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Old December 14th, 2017, 03:04 PM   #1
RobertB
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Velocio PLCs?

Anyone have any experience with Velocio PLCs and HMI software? Are they any good???
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Old December 14th, 2017, 03:14 PM   #2
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I don't have any experience with their PLCs, but a little over a year ago one of their sales people got himself banned because he was trying to use this site to advertise their product.
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Old December 14th, 2017, 03:55 PM   #3
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I've played with them. It feels like a hybrid of a Arduino that runs ladder code. Hardware feels cheap. The inputs are only protected with pull down resistors, no opto isolation. For some brilliant reason they do not have onboard voltage regulators to power off of 12-24vdc, instead you must power it with 5vdc. Out of the box it doesn't come with any of the required terminal blocks nor is it DIN rail mountable by default, that's another optional add-on.

I personally did not like the software at all. It seemed very clunky requiring a lot of mouse usage, then back to the keyboard, back to the mouse, etc etc. For all intents and purposes RS485 does not exist in their world and RS232 is limited to a few models (and I'm not sure it's even RS232, I suspect it's actually TTL level). Ethernet simply does not exist.

If you need a really, really cheap PLC with quite a lot of limitations, I guess they might be ok? Or if you need a lot of analog inputs in a very, very tiny form factor (they have a model that does 12 analog in, 0-10v or 0-20ma depending on what model you buy).

Past that, I can't see a reason to not use a Click from AD. The Click has proper onboard voltage regulation, expandable, RS232, ethernet or RS485 on higher end models, opto isolated inputs, etc.
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Old December 14th, 2017, 04:56 PM   #4
RobertB
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Wow, very detailed answer. The old adage... "You get what you pay for"... is especially true in electronics. I will check out the Click brand. I hope the programming software is free or cheap?
Thank you for the detailed response.
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Old December 14th, 2017, 05:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertB View Post
Wow, very detailed answer. The old adage... "You get what you pay for"... is especially true in electronics. I will check out the Click brand. I hope the programming software is free or cheap?
Thank you for the detailed response.
Yes, the Click has free software and it is pretty decent.

The newer Ethernet units are really pretty nice and we are using them for simple projects where space in a constraint.

https://www.automationdirect.com/adc...le_Micro_Brick)
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Old December 14th, 2017, 05:36 PM   #6
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I should clarify, when I say software in my previous post, I meant their ladder programming software. I have no experience with their HMI products, be it software or hardware.

I use a boat load of the Clicks. I think we're over 500 ordered from AD this year. Most of them are the basic model with relay outputs, but I use some of the ethernet models when needed. Many of our games and props are completely standalone "plug n play" types of things, so they don't need network connectivity. I've used a few Click's in combination with Productivity 2000 setup's as purely remote I/O and for the most part they work well there. No program needed, just have the P2K poll and write the modbus coils on the Click. Speaking of, the modbus addresses on the Click are hard-set in the firmware. X1 is always going to be address 10001, C1 will always be 16385, etc. I know this is an issue for some guys. I personally prefer it as I always know that "x" physical address will always equate to "z" modbus address in every program. There is still some slight confusion on modbus addressing in Click to me. In "MODBUS 984" addressing, C1 is 163385. In "MODBUS HEX" addressing, C1 is 16384. I don't understand the details of the protocol to know if this is a universal "issue" with modbus, or a "feature" specific to Click.

The Click's also have very fast pulse catch inputs on X1 and X2 which is nice if you're using a hall effect counter or something similar. Also to keep in mind, while the non-ethernet Click's aren't slow in processing speed, the ethernet models are significantly faster (I think the official word was 2x faster?). Something to keep in mind if you need really fast ladder execution.
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Old December 14th, 2017, 06:49 PM   #7
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Modbus doesn't have address 0, the first register is register 1. It is however transmitted as 0x00 if you look at the packet that is sent. When commissioning a new modbus device, I always check to see if their addressing is offset by 1, because many manufacturers refer to the transmitted address and not the modbus standard address.
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Old December 14th, 2017, 06:51 PM   #8
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Oh, and I have never heard of the velocio.
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Old December 14th, 2017, 07:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustralIan View Post
Modbus doesn't have address 0, the first register is register 1. It is however transmitted as 0x00 if you look at the packet that is sent. When commissioning a new modbus device, I always check to see if their addressing is offset by 1, because many manufacturers refer to the transmitted address and not the modbus standard address.
That's a great explanation and now I understand.

The issue cropped up when I had a program written to intercept modbus requests via a RS232 adapter and transform them into HTTP status messages (as the vendors software could only poll HTTP requests). That explains why they were looking for the hex data instead of the addressing that I'm accustomed to. It took a while to figure out that their bridge program was looking for an offset of -1 vs my addressing.

Thanks for the info.
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Old December 14th, 2017, 07:59 PM   #10
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Yes - Modbus/J Bus offset of one. I just use direct addressing - easier.
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Old December 14th, 2017, 08:04 PM   #11
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I did a video showing how to use one with AdvancedHMI. Beyond that I have not done any real projects with one. I would say it sits in between an Arduino and a micro PLC. The one I used has 5 volt IO so it wouldn't be too easy to use for industrial controls. I got the impression it would be good for the maker community.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqwJq3Xtf6U
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Old December 15th, 2017, 08:53 AM   #12
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I have different projects, but this one is a stand alone controlling a single output on a single conveyor while watching a single analog input. Right now, it is a ML1400 with an IF4 card. Overkill I know. But if this works as well as we hope, this project will be requested by the 100s.
It won't be with ML1400s at that point!
Thank again for all the info.
The rest of the world may revolve around money, but us controls guys revolve around information!
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Old December 15th, 2017, 09:09 AM   #13
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+1 for the Click

Note: Ethernet with Analog are now available.
AdvancedHMI to the Click is no problem.
http://accautomation.ca/click-plc-ad...communication/
YouTube:
https://youtu.be/oVOaEjGMzKQ

Regards,
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Old December 15th, 2017, 09:25 AM   #14
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You might also want to look at some of the PLR's that are available. I have had good luck with the Teco SG2 for small systems and there are several similar devices.
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Old December 15th, 2017, 02:32 PM   #15
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Another +1 vote for the Click, although I took the serial specs "Modbus ASCII" to mean the ASCII flavor of Modbus.

Nope, it's (or was at the time) Modbus RTU, or ASCII. Since I already had my ASCII client done in Power Basic, I wasn't about to change it. So there's at least one Click out there with an Modbus ASCII host routine written in ladder logic.
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