DNLoader FAQs
(Last Update: 17-Mar-2014, DNLoader FAQ0016)

DNLoader FAQ0001 (see also DirectSOFT FAQ0127)
Q: Is there a software utility that can be used to upload/download programs without using DirectSOFT?
A:  Yes. Host Engineering has created a free program called DNLoader that does just that. You would use it to read the program and (optionally) the retentive V-memory from a DL PLC and save this data in a file. This file cannot be read by DirectSOFT. You can then use DNLoader to write the contents of this file to another DL PLC of the same type. It supports serial or Ethernet connections and also supports PLC Passwords. It is the ideal tool for an OEM or System Integrator. You can download your copy from our website under the Support --> Utilities section.

DNLoader FAQ0002
Q: During upload getting, "Error reading data from PLC."
A:  This is like any other DirectSOFT communication error. See DirectSOFT FAQ0013 for suggestions. You can even download the Demo version of DirectSOFT and attempt a link using that software to get more details in the error. If you can connect using DirectSOFT (with DirectNET protocol set in the link), you should be able to connect using DNLoader.

DNLoader FAQ0003
Q: What DL PLCs are supported by DNLoader?
A:  DNLoader uses the DirectNET protocol; so any DL PLC comm port that does not support this protocol (or cannot use an ECOM) cannot be used with DNLoader. For example, the following ports cannot be used because they only support K-seq protocol:

Based on the above DirectNET-only rule, the following chart shows which DL PLCs can be used with DNLoader and which ones cannot:

Direct Logic CPUs DNLoader Version
v1.0 v1.1b v1.1c v1.1d v1.2a v1.3 v1.3b v1.3cv1.3d v1.3e
350 *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ******

*NOTE - With the 250, DNLoader currently gives "Error! Error reading V memory!" if attempting to read the program via serial ports. (See DNLoader FAQ0008).
- With the 450, DNLoader only works with the first 7680 words. If you have a memory cartridge giving you more memory than this, DNLoader will not work with anything over the 7680.
***NOTE - With the 350, DNLoader currently gives "Error! Error reading V memory!" (See DNLoader FAQ0015).

DNLoader FAQ0004
Q: How do passwords for both the .DAT file and the PLC work in DNLoader?
A:  The easiest thing is to view the .PDF file that comes with DNLoader when you install it. Or you can download it independently here: 
DNLoader Flow Chart.PDF

DNLoader FAQ0005
Q: When downloading file to a DL240 over Port2 using <Write PLC> button, get "Error writing image to PLC!".
A:  This is caused by the DL240 not allowing writes to his retentive V-memory. To circumvent this error, you will have to have a .DAT file for your DL240 that does not have V-memory stored in it. This means that whoever created the .DAT file, will have to create one with V-memory deselected for the <Write File>. In order to create that type of .DAT file you must first have DNLoader v1.2a or later.

When you are going to create a .DAT file after you read the PLC using <Read PLC> button, then you press the <Write File> button. This gives you the following dialog (Write File Options). Deselect the "V" option as shown:

After naming your file and giving it a password (if desired), then pres the <OK> button. This will create a .DAT file without V-memory. Now, writing this file to a DL240 will work and not give the error because V-memory is not being written.

This, however, creates a potential application problem. Since V-memory is not going to be written using DNLoader, then if you want to initialize values in V-memory for your application, you will have to either do that manually after downloading the program, or program some rungs in the ladders that initialize the V-memory on the first PLC scan (e.g. SP0).

DNLoader FAQ0006 (similar to DirectSOFT FAQ0191)
Q: DNLoader doesn't appear to store the Watchdog timer settings in the .DAT file, or write it back to the PLC.
A:  This is true. It is also true for DirectSOFT. Using DirectSOFT the value can be stored and written manually, but it is not stored in project file.

DNLoader FAQ0007
Q: What Windows operating systems does DNLoader work with?
A:  See the following chart:

Windows Operating Systems
Win3.11 Win95 Win98 WinME WinNT4 Win2K WinXP WinXP64 WinVista WinVista64 Win7 (3) Win8 (3)(4)
v1.0     (1) (2) (1) (1)
v1.1b     (1) (2) (1) (1)
v1.1c     (1) (2) (1) (1)
v1.1d     (1) (2) (1) (1)
v1.2a     (1) (2) (1) (1)
v1.3     (1) (2) (1) (1)
v1.3b     (1) (2) (1) (1)
v1.3e     (1) (2) (1)

(1) -
Have not tested officially but probably will work.
(2) - On some PCs serial communication seems to be inconsistent (i.e. it works most of the time, but will sometimes fail). In case of failure, restart DNLoader, and try again.
(3) - Both
32-bit and 64-bit versions work.
(4) -
Win8 RT version not supported

DNLoader FAQ0008
Q: When trying to read a program from a DL250, get "Error! Error reading V memory!"
A:  This is a bug when operating DNLoader with a DL250 and using one of the serial ports (Port1 or Port2). But if an H2-ECOM / H2-ECOM100 is used in the DL250, the error does not occur. Also all other DL205 CPUs work fine (e.g. DL240, 250-1, 260, etc.). Also, all other DL05/06 and DL405 CPUs work fine as shown in DNLoader FAQ0003 above.

