Communication : A-B DH+/RIO GatewaysShop Online for A-B Gateways

Low cost, powerful A-B gateways

Solutions for Allen-Bradley Remote I/O and Data Highway Plus Migrations

SoftPLC's Smart Gateway is a solution that allows you to upgrade your outdated Allen-Bradley PLC-based control systems in phases - eliminating the need to obtain major project funding and scheduling a lengthy downtime for a complete replacement. Our migration solutions are suitable whether you want to continue to use Rockwell Automation products, or move to another vendor's products. Smart Gateways are perfect solutions when you want to:

Replace Obsolete Components

  • Replace drives (eg: 1336 VFD) on an Allen-Bradley RIO network
  • Replace HMI's (eg: PanelView) on Allen-Bradley RIO network
  • Replace HMI/SCADA on a Data Highway Plus network
  • Replace robots, scales or other equipment on an Allen-Bradley RIO or DH+ network
  • Replace an A-B PLC, while still maintaining existing DH+ communications
  • Replace an A-B PLC, without changing anything else
  • Replace an A-B PLC with a DCS or other brand controller, without changing the RIO
  • Replace RIO/DH+ cabling without changing PLC's or RIO

Expand Existing System

  • Connect new and old systems to a common network
  • Communicate data between devices on different network types
  • Add I/O from another vendor to an existing A-B PLC system
  • Add A-B I/O to an existing A-B PLC system

Click on the Applications tab below to see graphic examples of these and other ways SoftPLC A-B RIO/DH+ Gateways can be used.

    Gateway Functions


    SoftPLC's Smart Gateways are the optimal migration solution for users of Allen-Bradley PLC's - offering the most flexibility and features at the lowest cost.

    • (2) channels for DH+ or RIO, any mix of DH+, RIO Scanner/Master, RIO Adapter/Slave
    • Up to sixteen (16) different user-selectable protocols supported simultaneously*
    • Hundreds of thousands of data points supported in each Gateway
    • Extremely fast data throughput, highly optimized drivers
    • Diagnostics, real-time status monitoring on each communication network
    • Supports user logic for data manipulation (eg: scaling, averaging, comparisons), scheduling, alarm handling, or many other functions
    • Built-in data logging
    • Compatible with all HMI/SCADA systems
    • Optional embedded web server or Web Studio Runtime can act as a built-in virtual HMI
    • Optional embedded firewall with VPN support for secure communications
    • Optional embedded modem for remote access to any attached devices
    • Supports our TagWell cloud platform for remote access via internet

    Smart Gateways are configured using TOPDOC NexGen - included free with your first Gateway purchase!

    Available Protocols

    Gateway Protocols by Model View Table of Supported Protocols

    All Smart Gateways can be user configured for up to 16 simultaneous protocols of any mix. The currently available protocols are listed below, others can be added by SoftPLC or by users with the SoftPLC Programmer's Toolkit. Please contact us for a quote if you are interested in a protocol not listed.

    Protocols implemented via Serial Ports

    • A-B DF1 Serial Full Duplex Master/Slave
    • A-B DF1 Half Duplex Slave
    • A-B RIO RIO Master (Scanner) and RIO Slave (Adapter)*
    • A-B Data Highway Plus (DH+)*
    • Modbus Serial RTU/ASCII, Master and Slave
    • CAN/J1939* (COM6 only)

    Protocols implemented via Ethernet Ports

    • Ethernet/IP Adapter (Slave or Server) and Scanner (Master or Client)
    • A-B DF1 Ethernet (CSP/PCCC) Master (Client) and Slave (Server)
    • Modbus TCP/UDP Master (Client) and Slave (Server)
    • Enron ModbusTCP Master (Client)

    Other model SoftPLC Gateways (Hardbooks) support these additional protocols:

    • ProfiNet Slave*
    • Profibus Master and Slave*
    • DeviceNet Master and Slave*
    • CANopen Master and Slave*
    • CC Link Slave*
    • EtherCAT Master and Slave*
    • Powerlink Slave*
    • SERCOS Master and Slave*
    • ASI Master*
    • Interbus Master*

    * These protocols require factory installed hardware.

    Smart Gateway ports and protocols are configured with TOPDOC NexGen, included free with your first Gateway purchase. Most drivers are configured using a simple editor and a starting template. Many drivers also include diagnostic registers that can be made available to HMI's, other connected devices, email messages/reports, etc.

