(Last Update: 06-May-2014, WinPLC FAQ0041)

WinPLC FAQ0001 (see also ERM FAQ0005, EBC FAQ0010)
Q: Does the WinPLC allow for an ERM?
A: Yes. The WinCE-only version can have up to 6 ERMs (due to power budget limitations) and each ERM supporting as many as 16 EBCs. However if the WinPLC you are using is a Think&Do version you are limited to only 1 ERM and that ERM can only have 1 EBC.

WinPLC FAQ0002
Q: What does a flashing/blinking RUN light indicate?
A: One of 3 things:

WinPLC FAQ0003 (see also CTRIO FAQ0012, EBC FAQ0014, PBC FAQ0004)
Q: CTRIO Workbench indicates that the CTRIO module is in "Startup" mode and all of the configuration parameters are grayed out.
A: "Startup" mode indicates that CTRIO Workbench cannot successfully communicate with the CTRIO. The problem is not between CTRIO Workbench and the CPU, the problem is between the CPU and the CTRIO itself. Communication across the backplane is failing. Here are some known causes of this:

* - Revision meaning: "7F" means: "7" is bare board revision. "F" the revision of the assembly drawing that we are using to build the boards.

If you have older EBC, PBC or WinPLC hardware, you have two options to get them updated:

  1. RMA them back to Automation Direct (a part will be shipped immediately to you).
  2. Send them to Host Engineering (you will have to wait on the part to be modified and shipped back).

WinPLC FAQ0004 (see also HA-TADP FAQ0001; EBC FAQ0015; EDRIVE FAQ0001; ECOM FAQ0008; ERM FAQ0009)
Q: Can the MAC address be changed?
A: The MAC address is burned into the ROM of the device and is set just before it leaves the factory. There is no logical way for any protocol to change this address. Host Engineering’s range for Ethernet MAC addresses is 00.E0.62.xx.xx.xx.

However, there was a bug with the old Ether32.EXE program that could change the MAC Address! If you use Ether32.EXE to update the booter using TCP/IP protocol (i.e. use the "/pi" option on the command line), then the MAC Address could be changed by accident!

WinPLC FAQ0005 (see also ERM FAQ0017; EBC FAQ0024)
Q: How many EBCs can one ERM support?
A: Normally 16. But if the CPU is a Think&Do WinPLC then this is limited to 1 (this limitation does not apply to the WinCE-only version of the WinPLC).

WinPLC FAQ0006
Q: Does the WinPLC have an embedded web server?
A: No. The problem is that WinPLC uses Windows CE v2.12 and this is a limitation of Windows CE. The WinPLC, though it has a flash drive on it, does not appear as a PC on a network that you can browse to. It may be that later versions of Windows CE may have this feature, but the current one we are using does not.

WinPLC FAQ0007 (see also CTRIO FAQ0016)
Q: Is there a way to change the preset values in multiple Preset Tables from WinPLC to CTRIO on the fly?
A: Basically there are two choices to do this with CTRIO:

WinPLC FAQ0008
Q: If I want to send my WinPLC back to Host Engineering for repair; how do I do this?
A: E-mail and give the details of why you want to do this. Our Product Manager will then respond with an authorization and a repair price.

WinPLC FAQ0009
Q: What is the fastest that my Think&Do WinPLC will execute PID loops?
A: The flowchart executing the PID block determines the loop update rate. The fastest time a PID block can be executed is once every 10 ms. This rate doesn't change with the speed of the WinPLC you are using.

WinPLC FAQ0010
Q: Can the WinPLC handle 10 communication ports simultaneously? What kind of affect will this have on the normal process?
A: WinPLC can handle a maximum of 10 communication ports simultaneously. Each port is handled by interrupt as it gets data. Each port has a 16-byte buffer. It can therefore handle this kind of simultaneous communications task extremely fast especially at lower bps (e.g. 9600). Of course, as the bps is increased then this takes more and more processing time to keep up with the data that is getting dumped into the buffers. Also, keep in mind that the WinPLC is more like a conventional PC rather than a PLC. Therefore it is very difficult to determine exactly what kind of an effect this will have on your normal process.

WinPLC FAQ0011
Q: When upgrading the firmware in my WinPLC the process stops half way through and it gets stuck in boot mode.
A: Make sure that the time stamp on the file wplc.exe is greater than 11/01. If you still have trouble after getting a newer version it could be caused by a bad flashcard in the WinPLC. For repair see WinPLC FAQ0008.

WinPLC FAQ0012 (see also SERIO FAQ0001; EBC FAQ0028)
Q: Are there slot restrictions for the SERIO module?
A: There is no slot restriction for the H2-SERIO module.

