AutomationDirect E-mail Newsletter

E-Notes from Captain's Log aboard
Volume 5 Issue 6

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

Misplaced your catalog, or was it borrowed and never returned? To jump to our online request form and get our 1,300-page free catalog or catalog on CD, click here or call 1-800-633-0405.


SpinZoneSmiley guy goes into battle

The green smiley guy has been appearing on our company-sponsored BattleBot named SpinZone, (the result of a design contest sponsored by Product Design and Development magazine). SpinZone was built by Christian Carlberg, who has several winning BattleBot designs to his credit. SpinZone entered its first battle recently and won the first round and advanced to the second round. Unfortunately, SpinZone was defeated in a brutal battle in the second round and sustained some damage. SpinZone is on the disabled list for now. We are hoping for a full recovery.

AutomationDirect catalog addendum distributed in August

Catalog addendums were mailed in August to current customers on record, along with other contacts who had received a catalog in the past 18 months. The August 2003 addendum includes the newest products launched since our last catalog (Vol. 8 2002). Please note that the price list in the August catalog addendum includes prices for our entire product line, and not just new products added since our last catalog. All prices in the addendum price list supersede the prices listed in the Vol. 8 2002 catalog. You may review our most current price list on our Web site.

Feedback to this newsletter is always welcome at



- AutomationDirect at ISA EXPO 2003 in Houston, TX, October 21-23
- Schedule for Interconnecting Automation training (2003-2004)
- AutomationDirect Web Seminars in November ... You're invited!

- High-speed counter modules available for DL405 PLC and DL05/06 PLCs
- 4-channel thermocouple input module available for DL05/DL06 PLCs
- New slim-line power supplies with plastic case
- DataWorx connects Ethernet-enabled DirectLOGIC PLCs for easy data collection
- Entivity Studio release 7.2


- Electronic check payment
- Online invoice payment via credit card

- What is a control transformer?

- Application of the month





ISA EXPO 2003AutomationDirect at ISA EXPO 2003 in Houston, TX, October 21-23

AutomationDirect will have a tabletop display in the booth sponsored by Control Engineering at the ISA EXPO 2003 (Booth #2071) held at the Reliant Center in Houston, TX from October 21-23, 2003. We will have a representative in the booth to answer any questions you might have. Please stop by and visit us if you plan to attend the ISA show.

We will have some PLC, Terminator I/O and EZTouch operator interface product displays set up in the Profibus Trade Organization booth (Booth #1917).

We will also have a product display set up in the OPC Foundation booth (Booth #1623) as part of our KEPware business partner's display.

Interconnecting Automation PLC Training

Se Habla Español? No hay Problema!
Interconnecting Automation is now offering their "Introduction to PLC Principles" training video with captions in Spanish. It is also available on DVD. The Analog training video will also soon be available with Spanish captions and on DVD.

ICA logoInterconnecting Automation, an AutomationDirect federation partner, delivers training to customers using AutomationDirect products. PLC-based system classes are delivered by Doug Bell, who has over 20 years experience in the industry. In addition to the training classes offered, Interconnecting Automation also has training videos and several different hardware trainer kits and simulators that you can purchase for your own training or development program. Following is the upcoming schedule for training classes:

PLC Control Systems - Basic Training
November 4 - 6, 2003 - Newark, NJ
November 11 - 13, 2003 - Atlanta, GA*
March 2 - 4, 2004 - Atlanta, GA*
*Classes held at AutomationDirect headquarters in Cumming, GA.

PLC-based Control Systems - Advanced Class
December 2 - 4, 2003 - Atlanta, GA*
February 10 - 12, 2004 - Dallas, TX
March 23 - 25, 2004 - Milwaukee, WI
*Classes held at AutomationDirect headquarters in Cumming, GA.

For more information on Interconnecting Automation, call 414-425-8348, email them at or visit their Web site


Live @ ADC!AutomationDirect Web seminars in November - You're invited!

Both Web seminars are offered for free. Seating is limited, so register soon!