    Smart Gateway Specifications

    User Memory 63 MB RAM
    Removable Memory 128 MB Compact Flash, expandable to 8GB
    Processor 166 MHz ARM9 CPU, 32-bit
    Ethernet Ports 4-port managed Ethernet switch, 10/100BaseT RJ45 ports (w/ 2 unique host interfaces/MAC-ID's for routing functions)
    Serial Ports Standard Ports:
    - (1) RS-232 w/ full handshake lines, DB9 connector (COM1)
    - (3) RS-232, 3-wire terminal block (COM2-COM4)
    - (1) RS-485 2-wire, 3-wire terminal block (COM5)
    - (1) RJ-11 port, function activated with factory installed option only (see below - COM6)
    COM5 Serial Port Options (Factory Installed, only one allowed - replaces RS-485 default):
    - A-B RIO Master interface, 3-wire terminal block
    - A-B RIO Slave interface, 3-wire terminal block
    - DH+ interface, 3-wire terminal block
    COM6 Serial Port Options (Factory Installed, only one allowed):
    - A-B RIO Master interface *
    - A-B RIO Slave interface *
    - DH+ interface *
    - CAN / J1939 interface *
    - RS-485 2/4 wire *
    - Phone Modem, Dial-In & Dial-Out
            * Requires DIN-rail Terminal Block + Cable (Cat No SM-COM6CBLTB)
    Input Voltage Range 8 ~ 36 VDC
    Power Requirements Maximum 2W normal
    Real Time Clock Battery Free, SuperCap backup good for ~60 days
    Dimensions (HxWxD) 5.75 x 6 x 5.625 in. (146.1 x 152.4 x 142.88 mm)
    Packaging Fanless/Diskless system, DIN-rail mount, Metal enclosure
    Optional Panel Mount Bracket (SM-VBKT)
    Operating Temperature 0 to 60°C (-20~70°C extended temperature version available)
    Storage Temperature -20 to 85°C
    Humidity 0-95%, non-condensing
    GPS Interface Embedded NTP Server
    Security Embedded Gatecraft™ Firewall/VPN option
    SSH server for encrypted data transfer


    Function SoftPLC®
    Smart Gateway SM2G-x
    Ports - (4) Ethernet (managed switch w/ routing (2) MAC ID's)
    - (up to 2) A-B RIO/DH+
    - (4 to 6) serial
    - (1) Ethernet/IP
    - (1) A-B RIO/DH+
    Protocols supported
    (on Drive/
    HMI/PC side)
    Large selection of serial and Ethernet protocols,
    options for fieldbus (eg: Profibus, DeviceNet, etc.)
    Ethernet/IP only
    RIO Slave Support - Up to 2 channels, 32 racks per channel
    - No limits on number of Drives or PanelViews
    other than network protocol limit (eg; 223 for ModbusTCP)
    - 1 channel, 32 racks
    - Limited to (4) Drives or (8) PanelViews
    RIO Master Support Up to 2 channels, 32 racks per channel 1 channel, 32 racks
    DH+ Support - Up to 2 channels, 64 nodes per channel
    - Supports peer-to-peer messaging and HMI communications, but not pass-through for programming
    - Limited to (8) PanelViews
    - Supports pass-through access over Ethernet/IP from PC/PLC/HMI, but not peer-to-peer messaging
    DF1 Support - Up to 4 channels per Gateway, Full/Half-Duplex
    - Supports peer-to-peer messaging, HMI communications, but not pass-through for programming
    - N/A
    Other Functions - Logic and I/O control (can replace the PLC in future!)
    - Data Logging
    - Ethernet Switch, Firewall
    - Virtual HMI/Web Server
    - many more!
    - DH+ Gateway(replaces RIO port)
    Price From $1190 From $1780

    Smart Gateway Models

    Smart Gateway

    A Smart Gateway has a base set of features, to which you can add both hardware and firmware options. Smart Gateways are factory assembled with your selected options, then undergo a system-level test prior to shipment.

    All Smart Gateways include this base set of 9 communication ports:

    • 4-port 10/100MB managed Ethernet switch with two Ethernet interfaces (MAC ID's) to support routing and firewall functions
    • (1) RS-485 + (4) RS-232 serial communications ports

    For very low cost, these factory installed communication port options are also available:

    • Allen-Bradley Remote I/O Master or Slave (Up to 2 ports - replaces COM5 and/or installs at COM6)
    • Allen-Bradley Data Highway Plus (Up to 2 ports - replaces COM5 and/or installs at COM6)
    • Additional RS-485 port, with 2 and 4-wire support (installs at COM6)
    • CAN / J1939 (installs at COM6)
    • Internal serial telephone modem (installs at COM6)

    Configuring your Smart Gateway

    Each Smart Gateway starts with a base unit, then you can add desired A-B interfaces and other options. It's easy to choose options and price your Gateway using the webstore ordering pages, or you can contact us for assistance.

