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  In this issue
    Company News
    -Robotics team goes to Washington D.C.
    -Interconnecting Automation tutorial videos
    -Productivity3000 webinars now available on AutomationTalk
    Product News
    -LED Sensor Cables
    -C-more 6" Color TFT Panel
    -Compact soft starters
    From Automation Notebook
    -Ohio energy group finds alternative control
    The Lighter Side

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© 2009
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Volume 11 Issue 9, November 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:

Let's talk turkey

Happy ThanksgivingNow that Halloween has passed, it's time to set our sights on the fowl that Benjamin Franklin thought should be our national bird. We're talking about the turkey. More turkeys will be prepared this month than any other in the year.

Stop to think for a minute about all those plump gobblers and the process they go through before they wind up in kitchens across the country. Did you ever happen to think automation and industrial control have something to do with it? From the conveyors moving the birds to the packaging machinery, to loading the trucks that deliver them to the grocers and meat markets, sensors, motors, pneumatic cylinders and more all play a major part in preparing old Tom Turkey for this month's celebration.

Count on AutomationDirect, with thousands of industrial control products, to be your number one value in automation. Be sure to check out our newest product offerings.

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

Robotics team goes to Washington D.C.

Forsyth Robotics goes to Washington On October 15, 2009, the Forsyth Alliance Robotics Team participated in the Congressional Robotics Caucus in Washington, D.C. The Caucus is comprised of a group of Congressmen promoting funding for educational programs such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Recognizing the incredible impact robotics programs have on STEM , representatives of the Forsyth Alliance Team were brought in to show everyone a proven successful model for making it happen. Several teams from the greater Washington DC metro area were represented, but the Forsyth Alliance was the only team invited from outside the area.

For the one-day event, four students from West Forsyth High School, along with two adults, flew to Capitol Hill. The students did a tremendous job of talking to the standing-room-only crowd. While there, they met with Georgia Representative Phil Gingrey, who is also the co-chair of the Robotics Caucus, and Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson.

After the Caucus, Senator Isakson donated one of his aides to take the kids on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Capitol building where they observed as congressmen voted on a new energy bill. Afterwards, they were allowed use of the private underground tram the Congressmen use to move between buildings on Capitol Hill.

The team then took a whirlwind walking tour of the Washington D.C. mall by visiting several places such as some of the Smithsonian museums, the Washington Monument, the White House, and ultimately the Lincoln Memorial. The students enjoyed a long, cold, wet, and exciting day. But it was one they will never forget.

The Forsyth Alliance offers a special thanks to AutomationDirect and Forsyth County Schools for their continued support of the Robotics Program in Forsyth County and for making opportunities such as this happen. This time, not only will the kids in Forsyth County benefit, but the entire country will too!

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Inexpensive online PLC training now available

Interconnecting AutomationInterconnecting Automation (ICA) , an independent training company that offers regional training and video courses on AutomationDirect products, has launched a subscription-based online training site. Initially focused on PLCs such as the CLICK micro-brick series, the site will continue to expand coverage to topics such as C-more HMIs and other industrial controls.

The online training section is a component of ICA (see link at the top of the Home page). Visitors can view the complete list of videos in each "library" as well as watch sample videos; when ready to purchase, the prospective member registers and pays for their selected libraries on a monthly basis. The member receives unlimited access from a maximum of two PCs anytime during the 30 days; videos can be viewed as many times as needed during the subscription period. Most libraries range from $29.95 - $39.95 per month.

Libraries currently available include:

  • Introduction to PLC Principles (For the novice non-user with limited controls knowledge)
  • CLICK series PLC Training (includes Introduction to PLCs library)

Coming Soon:

  • Productivity3000 Training (includes Introduction to PLCs library) (Coming November-December 2009)
  • C-more HMI Training (December 2009-January 2010)

For more information, to view sample videos or register for a subscription, visit

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Productivity3000 webinars now available on AutomationTalk features P3000 videosOur video team has added new recorded webinars for Productivity3000 to the site. The latest videos make up a three-part series explaining the basics of our new Productivity3000 controller platform. This series introduces the controller and its unique hardware and software features. Check out today to see the latest.