WinPLC FAQ0013 (see also EBC FAQ0030, CTRIO FAQ0014)
Q: What is the expected hit on the scan time for adding an H2-CTRIO to WinPLC or EBC rack? When I connect with Entivity and add more than one H2-CTRIO I get a timeout.
A: This is different for each product:

For WinPLC, there could be a detectable hit (however, small) simply because it has a comparatively slower processor (100MHz).

On the EBC itself, the addition of a CTRIO will probably not be noticeable at all simply because the EBC has only one thing to do . . . update its I/O.

On a Think&Do or Entivity application there will be about 7ms/CTRIO hit due to the number of tags that are created to handle the extra I/O scanning of the CTRIO from the PC. Thus, in the Connectivity Center of this software, under "Attributes" you must increase the "Timeout Value for Retries(ms)" value accordingly.

WinPLC FAQ0014 (see also ERM FAQ0021, EBC FAQ0034)
Q: After writing configuration to ERM and EBC get "Error 228 - Backplane error."
A: Error 228 is defined as "Backplane read/write request queue full" and it means that for some reason the CPU is either rejecting requests from its ERM or not accepting them. Common causes:

WinPLC FAQ0015 (see also EBC FAQ0041; PBC FAQ0007)
Q: Which H2-EBC, H2-PBC and H2-WPLC work in the newer DL205 "-1" bases?
A: The following states the hardware revision requirements for using these products in the newer DL205 "-1" bases (the ones that have the local expansion I/O connector on the right side):

Find the hardware revision number on a label on the right side of the PCB (printed circuit board) as shown:

WinPLC FAQ0016
Q: Sometimes when I power up my WinPLC it loses its IP address.
A: This is actually a bug in the WinCE v2.11 image and not really a WinPLC problem. Since Host Engineering cannot fix WinCE bugs, we extensively tested a WinPLC with WinCE v2.12 and found that it doesn't have this bug. Thus since the problem is in WinCE v2.11 then the solution is to get WinCE v2.12...

If you have an Entivity WinPLC you simply need to upgrade to the latest WinPLC runtime that's appropriate for your development package. You may have to obtain the image on CD from Entivity because it is rather large for Internet downloading.

If you have a WinPLC CE-only there may be a problem. Currently the WinCE v2.11 runtime image allows for Visual C/C++/Basic program development. But unfortunately the image for WinPLC CE-only that has WinCE v2.12 on it only allows for Visual C/C++ program development. Thus if you developed the program in Visual Basic you are stuck with a runtime that has this bug. But if you used Visual C/C++ then Host Engineering can update your runtime image to WinCE v2.12 which does not have this bug.

WinPLC FAQ0017
Q: Is there a WinCE.NET compatible WinPLC?
A: No. The problem is that the WinPLC is headless (i.e. no monitor; no keyboard; no mouse; etc.) and Microsoft has not produced a headless version of WinCE.NET yet.

WinPLC FAQ0018 (see also CTRIO FAQ0046; EBC FAQ0047; ECOM FAQ0036; EDRV FAQ0009; ERM FAQ0030; EZ Ethernet FAQ0018; PBC FAQ0009; PSCM FAQ0001; NetEdit FAQ0014)
Q: What software tool do I use to upgrade/downgrade my Host Engineering hardware?
A: Refer to the following:

Host Hardware Part Number Firmware/Booter Upgrade Tool
CTRIO Workbench
T1H-EBC100 NetEdit3 (v3.4 or higher)
H2-EBC100 NetEdit3 (v3.5 or higher)
NetEdit3 (v3.5 or higher)
NetEdit3 or ERM Workbench
EZ Ethernet EZ Ethernet
EZ Touch
PBC H2-PBC NetEdit3
WinPLC WinPLC WinPLC Workbench

NOTE: All the firmware for the above products can be downloaded using NetEdit3's File --> Live Update... The firmware files are stored in c:\HAPTools\Images folder.

WinPLC FAQ0019
Q: Does the WinPLC WinCE version use 16-bit or 32-bit processing?
A: 32-bit processing, but not Intel. It uses a Hitachi SH3 Series 7708 processor for embedded applications.

