AB PanelView Plus Cursor Issue

I recently integrated a job with an AB CompactLogix L35E and a Panelview Plus 600 (AB 2711P-T620D), 6" color touchpanel. Due to the many operator functions in my project, the cursor (small arrow) which acts like a mouse pointer was really getting in the way. Disabling the cursor is a simple matter - normally. All one must do is enter the Configuration Mode, select the "Terminal Settings" button on the display, then select "Display" on the menu options list. Once in display, select "Cursor" from the list. On the Cursor page, there is a button which toggles the cursor from "Enabled" to "Disabled". Once you disable it and then hit the "OK" button on the screen, the cursor should immediately disappear; however, mine did not. I re-disabled it and then rebooted the terminal, hoping that it just needed to be refreshed. No luck. I piddled around with this issue for about an hour and a half and finally called my local distributor for technical support. I was initially concerned that my panel firmware was not executing correctly and that perhaps I had a corrupted product.

My distributor did some checking and got back to me in short order after talking to the Rockwell engineers. They asked me to check the firmware revision of my panel. My firmware version was 5.06.09. Apparently, there's been a bad batch of PV 600's with that particular firmware and it was suggested that I update the firmware to resolve the issue. No problem, I thought. I'll just update the firmware and that'll be that.

If you've never had to update the firmware of a Panelview Plus 600, then consider yourself lucky. It will be an exercise in frustration. I went the AB site to find the firmware and did so without much difficulty. Go HERE for the Panelview Plus firmware download page. The link will lead you to an approximately 17MB installer. You must download and Run this installer, which I did. So far, so good. Once the installer was running and the firmware was extracted, I was directed to a screen which gave me the option of how to download the firmware to the PanelView, either using the Ethernet/IP interface, the RS232 interface, or by using the Transfer Utility within the FactoryTalk View ME software. I decided to utilize the Ethernet/IP interface, as I was already connected to the unit. The download began and I was hoping that my cursor issue would soon be resolved. Then, and error window popped up which indicated that the PanelView Plus 600 RAM was inadequate to accommodate the download of firmware. Ugh! After several unsuccessful attempts, I went back to the firmware installer and re-visited my options.

As I was scrolling thru the possible installation options, one particular choice caught my eye: Create a Firmware Card. Sounded promising. I selected this option and a caption popped up which gave me a choice of firmware extraction locations. I stuck in a thumb drive and navigated to it for extraction. The extraction utility ran thru completion. I took out the thumb drive and inserted it into the USB slot of the PanelView Plus. I messed around inside the configuration utility looking for a way to initiate the firmware transfer. I was pleased to find that the firmware transfer began automatically. The PanelView Plus defaulted back to a Windows CE screen and the firmware began to install. After about 20 minutes (yes, that was 20 minutes!!!), the transfer was complete and the firmware was installed. MY PV+ 600 was now version 5.10.06.

After successful upgrading of the firmware, I repeated the initial steps above to disable the cursor. This time it worked! Although the firmware utility isn't the most intuitive utility out there, it did manage to get the job done. I probably would have gotten to the end quicker had I called AB technical support; however, I'm one of those guys who likes to have a real problem before I call on AB. A pride thing, I guess. So, if you're ever having difficulty with the configuration of your PanelView Plus HMI, check to see if you have the latest firmware.