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E-Notes from Captain's Log aboard
Volume 2 Issue 8

Welcome to our semi-regular e-mail update of what's new and happening at You are receiving this e-news because you subscribed to the newsletter. Just go to if you wish to unsubscribe.


SmileyWe know plenty of you would like to show your support for Otto Mation (smiley guy) and Automationdirect, so check out our promotional items in the Online Store that anyone would enjoy - a travel mug, pocket calculator and nice T-shirt, with more items on the way! To view the merchandise, select Racing/Company merchandise in the store (left hand column on home page).

Hot topics at the automation forum on our Web site right now include threads on new PLC instructions sets or instructions, and new product lines. Here's your chance to put in your two cents worth on product improvements or other types of products you'd like to see us carry. Go to the Applications section of our Customer Forum, and give us a brain dump!


EZTouch touch panels
PC Control Bundle
Application of the month
Houston weekend a bummer, Laguna Seca finish improves our point standings



EZTouch operator interfaces - our next generation of touch panels

EZTouch PanelsAutomationDirect is pleased to announce a new line of six new touch panels, named EZTouch. Available in 6", 8" and 10" sizes, and priced from $399 to $1,699, five of the EZTouch panels come with 512K of battery-backed RAM, which can be upgraded to 1Mb with removable flash memory cards. The EZTouch panels connect serially to many PLC brands, including Allen-Bradley, GE Fanuc and Color panels feature 128 colors and monochrome units offer 16 shades of gray. All panels have a built-in clock and calendar, screen password protection and sixteen levels of undo and redo. An optional Ethernet card can be installed in four of the EZTouch panels for programming or monitoring from any location on a network.

The configuration software for the EZTouch panels ($109) offers online editing for fast configuration and debugging. The software also contains a library of 2,000 bitmapped graphical images. All functional objects native to the editor feature high-speed vector-based objects that can be scaled to almost any size without distortion. All objects such as buttons, meters and trend graphs are configured through one dialog box. These panels are expected to be available later this year. For more information on the EZTouch product line, click here.

PC control bundle to jump-start your project

PC control bundle Don't want to worry about all the pieces you need to create a PC based control system, and whether or not they'll work together? Check out our new PC control bundle. We started with Think&Do, which contains all the software tools you need in one easy-to-learn and use package. It includes a development license with unlimited tags, a full-feature HMI, using the same tag database as the control system, auto-configuring I/O, and a debug tool gets you up and running faster. Think & Do is then loaded on our DL470 Industrial PC, which was designed to be ready to mount into your industrial enclosure, just like a PLC. The DL470 has a 400+ MHz Celeron processor, 128MB RAM, 6GB HDD, a 10/100 MB Ethernet port, 4MB 3D VGA Controller, two communication ports, two USB ports and one parallel port. Finally, we added our new Industrial 15" LCD Touch Screen Monitor (EZ-Monitor). This touch screen monitor has a rugged metal chassis, 200 Nit, TFT, 80/80 H&V viewing angle ,400 ppi, VGA interface and auto-scaling. At $5,345, this bundle will make starting your first (or installing your hundredth!) PC control system a plug-and-play operation. For more information on PC control and the bundle, click here.

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DC-powered DL05 units released for shipment

Go mobile! Two DC-powered models of our popular DL05 brick PLC are now available for shipment. The D0-05DD-D has 8 DC in / 6 DC out, while the D0-05DR-D has 8 DC in/ 6 relay out. Both units come with a 12/24VDC power supply, and are priced at $99. For general information on the DL05 product line, click here.

APF Powerline FiltersFilters to protect your PLCs and other equipment

The Automation Powerline Filter (APF) from Cutler-Hammer is a high performance surge filter for protecting electronic loads against surges, transients and noise. The APF diverts these disturbances away from the load by being a low impedance path to ground. These filters for automation system applications come in one, three and five amp models in both 120 and 230 VAC input voltage versions, starting at $82. Information and pricing on the filters is on our web site.