WinPLC FAQ0020
Q: What version of WinCE do the various WinPLCs have on them?
A: Refer to the following:

Product Description WinCE Version
H2-WPLC1-LV 40 MHz WinPLC with Think&Do Live v2.11 with Think&Do less than v5.5.1
v2.12 with Think&Do v5.5.1 or greater
H2-WPLC1-SD 40 MHz WinPLC with Entivity Studio v2.11 with Entivity Studio less than v7.1
v2.12 with Entivity Studio v7.1 or greater
H2-WPLC2-LV 100 MHz WinPLC with Think&Do Live v2.11 with Think&Do less than v5.5.1
v2.12 with Think&Do v5.5.1 or greater
H2-WPLC2-SD 100 MHz WinPLC with Entivity Studio v2.11 with Entivity Studio less than v7.1
v2.12 with Entivity Studio v7.1 or greater
H2-WPLC2-EN 100MHz WinPLC with Entivity v2.12
H2-WPLC3-EN 100 MHz WinPLC (8 MByte) with Entivity v2.12
H2-WPLC1 40 MHz WinPLC WinCE only v2.12
H2-WPLC2 100 MHz WinPLC WinCE only v2.12
H2-WPLC3 100 MHz WinPLC (8 MByte) WinCE only v2.12

WinPLC FAQ0021
Q: Using Think&Do v5.2 with H2-WPLC1-LV and getting a timeout error about 90% of the time.
A: Our original WPLC.EXE had a fixed timeout value during chip-erase cycle that was too short for some chips. These particular chips take way too long to update, so we've been replacing them on RMAs and we changed our production test set to catch them so they don't get out. So, the first thing to try is...

  1. Try a newer WPLC.EXE (which has a longer erase period). If that doesn't work then...
  2. Ship the WinPLC to us so we can replace the slow chip.

WinPLC FAQ0022 (see also SDK FAQ0009)
Q: Is there an SDK for the WinPLC?
A: Yes; for WinPLC CE-only version that uses WinCE v2.11. You can download the 4MByte .ZIP file on our "S/W Developer Kits --> WinPLC" page (

WinPLC FAQ0023
Q: Have a WinPLC CE-only, how do I address the I/O in my ERM/EBC rack?
A: How to do this is not very straightforward. Basically the WinPLC CE-only program must put the data in a form that the ERM is expecting. Details are contained in the software modules themselves that you call to do this; however, it is probably better to send us an e-mail question (

WinPLC FAQ0024
Q: Can the EZ Touch panel communicate with a WinPLC (Think&Do)?
A: Yes. The drivers are in the Entivity (Think&Do) software as well as the instructions as to how to do this.

WinPLC FAQ0025
Q: When trying to download to WinPLC from Think&Do, get "A connection cannot be established with the Think&Do Runtime (Windows CE - Think&Do WinPLC)."
A: This is usually caused by one of the following:

  1. You have 2 NICs on your PC both with IPX protocol loaded - Either disable one NIC altogether, or unload IPX from one of them.
  2. The TCP/IP Address is not on the local network - Use the "Reset using IPX" program that comes with Think&Do to reset the WinPLC and then try again.

WinPLC FAQ0026 (see also ERM FAQ0033)
Q: What is the minimum hardware revision number of the WinPLC in order for it to work with an ERM in a -1 base?
A: There are no known problems with using an ERM with the WinPLC at all regardless of the type of base.

WinPLC FAQ0027
Q: If using CEWatch.EXE to configure the WinPLC; will the "Reset IPX" function clear the WinPLC running program?
A: This function clears the WinPLC's RAM, but not its ROM. In other words, it makes the WinPLC reboot (like a PC would), and then it reloads the running program from its ROM back to its RAM to start again.

WinPLC FAQ0028 (see also EBC FAQ0061; ECOM FAQ0052; EDRIVE FAQ0015; ERM FAQ0042; EZ Ethernet FAQ0029; HA-TADP FAQ0005)
Q: Do any of your Ethernet devices support the next generation of Internet (IPv6)?
A:  No; nor do we have any plans to implement it at this time.

WinPLC FAQ0029 (see also CTRIO FAQ0013; EBC FAQ0048; ERM FAQ0031; SDK FAQ0013)
Q: Is it possible to utilize the CTRIO System Functions everywhere it can be installed?
A: In firmware v2.x System Functions were added to the CTRIO products (H0-, H2-, H4- and T1H-CTRIO). These System Functions would allow you to write (and read) various internal registers of the CTRIO. The following table shows what scenarios that these System Functions can be used and how to use them:

  System Function CTRIO Configuration
Local DL PLC Base Remote DL PLC Base DL PLC with ERM/EBC WinPLC (Think&Do) Local Base WinPLC (Think&Do) with ERM/EBC Think&Do (Entivity) to EBC Ethernet SDK to EBC
Mapped System Functions (i.e. in V-memory) Status of Inputs YES NO (4) YES YES YES YES YES
Mode & Status of Outputs YES NO (4) YES YES YES YES YES
CTRIO Shared RAM System Functions 0x01 - Read all registers YES (1) NO (4) NO (5) YES (2) YES (2) YES (2) YES (3)
0x02 - Write all registers YES (1) NO (4) NO (5) YES (2) YES (2) YES (2) YES (3)
0x04 - Write one register YES (1) NO (4) NO (5) YES (2) YES (2) YES (2) YES (3)
0x05 - Write reset value YES (1) NO (4) NO (5) YES (2) YES (2) YES (2) YES (3)

