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Old June 13th, 2018, 01:44 PM   #16
mk42
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I'm going to add to the crowd recommending Codesys on an RPi. Probably with at least 2 memory cards. Having one "normal" RPi environment lets him play around with all kinds of things, but having another card with the Codesys runtime lets him get a good intro to PLCs. Would I trust an RPi to run a machine? Probably not, but it sure makes a great simulator/trainer.
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Old June 13th, 2018, 03:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geniusintraining View Post
I dont have the time to go into it.... but a couple of points

1) who said anything about ladder only? and I actually said just the opposite if you would of read what I wrote "IEC 61131 compliant Beckoff or Wago" maybe you should look up IEC 61131

The Codesys runtime on the Raspberry Pi is by far the cheapest hardware that offers full IEC 61131-3 compliant programming and some I/O's, and is cheap to expand. I agree that a Beckhoff or Wago PLC would be great to tinker with, they are definitely more robust, but they cost a lot more and offer no advantages from a programming perspective. Actually the Raspberry can be programmed not only through IEC 61131-3 compliant Codesys 3.5, but a myriad of other languages as well.
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Old June 13th, 2018, 07:17 PM   #18
brendan.buchan
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I'll throw in a suggestion for an Allen-Bradley Micro 820 2080-LC20-20QWB.

Pretty cheap, looks to be around $250 USD in the states, with free programming software (CCW) supporting Ladder, Function Block, and Structured Text.

On-board serial port RS232/RS435, and Ethernet port for Ethernet/IP or Modbus/TCP.

Also has on-board analogs as well as the digital in/relay outs of course.

Pair this with some free HMI software like AdvancedHMI and you can learn quite a bit with this setup that directly relates with industrial environments.
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Old June 13th, 2018, 11:08 PM   #19
kallileo
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I would go with raspberry pi and codesys.
You just can do so much more than with a simple PLC.
It's much more important for a young kid learn about technologies than to learn something specific like ladder. With Raspberry you have unlimited access to any programming language or modern technology.
You even run Advanced HMI on Raspberry.
If you still want to buy a PLC by something like Wago PFC100 and experiment with Kurt Braun videos on YouTube but you would still need a Raspberry.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 01:31 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geniusintraining View Post
I dont have the time to go into it.... but a couple of points

1) who said anything about ladder only? and I actually said just the opposite if you would of read what I wrote "IEC 61131 compliant Beckoff or Wago" maybe you should look up IEC 61131

2) I hired over 50 techs so when it comes to my interviews? YES I ask them what PLC's have they programmed and I ask them what languages have they programmed, we had several machines wrote in Basic and C so they would need to know some

Beckhoff or Wago are programmed with a very similar (if not downright equal) programming environment as we program a Raspberry Pi with CodeSys. Hence why the difference is in the instrumentation and electrics... and obviously cost. Hence why I cannot understand why you're dismissing a Raspberry Pi with Codesys as a learning tool.

As for number two, what you are assessing in interviews is not whether someone programmed something or what, it's the complexity of what was programmed so you can understand how good that guy is. Op's son wouldn't likely pass an interview just by tinkering with any platform of choice around the house in my opinion. So the point is moot.

As for having someone that can program in C... we go back to a similar point, the Raspberry Pi is the safest C development environment as you can just roll back the operating system if you mess something up. Which is something you can't do on a normal computer.

I agree that it is strange to have a little computer being capable of doing PLC work, but it shouldn't be brushed off as a learning tool particularly when compared to PLC's that use a very similar development environment or PLC's that are a lot more basic for the same price.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 03:22 AM   #21
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If you are looking for a best value, I agree with Raspberry Pi guys..

But if you are going the professional PLC way, Siemens starter packs are not so expensive..
TIA Basic+PLC+IOSimulator 350euro.. (you can simulate Panels so it is HMI too..)
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Old June 14th, 2018, 05:31 AM   #22
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I can't believe nobody has yet to recommend the Allen Bradley Micro800 series of Plc's.

We use the Micro820 ($189.00) for all of our smaller projects and have for years. Never had a problem (software is FREE) and they have made great progress with improving CCW).

And while I'm at it, I would also recommend the Maple Systems HMI, very cost effective, have used for years without any problems. I have never not been able to do a job that the Maple did not provide the perfect solution.

All of the above just my own opinion.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 08:33 AM   #23
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Let's ask some questions before making assumptions.


First, is this just for a hobby?



Second, what is your son's major?


Third, if the major is related to plc's, what type of employment/future do you envision for your son?


I ask this because if this is truly just a hobby, just stick with the Pi/Arduino. If this is for continuing career knowledge, grab a Brx or Click or Productivity from Automation Direct.
You never know, one of us here may have one laying around we might be willing to send you...
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Old June 14th, 2018, 08:43 AM   #24
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If he is interested in PLC's I would go with the recommendations already put above. But I would also throw in a Raspberry Pi running Codesys.


It is a great exercise to try to interface different kinds of equipment to a PLC. It is fairly simple to get a Pi running Codesys to talk MODBUS TCP.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 09:09 AM   #25
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You guys can program all the fruit (pun intended) you want to, hey try Blueberries next.... im going to stick with programing PLC's

And some of you are contradicting yourselves... first you say there is no need for PLC's at home for home automation but then again lets all become fruit programmers....
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Old June 14th, 2018, 09:35 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geniusintraining View Post
You guys can program all the fruit (pun intended) you want to, hey try Blueberries next.... im going to stick with programing PLC's
The question here is, have you tried it? After all you haven't yet told us why a Raspberry Pi running the CodeSys runtime cannot be used as a learning tool for PLC's for about 60$. Mind you no one has said about running it in industry.

All you say is that it's not good and you wouldn't consider it valuable experience in PLC development, but no reason why... which is really annoying as you may have some good valid reasons for it.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 01:54 PM   #27
JordanCClark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geniusintraining View Post
You guys can program all the fruit (pun intended) you want to, hey try Blueberries next...
Been doing that for a couple of years now. From Electronics Weekly, Feb. 2016:
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Old June 14th, 2018, 06:00 PM   #28
pal
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I was thinking of buying my college-age son a PLC setup as something he could tinker with as a hobby. Right now he has an Arduino (or a knockoff of one?), but it looks to be kind of limited.

What would you guys recommend? Automation Direct? I'm *not* paying for a Rockwell setup. Forget about that (LOL!)





You may find a MicroLogix ML1100 at a reasonable price on Ebay , one version of the program for it is RSLogix500Lite which is free and , as Glcshortt mentioned in post #12 , AdvancedHMI is also free and will run on a tablet with Windows and MSnet V4.0 or higher (this gives you a touch screen). The beauty of the ML1100 is that it ethernet comms and allows on-line editing .
As for Home automation - with the above sort of set up you could work your way up through simple systems such as the ever popular traffic light displays and use on screen buttons for pedestrians .
Pumping stations ( In fact at work we use a ML1100 for a 6 Pump remote station with E-net for status and overrides ) . Mixing Tanks , conveyor systems - the list of industrial set-ups you can emulate is only limited by your imagination and programming skills - as they develope and thats the point really .


Paul
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Old June 14th, 2018, 06:15 PM   #29
NetNathan
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AB would probably be best for him to get experience with.... if PLC programming is what he is going to look for as far as job.
If he learned CodeSys on a PI and then went somewhere that was AB (highly likely)...big re-learning curve.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 06:23 PM   #30
JordanCClark
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Taking a different tack, what about LogixPro? Reasonably priced, and can have a few "real-world" applications to go through.

http://thelearningpit.com/lp/logixpro.html
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