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IEC870 Interface Guide

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GEC ALSTHOM T&D PROTECTION & CONTROL LIMITED, St Leonards Works, Stafford ST17 4LX, England
Tel: 01785 223251 Telex: 36240 Fax: 01785 212232
Preface 2

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Preface 3

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Table of Contents 4

Preface

This document details the IEC870 communication standard used on GEC ALSTHOM T&D
Protection & Control relays in sufficient detail to enable third parties to interface these relays to other
systems and to develop other slave devices (relays) which utilise this communication system. It
describes how messages are formed and transmitted from one device to another. It does not describe
what the messages mean as this is dependent on the application to which IEC870 is put and the
particular format of the data that is transmitted.

This guide should be used with the appropriate user guide for the particular application that the
IEC870 system will be used with.

The information and illustrations found in this book are not binding. GEC ALSTHOM T&D
Protection & Control Ltd. reserve the right to modify products in line with a policy of continuous
product improvement. Information in this document is subject to change without notice.

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Table of Contents 5

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Table of Contents Page

List of Figures Page

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Chapter 0: 1IEC870 Communication Standard

IEC870 is an international standard communication system which was developed for telecontrol
applications. It defines two areas of application, unbalanced operation (master to slave) and balanced
operation (peer to peer). GEC ALSTHOM T&D P & C (Stafford) have decided to implement frame
format FT1.2 with variable length in the unbalanced mode.

The IEC870 standard (References 1 & 2) defines layers 1 & 2 in the Open System Interface (OSI)
communication 7 layer model. The GEC ALSTHOM T&D P & C (Stafford) implementation uses the
"enhanced performance architecture" which combines the functions of layers 3 to 7 in a single
application layer. This application layer is referred to as the Courier communication protocol.

This document describes the frame structure of the IEC870 FT1.2 messages as implemented by GEC
ALSTHOM T&D P & C (Stafford) together with an overview of the communication procedures. Full
details of the transmission and reception procedures to be followed by an outstation may be found in
the document "Standard Coding Model for an IEC870 FT1.2 Outstation" (Reference 3).

0.0. 1PHYSICAL LAYER


This part of the model defines the physical medium of the communication standard and how it is
connected.

0.1.0. 1TRANSMISSION MEDIUM


Recommended cable:
Multi-core with outer screen, minimum conductor size 7/0.2mm, generally to DEF STANDARD 16-
12 Part 4
e.g. Belden 9933
UL 2919

Connection Method
IEC870 is normally connected in a point to point manner, although multi-drop systems may be
achieved by utilising the splitter units (Model GT0023) supplied by GEC ALSTHOM T&D P & C
(Stafford). The IEC870 network thus fashioned must contain one Master Control Unit located at the
top of the tree. The total IEC870 network from the Master Control Unit to the farthest slave device is
known as a spur.

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Cable Termination:
IEC870 connections will typically be by means of 25pin D-type connectors.

Typical Connector Pinout:

Pin Number Signal Name Signal Function Signal Direction


Essential Signals
1 PG - Protective Ground Screen connection N/A
2 TXD - Transmitted Data Serial data output Output
3 RXD - Received Data Serial data input Input
7 SG - Signal Ground Signal reference level N/A
Control Signals
4 RTS - Ready to Send Unit has data to send Output
5 CTS - Clear to Send Intermediate device can accept data to Input
send
6 DSR - Data Set Ready Intermediate device can communicate Input
8 DCD - Data Carrier Detected Intermediate device has received valid Input
carrier signal
20 DTR - Data Terminal Ready Unit is ready to communicate Output
Power Signals
9 +12V Power for intermediate units Input/Output
10 - 12V Power for intermediate units Input/Output

The two data lines and the two ground connections are essential for the operation of the
communication link. The other signals provide control or power for intermediate devices such as
modems or splitter units and may not be required when these devices are not used. It should be noted
that not all intermediate devices will supply all the control signals and a certain amount of flexibility
in connection of these signals will be required.

Maximum length of Single Connection:


15m or 2500pF total capacitance (core to core and core to screen)

Maximum Slave Devices per Spur:


32.

