Three Free PLC Programming Software Tools

Manufacturers have software to program the programmable logic controller (PLC) or the human-machine interface (HMI). However, there are a few free tools that will help in the development of your PLC programs. We will look at three software tools and show how beneficial they can be to you.

Free PLC Software Tools
Synergy – Share Multiple Computer Systems

I usually have my laptop for ladder logic and my desktop for screen software when programming. Connecting the two and using one mouse and keyboard saves me the aggravation of switching back and forth between the keyboards.
Synergy - Three Free PLC Programming Software Tools

Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its display without special hardware. It is intended for users with multiple computers on their desks since each system uses its monitor(s). Redirecting the mouse and keyboard is as simple as moving the mouse off the edge of your screen. Synergy also merges the clipboards of all the systems into one, allowing cut-and-paste between systems. It works on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Synergy Website
Synergy for Windows:
Synergy for Mac

Windows Calculator – Free PLC Software Tool

That’s right. The windows calculator can be a beneficial tool for programming PLCs. The windows calculator can do it for you when you need to convert hexadecimal to binary, BCD to hexadecimal, or any other combination.

What everybody ought to know about PLC numbering systems.

Start the calculator. Start – All Programs – Accessories – Calculator
Calculator - Three Free PLC Programming Software Tools

View the programmer calculator. View – Programmer (Alt + 3)
Calculator 02 Programmer

We can then choose Hex for our numbering system. The Word for the length of the address. You will notice that the display will show the Bin equivalent and the marking of bit 0 to bit 15.
Calculator - Three Free PLC Programming Software Tools

7ABC base 16 = 0111 1010 1011 1100 base 2 = 31420 BCD
Calculator - Three Free PLC Programming Software Tools

Note: I am using Windows 7, but all of the versions of window calculator have similar functionality.

Windows HyperTerminal – Free PLC Software Tool

Serial communication can be difficult using PLC. Just hook up to the serial port and program HyperTerminal to monitor the port. HyperTerminal can monitor the communication sent from or to the programmable logic controller. Set the correct Data Bits, Baud Rate, Parity, Stop Bits, etc. Viewing the information on the monitor will assist you in seeing the exact data being sent to or received by the PLC.
HyperTerminal - Three Free PLC Programming Software Tools


Hype Terminal – Windows 7 and 8

HyperTerminal was no longer sent with windows when Windows 7 was introduced.

Hyper Terminal is a fully functional replacement of HyperTerminal, perfect for GSM and GPS debugging, and works with AT Commands. You can use Hype Terminal to help debug source code from a remote terminal. You can also use Hype Terminal to communicate with older character-based computers. Hype Terminal is designed to be an easy-to-use tool and is not meant to replace other full-feature tools available on the market.
Three Free PLC Programming Software Tools

Download Hype Terminal:

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If you have any questions or need further information, please get in touch with me.
Thank you,

If you’re like most of my readers, you’re committed to learning about technology. Numbering systems used in PLCs are not challenging to learn and understand. We will walk through the numbering systems used in PLCs. This includes Bits, Decimals, Hexadecimal, ASCII, and Floating Points.

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