    Select from the following to specify your Smart Gateway hardware configuration:

    Once you specify the hardware configuration, you can then add optional firmware features such as an embedded web server, email/text messaging and more (see Options tab). Power supplies, cables, etc. can be found under the Accessories tab.

    Serial, A-B RIO/DH+ Options

    Serial Communication Options - Must be factory installed
    Specify these factory installed options by appending the desired option suffix(es) to the Catalog Number.
    Suffix COM5 Options - Only one per Smart Gateway
    RS-485 (2-wire) Default Configuration
    ABRIOM5 Allen-Bradley RIO Master Interface, COM5 Replaces default RS-485 port at COM5 (supports 57.6Kb and 115Kb)

    Up to (2) A-B RIO/DH+ interfaces are supported per Smart Gateway
    (1 at COM5 & 1 at COM6)
    ABRIOA5 Allen-Bradley RIO Slave (Adapter) Interface, COM5
    ABDH5 Allen-Bradley DH+ Interface, COM5
    Suffix COM6 Options - Only one per Smart Gateway
    ABRIOM6 Allen-Bradley RIO Master Interface, COM6* (supports 57.6Kb,115Kb and 230Kb) Up to (2) A-B RIO/DH+ interfaces are supported per Smart Gateway
    (1 at COM5 & 1 at COM6)
    ABRIOA6 Allen-Bradley RIO Slave (Adapter) Interface, COM6 *
    ABDH6 Allen-Bradley DH+ Interface, COM6 *
    485 Smart RS-485 Interface, 2 or 4 wire (switch selectable) *
    CAN6 Smart CAN Interface *
    MDM Smart Internal Phone Modem
    * Requires Catalog Number SM-COM6CBLTB to provide a terminal block wire connection for this port.

    Gateway License Size Options

    There are (4) Gateway Sizes, where the selected Size determines the maximum supported number of ModbusTCP Servers (connections) and/or mapped digital I/O points (digital I/O limit only applies to A-B RIO/DH+ enabled Gateways, sized by the A-B definition of logical racks). If ModbusTCP or A-B drivers are not going to be used, select the LT size.

    Gateway Sizes
    Cat No Suffix MBTCP Connections Discrete Inputs Discrete Outputs
    LT 2 128 128
    1K 16 1024 1024
    2K 32 2048 2048
    8K 127 8192 8192


    The table below illustrates some example Smart Gateway assembly catalog numbers.

    Smart Gateway, LT capacity. An example use would be as a bridge from any A-B PLC Ethernet or serial DF1 port to a Modbus device such as a meter, drive, bar code reader, etc.
    Smart Gateway, up to 16 ModbusTCP Server capacity; also equipped as an A-B RIO Adapter. This Gateway could be used to replace, for example, up to 16 RIO-based drives connected to a PLC-5, or to add ModbusTCP I/O devices to a PLC-5 system.
    Smart Gateway, 2K capacity (up to 16 logical A-B racks); equipped for A-B RIO Master on COM5 and DH+ on COM6. This Gateway could be used to replace a PLC-5 CPU, leaving the I/O and networks in place.

    A Smart Gateway is, in reality, a Smart SoftPLC. For more details on advanced features, additional hardware/firmware options and available accessories, refer to the options tab, Smart SoftPLC and universal SoftPLC features information.

    Firmware Options

    In addition to the factory configured hardware options (see "Models" tab), there are a number of software add-on features available. More detailed information on these and other options can be found on this page.


    The SENDMAIL add-on software provides the capability to send SMTP emails and text messages, including attachments such as log files. Useful for remote alarm notification or status and production reporting.   

    SoftPLC Embedded Web Server

    Example SoftPLC HMI Web Page

    Cat. No. SPZ-WEB is an HTTP server that runs in the SoftPLC gateway, there is no additional hardware required. The SoftPLC Web Server supports HTML pages, Java Script, C++ and other technologies. Any modern web browser can be used with the SoftPLC Web Server, and any HMTL development tool can be used to develop the web pages for SoftPLC (including text editors).

    SoftPLC Embedded Web Studio HMI (IoTPAC)

    Combined Gateway and Virtual HMI

    Cat. No. SSR-Lx embedded Web Studio runtime license, adds virtual HMI capability to the Smart Gateway. Any modern web browser can be used to view the HMI pages, which are developed using the comprehensive Web Studio set of development tools including complete alarming, trending, and remote database functions.