For further information or to register for a Web seminar please click this link:

Top of Page



High-speed counter modules now available for DL405 and DL05/06 PLC product lines

H4-CTRIOHigh-speed counter modules are designed to accept high-speed pulse-type input signals and provide either discrete outputs or a pulse output for position control, speed referencing, or other motion control functions. These modules offer unique flexibility for applications that require counting or timing based on an input pulse, and are designed to work with incremental encoders, or to provide a pulse output signal to a stepper or servo drive.

The H4-CTRIO is a 2 channel input/ 2 channel output module that supports the DL405 PLC product line and is priced at $299. For further information on the H4-CTRIO, click here.

The H0-CTRIO is a single channel input /single channel output module that supports the DL05 and DL06 PLC product lines and is priced at $189. For further information on the H0-CTRIO, click here for all DL05 option modules or here for all DL06 option modules.

4-channel thermocouple input module for available for DL05/DL06 PLCs

The F0-04THM thermocouple input module supports the DL05 and DL06 PLCs. It automatically converts type E, J, K, R, S, T, B, N, or C thermocouple signals into direct temperature readings. This module offers 0.1 degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit resolution. No extra scaling or complex conversion is required. This module can be configured as 0-39.0625 mV, +/- 39.0625 mV, +/- 78.125 mV, 0-156 mV, +/- 156 mV or 0-1.25 V input and will convert volts and millivolt signals into 16-bit digital values (0-65535). Signal processing features include automatic cold junction compensation, thermocouple linearization and digital filtering. The temperature calculation and linearization are based on data provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Diagnostic features include detection of thermocouple burnout or disconnection. No user power supply is required. The module is prices at $199. For further information, click here for all DL05 option modules or here for all DL06 option modules.

New slim-line power supplies with plastic case

PSP power suppliesThe new PSP series of power supplies provides tightly regulated output voltage for sensitive loads in industrial environments. Compact in size and lightweight, the PSP series power supplies have a molded plastic case and are offered with either plug-in screw terminals or with cage clamp terminals. Screw terminal models include a plastic DIN rail insert to allow easy panel mounting. The automatically-recovering, constant-current short circuit protection limits the output current as the voltage is reduced to safely protect your control components from direct shorts and device failures (model PSPxx-024x has foldback current protection with auto-recovery). Most models meet NEC class 2 requirements. Prices start at $55. Click here for more details on the new power supplies.

DataWorx software connects Ethernet-enabled DirectLOGIC PLCs and WinPLCs for easy data collection LogoWe've teamed up with INTEWORX.NET to offer the DataWorx data collection software for AutomationDirect PLCs and WinPLCs. Before DataWorx, it was necessary to purchase an OPC/DDE server, write code or buy a Human Machine Interface (HMI) package to program, in order to collect data from our PLCs/WinPLCs. Now, DataWorx PLC makes it simple and cost effective to easily collect valuable data to enable you to make better business decisions.

The DataWorx Software package easily connects your Ethernet-enabled DirectLOGIC programmable logic controllers (PLCs), or WinPLCs, to standalone PCs or network servers for simple data logging. This means that any PC or server on the network can collect valuable PLC/ WinPLC data without the need of special PC programming or any 3rd party HMI, SCADA, or DAQ software application. Prices start at $395 to support one PLC or WinPLC, and more information is available on our website.

Entivity Studio release 7.2

Entivity Studio PC-based control combines comprehensive control with an advanced Human Machine Interface (HMI) development tool powered by Microsoft's Visio. Intuitive flowchart logic, a common tag database and rich development tools separate Studio from any other PC-based automation control software on the market. Using Studio, you can communicate to SQL databases, easily integrate motion and vision control, synchronize multiple developers on the same projects, or share flowcharts among many projects.

Entivity Studio 7.2 supports MODBUS TCP and MODBUS RTU, as well as other industrial fieldbus communication. Its HMI includes over 3,500 smart shapes and allows background animations. Entivity Studio 7.2 runs on Windows XP, 2000 and NT and also provides support for EZTouch and EZText operator interface displays. You may add HMI screens anywhere on your network with the PC-ENT-SRN software, a run-time license for displaying remote screens (developed under Studio) on a remote PC across a LAN. Release 7.2 will be available by the end of October, 2003. For further details, click here.


