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Visit us online or call 1-800-633-0405. Welcome to our periodic e-mail update of what's new & happening at AutomationDirect.
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  In this issue
    Company News
    -FIRST Robotics season recap
    Product News
    -ZIPport Multi-port Junction Blocks
    -Fuji Contactor Line Extension
    -DINnector 2009 Line Extension
    -CLICK Analog CPUs
    Online Store news
    -Detailed technical information available online for many products
    The Lighter Side

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© 2009
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Volume 11 Issue 5, June 2009
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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We always welcome your comments or suggestions concerning this newsletter.

Editor's note:

Bring on the heat!

Smiley SummerFor most, the school year has ended by now and we're all ready for summer to begin. Family, neighborhood, and public swimming pools are open. Amusement parks are operating at full speed. The sounds of ice cream trucks fill the air and temperatures are on the rise.

As summer heats up, things at AutomationDirect are full steam ahead. We continue to launch new products and expand existing product lines. Expect even more throughout the coming months.

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

Forsyth Alliance expands Robotics reach

Do It Yourself! portalThe 2008-2009 season for the AutomationDirect-sponsored Forsyth Alliance FIRST Robotics group saw changes and challenges, and major milestones in the growth and reach of the organization.

At the Peachtree Regional in March, the Forsyth Alliance went undefeated in the qualification rounds and was ranked the #1 seed at the entire tournament. Unfortunately, three breakdowns took them out of contention as the Regional's winning alliance. As part of a presentation the team gave to a panel of judges for the "Chairman's Award", view this video which offers a fun visual overview of the Forsyth Alliance and its role in not only the FIRST organization but in the community.

The Forsyth Alliance participated in the World Championship in April, which hosted almost 350 teams from over 20 countries. The Forsyth Alliance performed well, and finished in the top half of their division, despite some communication problems with the robot. Their Regional-winning animation entry was chosen as one of only five finalists from among the almost 1,700 participating teams worldwide to compete for the 2009 season's overall Visualization Design Award (watch their entry on the AutoDesk Web site; click on "FRC #1746" in bottom row).

The end of this fourth season saw the graduation of many of the founding members of the Forsyth Alliance; virtually all are going on to college for studies in engineering or a field related to their involvement in the FIRST Robotics program. Another significant byproduct of the FIRST program locally has been to spur the Board of Education to install an entire Engineering/Robotics Career Pathway in four county high schools and to create two Engineering Career Academies in Forsyth County.

For more information, photos and video of the Forsyth Alliance, visit, or for information on the FIRST program, visit

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Product News

Introducing Multi-port Junction Blocks for Sensors

ZIPports AutomationDirect now offers ZIPport™ multi-port junction blocks, that provide time, cost and space savings by allowing multiple sensors to be wired to a single block with one cable connecting to the control panel.

ZIPport junction blocks are available in field-wireable or five-meter cable versions, feature four and five-pin M12 connectors in four, six and eight-port models, and offer a choice of one or two I/O per port. The blocks provide 24 VDC and 120 VDC/AC operation in temperatures ranging from -20°C to +80°C (-4°F to +176°F) and also provide an IP67 degree of protection when all ports are either connected or covered with recommended protective caps.

The five-meter integrated cable series comes with three 18-gauge wires for power connection and four to sixteen 22-gauge wires for I/O connections, depending on the number of ports.

The field-wireable junction blocks allow the installer the option of using his cables of choice and only the I/O necessary.

All ZIPport models are available with or without power and signal LED indicators.

Prices for the ZIPport multiport junction blocks start at $39 and include two spare port caps. Additional caps can be purchased in packs of five for $2.50.

Check out the complete line of ZIPport multi-port junction blocks

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Higher Voltage Motor Contactors Available

Fuji motor controlsAutomationDirect's offering of Fuji electric contactors now includes higher coil voltages. The new SC series components operate with AC coil voltage ranges of 440-480V and 500-550V at 60hz and are available in frame sizes of 43mm, 54mm and 67mm. SC series SUPERMAGNET™ Coil contactors now include 88mm, 100mm and 115mm frame models with AC coil voltage ranges of 380-450V and 460-575V at 50/60hz. Also now available with SUPERMAGNET coils are the Odyssey series contactors in 138mm and 148mm frame sizes, with AC coil voltage ranges of 380-450V and 460-575V at 50/60hz.

Prices for the new Fuji contactors start at $13.75 and are backed by a 30-day return and one-year warranty.

See the complete line of Fuji electric contactors.

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Dinnector Line of Terminal Blocks Expanded

DINnectors brand terminal blocksAutomationDirect has added to its Dinnector line of terminal blocks and accessories. Among the products added are supplementary circuit breaker terminal blocks and sockets. The blocks are available in ¼ amp to 10 amp sizes and are sold in packs of 20. Terminal block sockets, available in 12V and 24V models with or without LED indicators, are sold in packs of 50.

Also available are disconnect terminal blocks in 12V and 24V models. Sold in packs of 50, disconnect terminal blocks start at $74.25. Disconnect knife blades are available in packs of 50 for $21.50.

A new series of single and double level plug-in style terminal blocks are sold in packages with 32 blocks and four pin protectors; prices start at $31 for single-level and $45.75 for double-level block packages. New accessories available include end covers, spacers, pin protectors and marking tags, as well as two-pole and three-pole jumpers.

Thermocouple terminal blocks have been added in 50V and 300V models, and start at $119 for a pack of 50.

See the full line of Dinnector Terminal Blocks.

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Analog CPUs added to CLICK® PLC line

Industrial Ethernet Switches Rated For Wide Temperature RangesThe CLICK PLC line, from AutomationDirect, now includes three analog CPU models. The new CPUs feature two analog inputs and two outputs with ranges of voltage up to 5 VDC or current up to 20 mA. The modules include one built-in RS-485 and two RS-232 communication ports, and real time clock and battery backup for internal SRAM.
Analog CPU modules are differentiated by their discrete I/O; all have four DC inputs, and a choice of four DC sinking, DC sourcing or relay outputs.

All CLICK CPUs are configured with the easy-to-use programming software, available as a free download. Prices for the analog CPUs start at $129.

See the full line of CLICK PLCs.

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Online Store News

more detailed tech information at item level of product informationDetailed technical information available online for many products
Did you know that you can now access AutoCAD drawings, FAQs, and agency approval information on many of our products with a simple mouse click? While viewing the detailed item pages, you can view helpful documentation links related to the specific item being viewed by simply clicking on the menu on the right side of the page.

Go to a CLICK CPU page to see an example of links available for many of our products

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The Lighter Side
(from one of those "www." places)

You find them everywhere...

A woman walked into a local taco stand in Kansas City to order lunch. She asked the person behind the counter for "minimal lettuce." Confused, the man said he was sorry but they only had Iceberg lettuce.

A man was checking his bags at Birmingham International Airport. As part of the security check, an airport employee asked, "Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?"
He replied, "If it was to my knowledge, how would I know?"
The employee smiled knowingly and nodded, "That's why we ask, sir."

In Wichita, Kansas stoplights sound a buzzer to alert pedestrians when it is safe to cross the street. One day, a probation officer was crossing with a coworker and asked if she knew what the buzzer was for. She answered, "It lets blind people know when the light is red."
Shocked, the officer said, "Why on earth are blind people driving!"

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

© 2009
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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