"
    • Click yes.
    • Enter a name for the project file, and select where you would like to save it.
    • Click Upload.
Launch RSLogix 5000 4
  • The controller will upload the file to the PC, and save it in the directory you selected. You will now be online with the controller, which means you are looking at what the controller is doing in real time, and you can make on-line edits, change values, etc.
  • The software may ask if you want to change to “Run” mode, which is the mode where the controller is scanning its I/O, executing the program logic, and then enabling outputs and sending any data or messages. You can change the mode by clicking the controller mode dropdown in the upper left corner.
  • Disconnect the programming cable and exit RSLogix 5000.

For more information:
ControlLogix User Manual
CompactLogix (Serial versions) User Manual
RSLinx Classic Getting Results Guide

Buckles-Smith is an electrical distributor with multiple stocking locations throughout Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area. Contact us today for any questions you may have and we’ll help you out.

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