Category Archives: Click

Automation Direct Click Series PLC

Click PLC to Modbus TCP RTU Remote IO Controller BX-MBIO


The Click PLC can communicate to a remote I/O (input and output) controller modules using the Modbus protocol for communications. The BX-MBIO provides both Modbus RTU and Modbus TCP interfaces. Modbus RTU is a serial communication and Modbus TCP is an Ethernet communication. Modbus RTU is supported over an RS-485 serial connection. Modbus TCP is supported over an Ethernet connection. They function as listening/replying devices (slave, server) and can connect with any mastering (master, client) device that communicates using the Modbus protocol.
Previously we looked at the BX-MBIO Modbus RTU TCP Remote IO Controller wiring and configuration.
Modbus RTU TCP Remote IO Controller BX-MBIO
BX-MBIO Hardware Video
BX-MBIO Powering and Configuring Video

We will connect the Click Ethernet PLC to the Modbus remote IO. This will be done using the Modbus TCP and Modbus RTU protocol. Ethernet and serial RS485 communication to the BX-MBIO unit will be the media.
The BX-MBIO remote I/O expansion units feature the following:
• RJ45 Ethernet port for communications via Modbus TCP
• RS485 serial port for communications via Modbus RTU
• Supports up to 8 additional Expansion Modules (Add the discrete or analog I/O you require)
• AC and DC powered units available
• AC powered units include an integral 24VDC auxiliary output power supply
• Power connector and serial port connector included
Let’s get started. Keep on Reading!

Click PLC to Stride Field IO Modbus TCP

The Click PLC can use remote inputs and outputs from Stride. The Stride Field I/O Modules are simple and compact. They provide an economical means to connect inputs and outputs to an Ethernet Modbus TCP communication network. Every module operates as a standalone Modbus TCP server and can be configured via a built-in web server.

Previously we looked at the Stride Field Remote IO Modules Modbus TCP Ethernet wiring and configuration.
Stride Field Remote IO Modules Modbus TCP Ethernet|
– Unboxing SIO MB12CDR and SIO MB04ADS Video
Powering and Configuring Video
We will be connecting two Stride remote inputs and outputs to the Click PLC. Modbus TCP will be the protocol over Ethernet to communicate to the SIO-MB12CDR and SIO-MB04ADS units.
SIO-MB12CDR
– STRIDE discrete combo module, Input: 8-point, 12-24 VDC, sinking, Output: 4-point, relay, (4) Form C (SPDT) relays, 2A/point, (1) Ethernet (RJ45) port(s), Modbus TCP server.
SIO-MB04ADS
– STRIDE analog input module, 4-channel, current/voltage, 16-bit, isolated, input current signal range(s) of +/- 20 mA, input voltage signal range(s) of +/- 10 VDC, (1) Ethernet (RJ45) port(s), Modbus TCP server.
We will be reading an analog voltage into the Click PLC from the remote IO unit. We will then set an output to pulse on and off at a time range indicated by this analog signal. The output will be on the other remote IO unit and will trigger the input to signal. We will look at the Frequency, Count, and Status of this input. Our Click PLC program will also take into consideration watchdog (communication time out) and power-up events for the Stride remote input and output units.
Let’s get started. Keep on Reading!

Stride Field Remote IO Modules Modbus TCP Ethernet




The Stride Field I/O Modules are simple and compact. They provide an economical means to connect inputs and outputs to an Ethernet Modbus TCP communication network. Every module operates as a standalone Modbus TCP server and can be configured via a built-in web server.

We will be looking at the following two Stride Remote IO Modules:
SIO-MB12CDR

– STRIDE discrete combo module, Input: 8-point, 12-24 VDC, sinking, Output: 4-point, relay, (4) Form C (SPDT) relays, 2A/point, (1) Ethernet (RJ45) port(s), Modbus TCP server.
SIO-MB04ADS

– STRIDE analog input module, 4-channel, current/voltage, 16-bit, isolated, input current signal range(s) of +/- 20 mA, input voltage signal range(s) of +/- 10 VDC, (1) Ethernet (RJ45) port(s), Modbus TCP server, external 20-30 VDC required.
We will be unboxing both of these units. Powering and then setting them up (configuring) via the webserver. Let’s get started. Continue Reading!

Click PLC Logging Data with Time and Date Stamp




The Click PLC can perform indirect addressing. This means that I can ask for information to be moved to and from locations in the PLC using a pointer that will indicate the address.

Stephen Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People said: “Begin With the End in Mind.” This is especially true when looking at storing or logging data within the programmable logic controller. (PLC) It is important to fully define what you want to accomplish with your program.

