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This document describes the installation, usage, and functionality of the Allen-Bradley Remote I/O (RIO) Scanner software for SoftPLC. (Historically the A-B RIO network has sometimes been called the blue hose.) This software is a TOPDOC Loadable Module (TLM) that extends a SoftPLC runtime engine, enabling it to be a master/scanner on one or more RIO networks. This RIO TLM implements the master or scanner role within the Allen-Bradley Remote I/O protocol.

This functionality is currently only available on Smart SoftPLC's equipped with the Smart A-B RIO Master/Scanner Interface hardware (Cat. No. SM-ABRIOMx). The SM-ABRIOM is a factory installed option.


The SoftPLC runtime engine software supports TLM's, which are shared library extensions to SoftPLC. A TLM may be loaded either as a DRIVER or as a MODULE. The difference between a DRIVER and a MODULE is that a DRIVER is called once per SoftPLC scan, and optionally an additional number of times per scan. A MODULE is only called when the control program decides to call it and not as an inherent part of the scan. TLM's are made known to SoftPLC in the MODULES.LST file which may be edited by TOPDOC NexGen by traversing to: PLC | Modules.

This RIO TLM is a DRIVER and has a number of TOPDOC Loadable Instructions contained within it. These are Ladder Logic instructions that can be used to control or query the operation of the TLM.


  • Supports racks numbered from 0 to 076 (octal).
  • Can scan up to 5 RIO networks concurrently.
  • Supports a 120 ohm termination resistor, software selectable.
  • Supports baud rates of 57600 (56.7Kbaud), 115200 (115.2Kbaud), and 230400 (230.4Kbaud).
  • Block transfer is fully supported.

Required Hardware/Software


  • Smart SoftPLC or Smart Gateway.
  • SM-ABRIOM5 and/or SM-ABRIOM6 Smart A-B RIO Master Interface hardware (one per network).
  • SM-COM6CBLTB - Smart COM6 Port Cable to Din-Rail Terminal Block Assembly (required for SM-ABRIOM6) Includes RJ11 interconnect cable and din-rail terminal block.
  • Belden #9463 Blue Hose connection cable(s) [customer supplied] (one per network).
Only version 2.0 (or later) Smart boards can support more than one A-B RIO interface.


  • Gatecraft Linux 2011A or above
  • SoftPLC version 4.6 runtime or above
  • TOPDOC NexGen 1.6 or above