Naming your New Redundancy Kit Baby - aka "Failure to Launch"

While rediscovering the joys of the Redundancy Kit in PACProject Professional V9.1 I found today another obscure error window in OptoControl Professional, that might be nice to share with the Opto Community. If you discover the same window, then it may or not be comforting to know that someone else was there first. As you can see it’s pretty informative!


The error window occurs when you try to select the PAC Redundancy Manager (Right Click over Control Engines). Glaring at the error window, I wandered around the PACControl options, looking for configurable menus or application launcher options, without success. Worst of all is that I had the definite warm fuzzy feeling that it had worked properly before I went for coffee!

Retracing my steps to the scene of the crime, I realised that it was not mine, nor Opto22’s fault, but Bill Gates himself. Since the birth of Bill Gates, as an industry we have never got to grips with the use of case sensitivity or using spaces in variables. I suspect the rules vary according to which version of Windows you are using, or maybe just how the Microsoft programmer felt when getting up that morning. Maybe the real reason I have never found anyone to explain the rules is because there aren’t any!

In this case the problem is way over in PACTerminal, in the Control Engine Name you used to describe the complete Redundant Family: Daddy Controller, Mummy Controller and baby Arbiter (Latin for “judge, supreme ruler.”)


As Tom Edwards would say, “Sometimes the problem is so near to you, you just can’t see it!”. If you include a space character in the Control Engine Name, then the batch file that PAC Project uses to launch the redundancy manager program cannot find the controller information in the registry. (Maybe its not Billy G’s fault after all) Good news is that you can easily fix it by renaming the Control Engine Name in PACTerminal to not include spaces as in the corrected example below. [B]

SNAP-PAC-ROK-DemoSuitcase[/B] not SNAP-PAC-ROC-Demo Suitcase.

In this case you can nearly feel the difference!


The PAC Redundancy Manager will then launch correctly. For those of you who have not seen a PAC Redundancy Manager in captivity, the following should help you identify it.


Finally if this thread has helped you, please ask you boss your hourly rate and feel free to forward me a cheque for that amount in Euros!



Thanks very much for the nice reminder to never, ever, like ever, name your controllers with spaces in them!!

Mary and I are squabbling (like Wonder Twins do) over who can start a thread on how to set up PAC Terminal and the PAC Sim to show the power of the controller name. Your thread is a nice reminder for me to be sure and mention the ‘no space’ controller name rule.

Regarding your payment… since I am closer to 200 posts than you, I think you will be buying me the beer (I have it in writing, so you cant get out of it!)…



Why not just castrate PACTerminal so it doesn’t allow you to baptise controllers using the space characters? Then we could all go home early!

George - this is not directly related to the thread, but it is about the ROK…and from your posts I take it you’ve got experience. I am configuring one right now, and at the point of “System Checkout” it is telling me the “serial connection between arbiter and controller (for both 1 and 2)” have a problem. I’ve checked wiring pretty thoroughly (good terminations, proper terminals, continuity). CTR2 on the arbiter has Tx and Rx blinking as are the corresponding Tx/Rx on Controller 2. CTR1 on the arbiter (and corresponding on Controller 1) are not lit up at all. When I remove the terminal block from the arbiter for CTR2, Tx continues to blink. The controllers are S2’s. In PAC Manager, both their Serial Port 2 (the ones used in Redundancy) show the identical settings. Those settings FYI are "Control Function = None, Logging = Disabled, Mode = 2-Wire RS485, Termination, Bias. I did not set these, they were what showed up.