5mm and 8mm proximity sensors

Our new 5mm and 8mm diameter Centsable prox switches, with fixed cable or M8 (8mm) quick disconnect connectors, offer you more choices in our proximity sensor line. These pencil-sized units are useful in space-limited applications. Information and pricing is on our web site.

Mini-DIN limit switches for $10

Six new Centsable double-insulated mini-DIN IEC switches are now available, with actuators such as plunger, roller plunger, one-way lever and steel rod. There are also new versions of our replacement contact blocks, which fit all our Centsable limit switches. Information and pricing is on our web site.

To check all the latest product news, go to

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Search ResultsNew Store Items Search Interface

In an effort to make your searching more effective and efficient, has revised its search pages to better highlight your search results. The store items search now displays a link to each category a product belongs to, so you can opt to click to the desired product family or the individual item. In addition, the search results layout has been changed for better visibility with alternating colors between each item returned.

Category Search

Category search has been revised to show the full hierarchy of all of our product categories - now instantly jump to the any product category from the search page!

Product Category Headers

Store Path
In addition to improving our search pages, we have improved our product and product category pages to show the "store path" at the top of each page. This will allow you to instantly jump to any parent category in the product category hierarchy.

Online resume builder at

With our emphasis on customer service, we are currently in need of customer-focused technical support personnel, one of many categories of jobs currently available here at our headquarters in suburban Atlanta. Go to and check out our open positions. And if you don't have a resume available to email, just use our online resume builder - supply all the pertinent information and it gets forwarded to the appropriate team immediately.

And don't forget our Free shipping and handling for online orders. See bottom of newsletter for terms and conditions.

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Application of the Month:

DL405 performs hot wax transfer management for a corrugated box wax curtain coater
Control system produces a finished paper product intended for coldpack & freezer extremes. Machine production has doubled since the implementation of the DL405 control system! The unique part of this system is that 2 8-point thermocouple cards are used for level control. It has been found in the industry that this specific wax is very difficult for various industry standard level sensors & devices to detect reliably and consistently. This process includes 7 process tanks, the first being bulk railcar delivery. From bulk storage, the wax is conveyed to various other tanks for temperature conditioning prior to delivery to the curtain. The DL405 dictates the filling of these through the T/C card data. In each tank are 2 thermocouple probes, one being much longer than the other. When there is a mean indifference between the two temperatures, the tank is low. There is a probe sampling ambient temperature so the system knows what type of offset to apply during marginal plant ambient temperatures. The DV-1000 continually & automatically scrolls various machine temperatures and conditions and reports statuses to the operator in English, without any intervention necessary.

Submitted by:
Weyerhaeuser Paper Co.

To check out the latest application stories for PLC and PC control, click here.

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2000 Race CarThe car had a tough weekend in Houston on September 30. A part failure about 5 minutes into the first practice session destroyed the inside casing of the transmission. In the afternoon qualifying session Johnny secured 10th position even though the car was handling very badly. For the race, Johnny moved from 10th to 6th in 17 laps before the engine let go.

The race at Laguna Seca on October 15 was a much better experience, with Johnny finishing 5th. "We got a horrible start," said Miller. "We got stuck behind a slower car, and it seemed like the whole field went by us." Johnny started sixth, then dropped back as far as ninth in the early going before regrouping and pulling his way back up to fifth. "Unfortunately, once I'd gotten around the slower cars and made my way back up to fifth, I'd pretty well used up my car and didn't have anything left for (fourth-finishing) Stu Hayner. "It was a pretty rough race out there today; everyone was leaning on everyone else. Still, the car is in one piece, we made it to the finish, and we finished better than we started. With all the problems we've had getting to the finish line, we'll take it. Now it's on to Las Vegas."

This puts him in 8th place overall in the TransAm standings after ten races.

For all the latest racing news, click here. And to see pictures of the new trailer, click here.

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

Special Terms and Conditions, Free Shipping and Handling Offer: DIN rail and enclosures are excluded from the offer and will be billed at their normal rates. This offer applies only to orders over $300 in value with UPS Ground delivery selected. This offer can not be combined with any discounts or other special promotions. Offer expires with the publication of the subsequent catalog in 2001.

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