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(VID-DM-0041) - Learn about the major new features of Do-more Designer 2.0 including support for the new BRX PLC, a new Dashboard for easy navigation, Subroutines, Interrupt Service Routines, File Management, Data Logging, Axis commands, S-Curves, and a whole lot more.
Software Version used in this video: Do-more Designer 2.0.0
If you’re already familiar with Do-more Designer then you will be happy to know that everything you are used to is pretty much right where you are used to finding it. Version 2.0 simply builds on that foundation with easier navigation and a ton of new features like real subroutines, lots of motion and high speed axis commands, Interrupts, Digital Filtering of inputs, High Speed I/O, PWM outputs, File system commands, data logging, email that can send attachments, pluggable option module configuration, etc. In this video we’ll take a quick spin through version 2.0 and just highlight all of the new features. There’s a whole bunch of dedicated videos that go into more detail – and show you step-by-step how to get up and running quickly - for each topic. My favorite new feature is all the video support that’s built into Do-more Designer. Right on the start page there is a series of quick start videos designed to get you up to speed quickly, a video browser utility so you can easily search for how to videos on anything you want, a video download utility so you can download tutorial videos to your local hard drive, and look at this. Instructions now have built in video help. Any instruction with a red play arrow has a brief video on the bare essentials you need to know about that instruction. It’s like having someone look over your shoulder and tell you what you need to know as you go. I love that. Let’s start with navigation. If you’re familiar with Do-more Designer you know the smoothest way to configure a Do-more system is to go to the system configuration and work down this list. When you reach the bottom, you’re done! But sometimes you just want to go to one thing in particular and it can be hard to remember where it was in that hierarchy. So now we have also the dashboard where you can see immediately all the things you need to do all laid out in an easy to find format. AND the best part is you can just point to whatever you want to configure and click on it – it takes you right there. Or if there are several options, it presents a list. Select one and that takes you right there. Do-more Designer has always had Programs and Tasks which are chunks of code that run AFTER the main scan loop. This helps you organize your work and prioritize the execution order of the code. With subroutines you can breakout chunks of ladder code again to help organize your work, but these run as if they are still in-line with the code. And you can even pass parameters so you can re-use that subroutine in multiple places! You also now have interrupt service routines. That’s a chunk of code that you can setup to run when I/O pins change state or even on an internal event you setup like when a timer or a register reaches a certain value. It has a super fast response time so it’s ideal for reacting to events when they happen and not having to wait until the start of the next scan to realize something changed. And you can even re-configure the interrupts during run time in your ladder code with the new interrupt configuration instruction. That’s cool. Since we’re talking about high speed inputs, look at this … you can setup a digital filter on any discrete input pin to help reduce false triggers due to noise. You can configure any input as a Timer or counter and any output as a motion axis, a PWM output or even a table driven output so you can make it use any pattern you want. Along with those new High Speed I/O’s you also now have a huge assortment of High Speed I/O Commands for controlling axis of motion. There’s all the usual stuff but notice that there’s a command for configuring the axis. That means you can change the axis configuration while your program is running. You don’t have to shut the system down the system just to re-configure the PLC for a new operation. And Do-more now supports S-Curves, Preset and Programmable Limit Switch instructions on the base CPU. The analog inputs and outputs can be setup to use any of these voltage or current ranges and can even be to setup to do automatic scaling so you get the results in units you understand. That makes your programming life so much easier. The serial port is configurable for RS232 or 485 in software – no hardware jumpers to set or termination resistors to worry about. It’s all done for you. You can also quickly configure the pluggable option modules from here or more easily from the dashboard. Everything you need is right there making re-configuring those option modules super easy. The Do-more engine now has a real file system which means you can read and write files to either the local ram drive or the SD card. There is even a file browser so you can quickly move files around or even to and from your computers hard drive. Where do all those files come from? Well, there’s a new file logging instruction built in to Do-more now! You can trigger log entries on events or by time of day and even include a time stamp. And building a log entry is easy – just fill in the blanks of this table. There’s a whole bunch of commands to support all of this new file logging capability so you can do pretty much whatever you want with file logging and file management. And what if you want to e-mail the log? Well, just add it as an attachment to your e-mail message with the new e-mail instruction. Easy. While some of these features are specifically to support the new BRX PLC, many are backwards compatible with your previous Do-more hardware. Well, that should give you a pretty good idea of what the new Do-more Designer version 2.0 has in store for you. Check out the “What’s New” list on the start page for specifics, and use the video search tool to find step-by-step video tutorials that will get you up and running quickly with all of these new features. And if you have any questions, please contact AutomationDirect’s free, award winning support team during regular business hours. They will be happy to help. And don’t forget the forums. There are lots of automation professionals there that love to share their years of experience. Just don’t post any questions directed at AutomationDirect’s support team there – they don’t monitor the forums on a regular basis. Spend Less. Do more. With AutomationDirect.