Also remember to register for our live webinars. Our next one is scheduled for November 11th, when Shane and Tom will discuss motor control and circuit protection. Motors are the workhorses in almost all automated equipment and processes. This talk show will cover different hardware available to control various operations, and they will also show the products used to provide protection to the circuits that power motors. As always, there will be a live question and answer session at the end of the show. Click here to register for this and future live webinars.

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Product News

LED Sensor Cables

LED cablesOur sensor cable offering now includes quick-disconnect and patch cables with LED indicators. The new patch cables have a right-angle M12 female plug with LED indicator on one end and an axial male connector on the other. Available in six lengths ranging from 0.3m to 10m, the cables feature a polyurethane jacket for dependable use in oily and direct sunlight applications. Prices for patch cables with LED indicators start at $10.75.

Also added are quick-disconnect cables with an LED indicator to confirm signal presence. Fitted with industry standard M12 right-angle female plugs, these cables can be used with patch cables to extend distance. Available in two-meter, five-meter and 10-meter lengths, these cable prices start at $10.75. See the full line of sensor cables at

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C-more 6" Color TFT Panel

C-more 6" TFT touch panelsThe C-more operator interface line now includes two new 6" TFT color panels with LED backlights. The base model EA7-T6CL-R panel is a 320x240 resolution QVGA display which supports up to 65,536 colors. The analog resistive touch screen supports unlimited touch areas, two USB ports, serial PLC interface (RS-232/422/485), and 10MB project memory.

The panel is equipped with an LED backlight. Additional capabilities on the full-featured EA7-T6CL unit include an Ethernet 10/100 base-T communication port, remote Internet access and data logging. Both panels are NEMA 4/4X, IP65 compliant when mounted correctly for indoor use. Backed by a two-year warranty, the panels start at $495. To learn more, visit

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Compact soft starters

Stellar soft startersAutomationDirect introduces Stellar™ soft starters, the newest addition to our product offering, as a low-cost motor control alternative.

The SR22 series soft starters, available in 5A to 40A sizes, are overcurrent protected and feature two DIN-rail mountable frame sizes (45mm and 55mm). The microprocessor based starters have an operating voltage range of 208 to 460 VAC. Easily configurable, each unit is equipped with three potentiometers allowing adjustable start and stop times of up to 30 seconds and an adjustable start pedestal voltage ranging from 30 to 100%. A separate 24VDC control voltage is required.

Ideal for applications such as pumps, blowers and conveyors, the SR22 series soft starters use thyristors for controlled reduced voltage motor starting and stopping, and then switch to internal contacts for efficient running at rated speed. When used instead of a line starter, Stellar soft starters provide smoother control resulting in less torque, less shock, and less electrical and mechanical stress.

Backed by a two-year warranty, Stellar soft starters prices start at $145. To increase starts per hour of the soft starter, optional cooling fans are available starting at $45.


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Automation NOTEBOOKFrom Automation NOTEBOOK

Ohio energy group finds alternative control

Alternative Energy application storyAs more focus is placed on energy conservation, a small alternative energy group in Ohio has made an impact by generating power using wind turbines. These wind turbines vary widely from low power to high power and from homemade to high-tech. Among the diversity, the members had one common problem. They needed a solution to replacing aging analog wind turbine controls. Not only had the old controls developed reliability issues, but costly replacement parts also became more difficult to find.

Find out how implementing AutomationDirect products provided became the cost-efficient solution.

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The Lighter Side

For years, an email has been circulating regarding "The Washington Post's MENSA Invitational" which asks readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting or changing one letter and supply a new definition. While that name is a fallacy, "The Style Invitational" originally appeared in the Washington Post's Sunday edition in 1993. It can now be found in the Style section of the Post's Saturday issue. Below are just a few words which have "gotten ink," as it is known. Enjoy these and then check out more here. To view past contests without registering on the Post site, choose any link that was posted more than a month ago.

  • Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.
  • Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
  • Karmageddon: It's when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, and then the Earth explodes, and it's a serious bummer.
  • Decafalon: The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only those things which are good for you.
  • Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
  • Arachnoleptic fit: The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
  • Beelzebug: Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
  • Caterpallor: The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.


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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
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