DNLoader FAQ0009
Q: Can DNLoader be executed automatically instead of with the manual GUI interface?
A:  As of version v1.3 you can run DNLoader from a command prompt with switched options. This allows it to be used without user interfacing and no GUI.

NOTE: This command-line option only works for writing a .DAT file to a PLC. It does NOT work for reading a PLC and creating a .DAT file.

To see the switch options use the /? switch. The following window will display with the /? option.

DNLoader FAQ0010 (see also ECOM FAQ0042; DirectSOFT FAQ0048; DL Plus FAQ0009; DSData FAQ0005; EZ Ethernet FAQ0008; HA-TADP FAQ0002; Lookout Direct FAQ0014; NetEdit FAQ0005; SDK FAQ0020)
Q: Why doesn't the ECOM use subnet mask or gateway address like the ECOM100?
A: Since the ECOM doesn't do "master"-type communications, it doesn't use the subnet mask or gateway address. Whatever talks to the ECOM will be using IPX or UDP/IP, and the ECOM simply swaps the destination and source addresses in the telegram and responds in this way, not "caring" about the subnet or gateway. However, the ECOM100 acts more like a conventional TCP/IP device. The ECOM100 has the capability to be a master and has a full-blown TCP stack inside. Thus, if it is to transmit to an IP address not on its subnet, it will, of course, transmit to its configured gateway address instead.

DNLoader FAQ0011 (see also CTRIO FAQ0045; DirectSOFT FAQ0132; DL Plus FAQ0010; DS Data FAQ0102; EBC FAQ0083; ECOM FAQ0084; EDRV FAQ0084; ERM FAQ0058; EZ Ethernet FAQ0010; General FAQ0004; HA-TADP FAQ0008; Lookout Direct FAQ0015; NetEdit FAQ0037; PBC FAQ0014; PSCM FAQ0003; SDK FAQ0022; SERIO FAQ0004; WinPLC FAQ0038)
Q: What is the export classification of your products (e.g. ECCN)
A: None of our products have an ECCN. Automation Direct sells our products and they export EAR99 NLR (No License Required). ECCN is Export Controlled Classification Number and none of our products are controlled.

DNLoader FAQ0012
Q: While trying to Read PLC with DL06 serially or over Ethernet, get "Error! Error writing program memory."
A: Of course, this error means DNLoader couldn't write the PLC memory. Most of the time, when a DL06 is involved, this is because some DL06s (particularly older ones) take too long to write to their own Flash ROM, and DNLoader consequently is timing out. Older DNLoader versions had a fixed timeout value that was sometimes not long enough to allow for these slower DL06s to complete their writes.

To fix, upgrade to DNLoader v1.3c or later.

DNLoader FAQ0013
Q: There are not enough COM ports available (only goes to COM8) in DNLoader.
A: We added up to COM99 on the GUI (Graphical User Interface) mode of DNLoader (i.e. the command-prompt mode of DNLoader still only goes to COM8).

This new feature is added to DNLoader v1.3b or later.

DNLoader FAQ0014
Q: Trying to <Read File> and getting "Unknown File Format" error.
A: This is caused by creating an Image.DAT file with a later version of DNLoader than the version of DNLoader being used to <Read File>. Thus, make sure the DNLoader trying to read the Image.DAT file is the latest version.

DNLoader FAQ0015
Q: When using DL350 CPU get "Error! Error reading V memory!"
A: This is caused by a bug in DNLoader that had the wrong memory range assigned to DL350 CPU. This is corrected in a the following version:

DNLoader v1.3e or later.

DNLoader FAQ0016
Q: Wh
en downloading file to a DL240 over Port2 using <Write PLC> button, get "Error communicating with target device!"
A: This is normally caused by having the DL240's Port2 configured for "ASCII" mode instead of "Hex" mode. To change this:

  1. Connect to the DL240 using its Port1 and DirectSOFT.
  2. From the menu select, PLC --> Setup --> Setup Sec. Comm Port.
  3. Click on Hex in the Protocol box
Hex Mode