Top of Page



ECT logoFull credit trade-in offer on VIA Direct UltraLITE expires December 15, 2003

VIA Development Corporation, the supplier of VIADirect software, was recently acquired by AutoDesk, Inc., who will no longer support the VIADirect UltraLITE software package. Therefore, AutomationDirect is discontinuing the VIADirect UltraLITE software package and replacing it with the promis•e packages. Click here for more information on this new ECT promis•e software.

To make the switch to ECT's promis•e software as easy as possible, full credit for previous purchases of any VIADirect UltraLITE software package (PC-VIA-ULT), will be given towards the purchase of any ECT promis•e draw or promis•e draw plus version. You must contact AutomationDirect via telephone at 1-800-633-0405 to request this offer. This offer will expire December 15, 2003.

Ethernet Remote I/O kits

Ethernet Remote I/O kits are offered in three basic combinations to provide an easy way to choose the Ethernet Remote I/O products that best fit your application. An Ethernet Remote I/O Kit includes one H2-ERM Ethernet Remote Master module and up to ten H2-EBC or T1H-EBC (Terminator I/O) Ethernet Base Controller modules, or one H4-ERM module and up to ten T1H-EBC modules. Prices start at $369 for a kit that includes one H2-ERM module and one T1H-EBC module. For more information on the Ethernet Remote Master Kits, click here for the DL205-based kit and here for the DL405-based kit.

Higher horsepower line reactors for AC drives line

Higher horsepower line reactors at great prices are now available for AC variable speed drives up to 60 hp. Input line reactors are recommended for all installations to protect the AC drive from transient over-voltage conditions and to reduce the harmonics associated with AC drives. The new line reactors range in price from $159 to $439.

Think & Do Live!Think & Do Live! release 5.5

Think & Do Live! PC-based software by Entivity features flowchart logic, integrated HMI, easy I/O configuration, an OPC Client and server, and productivity enhancement tools. The software includes one development and runtime system license and I/O drivers on CD-ROM, a Certificate of Integrity, and user manual. The development/run-time package is priced at $1,895.

Top of Page



Electronic check payment

E-checks are now offered as an order payment option. During the checkout process, enter your bank routing number, bank account number, check number, and other required information. We will draw the funds directly from your account for the order payment. If you have a pre-approved account, we will ship your order immediately upon receipt, otherwise your order will ship upon receipt of the E-check funds from your bank.

Online Invoice Payment via Credit Card

We have listened to your requests and now offer the ability to use your credit card to pay open invoices on our Web site. To make a payment, log in to your account and choose the "Open Invoices / Pay Online" option from your personal home page. Select the invoices of interest, the amount you wish to pay, enter your credit card information (we'll even store most of your card information in an encrypted state for future convenience), and you're done. If your payment is made by 12:30 PM ET, it will be processed the same day, otherwise it will be applied the next business day. We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover for any purchases.

If you have ideas or suggestions on how we can make our Web site serve your needs better, we want to hear them. Please email us at

Top of Page


What is a Control Transformer?
by Carl Tolbert, Tech Support Specialist

A control transformer is an isolation transformer designed to provide a high degree of secondary voltage stability (regulation) during a brief period of overload condition (also know as "inrush current"). Control transformers are also known as: machine tool transformers, industrial control transformers, or control power transformers.

CPT transformersDesigned with PLCs in mind
With the advances of high-speed electronic trip devices in circuit breakers, low impedance devices, and fuses, safety conscious engineers and panel designers responsible for creating control systems have become increasingly aware of the phenomena of transformer inrush current. Inrush current, although unavoidable, can be limited with the deployment of high quality control transformers like the CPT series from AutomationDirect.

The CPT series of control transformers are specifically designed for high inrush applications requiring reliable output voltage stability. The CPT series of control transformers gives unparalleled performance stability to our DirectLOGIC line of PLC's and PS series of power supplies. In addition, they are designed to meet the basic needs of industrial applications where electromagnetic devices such as relays, solenoids, and starters are used.

