So you need to update your PanelView Plus time, date, screensaver, IP address, or other setting but can't figure out how to access it's configuration menu?
Well don't feel too bad as Rockwell hasn't always made this an easy task.
And when you power up a PanelView Plus for the first time, this is the screen you see displayed on the terminal.
That said, when a ViewME runtime is downloaded and set to “auto-run,” it becomes the default display in place of the configuration menu.
And while most programmers know they should always include a “goto config” button in their project, when they forget just getting back into the configuration menu can be a real chore with certain PanelView Plus versions.
Back in the day…
When the PanelView Plus first came out (version 3.0,) if a project was set to autorun and had no “goto config” button anywhere in the project, I would typically just download a new project that had a “goto config” button.
When those weren't available, I would resort to disassembling the unit, pulling out the internal compactflash card, and then moving all the .MER application files from the card to my computer.
This way, when the reassembled PVPlus booted and didn't find the .MER file set to autorun, it was forced to return to the configuration menu.
Firmware 3.20.09 Made things easier, at least up to 5.1…
Thankfully when Rockwell released firmware 3.20.09, they added in an easy way to get into the configuration mode on boot.
With this and subsequent firmware versions all the way to 5.1, when you powered on (or reset) your PVPlus, during the boot process you would see a small white square on the bottom left of the screen appear for two seconds.
And if on a touch screen you touched the white square, or on a keyboard model you pressed the F1 key while the square was present, the terminal would bypass the default .MER application and go directly into the configuration menu.
If the story ended here, it would've been a happy ending…
Then came the PanelView Plus 6 with version 6.0 firmware, in which Rockwell removed the white square and F1 functionality.
In its place they added a procedure which required plugging a USB keyboard into the back of the terminal.
Needless to say, not too many users were enamored with the idea of having to open the electrical enclosure to plug in a keyboard just to change the settings of their HMI.
Unfortunately, this feature is not turned on by default.
To enable it, you must first exit the configuration menu, and open the system app in the control panel of the PanelView Plus's Windows CE operating system.
Then on the startup options tab you need to enable the detection of safe mode, and save your setting by pressing ok.
As you can imagine, this setting often goes unchanged.
A simpler way…
If you find your PanelView Plus doesn't display the white square during boot, and simply adding a “goto config” button to the project and re-downloading it is not an option, you may want to use an autorun.bat script.
Using some simple command line text commands, you can create a text script that will copy all your .MER applications off of your PanelView Plus to your USB flash drive, so when you cycle power the terminal and it doesn't find any applications it is forced to return to the configuration menu.
The script simply has to be named autorun.bat, and be placed in the root folder of a supported USB Thumb Drive that is then inserted into the PVPlus in question.
To find out more about writing your own autorun.bat file, see my previous article:
And for a video version of this article, see the below episode of The Automation Minute: