Category Archives: analog

Productivity 1000 Series PLC System Hardware

The Productivity 1000 series of programmable logic controllers has a slim stackable super compact design. This is sometimes also referred to as a shoebox PLC because of the shape and way in which expansion modules are added. This new Productivity 1000 series PLC is the latest in the Productivity series of controllers that have hit the market.

Productivity 1000 (Stackable Micro PLC)
Productivity 2000 (Micro Modular Programmable Controller)
Productivity 3000 (Modular Programmable Controller)

These three series currently make up the Productivity Series form Automation Direct.

The Productivity 1000 series PLC provides the following features for your automation control panel.
– 50MB user memory – Can handle very complex applications easily.
– 4 built-in communication ports – Easy connectivity to your network. This would include your PC, HMI, Networks, etc.
– Data logging up to 32 GB on a microSD card
– Add up to 8 IP modules to communicate to your field sensors. This will give you a total of 128 discrete IO points or 32 analog IO channels.
– Free Software and 30 days of free training with every CPU from Automation Direct.
– Interactive PLC Configuration Tool
– Tag Names
– Auto discovery IO – Physical I/O tags will be generated based on each module’s position in the base. You can also reconfigure the setup and assign new tags manually.
– I/O Modules have QR codes under the wiring cover. This can be scanned so you can have the latest specifications / wiring diagrams for the module.
– Limitless PID – Auto tuning – Individual or Cascade Mode – etc
– Web Server and Mobile Access
– Advanced Software instruction set

We will be looking at allot of these features of this powerful controller. Let’s start by looking at the hardware. Continue Reading!

BRX PLC Analog IO – System Configuration

One of the features of the BRX Series PLC is the ability to expand its capability to fit your application. This is easily done by “snap-on” modules that will fit on the side of the BRX MPU (Multi Processor Unit). As we have seen before in the BRX PLC System Configuration post we can add additional discrete inputs and outputs. Automation Direct now offers Analog Voltage and Analog Current input and output modules. These modules come as an 8 point channel unit. There is also a 4 point thermocouple input module also available. We will be configuring, scaling and programming the Analog input and output Voltage modules for our BRX PLC. Let’s get started. Continue Reading!

BRX PLC Email – Text SMS Messaging Gmail

Sending email messages from the PLC sounds like an easy task. However, very few applications do this on the production floor. This is probable due to the networks involved and using authentication can be complicated. In our example we will use a restricted Gmail SMTP server so no authentication will be required. We will walk through sending email and text messages from the PLC to Google Gmail. Once in your Gmail account, the message can be automatically forwarded to another verified email or SMS text message address.

The BRX Series PLC also has this Email capability along with attaching files. Let’s get started. Continue Reading!

BRX PLC Data Logging

Data logging does not have to be complicated anymore. The BRX Series PLC can log your specific data up to 32 Gigabits on a Micro SD Card. It will store your data for future data analysis in a CSV (Comma Separated Value) Txt file based on time and/or event.
This is all accomplished with just one instruction in the BRX PLC. Excel is just one program that you can import and analysis this CSV Text file.
Do-More Designer has a Browse PLC File Systems window that will allow you to copy, create and delete the files from the connected computer. This will save you from going to each controller, removing and copying the files on the Micro SD Card.
We will be looking at the data logging instruction in the BRX Series PLC and how to retrieve and view this information. Let’s get started. Continue Reading!

ACC Automation 2017 Review

ACC Automation


We would like to take a few minutes and reflect on the past, current and future of ACC Automation. 2017 has been our best year yet thanks to you. Your questions, comments and suggestions have helped us to build the site that you see today.
Thank you. Continue Reading!

BRX PLC Serial Communication – Modbus RTU to Solo Process Temperature Controller

Serial communication instructions will allow you to send and receive serial data to an external device. The communication method that you setup can be ASCII or numeric (binary). ASCII (American Standard Communication for Information Interchange) can be used to send to devices such as a printer or display.

Receiving ASCII can be used for connecting barcode scanners to the PLC. The barcode will be read as an ASCII string in the PLC.

The BRX Series PLC will allow you to use instructions such as STREAMIN and STREAMOUT to send and receive data from devices mentioned above. They are usually a one to one device and do not have a protocol.
A protocol is like a language used to communicate to different devices connected together. Modbus serial communication (Modbus RTU) is a standard protocol used in many industrial automation devices. The BRX Series PLC has a MRX (Modbus Network Read) and MWX (Modbus Network Write) instructions.

We will demonstrate these instructions by communicating Modbus RTU to a Solo Temperature Controller. (RS485) Our example will read the current process (PV) value and write the set point value (SV) in the controller. Let’s get started. Continue Reading!

BRX PLC Numbering Systems and Addressing

The BRX PLC like all of the PLCs in the Do-More Series use strong data typing. This means that there are fixed memory structures to work with in your program. Errors will be displayed if you try to put the wrong type of value in the memory location. The data structures will automatically assist you in your automation system.
Memory can now be as flexible as you want and need. You can define and allocate all the data memory the way you want it up to specific maximums. As a system integrator you determine what best fits your automation framework.
We will be looking at the addressing and numbering systems in the BRX Series PLC. Let’s get started. Continue Reading!

BRX PLC System Hardware

The BRX series of programmable logic controllers is a stackable micro brick. This is sometimes also referred to as a shoebox PLC because of the shape and way in which expansion modules are added. This new BRX series PLC is the latest in the Do-More series of controllers that have hit the market.

Do-More H2 (Micro Modular PLC)
Do-More T1H (Stackable PLC)
BRX Series PLC (Stackable Micro Brick)

The BRX series offer built-in data logging, integrated motion control, customization communication ports and expansion capabilities. These features like other Automation Direct products are offered at a very good price point. BRX series of controllers will use the same software as the other Do-More PLCs (Do-More Designer) and is a free download. We will be looking at this full featured software that comes with a simulator later in this series.

We will be walking through allot of the features of this powerful controller. Let’s start by looking at the hardware. Continue Reading!

Implementing the Solo Process Temperature Controller

The SOLO Temperature Controller is a single loop dual output process temperature controller that can control both heating and cooling simultaneously. It is available in 1/32, 1/16, 1/8 and 1/4 DIN panel sizes and is UL, CUL and CE approved. The name of temperature controller is deceiving. This unit will also accept voltage and current into them, which is great for process control.

Recently I was asked: How you can change the pressure value from PSI to Bar?

They were bringing into the controller a voltage signal. This can be scaled using the tP-H (High level signal) and tP-L (Low level signal). The units on the display scaled for you. The default is -999 to 999. See section 11-2 of the following information guide that comes with the controller. Continue Reading!

Create an Analog Voltage Input Tester for a PLC

We will create a simple and inexpensive analog voltage tester for a PLC using a potentiometer and a 9VDC battery. The potentiometer will be 5K ohms. This should be enough impedance for most analog inputs of the programmable logic controller. (PLC) Voltage impedance for analog voltage inputs are in the mega ohm range where current input is typically 250 ohms. Our tester will be for analog voltage inputs (0-10 VDC). Check your input specifications before wiring anything to your PLC. I have used this tester for other voltage inputs along with a meter to ensure that the voltage levels do not get out of range for the input signal.
Analog inputs to the PLC are continuous and can come in a variety of signals. These signals can come from temperature, flow rate, pressure, distance, etc. Continue Reading!