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ComBricks FAQ's

The most frequently asked questions about ComBricks


Are the Kits in the product list really required?

NO, the Kits are just an easy step into the COMbricks world, because they contain all required components. You can also order all items separately; Head Station, repeater modules, I/O modules, etc. Kits are also cheaper than separate items.


What is the "Backplane Network"?

These are the 4 internal networks on the backplane that repeater modules utilize to transfer PROFIBUS messages transparently to other inserted repeater modules who are locked to the same network number. Each network can have its own masters, slaves and baudrate. They are completely isolated.

Watch this video for more information:

When I buy a module, is a backplane socket provided?

YES, with every module a backplane socket is provided. If you require more sockets because of spare parts, an additional set can be purchased.

How many modules can I insert in the backplane?

ComBricks can handle 32 modules, but high speed modules can only be inserted in the first 10 sockets (repeater and fiber optic modules). If you only have 5 high speed modules, the rest of the sockets can be completed with regular modules (I/O modules).


What is the default IP address after purchase or reset?

The default IP address is; This can be customized through the web server of the Head Station or the ComBricks Discovery Tool.


Do you need a constant PC connection to monitor the network?

NO, This is a great feature for permanent monitoring. ComBricks contains a kernel and web server that works independently directly after power-up. Updates of the Live List, Statistics, Logging, Emailing, etc. are all carried out on its own initiative and can always be viewed.

What is the difference between ProfiTrace OE and regular ProfiTrace?

OE stands for "Over Ethernet". It is the ProfiTrace core in ComBricks which visualizes all the information in a web server. The biggest difference is that ProfiTrace OE is permanently monitoring the installation and it does not require a constant PC connection.

Where does it save monitoring data, logs and settings?

The Head Station contains a uSD card on which all information is stored. By means of the web server or FTP the user can inspect and download the information. He can of course also take out the SD card and insert it in a PC.

What is 'live data streaming' with ProfiTrace 2?

Head Stations 1B and 1C have an integrated ProfiTrace that can be accessed with a web browser. The integrated ProfiTrace has some graphical and functional limitations compared to the powerful ProfiTrace 2 software. Live data streaming is a function within ProfiTrace that makes a connection with ComBricks over Ethernet and acts as if it works with a ProfiCore. The user can now use all the functionality of ProfiTrace 2 with the protocol data of 2 or 4 networks that ComBricks is capturing (Live List, statistics, message recording, triggering, searching, etc).

We already have repeaters installed. How can we take advantage of ComBricks without disturbing the existing network?

You can connect 1 channel of a ComBricks repeater module as a regular bus participant. Like a ProfiCore and ignoring the repeater functionality. Once a repeater channel is in contact with the cable/communication, ProfiTrace monitors telegrams.

How many files does the automatic message recording triggering save?

The automatic triggering saves 1000 files per network. Each file has its own name. When a new trigger takes place after 1000 files have already been saved, the oldest file is replaced by the new one (ring recording).

Do I need to install/buy monitoring software?

NO, ComBricks is based on a web server. For the basic operation you only need a web browser. But if you are used to the ProfiTrace 2 software, you can stream data over Ethernet and keep working in your original software environment.

How do I update the GSD files in the ComBricks?

The video below explains how to update the GSD files in the ComBricks.

Repeater modules

How can I reset the ‘MIN error LED’ on the SCOPE repeater module?

The LED indicates the detection of a low voltage bus signal. This LED keeps its status until the user resets/confirms the event. It can be done this way:

  1. Go to the "scope images" web page
  2. Select the correct SCOPE module/slot
  3. Click "Reset oscilloscope images"

The min-LED should go off for this specific SCOPE module.

Are the ComBricks repeaters suitable for PROFIsafe networks?

YES, especially in combination with the repeater redundancy makes ComBricks a perfect infrastructure component for PROFIBUS safety networks. Remote maintenance with ProfiTrace OE only makes it better.

Can ComBricks be used in MPI networks?

YES, MPI is using PROFIBUS FDL telegrams with its own user data implementation. Every ComBricks repeater and fiber optic coupler can interpret and forward MPI telegrams. Also the cabling rules are the same for MPI.

How are repeater modules powered?

All power is distributed over the backplane by the Head Station. The power to the Head Station is provided by 24V power connectors (redundant option).

How can I remotely deactivate a repeater module during operation?

Officially there is no shutdown function. What you can do is set the repeater network number by software (web server) instead of dipswitches. When you want to shut it down, change the assigned network number to a number that is not used. This will cause the repeater to be isolated from the rest.

With a Head Stations 1B (ProfiTrace for 2 networks) can I still wire 4 networks divided over 10 repeater modules?

YES, ProfiTrace OE on a 1B Head Station will monitor network 1 and 2. There is no link with the repeater modules which can be set to network 1, 2, 3 and 4.

I have changed the dipswitches on the repeater modules. How can I actualize them in the system without removing the power on the Head Station?

You can soft start the system with the nav button on the Head Station or in the Device Management menu of the web server. It is also possible to remove and insert the respective module.

Can I hot swap a 1 channel repeater module with a 2 channel repeater module?

YES, every time a module is inserted it is configured without looking at the past.

Is a 2 channel repeater module the same as a regular repeater?

YES and NO, Of course you have 2 RS 485 sides like a regular repeater, but there is a 3rd channel going to the backplane to link up with the other inserted repeater modules. This means a 2 channel repeater module can also be compared with a 3 channel repeater, but the 3rd channel is not RS 485. Additional to this; the RS 485 channels can also be assigned to networks. Then it cannot be compared at all with a regular repeater.

Is there an overview available how to connect the PROFIBUS cable with the repeater modules and when to switch on the on-board termination?

This image illustrates the 4 configurations that we support:

Overview how to connect the PROFIBUS cable with the repeater modules and when to switch on the on-board termination?




In configuration A and C the cable starts at the repeater module. In configuration B and D the repeater module is in the middle of the cable.

Only in configuration A the on-board termination should be set to ON. With the other configurations the repeater module is in the middle of the segment or the termination is activated on the DB9 plug.


PA Link Module - Coupler Mode (LNK switch OFF)

How can I make the PA module transparent for 500 kbps when I work in coupler mode?

You have to update the busparameters in the master. Here is a link to a table with recommended settings: IMAGE
Keep in mind that some configuration tools cannot handle the large Tslot values.

I cannot make my PA module working. What are the steps to take?

Please use the checklist below:

  • After changing the network number, reset the ComBricks
  • All involved modules on the same network number
  • At least 1 PA module
  • At least 1 module with a DP master (RS 485 or Fiber Optic) or CommDTM class 2 master through the Head Station
  • Head Station type 1C (for the monitoring)
  • Power the PA module (check the respective LED)
  • If it is a floating power supply without ground (regular adapter), it is recommended to short the "-" and GND on the power supply connector of the PA module
  • Proper termination at the other end of the PA segment
  • In some cases the PA cable should also be more than 1 meter (same as RS 485)
  • Verify "your" calculation of DC current with the current consumption stated in the web server (status screen)
  • Verify the PA power supply voltage
  • Correct addresses of your PA devices
  • Adjust the busparameters in the master to the specific baudrate 
  • Check the master in the Live List
  • Check the devices in the Live List
  • Check the PA oscilloscope signals