Ethernet/EtherCAT Bridge-mode

2 minute read

Sometimes it is needed to configure a EtherCAT device via the manufacturers software, while keeping the EtherCAT topology intact (e.g. configuring a drive with integrated safety with the FSoE master located in the GCC). Normally this would mean unplugging the EtherCAT cable from the EtherCAT master and plugging it into a laptop, however in the case of a GCC this would mean opening the cabinet. Since this is laborious action involving opening the GCC, an alternative is made available by switching the MotorCortex Controller into bridge-mode, passing all data from front port “EN” directly to the EtherCAT network.

Switching on Bridge mode

  1. Log into the system from the console (or through ssh):

  1. Login to the system login using the default credentials or the credentials of the system:
  • login: admin
  • password: vectioneer
  1. Now the command line will change to
sudo mcx-bridge on
  1. After this you will be able to scan the EtherCAT network with your manufacturers software (directly via your PC or with an other EtherCAT master device) via the ENET port on the GCC.

⚠ It might be needed to change the network adapter IP settings if you use your PC with the manufacturers software

Switching off Bridge mode

There are two methods to switch off bridge mode and return the control to the MotorCortex Controller:

  1. Restarting the Motion Controller: Push the power button of the GCC to switch off the Motion Controller. Wait for all lights to switch off, before switching it on again.

  2. Directly in the controller (requires keyboard and screen) The controller is not available via SSH, since the system is now in bridge mode. However it is possible to access the console of the controller directly via a keyboard and screen.

sudo mcx-bridge off
  • password: vectioneer


⚠ It might be needed to restore the network adapter IP settings to use your PC with MotorCortex again

MCX-bridge options

For more options type

sudo mcx-bridge --help

The current version of mcx-bridge has the following options:

  usage: sudo mcx-bridge on [-s SOURCE] [-t TARGET] [-b BRIDGE] [-i IP/MSK]
    SOURCE: Source device, e.g. eth0 (eth0 = default)
    TARGET: Target device, e.g. eth1 (eth1 = default)
    BRIDGE: Bridge device, e.g. br0  (br0 = default)
    IP/MSK: IP and Mask, e.g. ( = default)

  usage: sudo mcx-bridge off [-b BRIDGE] [-s SOURCE] [-i IP/MSK]
    BRIDGE: Bridge device, e.g. br0  (br0 = default)
    SOURCE: Source device, e.g. eth0 (eth0 = default)
    IP/MSK: IP and Mask, e.g. ( = default)

Last modified March 23, 2021: Restructured GRID (44d0658)