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Establishing a WS-1216H serial connection for a PLC (remote end) and Touch Panel (control end).

Basic setup of the WS-1216H is mostly in the manual but I felt the manual lacked a good step by step overview to guide me as a newby.  This note tries to fill in the holes but is not meant to cover things that are in the manual already.  This is a first draft so I can remember what Iíve done (now that I see it working) but if things are not clear, ask me questions and Iíll be glad to answer.  I can use those answers to further refine this note for future revisions.
Iím assuming this process works for any other serial device which does NOT use software on the control end to operate the remote PLC (or other serial device) but I have only tried my PLC and panel.  The WS-1216H normally expects software to be used on the control end but I wanted to use my touch panel instead of software since Iíve invested a lot of time programming it and didnít want to ďre-invent the wheelĒ.  That control end software can simply use the virtual serial port established by connecting the WS-1216H and using the Microbit Setup Manager to make the virtual port.  In my case, I wanted to use my existing Touch panel AutomationDirect C-More micro 6Ē panel) to communicate with my remote PLC ( Click family).  I was not able to find enough information in the Microbit manuals to make this work so I have been experimenting until I figured it out by trial and error (Iím REALLY determined to get my remote station running!).  It makes sense now that I figured it out but I sure never saw it explained like Iím trying to do with this note.
Here is my laymanís description of what I found works.  This is probably obvious to all network/software engineers but it has taken lots of experimentation for a serial port newby like me to make this work by trial and error.

1)   The WS-1216H needs to have Microbit Setup Manager running on both the remote and control ends.  The serial port tab of Setup Manager establishes a virtual COM port.  They donít have to be the same (e.g. remote could be COM 4 and control could be COM 2).  On the serial port tab of Setup Manager, pressing the SAVE button should result in the ďInstalledĒ message in the status window.  Hitting REFRESH breaks that so I assume REFRESH is meant to be used when you want to change the COM port for any reason.
2)   The webpage for the WS-1216H needs to have a unique port to access the page and a second port for the serial communication.  You cannot use the standard web browser port 80 for either one.  To access the WS-1216H on the same LAN as it is located, you must use its IP address appended with the HTTP port number.  In my case, that was  When viewing the remote WS-1216H from the control site, you use the DDNS host name appended with the port number.  You must also open the port you choose on both the remote and control end routers.  For example, if you chose port 1181 for the HTTP browser access and port 1182 for the serial connection, both of those ports need to be opened in your routers.
3)   You will need a NULL MODEM cable on the remote end or you can swap the RXD/TXD wires in the optional DB9 dongle sold by Microbit.
4)   The remote end connects to the PLC directly via the remote LAN once you fill in the LAN address (using Setup Manager), fill in the port you choose and set up the serial parameters (speed, stop bits, parity).  At this point, you should be able to access the WS-1216H with a browser on this LAN.  You now need to go to the DDNS setup of the WS-1216H page and make sure the DDNS is turned on. The remote end is done.
5)   On the control end, use the Microbit Setup manager to establish a virtual serial port by going to the remote PCís Microbit Setup Managerís Serial port tab and chose a serial port (for example you might chose COM2).  Then enter the DDNS URL and port number (1182 in this example) so that the control knows where to look for the remote end.  No need to set serial parameters (speed, stop bits, parity).  At this point, you should see that the WS-1216Hís webpage ďSystem InfoĒ tab shows that you are connected to the remote.  There should be TXD and RXD numbers shown and zero (or very few) RXD errors.  As a test, move to the Set Relays menu to try turning relays off and on.  Youíre almost there if the relays work.
6)   Now you connect your Touch Panel (or whatever serial connected device you have) to the control computer with a serial connection.  Use Device Manager to see which COM port opens.  Letís say it is COM27 for this example.  You now have COM2 and COM27 established but they have no way of communicating at the moment since they are not connected/bridged.
7)   Install a virtual serial port emulator to build a communication bridge between COM2 and COM27 (or whichever COM ports you show in Device Manager).  I use the free VSPE (Virtual Serial Port Emulator) software which has a bridge option.  Step through the bridge setup to establish COM2 with speed, stops bits, parity to match your panel.  Mine was 38400, 1, N.  Press the TEST button and it will say connected if properly done.  Now do the same for COM27 (your panelís COM port).   
8)   You should now be able to control your remote PLC with the CONTROL Panel.  If not, double check your serial port settings throughout the chain to make sure they all match.  I made a mistake on mine and had 2 stop bits instead of 1 in a couple of places and it didnít work.  If they all match, it works well. 

