Industrial Message Displays are similar to what you see in many store windows .

But these text displays are designed to be mounted in an industrial environment.

Typically they are connected to a Programmable Controller by way of an industrial network, however some models are hard wired directly to PLC I/O.

DataLiner:

Allen-Bradley DatalinersAllen-Bradley's first line of message displays was known as the “DataLiner” series.

Over time this series grew to included the DL-5, DL-10, DL-20, DL-30, DL-40 and DL-50.

Each model differed in display size, number of text lines, memory size (number of messages that could be stored,) and communications interface (how the messages were triggered.)

Most models, including the DL-5, DL-20, DL-30, and DL-40 could be programmed with PC based software or dumb terminal.

The models that could not, the DL-10 and DL50, were “slave displays” with no internal memory.

MessageView:

Allen-Bradley's second line of message display products, the MessageView, programmed with software which I honestly found easy to use and very similar to PanelBuilder 32.

Unfortunately, to get this software today you'll need a Tech Connect to access a Rockwell Knowledgebase document with links to download it (search the Knowledgebase on MessageView software, or MessageBuilder.)

InView:

Allen-Bradley InViewAllen-Bradley's third (and final) line of message displays was the InView.

Of the three product lines, you may find setting up any communications (other than serial) very frustrating.

The rumor was that Rockwell just took the existing communication modules from the PanelView line of HMIs and loaded them with “network to serial” translate firmware.

Which seemed to make sense as the comm setup for those modules was totally unlike the InView software, and the communication modules came in off the shelf black box enclosures.

Personally, I had to write my own tech note to get them to work semi-reliably.

Fast forward to January 2012, and Rockwell decides to get out of the message display business, passing on the sales and marketing of the InView product line to its long time encompass partner Spectrum Controls.

Well aware of the programming difficulties people were having with the InView add-on comm modules, Spectrum announced it was releasing its own networking modules in 2014.


Where to find Allen-Bradley DataLiner and InView Message Display Software:

The following downloads are completely and legitimately free as they have been made available by Rockwell Automation itself:

UPDATE 07/28/16: Over the last couple of years all the below links have stopped working.


Free Software Downloads From Rockwell Software Download ListingFree Dataliner 5 (DL-5) Programming Software, 2706-NP5, is available on the Rockwell Software downloads website using the below link:

Note: This model can also be programmed using a “dumb terminal” (like Rockwell's 1770-Tx series) or a “terminal emulator” like Window's “HyperTemrinal”


Allen-Bradley Dataliner 2706-B23J16Free Dataliner 20 (DL-20) Programming Software, 2706-NP3, is available on the Rockwell Automation Knowledgebase using the below link (free website login required:)

Note: This model can also be programmed with either (1) a special keyboard (2711-NK1 or 2) or (2) using a “dumb terminal” (like Rockwell's 1770-Tx series) or a “terminal emulator” like Window's “HyperTemrinal”


Allen-Bradley Dataliner DL30Free Dataliner 30 (DL-30) Programming Software, 2706-NP1 or NP2, is available on the Rockwell Software downloads website using the below link:

Note: This model can also be programmed with either (1) a special keyboard (2711-NK1 or 2) or (2) using a “dumb terminal” (like Rockwell's 1770-Tx series) or a “terminal emulator” like Window's “HyperTemrinal”


Allen-Bradley Dataliner Free Dataliner 40 (DL-40) Programming Software, 2706-ND1, is available on the Rockwell Software downloads website using the below link:

Note: This model can also be programmed using a “dumb terminal” (like Rockwell's 1770-Tx series) or a “terminal emulator” like Window's “HyperTemrinal”


Allen-Bradley InViewFree InView Programming Software, 2706-PSW1, is available on the Rockwell Software downloads website using the below link:


I hope you've found the above article about Allen-Bradley Message Displays helpful.

If you have any questions, comments, or corrections please don't hesitate to leave them with us by filling out the “post a comment or question” for at the bottom of this page.

Sincerely,

Shawn Tierney
Automation Instructor and Blogger
If you enjoyed my article, you may like my courses at TheAutomationSchool.com


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