0.1.0. 2IEC870 ELECTRICAL STANDARD:


Voltage Signals:
Based on RS232 voltage levels:
Loaded driver output = 5V to 15V (3kW load).
Driver short-circuit current £ 500mA
Receiver input range = 25V.
Receiver input sensitivity = 3V

0.1.0. 3TRANSMISSION METHOD


Transmission :
Half Duplex asynchronous transmission.

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Transmission Rate:
Variable up to 20Kbits/Sec with the following preferred rates
600 Bits/Sec
1200 Bits/Sec
2400 Bits/Sec
4800 Bits/Sec
9600 Bits/Sec
19200 Bits/Sec

0.0. 2DATA LINK LAYER

0.1.0. 4MEDIA ACCESS


The media access layer defines how access is obtained on the media to transport data.

IEC870 messages are transmitted as frames as defined below. These frames consist of eight bit data
values transmitted least significant bit first, with an even parity bit appended. The characters are
framed by one start bit and one stop bit. The characters that constitute a frame should be transmitted
without any idle time between them. There should be a minimum interval of three character periods
(33 bit periods) between frames transmitted by the master station.

Start Length Length Byte Start Information field Checksum End Byte
Byte Byte Byte
68h LL Repeated 68h xx xx ...... xx xx xx 16h
Figure 0. IEC870 message frame.

A frame begins with a start byte of 68h and is terminated by an end byte of 16h. The start byte is
followed by a single byte indicating the number of bytes in the information field which is repeated.
The frame header is completed by a second start byte.

The byte immediately preceding the end byte is a checksum calculated over the whole of the
information field. This checksum may be calculated by performing a modulo 256 addition of all the
bytes involved (i.e. the addition of the byte values ignoring any carries).

The information field is located between the second start byte and the checksum field.

0.1.0. 5LOGICAL LINK


The logical link layer defines the additions to a valid IEC870 frame for device addressing purposes as
well as the operation of the control byte. Received frames that fail any of the checks should be
discarded.

Information Field:

Control Byte Unit Address Network Address Data field


CC UU {AA..AA} 00 dd..dd
Figure 0. Information field format.

Control Byte
This byte contains the following fields in messages transmitted from the master device
MSB Bit Number LSB
7 6 5 4 3-0

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Reserved Primary Frame Check Bit Frame Check Function Code


Valid
(0) PRM (1) FCB FCV

In messages transmitted to the master device the control byte has the following format
MSB Bit Number LSB
7 6 5 4 3-0
Reserved Primary Access Data Flow Function Code
Control
(0) PRM (0) ACD (0) DFC (0)

The ACD and DFC bits are not used by the Courier implementation, and will always be set to zero.

The Courier protocol only supports a sub-set of the functions included within the IEC870 standard, in
messages from the master device the supported functions are:

Function Code Value Frame Check Valid


Reset Remote Link 00h No*
Send - No Reply 04h No
Request Class 2 Data 0Bh Yes

The reset remote link function expects both the FCV bit and the FCB bit to be zero, the frame is
rejected otherwise.

In messages to the master the functions supported by Courier are:

Function Code Value


Confirm 00h
Data Reply 08h

The unit address field designates the destination device in request messages from a master control unit
to a slave device and the source device in response messages from a slave device to a master control
unit. A slave device should only receive messages with a unit address field matching its own device
address, a programmed group address or the global address of 255. Master control units should accept
all messages from slave devices regardless of the address field. The network address field is between
1 and 6 bytes in size and is terminated by a zero byte. The network address is used to identify
subservient units in a multi-tier hierarchical system as described in the network address section of the
Courier protocol. A slave device expects to find a zero terminator as the only element of the network
address field, and will reject the frame should any other value be found.

The Data Field of the information field is totally transparent and the information can take on any form
and contain any binary bit combination.

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References

1. IEC870 standard Part 5 Section 1 "Transmission frame formats"


Published by:- International Electrotechnical Committee
2. IEC870 standard Part 5 Section 2 "Link transmission procedures"
Published by:- International Electrotechnical Committee
3. "Standard Coding Model for an IEC870 Outstation"
Internal GEC ALSTHOM T&D P & C (Stafford) document

AMENDMENTS

Issue Date Changes


A 06/05/93 First Issue
B 20/05/93 Changed headers.
C 12/04/95 Changed fonts

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