COROS LS-B 4.01 install screenshots. Installed in 86box (16-08-2022). Post update 04-02-2023.
I am looking for Coros and FlexOS media and hardware. If you have any disks or hardware shown below, and are willing to sell or give it away, please get in touch :)
Siemens COROS LS-B
Coros LS-B is a FlexOS based environment by Siemens used to provide process visualization for their Simatic S5 based industrial control systems. It's distributed on 26 floppy disks. It uses GEM graphical environment and there are several neat FlexOS/GEM demos included with the distribution.
Coros is designed to run on a few Siemens Simatic devices which are PC-Compatibles in various form factors. These are
- OS-B35 and OS-B42 Operator Stations
- OP 45/B Operator Panel
- VP30/B Visualization Processor
The OS-B35 is based on a Siemens-Nixdorf PCD-5H PC.
Its a 100 MHz Pentium machine with 16 or 24 MB RAM, a 540MB Hard disk and Tseng W32-P graphics that can run a 640x480, 16 color desktop running under LS-B/FlexOS or 1280x1024, 256 color desktop when under LS-B/Win. The computer is connected to the rest of the system via an RS232, SINEC L2 or SINEC H1 links.
It is the most usual hardware that Coros runs on
More information about the PC the operator stations are based on can be found here
OP 45/B Operator Panel
The Operator Panel is a large rack mounted computer that allows an operator to monitor and change process parameters. OP 45/B is the largest of the OP family. It features an LCD screen and a plastic IP-rated keyboard
VP30/B Visualization Processor
The VP30/B is in my opinion the most interesting piece of Simatic hardware. The name "Visualization Processor" suggests that it is used to drive status screens that show the state of the process in various places on the plant.
THe VP30/B is a PC in a special form factor that fits the rest of an S5 system. A good eye will spot the typical PC-type components like the floppy drive and a hard disk, as well as typical PC IO. I think the design and form factor of it foresees no user input except for OS install by a technician. On the back there is a backplane connector which is probably used to talk to the rest of the system.
From the photos it looks like it sports an hard disk with a 50-pin interface (Could it be SCSI?) and a i386 processor (an i387 coprocessor is visible)
image source: ebay.com
The VP30/B system has been EOL'd by Siemens in January 2006.
I think it is safe to say that this is the strangest form factor PC that I've seen so far.
Coros installation process
Coros install disks are distributed by Siemens as sets of self-extracing EXE files. They contain the installation files necesary for a COROS LS-B install on an MS-DOS 6.22 or WfW 3.11 system. The install script modifies CONFIG.SYS to add a boot option which boots DOS, then immediately boots FlexOS from under DOS . I've used DOSBOX and PKUNZIP to unpack all of the EXEs and prepare disk images, that I then installed under 86box. The emulator settings are in the slideshow.
1 - Windows CE x86 uses DOS as a last stage bootloader as well. It is possible because DOS is a Real Mode operating system, therefore, a DOS program has full hardware access. A DOS program can read and write all system memory, so it can load an execute another OS kernel. It is also possible to boot Linux this way.