Get up to speed quickly with the new CLICK Ethernet PLCs and see live demos of the incredible performance increases these have to offer.
To get up and running quickly with a CLICK Ethernet PLC, just connect your computer with an Ethernet cable. Start the Click Software, version 2.0 or later. For this video we’ll assume we have a brand new CLICK PLC and we don’t have an existing project. We could “Start a new project”, write our ladder code then connect to the CLICK PLC, OR we can connect to the CLICK PLC right away and then write our ladder code and test it as we go. It doesn’t matter which you choose - I prefer this one because it just makes me feel better to know I am connected to the actual hardware before I start. So we’ll hit that one. That brings up the Connect to PLC Dialog. We want to connect via the Ethernet port and if you have multiple Ethernet adapters like I do, make sure you select the one the CLICK is connected to. Do we want to connect to a local CLICK PLC on your local network or do you want to connect to a remote CLICK PLC. Our CLICK is local so we’ll select that one. We’ll cover the Outside this LAN option in other videos on Port Forwarding and VPNs. Well look, as soon as you select the right Ethernet Adapter, the software automatically scans the network and finds all the CLICKs currently connected. We just have this one of course. If we add another one we can hit “Refresh” to get it to show up. Just to be sure this is the right one, let’s hit the Blink LEDs button. Sure enough, we are connected to the right CLICK PLC. Perfect. But wait a minute – it’s on a different subnet than my PC’s Ethernet adapter. This is the default IP Address that comes with every CLICK PLC. We need to change that so we select it and hit EDIT. Let’s change that to be on the same subnet as the PC so they can talk to each other. And just like that, the com port on the CLICK PLC now has this IP Address. Now we just connect to the CLICK PLC. The software is reminding me that there is no project in the CLICK PLC – we know that – it’s a brand new CLICK PLC right out of the box, of course it has nothing in it. Hit ok and we are now connected to the CLICK PLC. If we go to the com port setup dialog we see port 1 is Ethernet and port 2 is RS-232. We want to set up the Ethernet port. Look at this - The software automatically filled in the comport settings for us based on the IP Addresses we just entered in the connection dialog! We are ready to go. Let’s write the world shortest program and write it to the CLICK PLC. Yes we want to save it. And take this project on the PC and write it to the PLC. We’re going to include the project file and we’re going to do a run time edit. Do it. That’s it. We just wrote our first project to the CLICK PLC via Ethernet. Let’s disconnect, add one line of ladder code and reconnect to the PLC. We see the CLICK PLC and he is on the correct subnet so we hit connect. The software sees the current project and the PLC project are different and asks us which one do we want? Well, we want our new project – not the one on the PLC so we select Don’t read from PLC button and hit OK. Great, we’re connected but with our new project. Here’s a key point. Suppose we were working on some other CLICK PLC project and then connected to this CLICK PLC. Well, the Ethernet Port setting in the project might have been setup to work with that other CLICK PLC so it’s always a good idea to go back to the Com port setup dialog, Ethernet port and make sure the com port is setup to talk to this new CLICK PLC. Ours is of course because we haven’t changed it, but often it won’t be. So make sure you verify that. Let’s pretend we forgot to do this and it was still on the default IP Address. Now there is an IP Address mis-match between the CLICK PLC and our project. The good news is if you try to write the project out the software sees the mis-match, shows you the IP Address of the current project and the IP address of the CLICK PLC and let’s you fix it with one button press. Now the project is in sync with the CLICK PLC and we write it out like we always do. So the bottom line is even if you forget to update the IP Address of the project, the CLICK software helps you get back on track. How cool is that? So other than setting up your Ethernet Connection, the only other Ethernet specific difference is when you use a SEND or RECEIVE instruction and select the Ethernet Port you will need to specify the IP address you want to talk to. Other than that, this is the same easy to use reliable CLICK software you have always used. The benefits of the CLICK Ethernet CPU’s are amazing. You’ve already seen a few in action. First, the download speeds are a so much faster. Here’s a decent sized CLICK program on an Ethernet CPU and the exact same program on a non-Ethernet version of the same CPU. I’ll start the download on the non-Ethernet CPU and then start the download on the Ethernet CPU. Well look: The Ethernet CPU is down downloading already. The Older CPU? Well, it’s going to take another 20 seconds. Since we have both of these up, lets put both in RUN Mode, open up the Online Project Information Dialog for both and see a side by side comparison of the scan time. The Ethernet CPU scan time is around 3ms and the non-Ethernet CPU is around 19 to 20 ms. The performance increase you get will depend on your ladder code and coding style of course, but you can expect the Ethernet CPUs to be anywhere between 3 to 10 times faster. So this 6 – almost 7 – times faster we see here is pretty typical. The other cool thing about these new Ethernet CPUS is they support run time edits. You no longer have to put the PLC in stop mode to transfer the program. If we try that with the older CPU, we get the usual message about stopping the CPU first. And then have to restart the CPU when the transfer is done. The new Ethernet CPUs do it seamlessly. And finally, one of the things that differentiated the Basic and Standard CPUS was the Basic CPUs didn’t have Clock/ Calendar or battery backup. On the new Ethernet CPUs the Clock/ Calendar and Battery Backup ARE included in the basic modules, so the only real difference between the basic and standard modules on the Ethernet CLICK CPUs is the addition of a serial port. If you have any questions, please contact AutomationDirect’s free award winning tech support during regular business hours. They will be happy to help you. And don’t forget the forums – there are lots of folks 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.