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BRX PLC Online Editing and Debug Mode

Our first program for the BRX PLC involved a start stop jog circuit. We will now use the Do-More Designer Software to modify this program while the PLC is scanning the logic. This is referred to as online programming or online editing. As a system integrator, this ability can prove very useful to you in the field when commissioning your automation system.
We will also be using the special Debug Mode of the software to monitor the ladder logic status and bits on a scan by scan basis. Forcing the inputs and outputs, we will control the execution of the PLC scan. This is a great feature of the Do-More Designer software.
Here is a link explaining the logic behind our circuit.
How to Make a Start Stop Jog Circuit in a PLC
Let’s get started. Continue Reading!

BRX PLC Installing the Software

The BRX PLC uses the Do-More Designer software which can be downloaded free of charge and includes a simulator. The latest Do-More Designer software version is 2.0.3. This is the same software that we used in the Learn PLC Programming Fee Video Series.
The Do-More Designer software can be used to program the whole series of programmable logic controllers.

Do-More H2 (Micro Modular PLC)
Do-More T1H (Stackable PLC)
BRX Series PLC (Stackable Micro Brick)
We will be installing and reviewing the Do-More Designer software version 2.0.3. Version 2 is mainly to accommodate the new BRX Series PLC. 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!

Horner XL4 Data Logging

Data logging is the ability to save and view data from the PLC in a format that we can utilize elsewhere on the network. The Horner APG XL4 has this feature in its design to periodically log registers to removable media. (Micro SD) This data is stored in .CSV (comma separated value) format which is compatible with many computer applications such as Microsoft Excel.
Horner provides one of the easiest methods that I have seen to get data logging. You can log 30 registers in a log group and have 10 separate groups. Each group has its own configurable timer that determines the automatic reading and logging of the variables (registers). The group also has a manual trigger bit that can be set to log the variables.
This all in one controller provides the easiest way to log data. We will look at how to configure and utilize this feature of the PLC. Continue Reading!

Horner XL4 Firmware Update

We will now look at changing firmware on our Horner APG XL4 controller. The firmware update will give use the newest version of the operating system which adds new benefits to the controller. The firmware update is also required when changing communications between CsCan and CANopen. CsCan is a peer to peer network by Horner Electric based upon the Can network. CANopen is a communication protocol industry standard used in the CAN network.
Changing firmware will remove all programs and settings in the controller. Insure that you have a backup of your information. Please refer to the release notes for the features that will be set with the firmware update. Continue Reading!

Horner XL4 Modbus TCP AdvancedHMI Communication

Advanced HMI is a powerful, adaptable HMI/SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) development package that takes advantage of Visual Studio. There is no coding required and you can simply drag and drop items onto the page. The best thing is that the software is free. We will look at using AdvancedHMI with the Horner APG XL4 Controller. Using the program on the process tank application we created previously, we will be controlling and displaying information to the network. The AdvancedHMI package will communicate Modbus TCP over Ethernet to the PLC. We will be able to start and stop our process tank and monitor the parameters via the AdvancedHMI window. Continue Reading!

Horner XL4 HTTP Web Server

The Horner APG XL4 all in one controller through the Ethernet port can set up a HTTP server. This HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) server can be used for distributed and controlled information presented to and from the controller to the network. The server can have security for the information presented. We use HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language) on the server to create this Client / Server communication. Using the program on the process tank application we created previously, we will be controlling and displaying information to the network. A web browser on a computer, tablet, smart tv, or phone can be used to view and control this information in our Horner APG XL4 controller. Continue Reading!

Horner XL4 FTP File Transfer Protocol Server

The Horner APG XL4 all in one controller through the Ethernet port can set up a FTP server. This FTP (File Transfer Protocol) server can be used to move files from the controller to the network. The server can have different security for reading and writing the files. We will use the program on the process tank to move the recipe file and report files to another location on the network. The command line prompt, automated batch file, windows explorer and a free windows FTP client software will be used. Continue Reading!

Horner XL4 Modbus RTU Instructions

The Horner APG XL4 all in one controller has several different ports for communications. We have both serial and Ethernet type ports that can be used for many different protocols. These protocols can be downloaded from the Horner APG website and transferred into the controller. We will be looking at Modbus RTU protocol. Using the serial RS485 port on the XL4 we will communicate to a Solo process temperature controller. We will read the process value (PV) into the Horner APG XL4 controller and write the set value (SV) back into the process temperature controller. This is all accomplished without any ladder logic in the PLC. The Horner APG XL4 is one of the easiest networks to set up. Continue Reading!

Horner XL4 Report Generator

The Horner APG XL4 all in one controller has a feature to generate text reports. These reports can consist of text and data from memory locations in the controller. Reports can be printed using a serial interface printer through any of the serial ports of the unit or can be saved on the removable micro SD media card attached to the device. We will be taking our process mixing tank and generating a report that will show when the batch started, filled the tank and when the batch was finished emptying. This report will be saved on the removable micro SD media card attached to the unit. Continue Reading!