(1) - Use RD/WT instruction in Ladders.
(2) - Use Shared RAM Operations for CTRIO in a CALL block.
(3) - Use Ethernet SDK routine HEIWriteSharedRAM / HEIReadSharedRAM.
(4) - Not possible because CTRIO will not work in remote bases.
(5) - Not possible because Ladders cannot tell the ERM to access the Shared RAM of CTRIO in EBC base.

WinPLC FAQ0030
Q: What is the scantime of a WinPLC?
A: If it is a Think&Do WinPLC, then the default is 50ms, however Think&Do will allow you to modify that in increments of 1ms. If it is a WinCE-only WinPLC, then the scantime depends on how much you program it to do; but the resolution of the scantime is also 1ms.

WinPLC FAQ0031
Q: Can the retentive memory size be increased in a WinPLC?
A: No. The size is not software or firmware limited; it is actually a hardware limitation.

WinPLC FAQ0032 (see also EBC FAQ0069; ECOM FAQ0055; EDRIVE FAQ0018; ERM FAQ0044; EZ Ethernet FAQ0030; HA-TADP FAQ0006)
Q: What types of Ethernet framing do your Ethernet products support?
A: All our Ethernet products (ECOM, ECOM100, EBC, EBC100, EDRV, ERM, EZ Ethernet, EZ EtherPLUS, HA-TADP and WinPLC) all support the following types of Ethernet framing:

WinPLC FAQ0033 (see also EBC FAQ0070; ECOM FAQ0061; EDRIVE FAQ0019; ERM FAQ0045; EZ Ethernet FAQ0031; HA-TADP FAQ0007)
Q: Are the Host Engineering Ethernet products compliant to AS ISO 15745?
A: No.

WinPLC FAQ0034
Q: Does the WinPLC CE-only version support Visual Basic (VB6 or VB.NET)?
A: The current version of the WinPLC is shipped with WinCE v2.12 in it, and this version of WinCE does not have Visual Basic in it at all. The older version of the WinPLC was shipped with WinCE v2.11 and it did, however, have Microsoft Embedded Visual Basic in it (but this is not VB.NET, nor VB6). But we switched to WinCE v2.12 because there was a bug in the WinCE v2.11 that would sometimes cause the WinPLC to lose its IP address on power up. Thus, as you can see, there is not a great solution using Visual Basic and the WinPLC. If you can live with the possibility of the bug mentioned, then you can download this WinPLC image from our website ( --> Software Developer Kits --> WinPLC).

WinPLC FAQ0035 (see also SERIO FAQ0003)
Q: What is the size of the communication buffer for the H2-SERIO and how do I send long strings of data with WinPLC CE-only version?
A: The communication buffer for each port of the H2-SERIO is 16 bytes long. However, means are provided in the WinPLC SDK functions to write long strings of data through this size buffer. You send the long string and then the buffer will communicate back how many bytes were sent. Based on this number you can reset your pointer in your string and send again. In this manner long strings of data can be sent. Of course, at higher baud rates the number of bytes that get sent each time will be much larger.

WinPLC FAQ0036 (see also CTRIO FAQ0012; EBC FAQ0079)
Q: When trying to connect to CTRIO in WinPLC or EBC/EBC100 base with CTRIO Workbench, getting "Error reading base definition".
A: This is usually caused by the CTRIO Workbench not having enough of the backplane bandwidth to complete a connection. Thus, depending on what type of base the CTRIO is installed in:

     If WinPLC:  Try stopping the WinPLC's application from running; then try CTRIO Workbench again.

     If EBC/EBC100: Try stopping the master that is currently polling, or disconnect from the master altogether; then try CTRIO Workbench again.

     If none of this works, try reinstalling CTRIO Workbench. There have been instances where something on the PC has corrupted the installation and caused this very error message.

WinPLC FAQ0037 (see also CTRIO FAQ0026; EBC FAQ0082; PBC FAQ0013)
Q: Why are the I/O Map values not saved if using CTRIO Workbench to talk to a CTRIO in an EBC/EBC100, WinPLC, or PBC base?
A: If the CTRIO is in any of these bases, the values entered in the CTRIO Workbench I/O Map do not determine the CTRIO's I/O address mapping. Something other than the CTRIO itself is determining this mapping (see chart below). Thus the I/O Map, in these cases, is merely a documentation function.

