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About mikeexplorer

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  • Birthday October 20

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  • Website URL http://www.nepaview.com

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  • Gender Male
  • Location Scranton,PA
  • Country United States
  1. Advice on choosing a PLC for a project

    I have the Cmore HMI communicating with the Micrologix 1400 with Ethernet now. So that was a good learning tool to setup the computer, PLC, and HMI to use Ethernet instead of serial communications. The screen shown is from the "First generation" (The Micrologix 1000) so the tag database is based on the old inputs and outputs. I togged those outputs to verify that the HMI does see the tags, as shown here, I toggled the switch positions so you can see the green and red arrow, and I toggled the old track power outputs which show on the HMI as white squares. This was enough to prove communications are working properly between the PLC and the HMI. The screens will have to be completely re-written for the new PLC of course, but I am pleased with my progress, as it was a good learning tool to set up ethernet. I do like that I can have both RSlogix and Cmore software open at the same time and no more swapping serial cables. Perhaps in the future it could be possible to put it on my home network if there is a reason to do so. I did set it up with IP addresses of 192.168.2.XX where my home network uses the typical 192.168.1.XX addresses so there would not be an IP conflict. Mike  
  2. Advice on choosing a PLC for a project

    I missed that, thanks for pointing that out, I can stick a end bracket between the switch and the PLC to open a gap between them, I do have some room left on that DIN rail, I just have to slide everything over to the right a bit. Mike  
  3. Advice on choosing a PLC for a project

    Analog is new to me so I didn't realize that, so when I change to decimal view it will show me how it would be addressed. Thanks you.  
  4. Advice on choosing a PLC for a project

    At the time I took the screenshot. it was to show how it is displaying the analog I/O. For testing, I do go to run mode and go online to be able to toggle the outputs on and off to check my wiring and I have started to test the inputs. Once I have verified my wiring, I will clean it up and zip tie it. I have those sticky pads under the wires to mount them. Next I will create a blank project file and fill in the symbol and descriptions of the I/O (IE: I:0/0 is Emegency Stop, I:0/1 is Automatic mode) Mike
  5. Advice on choosing a PLC for a project

    I got as far as powering up and getting a heartbeat on the PLC. I am new to using Ethernet for a PLC but with some work I got communications up and running between the computer, PLC, and the HMI panel. What I found odd is going online, the PLC didn't seem to recognize the additional modules and I couldn't add them or auto-detect. Went offline and added them in manually, then I defined some of my elements I wanted (say 50 B3 values, 200 timers, etc...) wrote that back to the PLC and then it showed up. Now RSlogix shows the modules and they appear to be ok, I togged one output on slot 3 and the output did come on the module. I had to connect the button box to the unit since it is the safety circuit (emergency stop with reset button) This way I can start toggling the outputs to make sure the relays close for the track switches and power. The safety circuit will drop the 24 volt control voltage and de-energize all outputs if the emergency stop circuit opens. One thing that seems weird is looking at the screenshot of RSlogix, it shows the analog input as I:0.4 ? not IV0 ?? Same with the output.   Mike  
  6. Advice on choosing a PLC for a project

    I have been posting pictures and some videos on my website, located here:   https://www.nepaview.com/model-train-plc-project.html These videos shows the HMI screens: https://youtu.be/PCPA4QjvoE0 https://youtu.be/vrGwERqydGI I started a new page with my "Second Generation" build with the Micrologix 1400. I do plan on improvements to the HMI screens. The way I was doing the alarms was not the best way and when I hit a wall with my programming and asked for help here and another fourm, I have a better approach in mind. Of course this means re-writing most of my code but that is fine since I am learning. I purchased RSlogix Micro Starter and installed it so its ready to go once I power up and connect to the PLC. The "chatter" i describe in the second video I will be writing debounce code to eliminate it. Mike  
  7. Advice on choosing a PLC for a project

    I have been working on the new build of the project when I can find time. The wiring will be cleaned up once I can power it up and test it to make sure everything is good. I added the ethernet module to my Cmore HMI. Next step will be to re-do the track layout as a lot electrically will be different.   Mike  
  8. Advice on choosing a PLC for a project

