Pepperl+Fuchs Blog

Configuring the UC-F77 Ultrasonic Sensor with PACTware Software

Posted by Eric Miller on Tue, Aug 08, 2017

Our UC-F77 ultrasonic sensor is easy to set up and program using PACTware Connection Wizard software. In the video below, I'll show you how to configure the sensor and also demonstrate some of its unique features. One of my favorite new features is that it solves a common problem for ultrasonic sensors: It allows suppression of echoes from false targets.

UC-F77 Ultrasonic Sensor


Hi, I'm Eric Miller from the technical support team here at Pepperl+Fuchs. Today I'm going to cover how to configure the new UC-F77 ultrasonic sensor using PACTware Wizard software. Then, I am going to do a short demonstration highlighting some of the main features of this ultrasonic sensor and the software.

Here are the physical components we will need for this demo:

To get started, we need to download the IO-Link Connection Wizard and the DTM files for the sensor in the IO-Link master. These DTM files are the driver files that are necessary to communicate between the sensor and the computer. Locate the Wizard and sensor DTM files on our website by searching for the sensor UC400-F77-IU-IO-V31 in the search box. Once you are on the sensor page, click on the software tab. There, you will see two ZIP files. One is for the connection Wizard, while the other is for the F77 DTM files. Download both of these individually to your PC. It is important to note that the group of F77 DTM files is the same, no matter what series IO F77 ultrasonic sensor page you download it from.

Next, we need the IO-Link DTM- Search for IO-Link-Master02-USB. When you get to the product page, click on the software tab, and download the DTM file to your PC.

Putting the UC-F77 ultrasonic sensor into IO-Link mode

Once powered up, the all-important first step needs to take place. In order to communicate with the computer, the analog-version sensors need to be put into IO-Link mode. To do this, press and hold the pushbutton for five seconds. The green LED should now be flashing. One flash is rising ramp, two flashes is falling ramp, and three flashes is IO-Link mode. Toggle through, using the pushbutton, until you have three flashes for IO-Link mode. Then, press and hold the pushbutton for two seconds to accept the teach. Any time the power gets disconnected, the sensor will default back to rising ramp. If you are using a discrete sensor version, then IO-Link will connect automatically.

Now, open up the Pepperl+Fuchs IO-Link Connection Wizard from your PC. The wizard will automatically connect to the IO-Link master and the sensor. Double-clicking the sensor after it connects will bring up the sensor information.

In the sensor parameters panel, there are seven different tabs. Most of these are self-explanatory, so I am only going to highlight a few of the unique application-solvers. First, let's look under the output configuration tab. Here, with an analog sensor, you can select a rising or falling ramp, and a current or voltage output. You can also enter the numeric near and far sensing limits in millimeters, or click the determine button, and that will automatically determine the limits based on an actual target position.

Next, we'll look at the sensors configuration tab. Here, you can select the beam width. By clicking on the 'advanced' button, it will give you the ability to set small, medium, and wide beam widths to different percentage levels. It permits ten different beam widths. Also in this window, there is a synchronization tab, which allows you to synchronize multiple sensors to avoid crosstalk. An echo-loss tab lets you set a defined output status if the sensor receives no echo pulse.

The next tab is the analysis and echo suppression window. This feature is the main focus of the demonstration coming up. It allows you to isolate and suppress undesirable echoes received by the transducer, ignoring objects that you don't want to detect. In this tab, you can automatically suppress echoes, or manually set up to ten points to suppress.

At the top of the window, you can select how many echoes to sample, and how many of those samples are displayed in the graphic. The graphic shows the distance to all objects seen by the sensor, and amplitude of received sound from each of those objects. We'll revisit this tab in a moment.

Lastly, the observation tab shows the distance from the sensor to the primary target in millimeters. The analog current or voltage value can be shown as well by selecting the output analog checkbox. Right now, the sensor is seeing the door knobs on the cabinet, at about 225 millimeters away. As you can see, the output can be sporadic, based on the environment the sensor is in and the reflective qualities of the target. Slowing down the interval can give a steadier reading, as seen here.

Demonstration of UC-F77 ultrasonic sensor

In this demonstration, the sensor is mounted on top of the cabinet assembly, looking straight down. Out of the box, the sensor's output is activated due to the cabinet door knobs. There is no way to know if the sensor is seeing a target past the knobs. Due to the new capabilities of the UC-F77 ultrasonic sensor, you are now able to suppress the sound reflections from the door knobs and anything else the sensor may be seeing with no target in sight.  Let's take a look in the software to see what the sensor sees.

In the analysis and echo suppression tab, let's select "50 cycles" and "all samples" to see the most prominent sound reflections the sensor receives. Click the "start" button to begin receiving the data from the sensor. The three reflections it sees are from the door knobs, the lip of the cabinet at the bottom, and the table surface. Using automatic echo suppression, let's suppress those three competing disturbances. If you'd like to change the size of one of the suppression areas, you can click on it and drag it to the size that you want.

Let's go back to the sensor and cabinet setup to see how the sensor functions now. With those unwanted reflections eliminated, you can now get a continuous output from below the door knobs all the way up to the deadband of the sensor. This capability opens up a wide variety of new applications, where an immovable object would have previously prohibited the use of an ultrasonic sensor.

I hope this video has familiarized you with the new PACTware Wizard and helps you and your new UC-F77 ultrasonic sensor get up and running quickly. Any comments or questions can be left in the comments section here on the blog, or feel free to contact our technical support team.

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Topics: Ultrasonic Sensors

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