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    SFT2826 cannot open SEPAM COMTRADE files for recent firmware versions. Is it obsolete?

    Issue   
    Cannot open the waveform using SFT2826.

    Product Line  
    SEPAM 20 Series
    SEPAM 40 Series
    SEPAM 50 Series
    SEPAM 60 Series
    SEPAM 80 Series

    Cause   
    The SFT2826 software was developed originally for displaying waveforms captured on SEPAM Series 20, 40, and 80 relays.  The software has not had major improvements made since the launch of the SEPAM 80 range.

    Since the end of development for the SFT2826 software, there have been some changes to the values used for certain parameters in SEPAM Series 80 COMTRADE disturbance records.  This FAQ gives one example and explains why the user should consider using other software besides SFT2826 to visualize SEPAM disturbance records.

    Please refer to the IEEE C37.111-1999 standard for more information on the COMTRADE file format.  A COMTRADE file from a SEPAM relay includes a .CFG file and a .DAT file.  This FAQ refers only to the contents of the .CFG file, which can be opened for viewing with Notepad, or any ASCII text editor.

    The image below shows the bottom portion of the .CFG file taken from a waveform that was captured on a SEPAM 80 relay running firmware version V5.21.  As shown, the value of the "nrates" parameter is "01."

    The next image below shows a screenshot of the last section of a different .CFG file taken from a SEPAM 80 relay running firmware version V8.02.  Notice that the "nrates" parameter has a value of "00."

    The SFT2826 software was not designed to open COMTRADE files having the "nrates" parameter set to "00."  Therefore, the software cannot be used to open such files, and an error message will be encountered if this is attempted.  This modification in the SEPAM 80 COMTRADE files was made starting in the V8.01 firmware version (approximately).  The purpose of this modification was to handle variable sampling rates inside a single disturbance record.

    Resolution
    To resolve this issue, it is recommended to use other software applications such as WaveWin or Transview (by OMICRON) to open SEPAM COMTRADE files.  Both of these applications are able to open all SEPAM waveform files, regardless of the firmware version of the relay used to capture the waveform.  Although SFT2826 could still be used to visualize waveforms captured using older firmware versions, it is recommended to use WaveWin or Transview to view all SEPAM waveforms in general.  Here is the link for WaveWin https://www.schneider-electric.com/en/download/document/WAVEWIN_Version_HG6/
     

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