1   You purchased the optional serial pigtail (or made one) for the WS-1216H
2   You have set up the WS-1216H on your LAN and have seen it function.
3   Your serial device simply uses RXD/TXD signals and ground connection; no handshaking.

Contact me if I can answer any questions:
Bob K5WA

I have a PLC on the RADIO end and an HMI Panel on the control side of my RRC pair.  This RRC pair worked perfectly earlier for K3 Twins, CAT (for N1MM) and WinKeyer.  I removed the K3, CAT and WinKey settings so I now simply have one function for this pair; i.e. COM1 transparent RS-232 channel for my PLC.  I cannot find a FULL description in the manual, only bits and pieces with many caveats and dead end instructions.  I've tried all the pinout connections shown in the manual but it still does not communicate. I'm even using a terminal program to watch the ports to see what is happening.  I get the initial 1258 header from the RRC but nothing more.  I get this same result for COM1 and COM2.

Does anyone know where I can find a complete set of setup instructions or a sample .bin file for transparent serial communication that I can follow?

Thanks for any ideas.

Bob K5WA


I just got my 1258 MK II radio end (s/n 3170) running after a 3 year layoff from my remoting project.  As I was testing it on air with my terrible home antenna, I apparently got RF into the 1258 MK II and it will not power up now.  Is there anything I can do to get it running again?  With my microscopic glasses, I don't see any obvious damage on the board but I'm guessing a chip is fried.  I'm assuming I would need to send it back to you for repair or buy a new one?

Also, I have an older 1258 (s/n 2123) which I put in place of 3170.  Can you point me to any jumper or hardware changes I need to make on 2123 so that it will work with my 1258 MK II Control (3196)?

Bob K5WA

General discussion forum / 1258 MKIIS locked up again
« on: 2011-05-09, 15:22:22 »
Do you have any software to unlock my 1258?  It was working fine until I changed the IP from static to DHCP.  Now, the red light flashes constantly and Set Up Manager is unable to "see" the 1258 even with a direct connection to the USB port.  The driver shows that it is working properly, but there is no communication and Set Up Manager does not recognize the 1258.  I have tried the reset button on the 1258 thinking that the reset button would put the 1258 back to its original state but that is not happening. 

What else can I try to make it work?

Also, I still have not gotten my micro RRC client to work correctly.  The audio cycles on and off as the buffer bar moves from left to right.  Does the new software update fix this problem?

Thanks for any help you might have.

Bob Evans, K5WA

General discussion / Odd Audio
« on: 2011-03-28, 22:18:28 »
My RRC-1258MKIIs works perfectly when the two units are connected, however, when I remove the CONTROL RRC-1258 and try to use the Micro PC Client, the audio sounds like it is on the "wrong sideband" and the audio buffer bar cycles to the right constantly.  When it reaches the right side, the audio stops until the bar starts again on the left.  I find that I must put the Jitter Size on 100 to keep the audio playing as long as possible but it still cycles when the buffer bar reaches the right side of its scale.

What could be wrong?

Bob K5WA

General discussion forum / How to use VOX?
« on: 2010-04-21, 03:15:43 »
I have everything (CW, Control, RX audio and TX audio) running with my K3 but I can not figure out how to do VOX.  When I key the PTT line, my audio sounds great but if I do NOT key the PTT line, VOX does not work.

What am I missing?

Thanks for any ideas.

Bob K5WA

General discussion forum / Webpage Status RADIO OFF
« on: 2010-04-09, 05:14:35 »
I just received my RRC-1258 MKII system today and I am stuck.  The Webpage Status says RADIO OFF on the Radio RRC unit no matter what baud rate I set.  I assume that the RADIO RRC would show RADIO ON even without connecting to the CONTROL RRC over my network.  Is that correct?  I am not worried about SIP or Mic/AUX connection yet until I get the Radio RRC talking to the rig (K3).  I have tried my own cable with pins 2,3 and 5 as well as an "off the shelf" cable and the same result so I don't believe I have a cable problem.  I can control the K3 with the same cable using HRD but I am getting no communication via RRC.  The rig is supposed to be connected to COM2, correct?  I set the Radio and Serial baud rate the same per the instructions but still no luck.

Any suggestions?

Bob K5WA

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