      It was not mentioned in the thread, but that will no doubt be an advantage to this PLC. I purchased the Micrologix 1400 and three I/O modules. The parts arrived yesterday. I am still awaiting them to setup the rockwell online user id so I can download the RSlogix Micro Starter.  There is no doubt some things I have to learn about the new PLC before I even resume my programming. I still have to make an order with Automationdirect for parts. (terminal blocks and such) it turns out the HMI panel I have can do Ethernet with a $50 add in module which I plan to purchase as well as a small din Rail Ethernet switch. This will provide a better connection between the PLC and the Cmore HMI and I should be able to program either of them without unplugging and plugging in USB or serial ports. I am also going to buy a wire marking label maker as there will be more wiring involved and I need to keep track of it. Of course the next step is I have to tear down what I built and re-do it with the new PLC and additional I/O I now have available.  Problem now is I work a goofy 12 hr shift so spare time is more limited to work on this project I have been looking over the suggestions posted above and I think I have a better plan in mind for writing the routines in a better way. One good thing is this PLC has more memory so some limitations I had with the Micrologix 1000 won't apply now. More variable data to work with (bit values, timers, etc) and I can have more ladder routines.  When I wrote the last working routine (The main and side interchange program) I noticed in the printed report, the memory was over 60% filled which told me I would not have the memory space for all the routines I had planned to write. This was a deciding factor to make the investment to upgrade. Although I am using this as a learning tool, in the end this project will be used to control my around the wall layout that I have in my living room. SO there is an end result of my efforts.   Mike    
  9. Advice on choosing a PLC for a project

    My local Rockwell dealer was able to process the order with a credit card since I am purchasing as an end-user. I decided on the Micrologix 1400. I also purchased the RSlogix Micro starter since it is software I am already familiar with (the free lite edition) I have worked with this software quite a bit and have found it to be rock solid. The train transformer takes a 0 - 3.3VDC input on the wiper for throttle. I think it would be a better choice to build a voltage divider so the full 10VDC output from the ML1400 will give a 3.3VDC output maximum. This would prevent over driving the transformer input in the event the analog output goes too high. This way 100% (10V) would be 100% throttle. I can also use one of the analog inputs to sense the transformer output. This will require rectifiers and also a voltage divider. This can help me sense a derailment. If the transformer detects an overload or a short, it shuts down. This will be no problem as I have done electronics since I was a kid. The ML1400 has ethernet built in and I can buy a module to add ethernet to my Cmore panel. I do have one of those small 24VDC switches that was scavenged from a panel that was scrapped. I can make my own cables as they should just be standard ethernet cables. So as far as the computer goes, all I need is say a USB to ethernet to interface to the setup? I want to keep the built in ethernet port tied to my network and internet. Mike  
  10. Line Guide Sensor with BRX Analog Input

    According to the installation manual, this unit is connected to a controller that provides the +/- voltage supply. You need to look at the controller manual to see what kind of input or output it provides. Mike   Fife_SE-26B_Manual.pdf
  11. Advice on choosing a PLC for a project

    I also went back on AutomationDirects site and discovered I can get an Ethernet port for my current HMI panel for around $50 and add it on. The stand I have for the HMI is already cut out for the HMI panel so I don't have to modify it again.   Mike  
  12. Advice on choosing a PLC for a project

    I got pricing information. The ML 1400 is $1,200.00 verses the ML 1200 $1,030.00. The ML 1400 has built in analog I/O (0-10VDC) so I would not need the 4 channel analog module which costs $424.00 So actually it would be cheaper to go with the Micrologix 1400. I would also gain the ethernet port. Although my HMI does not have ethernet, I may just go ahead and purchase a Cmore panel that has it and retire this one. AT the very least I can keep the computer connected to the PLC all the time and leave the serial connection for the HMI. What I actually need is analog output so I can control the speed of the trains. I found a schematic of the CW80 transformer online that someone hand drew out, and the throttle input is 0 to 3.3VDC. What I will probably do is use a voltage divider so I cannot exceed 3.3VDC and possibly damage the transformer. This would also give me the full scale on the analog output. I could use the analog input as a feedback to verify the transformer is outputting power to the track, in the event of a derail, if there is a short, the transformer shuts down and blinks the power light and stays that way until you turn the throttle to zero and then back on again as a reset. This way the PLC will know if the transformer shut down. The output to the track as a weird AC wave, I can build a bridge rectifier with filters and then scale it down to 0-10VDC for one of the inputs. (I do have experience in building electronic circuits) So in my case the fact the analog I/O is DC voltage is fine and would be better for my project. Mike  
  13. Advice on choosing a PLC for a project

    I am awaiting the price for the Micrologix 1400. If I choose that one over the ML 1200 I won't need the 4 channel analog combination module since analog I/O is built in to the 1400. It might offset the cost of going with the ML 1400. I found online a schematic for the Lionel CW80 transformer so I know where I have to make modifications for the PLC to control the throttle. It also means I can tap into the three buttons on the unit to control direction, bell, and whistle. Mike  
  14. Advice on choosing a PLC for a project

    I will ask for a quote for the ML1400, if its not much more then the ML1200 then Ill probably get that one. May not need the Ethernet port now but might be useful in the future. Mike  
  15. Advice on choosing a PLC for a project

    I have had no issues with the Cmore interfacing to the ML1000. If I need a longer cable I can just make it myself. The ML1400 looks like it has the same type RS232 port so it should not be a problem. I may be getting my hands on an Allen Bradley Panelview that might fit the stand I have so I may try to see how that works out. The Cmore panel I bought does not have Ethernet so serial is the only way to go for now. Mike