Robustness of design
The CPT series of control transformers uses Mylar, Nomex and other high quality insulating materials. These materials electrically insulate turn-to-turn windings, layer-to-layer windings, primary to secondary windings and ground. The integration of these materials prevents phenomena such as high and low frequency transients and a capacitive coupling effect between the primary and secondary windings. It gives the desirable low temperature rise, providing a wide margin of safety and reliability.

All our CPT transformers are vacuum impregnated with VT polyester resin and oven-cured, which seals the surface and eliminates moisture. Filling the entire unit provides a strong mechanical bond and offers protection from the environment. The robustness can be seen through the UL/CSA/CE approvals.

Information required for proper transformer selection Selecting a control transformer requires that you have a first hand knowledge of the specific application for the transformer, and that you understand some basic terms used
in the selection process. By using the following information, you will be sure to select the correct control transformer for your application.

To select the proper transformer, you must first determine three characteristics of the load circuit. They are:

  1. total steady-state (sealed) VA
  2. total inrush VA
  3. inrush load power factor

Total steady-state "sealed" VA is the total amount of VA that the transformer must supply to the load circuit for an extended length of time. Calculate this by adding the total steady-state VA of all devices in your control circuit. (The operating VA data for the devices should be available from the manufacturer.)

The inrush VA is the amount of VA that the transformer must supply for all components in the control circuit that are energized together. Consideration for the start-up sequence may be required. (Inrush VA data should be obtained from the device manufacturer.)

The inrush load power factor is difficult to determine without detailed vector analysis of all the control components. In the absence of such information, we recommend that a 40% power factor be utilized.

With this information, you can use the 6 sizing steps outlined in the Volume 8 2002 catalog from AutomationDirect.

Common control power transformer questions:

Q. When you calculate the VA requirements of a transformer, do you use the primary or the secondary voltage?
A. When selecting the VA requirement, you use the secondary voltage.

Q. Can you use the control transformer in reverse?
A. Yes, a control transformer can be used in reverse. However, keep in mind the output voltage will be less than its rating, due to the compensation factor of the windings.

Q. Can a control transformer regulate the output voltage?
A. A control transformer will not regulate voltage. Output voltage is a function of the coil's turn ratio only, times the input voltage.

Q. Explain the "VA" or "Volt Ampere Output" rating.
A. The VA or volt ampere output rating designates the output which a transformer can deliver for a specified time at its rated secondary voltage and rated frequency, without exceeding its specified temperature rise.

Q. What is the effect of "Overload"?
A. When a transformer is continually overloaded, excessive heat develops and the insulation system will begin to break down. As a result, the life expectancy of the transformer is shortened due to the heat exceeding the rating of the insulation system.

If you have any questions concerning these types of applications, or any other application questions, visit our tech support page on the Web at or call us at 770-844-4200.

Top of Page



Application of the month: Think & Do Live! software and Terminator I/O system offers data logging and remote programming for electroplating systems

Products used: Think & Do Live! software, Terminator I/O

Description: We inherited a product line of laboratory and small production electroplating systems from another division of our parent company. We decided to convert the control architecture from the previous D250 PLC/Exor touchscreen system to a system with Think&Do running on an industrial PC with Ethernet Terminator I/O. By doing so, we were able to offer the following:
· Extensive data logging
· Remote programming by modem
· Improved alarm and fault handling and logging
· Better product recipe capability · A better operator interface

All of this was accomplished for a slightly lower hardware cost and less programming time than the previous control system. The system controls tank heating, variable flow rate pumps, rinse water, and plating rectifiers.

Submitted by:
Kim L. Ground
Surface Finishing Technologies

View our entire collection of Application Stories or submit one of your own

Top of Page


Amaznig but ture?
Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny ipmroatnt tihng is that the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Prtety amzanig, huh?

Top of Page


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

Terms and Conditions, Free Shipping and Handling Offer for Online Orders: 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 regular UPS delivery selected within the continental United States. This offer cannot be combined with any discounts or other special promotions.

Thanks for your time! Comments or suggestions for topics in future newsletters can be directed to
3505 Hutchinson Rd.
Cumming GA 30040
2003 All rights reserved