In our Click PLC example, we want to take a series of consecutive memory locations (DS1 to DS10) and store them in memory areas DS100 to DS4100 each minute. We will be able to store 400 entries (400 minutes) in our storage area. Every entry will include the real-time clock (RTC) of the Click. This will show the date and time of each entry. Let’s get started! Keep on Reading!

ACC Automation 2019 Review

Accelerate Learning …
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ACC Automation

It is a good time to be in the automation business. Technologies are merging and communicating like never before. What was impossible is now possible for the industrial plant floor. We are looking forward to the New Year and new possibilities for implementing your control solution.
Each year we like to take a few minutes and reflect on the past, current, and future of ACC Automation. You have helped us to build the site that you see today through questions, comments, and suggestions. Thank you.
2019 has been our best year yet thanks to you. Keep on Reading!

Click PLC PID Instruction and Autotuning using Factory IO

A PID (Proportional, Integral, and Derivative) control is possible with the Click PLC. The Click Programming Software version 2.50 now includes PID. This features 8 full-featured control loops with an easy graphical user interface (GUI). PID will run on all of the Ethernet-enabled Click PLCs.
We will be using this PID along with a Factory IO scene to demonstrate PID control and Autotuning using our Click PLC.

Here are some references on PID control:
PID without a Ph.D. By Tim Wescott
Understanding PID in 4 minutes
PID Control – A brief introduction
PID Controllers Explained
Who Else Wants to Learn about On-Off and PID Control?
Our Factory IO scene will be controlling the level of water in a tank. PID will be used to maintain the level based on a dial pot knob on the control panel. Let’s get started! Keep on Reading!

Click PLC PID using Factory IO

A PID (Proportional, Integral, and Derivative) control is possible with the Click PLC. A sample program was written for this PLC by Bernie Carlton in the following thread from the Automation Direct Forum. This was based on the math/process presented by Tim Wescott on is paper titled PID without a Ph.D. We will be using this sample program along with a Factory IO scene to demonstrate PID control using our Click PLC.

Here are some references on PID control:
PID without a Ph.D. By Tim Wescott
Understanding PID in 4 minutes
PID Control – A brief introduction
PID Controllers Explained
Who Else Wants to Learn about On-Off and PID Control?
Our Factory IO scene will be controlling the level of water in a tank. PID will be used to maintain the level based on a dial pot knob on the control panel. We will also discuss the math that the PID loop uses. Let’s get started! Keep on Reading!

Universal Signal Conditioner and Isolator

Signal conditioners are used with analog current and voltage signals. They have the ability to change your input analog signal to another output analog signal. As an example, we can have 4-20mA analog input and change it to a 0-10VDC output signal so we can wire this into our PLC. Typically signal conditioners will also electrically isolate the input and output signals. This is either done by magnetic or optical isolation. You would usually specify the input and output signals that are required in your circuit to choose the signal conditioner required. Using a universal signal conditioner will take a variety of signals and is a great product to use in troubleshooting analog circuits.

We will be using a universal signal conditioner to convert a thermocouple temperature input into a 0-10VDC linear output. This will be wired into the analog card of the Click PLC.
Let’s get started. Continue Reading!

Click PLC Analog Dusk to Dawn Program

A dusk to dawn sensor usually is discrete on/off of the lighting control. If we want to vary the lights to mimic more of the sunset and rise, we would use an analog output to control the lights. I was recently asked about such a program. Every day they wanted the lights to go off at 10 pm and come back on at 6 am. At 9:30 pm the lights would be on at 70% or 7volts of a 0-10V signal. In the next half hour, the program will bring the lights from 70% down to 0%. In the morning the lights will come back on within the half-hour from 0% to 70%. Poultry Farms are one place that would utilize this program.

We will be developing a program that will do this with our Click PLC. Let’s get started! Keep on Reading!

Wiring an Ultrasonic Proximity Sensor to the Click PLC

An ultrasonic sensor (switch) is able to detect object presence without physical contact (limit switch). No physical contact means that the switch has no parts that will wear out. The life span of the sensor is increased with less maintenance.
An ultrasonic sensor will use sound waves to detect objects. These sound waves are at a level that we cannot hear. Distance is measured by the time it takes to send and receive the ultrasonic wave. Objects can be measured the same no matter what the colour, transparency, shininess, or lighting conditions of the application.

We will be wiring an ultrasonic sensor into the input of our Click PLC. This will include a discrete and analog input signal. The UK1F-E7-0A is an 18mm diameter sensor that has a PNP N.O./N.C. selectable output with analog output of 0 -10 VDC. The sensing distance is 200mm to 2200mm and has a one-hertz switching capacity. A 4-pin M12 quick disconnect is available but we will be wiring in our 2m wired version. Let’s get started. Continue Reading!