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Brooks SmartDDE communication problem

Hi haroun,
I need help using labview to interface with my brooks  mfc 0154E. Could you help me? please email me at
Message 21 of 29



I want to communicate a set of MFCs, 5850E, and a secondary electronics unit, model 0154, with a PC, using LabView.

I have already the Smart DDE software.


First question: 


The Smart DDE is already running in my OS (Windows Vista), however, the Smart DDE does not see the 0154 unit. Does anyone know how the Smart DDE can see the 0154 unit? Do I need a special TAG number or TAG name and if so where I can get it? 


 Second question:


Does anyone have a LabView example interfacing the 0154 unit and 5850E MFC's via PC RS232(using Smart DDE)???



Any help would be marvelous!


Renchow Perez.

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Message 22 of 29

Is it a 154e?


I don't think the others have the Smarts (bad pun).


The MFC's use a proprietary protocol. Check with Brooks for help. They had examples for using the SmartDDE server using LabVIEW.


I have some LV6 code that talks using the SmartDDE interface but I can't give that away for free.


I'll do some checking to see if there is another better option coming soon.





Retired Senior Automation Systems Architect with Data Science Automation LabVIEW Champion Knight of NI and Prepper LinkedIn Profile YouTube Channel
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Message 23 of 29

Dear All,

I read all messages very carefully because I have similar problem to described here by few people. Unfortunately my problem is still unsolved. I mean timeout error occurs when I am trying to connect to Brooks0154 via RS-232. I tried to use SmartDDE software (that I downloaded from internet) and create my own applications in LabView. I opened port and tried to use different tag names as someone proposed (0000000, Channel1) but there is still no communication between 0154 and PC and I do not know what should be done or changed in order to communicate devices. Maybe I should rename channels but I do not know how to do this. 

Can anyone help me to solve my problem?

I am really helpless now.

If someone could send me hints what to do I would be grateful, my email pbujlo(at)

Thank you in advance for your help.



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Message 24 of 29

Hi Peter,


As I mentioned in a previous post it is critical that the controller is a 154e since the "e" indicates the device has the option to allow it to talk serial. If your device is not a a 154e the SmartDDE simply has nothing to talk to.



Retired Senior Automation Systems Architect with Data Science Automation LabVIEW Champion Knight of NI and Prepper LinkedIn Profile YouTube Channel
Message 25 of 29



i have to developp an application with (among many other apparatus) a brooks 0154 controlling 4 MFCs.

I am really new in the field of automation.


So could someone give me some already made "simple" application that allows controlling this box.

(if it is in labview 7.0 better).



Thanks in advance.

It would be of strong help.




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Message 26 of 29

If it is a straight 154 you can use the analog in/out lines to set and monitor.


If its a 154e then life gets complicated and I am not allowed to give away that solution.


If you can't get drivers from Brooks and you have a budget e-mail me and I will see what I can do to help.


But check with Brooks first!



Retired Senior Automation Systems Architect with Data Science Automation LabVIEW Champion Knight of NI and Prepper LinkedIn Profile YouTube Channel
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Message 27 of 29

Hello guys,


Currently, I'm using a Brooks SLA5850 device, but I got some problems with the way to make a connection between those devices. It's the first time I'm programming with Labview. So I need some information about how does it work, how to make all this connections.


Please guys, answear me,


I hope you will answear soon





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Message 28 of 29

Backed up by articles and discussions like

I also have to agree that DDE communication is not quite up to date.

Mind you though, age doesn't neccessarily make this true. I've been using serial communication

for decades, and still am, as this is still a videly used protocol at least in my world of

chemical R&D work.


More important is real world experianence. Back 18 years ago when I started setting up applications

in LabVIEW communicating with 2 x 24 Brooks MassFlow Controllers, I soon found out that

SmartDDE was not the way to go. Could be good enough for only a few controllers,

but for 48 controllers on 2 serial ports, that didn't work at all.


I attacked the HART communication protocol and worked my way through some of the

most important subroutines, and created a library for communication with the Brooks controllers.

Has been working good for me since.


Even though, there are other aspects to consider here also. I prefer to make my applications vendor-indpendent.

In this respect it is not optimal to lock to the Hart-protocol here and Brooks. Another good alternative

is Bronkhorst, especially if you move over to liquid massflow controllers and small ranges. And to

be vendor independent here you could swap over to analog control, which I also have done on a lot of applications.

But then you loose the possibility to send special commands like read-write PID parameters etc.

Another protocol that has become a bit more interesting the last years is then ProfiBus. Both

Brooks and Bronkhorst has this now, which makes it a bit more interesting.


Martin Plassen


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Message 29 of 29