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  In this issue
    Company News

-See Us at AM Expo in Charlotte, North Carolina

    - Winter issue of Automation NOTEBOOK Now Online
    - Fun Card Decks in the Mail
    - You've been asking about 3D CAD
    New Products
    -Single-pack Fuse Holders Available
    Web Store News
    - Recent Additions
    - Hot Feature Reminders
    - On the Way
    Product Short Takes
    -Industrial Ethernet Switches
    -18 gauge Wire Introduced

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Volume 10 Issue 2, March 2008
We hope you find this issue of our e-mail update of what's new at AutomationDirect informative and, at times, a little amusing.
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Editor's note:

Robots, Robots, Everywhere

As a proud supporter of the Forsyth Alliance, a group of local high school robotics teams, and FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics, we are excited about the upcoming FIRST Robotics Forsyth AllianceCompetition Peachtree Regional being held March 14-16. Teams from across the southeastern U.S. will converge upon the Gwinnett Civic and Cultural Center in Duluth, Georgia for three days filled with fun, friendly, team-building competition. Unlike the knockdown-drag-out competitions so many of us are accustomed to, FIRST competitions promote teams working together, to accomplish goals, rather than working to destroy each other.

This year's competition is "FIRST Overdrive." Robots designed and operated by the students will navigate around a track while knocking down inflated 40" trackballs. The robotswill move the trackballs around the track, passing them either over or under a 6'6" overpass. Teams will gain extra points by positioning the trackballs back on the overpass before the end of the 2 minute and 15 second match.

It's going to be an exciting three days of competition. Admission is free and open to the public. So, if you are in the area, come out and see the great talents these students possess. Find out more by visiting

In this month's newsletter, you'll learn of the newest products we have available, read the latest company news, and then take a break with the Lighter Side.

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Company News

See us at AM Expo in Charlotte March 19-20, 2008
While at AM Expo (March 19-20 in Charlotte, NC), visit AutomationDirect at booth 1544 to see the latest product offerings in several categories, including motors, drives, PLCs, operator interfaces/HMI, motion control, circuit protection, enclosures, and lots more. Representatives will be on hand to answer your questions on products and applications. See you there!

AutomationNoteBook vol. 10

Winter Issue of Automation NOTEBOOK Now Online

The winter issue of Automation NOTEBOOK has hit the streets and the Web. If you have not received the print version, you can see the full issue, sign up to receive print copies, plus view all back issues at



Fun Card Decks are in the Mail
Card DeckMany of you requested our custom playing card decks to show friends and coworkers. Printed on each card is a specific product offered by AutomationDirect. And for even more fun, we'll start playing some games for prizes in future issues of our enewsletter. If you would like to receive a deck, fill out the request form, and they'll be on their way!

You've been asking about 3D CAD…
We've been working hard to expand our library of 2D CAD drawings for our products, but now requests are popping up for 3D versions as well. We need your input on what drawing packages are most used, what file formats are needed, and what product lines should have priority. Please take just a few minutes to complete our short survey so we can supply you with what you need to do your job.

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New Products

Single-pack Fuse Holders now Available

Fuse HolderAutomationDirect now offers Edison fuse holders in single packs. The CHM and CHCC models feature multiple-pole configurations, finger-safe protection and optional "open-fuse" indication. Multi-phase connections are available for ganging poles. Each fuse holder is 35mm DIN rail-mountable. Class CC fuse holders are UL listed, CSA certified and CE compliant, while the Midget models are UL recognized, CSA certified, CE compliant, and IEC approved. Prices for Edison fuse holders start at $6.75 for a single pack and $56.00 for a twelve pack.

See the full line of fuse holders, visit:

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Application Corner

AutomationDirect Web StoreOur Web store functionality is driven by your input and feedback. It's a simple formula--you tell us the features you need to make your ordering process easier and more efficient, and we listen and provide the functionality most often requested.

Recent Additions:

Order Importing - big time saver!
You can now import your orders to our e-commerce store. We support .CSV files to populate your shopping cart or .XML files to import complete orders including shipping address, shipping method, and order payment so all you have to do is confirm the order and submit. For more details and file definitions, email us at

Limited ordering for new multi-users awaiting approval
You asked us to allow multiple logins to a company account. We listened and provided that functionality. However, an inconvenience occurred for those awaiting account administrator approvals. We've listened again. We now offer "limited user" status to those awaiting approval. You can go ahead and place your orders using a credit card or iCheck. Upon approval, full account functionality is granted.

