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February 5, 2008 2:12 PM   Subscribe

Halp! I have here an Allen-Bradley industrial computer from ca. 1999. How do I get the confounded touchscreen to work?

A friend of mine who works in a shop recently brought back an old Allen-Bradley touchscreen unit that's used to control industrial equipment. It's basically just a rack-mounted PC with an integrated LCD and touchscreen. The BIOS and specs indicate it was manufactured in 1999 or so. I can install WinXP on this just fine and it works splendidly (or at least as splendidly as an eight-year-old computer will), but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get the touchscreen to work.

The touchscreen is (seemingly) controlled by a long ISA card with some blinkenlights on it, that a cable (eight pins) from the LCD panel plugs into. There are no identifying marks that I can see on this card.

Extensive Googling was little help until I found the manual for this model (6180) [pdf] on the Rockwell Automation website. Unfortunately, the manual is very unhelpful about the touchscreen -- it basically just says to install the drivers from the provided disk, which of course I do not have. It also tells me to reference the "Touchscreen System User's Guide", which does not appear to be available on the Rockwell Automation site. The manufacturer of the touchscreen interface is not mentioned (relevant page is #159). Also, the series number for this unit is 6180-Exxxxxxx, and the chart showing IRQ settings only goes up to series D. At any rate, the touchscreen appears to be connected to an IRQ -- is there an easy way to check this? (I haven't fiddled with IRQs since the Bad Old Days.)

I also found the manual for the 6181 series [pdf], which I figured would be similar, but which appears to be a totally different unit. This one says I need to install a driver from ELO Touchsystems, or one from Touchko. I tried both (under XP) and neither driver worked at all.

Does anyone have experience with these systems? I just need a working driver, really. I'll downgrade to a previous version of Windows if necessary. Hell, I'll even run Linux. I think when we first powered on this unit, it was running NT4 (ugh). Sadly, I didn't do a more detailed analysis before nuking the partition, since I thought it would be easy to get this thing working. I guess not. Please hope me?
posted by neckro23 to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Best answer: found this zip, dunno anything about the device tho.
posted by duckstab at 2:26 PM on February 5, 2008

you have an Allen-Bradley from Rockwell? Make sure your hydrocoptic marsel veins are properly fitted to the ambifacient lunar wane shaft. I watched this video, it has the answers that you need.

aw c'mon! how many of us immediately thought of this when reading neckro's question??
posted by seawallrunner at 2:29 PM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Sounds like you have a RAC6180 Industrial Computer, but it's hard to say unless you post the pics. Does it look something like this? RAC6180

If so, here's the manual for it: RAC6180 Manual

I've used these, and many others like it in the past, and I'll tell you from past experience, they were (and currently are) a pain in the ass to work with for their designed purpose, much less something they weren't designed for.

There is a specialized software package (RSView) that will let you program the HMI interface for it, but at a cost of $3k, it's probably not worth buying. You can try your luck at finding it through other channels though.
posted by nkeown at 3:24 PM on February 5, 2008

Via googling for "rockwell 6180 driver". There are a few different ones available.
posted by rhizome at 3:27 PM on February 5, 2008

Best answer: Arg! I had previously found the driver that duckstab linked to, but ignored it in my Quest For Drivers because it refused to install under XP.

It installs fine under 2k. Set the connection to IRQ5 (as indicated in the manual for the Dxxxx series), and voila! It's alive!

seawallrunner: I've seen that video before, very funny... the unit I have here is similar to the touchscreen you can see in the video. Apparently these things go for about $10k new.
posted by neckro23 at 9:58 PM on February 5, 2008

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