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Using a C Series module as an EtherCAT master

The Ethernet ports on our cRIO(s) are currently accounted for but we would like to add an EtherCAT slave to the system (using the cRIO as the master).

 

Can this be done with the C Series EtherCAT Interface Module (https://www.ni.com/en-us/shop/hardware/products/c-series-ethercat-interface-module.html)?

 

The reason I am skeptical is because this is specifically an EtherCAT *slave* module. Can the cRIO be the master through the backplane to send/receive data using this module simply as a com port? From what I have read to configure the cRIO as the master, the onboard ethernet port must be configured to be EtherCAT. The fact that this module is specifically as slave does not instill confidence that it can be used as a master.

 

Any info would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

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yeah it cannot be used as a master. I looked into a few years ago. The only option (with NI hardware) is using one of NI's industrial computers with 3 or 5 ethernet ports. The IC-3xxx series.

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I've been speaking with NI support on this issue and unfortunately due to limitations on both ends, we will not be going with EtherCAT for this solution.

At the end of the day, you need a spare port on the cRIO to act as the EtherCAT Master and it seems anything beyond that would be work arounds. Ie attempting to free up an onboard port by using a TSN enabled ethernet switch (NI 9805) or by using an auxilary cRIO like a 9040 to solely act as the EtherCAT master.

It would be great if NI (or a HW partner) made a C-Series ethernet card that connected to the backplane so that we could use it in cases like this.

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