"Add one" in the search feature
Our search results page now provides an "Add One to Cart" link so you can quickly purchase without navigating through our store.

FAQs on item pages
Want answers to those Frequently Asked Questions? Search or navigate to your product in question and click the FAQ link.

Short URL
We now offer a short URL so you can quickly share a product page with a colleague. Just type*** where *** is the part number you want to share. Example:

Hot Feature Reminders:

Canadian Order Brokering
For our Canadian customers, we can now be your importer of record and handle the brokerage for your package, saving you significant time and money. For orders over $34 USD, our brokerage charge is a flat rate $10 USD brokerage fee, plus applicable duties, taxes, and shipping charges. Don't forget our free ground shipping on orders over $300 USD (certain exclusions apply). See for full details.

Order Tracking Link in Shipping Confirmation Email
When you have your shipping confirmation email option enabled on your account preferences, you will get a direct link in the email message to your order tracking page.

Self Quotes
Need a quote? We make it very fast and simple. Just add your parts to the shopping cart, go to the cart, and click GET A QUOTE. If you are logged in, we will save your quote, lock in pricing for 30 days and you can even name the quote for future reference.

Are you familiar with the layout of our printed catalog? Try our iCatalog feature. This is a hot-linked version of our printed catalog. Find your section and page number, and click on the part to quickly add it to your cart.

On the Way:

Guest User Ordering
You're on the road and need to place a quick order, but can't remember your login information. Just check out as a guest user using your credit card or iCheck. This is a quick and convenient way to get the parts you need. Note, that as a guest, we cannot tie the order to your company account; your purchase history cannot be stored, etc.

Express Checkout
Do you normally ship to a default address using a default shipping method and default payment option? Soon our Express Checkout feature will offer a one-click confirmation and one-click checkout option. Stay tuned for more details.

BOM Feature
You asked for it and we are in the coding process now. You will soon be able to create and maintain your Bill of Materials on our Web store. Name them, store notes, group them, then when ordering time comes around we will make that simple too.

Would you like to see additional store features? Tell us what would make ordering easier and more efficient for you. Email your feedback to

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Product Short Takes

Industrial Ethernet Switches AvailableStride industrial-grade unmanaged Ethernet switches and media converters
Stride™ industrial-grade unmanaged Ethernet switches and media converters, from AutomationDirect, are designed specifically for PLC, HMI and drive users. These true plug-and-play devices automatically determine and remember devices connected to each port and only route messages through the appropriate ports, increasing speed and availablebandwidth. Even under heavy I/O and data exchange, Stride switches and the Ethernet control network maintain more consistent cycle times. Learn more at:

General Purpose Wire - just added 18 gauge too!
Wire from AutomationDirectAutomationDirect now offers building/hookup wire. Intended for general purpose applications, THHN building wire, with PVC insulation and Nylon jacket, is available in 4 through 14 gauge sizes consisting of 19-strand, 600V uncoated copper wire, making it ideal for new construction or rewiring applications. THHN can be used in wet or dry locations. MTW-type wire is available in 10 through 18 gauge sizes, and consists of 19 and 26-strand 600V bare, annealed copper. MTW-type wire is primarily used in control cabinets, machine tool applications, and appliance wiring applications. Available in 500-foot spools, prices start at $29 for MTW-type wire. TFFN-type wire is available as 16 and 18 gauge, 26-strand, 600V, uncoated copper and is primarily used as fixture wire in dry locations. TFFN-type wire starts at $36 for a 500-foot spool. All wire types are UL rated.

To view the entire line of wire, visit

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The Lighter Side

Here are some interesting statements taken from legitimate job positions. Each of these was found on major job posting services on the Internet:

Assistant Props Master
"You may be required to hunt in odd places, pull things from the trash, find out ways and strategies to acquire odd things, and generally think of clever resources to procure objects needed for productions."

(So, are they saying it's ok to steal?)

Found on several CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) job descriptions:
"To be considered suitable for Agency employment, applicants must generally not have used illegal drugs within the last twelve months."


So you want to be an astronaut? This was found on NASA's job listings:

Astronaut Candidate

Key Requirements:
• Position subject to pre-employment background investigation
• U.S. citizenship is required
• This is a drug-testing designated position
• Frequent travel may be required

(Frequent travel MAY be required? For an astronaut? You think?)

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Thanks for your time!
Comments or suggestions for topics in future newsletters can be directed to

© 2008
All rights reserved

AutomationDirect HQ is located at 3505 Hutchinson Rd., Cumming, GA 30040
(about 45 minutes north of Atlanta, GA)


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