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Sepam 40 - problem connecting with SFT2841 through the front port if one or more configured hardware accessories is not installed.

For Sepam Series 20 and Series 80 relays, it is usually always possible to connect with the SFT2841 software to the front port of the relay, even if you have defined an accessory (e.g., the MES114 I/O card) but that accessory has been physically disconnected from the relay.

For certain older firmware versions on the Sepam 40 relays, it was sometimes possible to get into a situation where the SFT2841 software could not connect through the front port.

Causes and Symptoms

This situation can be identified by the following symptoms:
1) SFT2841 cannot connect through the front port.  SFT2841 can connect successfully to other relays using the same computer, and you do not suspect a major hardware failure with the base unit in question.
2) the "Spanner 1" or "Key 1" error is displayed on the Sepam HMI when the unit is powered on.  This indicates that one or more configured hardware accessories (e.g., the MES114 module) is missing.

This situation has arisen previously when a relay has been uninstalled from a cubicle in perfect order, and then delivered without any of the hardware accessories to another office for analysis.  This may cause the person receiving the relay to suspect a major internal hardware fault, when in fact the relay may be working normally.

A modification in the latest firmware versions for the Sepam 40 has been made, and this issue should not be a problem for all units delivered after 2013.  However, it may occur for Sepam 40 relays which fall into the following categories:
a) a Sepam 40 relay running V7.xx firmware, delivered from the second half of 2009, up to the end of the year 2011.
b) an older Sepam 40 relay running firmware version V5.00 or lower, delivered before 2007.

Resolution

There are 2 ways to work around this issue.

1.  Use the SFT SAV diagnostic software to connect to the relay.  The SFT SAV software should always be able to communicate with a Sepam 40 relay, regardless of whether or not any hardware accessories are missing.  If you connect and generate an SFT SAV report, you simply need to verify that no major internal faults have occurred.  If you see Current Faults inside the SFT SAV report such as "ABS. CCx," then this tells that there is a problem with missing accessories on this relay.  Simply replace the missing accessories using spare parts in your work area, and make a complete power reset of the relay.  The relay should now power on without any "Spanner 1" error, and you should be able to connect with the SFT2841 software.

2.  Alternatively, you can also request a Firmware Patch to the latest version for your Sepam 40 relay.  The latest firmware versions for all hardware revisions of the Sepam 40 should allow SFT2841 to connect even if some hardware accessories are not connected.  For example, for Hardware Revision 4 (Unit 4) Sepam 40 relays, you can patch the relay to V8.x firmware.  For Unit 3 relays, you can patch the relay to V6.x firmware.  In both cases, SFT2841 should now be able to connect after the firmware patch.  This second method can be useful if you do not have certain required accessories available to you in your office.


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