If you enter values in this map, they will not be saved in the CTRIO .CWB file that you might create. Thus, to remember the values, you will have to use the Report button at the bottom and then either Print a hard copy, or Save it to a .TXT file.

DL05 N/A CTRIO Workench (I/O Map)
H*-EBC or H*-EBC100 PC (Ethernet SDK) H*-EBC (NetEdit --> Show Base Contents)
PC (Think&Do or Entivity)
H*-ERM ERM Workbench (Configure ERM)
H*-EBC100 only 3rd-party (Modbus TCP) H*-EBC100 (NetEdit --> Show Base Contents)
H*-ECOM100 (Modbus TCP)
H2-WPLC (Think&Do or Entivity) <N/A> H2-WPLC (Think&Do or Entivity)
H2-WPLC (WinCE) H2-WPLC (3rd-party application)
H2-PBC 3rd-party (Profibus Master) 3rd-party (Profibus configurator)
T1H-EBC or T1H-EBC100 PC (Ethernet SDK) T1H-EBC or T1H-EBC100 (NetEdit --> Show Base Contents)
PC (Think&Do or Entivity)
T1H-EBC100 only 3rd-party (Modbus TCP) T1H-EBC100 (NetEdit --> Show Base Contents)
H*-ECOM100 (Modbus TCP)

NOTE: To use the table, note what is controlling the base where the H*-CTRIO is plugged into. Then note what is controlling the base controller itself. In the last column is the device or software that either determines the I/O mapping, or at least shows it to you.

WinPLC FAQ0038 (see also CTRIO FAQ0045; DirectSOFT FAQ0132; DL Plus FAQ0010; DNLoader FAQ0011; 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)
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.

WinPLC FAQ0039 (see also SERIO FAQ0005)
Q: How does the WinPLC SDK see the H2-SERIO?
A: The WinPLC (and WinPLC SDK) will treat each of the 3 ports on the H2-SERIO exactly the same as it does the onboard serial port and it can support 3 H2-SERIO modules. The onboard serial port is COM1 so the subsequent COM ports on 3 more H2-SERIOs would be:

1st H2-SERIO: COM2, COM3, COM4
2nd H2-SERIO: COM5, COM6, COM7
3rd H2-SERIO: COM8, COM9, COM0

This gives you a total of 10 serial ports possible.

WinPLC FAQ0040 (see also SERIO FAQ0006)
Q: The H2-SERIO nor the H2-SERIO-4 communicates when installed with an H2-WPLC3?
A: This is a PLD (firmware) issue with the H2-SERIO and H2-SERIO-4. In order to fix this issue the H2-SERIO or H2-SERIO-4 must be sent back to Host Engineering to be upgraded (free of charge). The version of hardware that works is:

H2-SERIO-4 Rev 5CA

Contact to have yours upgraded if you encounter this problem.

WinPLC FAQ0041 (see also ERM FAQ0066, EBC FAQ0093)
Q: Cannot get H2-ERM100 to work with H2-WPLC3 (Entivity/Think&Do); gets red light and EBC100 watchdogs (times out).
A: The H2-WPLC3 (hardware revision 3A) is not compatible with the H2-ERM100. This is due to a necessary memory chip change in the WinPLC due to part obsolescence. At one time the only solution was to use an H2-ERM instead of the H2-ERM100. But the problem now has no solution because there are no more H2-ERMs to be had. We can no longer produce them, and Automation Direct is out of stock. Thus the use of any H2-WPLC3 with remote I/O via ERM/EBC combination is no longer an option.

We, therefore suggest that consideration be given to using a Do-more PLC instead. 

WinPLC FAQ0042
Q: Can I use my H2-WPLC3-EN as a WinCE-only WinPLC?
A: No, not as it is. You must load the image nk_min_2_1_2.CEB into it, which will wipe out the Entivity stuff. Please send email to and request this file.

WinPLC FAQ0043
Q: Using Visual C++ Embedded 3 (supports WinCE v2.11), but when connecting to WinPLC get a warning that the platform is different.
A: This is because Visual C++ Embedded 3 is looking for WinCE v3.x OS, but just <OK> through all the warnings and it should just work.

WinPLC FAQ0044
Q: Using WinPLC3 with Visual C++. Programs runs, but how do you stop the program from running?
A: You have to have something in your Visual C++ program that can stop the program. Our example program, for example, specifies using an extra digital input on the WinPLC's I/O backplane. Basically the example program is one big IF/THEN statement. IF the particular input is on, then RUN, if it is not, then STOP.