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E-Notes from Captain's Log
Volume 2 Issue 6

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Welcome to our semi-regular e-mail update of what's new and happening at


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This is it, the inaugural issue of the HTML-enhanced version of the newsletter! That is, if you sign up for it. Just visit and check out the format. If you like the looks of it and want to receive this newsletter in the HTML-enhanced format from this day forth, just enter your e-mail address into the box that you'll see near the top of that page. You'll automatically be removed from this text version list.

In other news, we are hard at work on our new catalog, which is going to be stuffed with all the products we've introduced in the last year, as well as more new product lines for introduction this fall. As a matter of fact, we've run out of current catalogs, so we're sending our international version and an accompanying CD-ROM in response to catalog requests. The neat thing about the CD-ROM is that it's a demo disk and catalog all in one. It has DirectSOFT32 programming and DS DATAServer working demos, as well as a LookoutDirect HMI demo. And the catalog PDF files (basically all the technical sections of the catalog) include all the latest products not in the current catalog, like enclosures, NEMA limit switches and SJ300 flux vector drives. If you'd like to get a copy of the disk, send an email with your name, company and complete address and the request "Demo CD" to We'll send it out right away!



     New PLC analog and relay modules
     Industrial LCD monitors and cables now shipping
     Online Technical Support inquiry form
     Application of the month
     Detroit a clunker, but we make the podium at Cleveland!



New DL405 and DL205 I/O modules give you more analog and relays
Releasing later this month are new modules for our DL205 and DL405 PLC families. New modules for the DL205 family include the F2-08TR ($73), an 8-point, 2-common relay module which allows up to 10 amps per common and the F2-02DAS-2 ($218), a 2-channel 16-bit isolated unipolar voltage output module. The F4-16AD-1 ($496) is a 16-channel, 12-bit 4-20mA input module, while the F4-16AD-2 ($495) supplies 16 channels of unipolar voltage inputs. All these modules will be supported by the PLC CPUs, as well as the EBC modules for Ethernet-based I/O systems. For general information on the DL205 or DL405 product lines, Click page=store/plc/dl205.html or page=store/plc/dl405.html

Industrial LCD monitors and cables for your PC-based applications
Our FPM series 12" and 15" standard and touch screen TFT monitors are ruggedly built industrial display products suitable for factory floor environments. All FPM series displays are plug compatible with your standard computer video card. The Multi Frequency capability of the FPM series provides absolute full screen display of VESA resolutions up to SGA (800x600) for the 12" models, or XGA (1024x768) for the 15" versions. The FPM touch panel models are fitted with a high-resolution analog resistive touch screen. We're also carrying cables that can drive your monitor or keyboard up to 100 feet away, with no extra hardware! Information and pricing is on the Web site at page=/store/plc/monitors.html



Terminator I/O will be on the cover of July's I&CS magazine, and inside receives an Editor's Choice award that month for Distributed control products! Terminator I/O is a field bus I/O solution for remote I/O, PC-based control, and distributed control applications that combines all the features of terminal blocks and I/O modules into integrated modules. Network interface modules will include Ethernet, DeviceNet and Profibus, and the I/O modules have triple-stack three-wire device capability, integrated bussed power and common terminals, and fused outputs. Our last newsletter said that it would be available in August, but it's probably more like September right now. Preliminary information is on the Web site at page=/company/press/0500tio.html

To check all the latest product news, click



Just what you've been waiting for: DC-powered DL05 units!
Coming in August will be two DC-powered models of our popular DL05 brick PLC. The D0-05DD-has 8 DC in / 6 DC out, while the D0-05-DR-D has 8 DC in/ 6 relay out. Both units come with a 12/24VDC power supply, and will be priced at $99. For general information on the DL05 product line, Click page=store/plc/dl05.html

Super-duper DL205 high-speed counter module coming in September
We've been working long and hard on a new and improved counter module (H2-CTRIO) for motion and counting applications. It will work with the current DL205 CPUs, the H2-EBC and the WinPLC. In contrast with our older module, you can install multiple modules per base. It offers much higher performance (100Khz inputs and outputs) and it can drive the onboard discrete outputs without CPU intervention. The module has four counter / timer resources that can be independently configured to provide:

* two 100Khz quadrature inputs, each with an external reset and/or inhibit
* one quadrature input (with external reset and inhibit ) and two high speed discrete inputs
* two 100Khz up-only counters
* four high speed discrete inputs
* 2 pulse width measurement timers (10us resolution)

Price of the module will be $269. For general information on the DL205 product line, click page=store/plc/dl205.html



Updated form for Tech Support questions on the Web site
If you have a technical question that you could handle via email, we have set up an enquiry form specifically designed to get the question to the right tech support person. On the Web site, click on the "Contact Tech Support" link on the Support index page, and then select "Send an email". Fill in the enquiry information and send, and the email gets logged directly into the tech database, then is assigned to an appropriate person for followup.

In other news, a new server for the Tech Support section of the site has made for faster searches and will allow for content expansion. And we are working on expanding our content! For example, almost 250 Frequently Asked Questions are now posted, on products from PLCs to drives.

To view the tech support section, Click

Application of the Month: DL405 runs hot and cold for water heater testing
A D4-450 based PLC and LookoutDirect HMI run Reliability Life tests on (8) individual water heaters to verify element life. System controls a refrigerated test chamber where (18) glass tube defroster heaters go through a rapid cycle life test. A total of 12,600 watts of heat is generated during the 3.5-minute heat cycle. The average test chamber temperature is maintained at 38 degrees F throughout test cycles. A second refrigeration unit (3-ton unit) is controlled by the test system for water spray during the heat cycle. The average water temperature is maintained at 38 degrees F. The test system monitors and controls (4) variable transformers for input test voltages and regulates voltages to +/- 1 volt of setpoint voltage. System also monitors and records (14) Temperature points, (34) voltage points, (26) current points, (26) wattage points and (26) resistance points, along with water flow and water pressure. Data such as total cycles, burn hours, temperatures, currents, watt! age and test voltages is stored in Excel spreadsheet format from LookoutDirect. Submitted by: A&M Electric Guin, Al To check out the latest application stories for PLC and PC control, click



More Good news, bad news this month! Bad news - In Detroit on June 17, a broken driveshaft left Johnny parked at the side of the road after completing only 10 of the scheduled 42 laps. "The driveshaft just let go in top gear at the end of the straight," said Miller. "It tore the whole interior of the car up, and beat me up pretty good." (Miller was treated and released from the infield medical center with bruises to the right leg and elbow.) However, Automationdirect got good coverage in the televised program because our WinPLC-based telemetry system was shown, and there was an editorial piece doing a tour of our brand new race trailer.

Good news - Johnny brought his #64 UPS / HITACHI / Cutler-Hammer Corvette home to a strong second place at the July 1st Simple Green Trans-Am 100 in Cleveland. It was Round Six of the 2000 season, and Miller's first podium finish of the year. "This was really important for the whole team, to get a strong finish like this," said Miller, 34, of Johnson City, Tenn. "It was very gratifying, especially since the car was pretty bad in practice this morning. We put our heads together for about three hours and made some changes, and wound up with a really good racecar. I have to commend the whole team for the effort." Miller started in the third, but grabbed the second slot in the first turn, and never looked back.

Next race is at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on August 18. For all the latest racing news, click page=/motorsports. And to see pictures of the new trailer, click page=/motorsports/2000/trailer.html


International customers (outside the U.S. and Canada), check our list of affiliates in over 23 countries to find the one nearest you. click


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

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