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Message ID: 15253     Entry time: Wed Mar 4 22:38:31 2020
Author: Jon 
Type: Update 
Category: PSL 
Subject: c1psl communications problem resolved 

I investigated the problem reported earlier today with the BIO1 channels. By logging the systemd messages generated when the IOC starts, I was immediately able to determine that the problem was not limited to BIO1. The modbus communications were failing for several other units as well.

Because some in-situ rewiring of a handful of channels had recently been done (more on this soon), I initially suspected that one of the Acromags had been damaged in the process. However, removing BIO1 (or other non-communicating modules) did not restore communications with the rest of the modules. To test whether the chassis was the source of the problem at all, we set up a fresh ADC (new out of the package) and directly connected it to the secondary Ethernet interface of c1psl. With only the one new ADC connected, the modbus IOC failed in exactly the same way.

To confirm that the new ADC did in fact work, we connected it to c1auxex in the same configuration. The unit worked fine connected to c1auxex. This established that the source of the problem was the c1psl host. After some extensive debugging, I traced the problem to a pre-execution script (part of the modbus IOC systemd service) which resets the secondary network interface (the one connected to the Acromag chassis) prior to launching the IOC. This was to ensure the secondary interface always had the correct IP address. It appears this reset was somehow creating a race condition that allowed the modbus initializations (first communications with the Acromags) to sometimes start before the network interface had actually come back up.

I still don't understand how this was happening, or why the pre script worked just fine up until yesterday, but eliminating the network interface reset fixes the problem in 100% of the trials we ran. Unfortunately we lost the entire day to debugging this problem, so the final round of testing is still to be completed. We plan to pick it back up tomorrow afternoon.

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