There are times when we could use software/phantom I/O points when it’s difficult or expensive to collect the hardware to do it. For development/testing, it would be a great convenience if we could create and control an I/O (more precisely, an input) that more-or-less behaved like one of the Real™ EtherCAT I/O points.
What options do we have?
- Do phantom motors have I/O?
- User Buffers (almost nothing documented about this feature—or, at least, I can’t find any)
- While these are memory addresses for which I can access with block I/O, use in user limits, etc., I’d have to create my own “I/O” points for them and they would appear distinct from any genuine EtherCAT I/O, right?
- Is there any way for me to actually control an (otherwise unused) EtherCAT input?
- Can alterations to the EtherCATNodeInfo.xml file allow me to associate an I/O point with some memory address on the drive (I realize this would probably be manufacturer-specific) that I could control with SDOs or something that would effectively give me programmatic control of an input?