EtherCAT to .NET Bridge

I am able to follow along with the example videos for the .NET to EtherCAT bridge (AB9079-C) and can use the PLC simulator to send / receive data from my .NET application to the simulated PLC.

However, I can not use my EtherCAT master with the device; there are no examples provided.

Questions include:

  1. Is the *.xml file in the generated *.zip file folder \EtherCAT the correct ESI file?
  2. If so, why do the parameters as specified in the spreadsheet not show up as inputs and outputs?
  3. There are additional EtherCAT variables for input / output with the phrse ‘handshake’ ; is there a handshaking / initialization sequence needed? If so, where is this documented?

Thank you


The generated XML should be the correct ESI based on the information that was entered into the template spread sheet. I would expect paramaters added their to be inputs and outputs. Is it possible to drag and drop the spread sheet to this thread? If it is private we may want to move over to our private ticket system.

A general PLC programming example can be found in section B.2 of this manual.

All other support information can be found here,

The reason we do not have as much of a specific example for EtherCAT is because there is not as much of a universally accepted network master like with PROFI and Ethernet/IP (Siemens’ TiA and Rockwell’s Studio 5000).

Best regards,


It is the unchanged example_machine.xls spreadsheet.

When I generate my application, I take the XML file in the EtherCAT folder and import it for use with the Beckhoff ET9000 Configurator tool. What are the handshaking signals and how are they used? Where is all of this documented? Are there examples?

Also, when running the example application in .NET, I print out the internal state machine and it appears that there are errors:


Section B of that manual goes over the handshaking signals followed by a general PLC ladder logic example.

In looking at the support page there is also a TwinCAT 3 example, have you review this?

From that screenshot, I am not sure what the errors are at the beginning, however at the end it can be seen that the gateway is in PreOperational. This is not an error state, it is the state that an EtherCAT device can enter that means it has not been set to Operational by the EtherCAT master. Until it is set to Operational it will not communicate using process data.

If the spread sheet is unchained did you leave the number of elements blank?

Best regards,


How do you use the auto generated firmware file? Do you need to upload it to the Anybus device?

You will download the firmware using the Firmware manager II tool. This is described on chapter 5. The tool can be downloaded here,

So do I need to download the firmware to the bridge in order for it to function stand-alone? Ie, not working in simulation mode?

Yes, you are correct.