A quick spin through the most common calls we get with links to video tutorials to learn more about each topic. Emphasis on the new Video Search tool included in Do-more Designer 2.0!
This is a list of the most common questions the AutomationDirect support team gets on Do-more PLCs. We thought we would share the answers to hopefully save you from struggling with them yourself. Number 1: How do I connect my computer to my Do-more PLC? Connecting via USB is easy and we show you how to do that in the second video on the startup page of Do-more Designer. Connecting via Ethernet is just as easy, but there are a couple different ways to do it and you have to make it compatible with your existing Ethernet Network. Those steps are shown in this brief video. Number 2: When should you use a Task a Program a subroutine or an ISR? Use a Program if you want to use Stages or your logic takes multiple scans, like when doing communications or timers for example. Use a Task if you know your logic just needs one pass through the code, even if it needs to be done over multiple scans. Create a subroutine for a function you want to use over and over again and be able to pass variables to. And use Interrupt Service Routines for your interrupt I/O. Number 3: Ethernet I/O is an excellent way to get more I/O’s on your base PLC. You just plug a Do-more PLC with an Ethernet port into a network with DirectLogic or Terminator bases with EBC controllers – not the regular CPU’s- and enable the Ethernet I/O on the Do-more. You now have a ton of I/O that appear to the Do-more as simple local I/O. If you want to learn more about Ethernet I/O check these videos in the Do-more Video Library. Number 4: Modbus Communications. Connecting a Do-more PLC to a device via Modbus is simple. It can be a Modbus Client or a Server and it can use Modbus RTU over serial, or Modbus TCP over Ethernet. Number 5: PID If you haven’t done it before, let’s face it - PID can be intimidating. The good news is Do-more PLCs make setting up PID simple and straight forward. Do-more Designer even has tools to help you visualize and tune the loops. This is a really big subject so look in the video library for some tutorials on how to setup and use PID. Number 6: Casting Have you ever had to take a word of data and pull a byte or one bit out of it for a comparison or to format it for transfer? It’s a pain – right? Casting gives you a superfast shortcut around all of those programming headaches. With casting you can convert any memory type into any other on the fly without having to do a lot of math and bit shifting and byte a swapping, and all that yucky stuff. The help topic covers every possible way you can cast one thing into another so take a look at that to learn more. And check this out. In the element browser, this little button down here is awesome. Suppose I want to take a V memory element and pull one bit out of it. Look – it shows me the exact format I need to use! How about a taking signed word and pulling out a byte, the upper byte and we want it unsigned. There’s the exact format I need. So when in doubt, use the cast builder – it’s quick and easy. Once you get the hang of it, casting will quickly become one of your favorite programming tools. Number 7: Peerlink Peerlink is one of the easiest ways to share data between any mix of Do-more PLCs and DirectLogic PLCs. Number 8: Communications Do-more PLCs have lots of ways to communicate with other PLCs and other devices. Again, The Do-more video library has step by step examples showing how to use those so we’re not going to spend time on it here. If you didn’t see your favorite topic here, then head over to the Do-more video library. Chances are, you’ll find what you are looking for there. And if not, then 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.