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Using ASE2000 to send a freeze command to an ION meter with DNP protocol

In cases where there is communication problem using DNP protocol, a test set is necessary to identify and troubleshoot the issue.

Product Line
Any ION meter that support DNP protocol.
While any device that supports DNP protocol can be used, this article is written specifically for ION meters.

ASE2000 is a test set used by the hardware department to validate DNP communications with ION meters.  As such this software will be used for this demonstration.

To verify correctness of DNP implementation in ION meters.

ASE2000 can be used as a master station simulator for DNP3.0 protocol. A trial version can be downloaded from Applied Systems Engineering website:

- Refer to DNP 3.0 and PowerLogic ION Technology technical note (70072-0105-02) to setup ION meter as DNP slave. This document has DNP architecture overview as well.
- Refer to PowerLogic ION8650 DNP 3.0 device profile technical note (70022-0126-00) for description of DNP 3.0 communication protocol employed by each ION meter.

This article demonstrates how to setup ASE2000 to send a freeze command to an ION meter using DNP protocol for:
- Binary Counters
Class 0 Data command will be used to returns all points, including frozen counters, for comparison.

In this test:
- An ION7600 meter will be used.
- Binary Counters 0-3 (a DNP Slave Export module in the default template) will be frozen; these counters refer to real energy (refer to screen shot in step c below).

It is necessary to setup the ION meter to be able to accept freeze commands.

a)  In DNP Slave Options module, change the format from 16-bit to 32-bit for both Binary Counter Static and Frozen Binary Counter Static.  Since energy values could be large numbers, this change will ensure the correct values are read.

b)  Enable 'frozen static objects' for the points that will be frozen in the corresponding DNP Slave Export module.

c)  Create an External Pulse Module and link it to 'Freeze' input of the module that will be frozen.  Save the changes to the template.
If the trigger input is not connected, the module will become offline.

- The Freeze input acts internally as though a DNP freeze command were executed on the communications port. The input freezes all objects that are allowed to be frozen according to the module setup.
- For an ION8600 meter, it is not necessary to connect the 'freeze' input in the DNP Slave Export module.  As such, step c will not be necessary.

1.  File > Select Protocol:

2.  In Properties > Protocol-specific:
- (Host tab)  set the IP Address:
Note the port 20000 which is the default DNP port over Ethernet communication.

- (Exchange Defaults tab)  set the slave address; by default this is 100 for ethernet connected ION meters:
This will set the destination address for all commands; as a result it is not necessary to specify the destination address for individual commands.

3.  In Exchange List window, select 'Freeze'; then click on 'Send Once' on the tool bar to initiate a freeze command:

The details of the freeze command are shown in the following screen shot (double click on Freeze to open the property window):

Note the following:
- Application Layer Function: Immediate Freeze
- Object 20: Binary Counter
- Variation 0: Any Variation

4.  After some time (to allow the binary counters to increase), in Exchange List window select 'Class 0 Data' then click on 'Send Once' on the tool bar to parse the DNP points in the meter.

Note: The two screen shots below were taken about 20 minutes apart.  While the frozen counters remained the same, binary counters were increasing.

Click on Send Once a second timem (20 minutes later):


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