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Communication Gateway

Product Guide

COM 500

Communication Gateway

COM 500
Issued: May 1999 Status: Updated Version: B/16.11.2001 Data subject to change without notice


Communication gateway Interface to a wide range of substation communication buses Interface to a wide range of SCADA communication protocols

Interface to MicroSCADA Part of ABBs Distribution Automation system


COM 500 is a communication server which provides communication gateway functions for mapping signals between process devices and up to four higher-level systems. The higher-level system here is called the Network Control Centre (NCC). It is the system to which COM 500 sends information for monitoring and controlling the process of the customer and from which COM 500 receives process control commands. COM 500 also handles system co-ordination tasks, such as

dynamic assignment of control command authorization and communication supervision. COM 500 supports a variety of protocols for connection to higher-level systems. It is typically connected to a network via a telecontrol protocol, e.g. IEC 60870-5-101, DNP 3.0 or Modbus RTU. Different protocols, such as SPA, LON and IEC 60870-5-103 can be used to connect process devices to COM 500.


The COM 500 is used in commercial PCs running the Windows NT operating system. Scalability in respect of hardware is accomplished by selecting the computer according to the performance requirements. Hardware scalability is also supported in respect of the number of communication interfaces available. In small configurations the computer COM ports can be used. Extensions are made by adding communication boards to the computer and by distributing the communication interfaces to communication front-ends on a local area network. COM 500 is based on MicroSCADA technology. It can be integrated into the SYS 500 system server to obtain cost savings in com-

pact system solutions. As an option the COM 500 may be provided with an human system interface (HSI) for monitoring and fault diagnostics of the communication between the COM 500 communication gateway and higher-level systems. The HSI also provides the user interface needed for signal engineering and communication diagnostics. The COM 500 COMTool is used for signal engineering, making the cross-reference between down-stream and up-stream communication. Up to 32 COM lines (by using additional COM boards) and up to four LON lines can be connected to one COM 500 gateway unit. Options: A CD-ROM drive is recommended to be used for the installation of Windows NT and the COM 500 software. A 3.5/1.44 MB floppy drive or a 4/8 GB DAT tape drive is recommended for system backup purposes. Any Ethernet adapter supported by Windows NT may be used for connecting the base system computer to the LAN. For time synchronization, a PC 31/32 radio clock board from Meinberg Funkuhren, Germany, may be installed in the PC. The board

Hardware requirements

COM 500 requires at least: A 300 MHz Pentium processor. Multiprocessor computers may also be used. 128 MB RAM, less memory may result in degraded performance. About 100 MB hard disk space for the application. The total hard disk space recommended is at least 1 GB. Any SCSI or IDE controller supported by Windows NT may be used

Communication Gateway

COM 500

contains a radio receiver for the Frankfurt DCF-77 77 kHz radio transmitter. Optionally, the PC 32 board can be connected to a GPS receiver with a serial cable.

An alternative to time synchronization is also offered by the LON Clock Master card in the LON Star Coupler RER 111.

Technical data

Protocols supported by COM 500 are shown in Table 1. The master protocols are used in process communication and slave protocols are used in higher-level communication. CPI is also listed, though it is not actually a protocol but rather an interface that can be used for implementing new protocols in the MicroSCADA environment.

If a protocol that is not listed needs to be used, it is possible to program the protocol conversion using the CPI. The programming languag is C.

Table 1: Protocols supported by COM 500: Protocol

SPA LON LAG 1.4 t IEC 60870-5-103 IEC 60870-5-101 IEC 60870-5-101 ANSI X3.28 - AB (ABB) RP570 RP570 DNP 3.00 CPI

Master Master Master Master Slave Master Master Slave Slave Master and Slave

Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Windows and Windows NT are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Intel and Pentium are registered trademarks of Intel Corporation. Echelon, LON, LonTalk and Neuron are registered trademarks of Echelon Corporation. LONWORKS and LONMARK are trademarks of Echelon Corporation. All other product names are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of their respective owners.

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