    Embedded Firewall/VPN

    Implements an embedded high performance firewall/VPN in the Smart Gateway. The Firewall Package (Cat No SPZ-FW) can be used to protect ethernet to ethernet connections such as industrial network to business network, or industrial networks/devices connected to remote sites via the internet. Powerful security features block dangerous and/or unwanted communications from entering your Gateway and devices connected to it.


    These items are available accessories and spare parts for the Smart Gateway.

    Cables, Connectors, Mounting & Accessories

    Catalog Number Description Image Store
    SM-VBKT Smart Vertical Panel Mount Bracket
    Can be used to Panel mount the Smart so the Ethernet ports face out, requiring less horizontal panel space. Standard mounting is DIN-rail with Ethernet ports facing left.
    SM-COM6CBLTB Smart COM6 Port Cable and DIN-rail mount Terminal Block (converts RJ11 port to screw terminal interface)
    SM-SCBL Smart Serial Cable, 6 feet for use with COM 2-5, supports both male & female genders
    SM-SCKIT Smart Serial Port Connectors for user-made cables to COM 2-5 (contains 4 connectors)
    SPO-NUA USB Interface for Ethernet port, enables use of USB drive to store logged data (for use with LOGGER.TLM)

    Power Supplies, Power Equipment

    Catalog Number Description Image Store
    ICO-PS1524 DIN-rail mount P/S, 24VDC output, 15 Watts, 85-264VAC input
    ICO-PS4024 DIN-rail mount P/S, 24VDC output, 40 Watts, 85-264VAC input
    ICO-PSUPS40 DIN-rail mount UPS/battery controller, 24VDC output, up to 40A (requires 2 ICO-PSBP412 batteries)
    ICO-PSBP412 VRLA Battery for ICO-PSUPS40, 12V 4AH, AGM
    SM-PSCKIT Spare power supply connectors (contains 5) for Smart Family Products

    DH+/RIO Gateway Applications

    Upgrade HMI's and/or Drives on A-B RIO or DH+

    • No changes to PLC logic/configuration required
    • Replace old HMI's and/or Drives with new equipment from nearly any vendor
    • Configurable with 1/4, 1/2 and full rack addressing
    • Supports upgrading up to 32 RIO devices and up to 63 DH+ devices per network
    • Supports 2 "blue-hose" networks of any mix (RIO and/or DH+)
    • Supports conversion to multiple serial, Ethernet and fieldbus networks
    • Supports PLC-5, SLC-500, PLC-3, PLC-2/PLC, Pyramid Integrator and Logix Processors with 1756-DHRIOx

    Add I/O of another bus to an A-B PAC/PLC installation (eg: ModbusTCP I/O, SoftPLC's Tealware, DeviceNet/Profibus, Modbus serial)

    • Use other vendor's I/O with ControlLogix or CompactLogix
    • Gateway can appear as up to 32 racks of Remote I/O per network
    • Supports 2 RIO networks, and all baud rates (57.6, 115.2 and 230 Kbaud)

    Replace an A-B PLC with remote I/O with a ControlLogix or CompactLogix PAC, without having to replace existing I/O & cabling

    • Supports all RIO systems - 1771, 1746/1747 (SLC-500) and Flex systems
    • Supports block transfer to intelligent A-B modules
    • Supports up to 32 racks of Remote I/O per network
    • Supports 2 RIO networks, and all baud rates (57.6, 115.2 and 230 Kbaud)
    • Also supports other devices and I/O on other networks (eg: Modbus, ModbusTCP)

    Replace an A-B PLC with a Smart SoftPLC/Gateway, without having to replace existing I/O & cabling

    • Supports all RIO systems - 1771, 1746/1747 (SLC-500) and Flex systems
    • Supports block transfer to intelligent A-B modules
    • Supports up to 32 racks of Remote I/O per network
    • Supports 2 RIO networks, and all baud rates (57.6, 115.2 and 230 Kbaud)
    • Optionally can support (1) DH+ network
    • Also supports other devices and I/O on other networks (eg: Modbus, ModbusTCP)

    Communicate data between devices on different network types.

    • Pass data from devices on multiple networks or network types to a higher level system (eg: DCS or SCADA).
    • Collect data from devices on multiple networks or network types and make it available to a higher level system ("data logger/concentrator").
    • Provide remote access via a single point to a variety of devices, using a SoftPLC Gateway, a modem, and optionally the TagWell cloud for IoT/M2M applications.

    + Sample customer installations...