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  In this issue
    Company News
  Assisting a FIRST Robotics team
    New Products
  Enhanced 50 Series Photoelectrics
  D0-DCM communication module
  F0-CP128 CoProcessor module
  F2-8AD4DA-1 and -2 analog modules
    Product Short Takes
  20 mm pilot devices added
  F0-08SIM simulator module
    Tech Talk
  Power supply solutions for high-reliability requirements
    The Lighter Side

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Editor's note:

Tell us how you use AutomationDirect components and get account credit

AutomationDirect has thousands of customers using equipment in all sorts of applications from hydraulic presses to beermaking. We maintain a library of short summaries (100 words or so) online in our Application Story Center , as well as full-length articles on Automation Notebook. We're always looking for more, and if you submit a summary that gets published, we'll credit your customer account $50. Better yet, if the information is developed into a full-length article, it gets you $500 credit. Check out the Story Center and tell us your tale!

We always welcome your comments or suggestions concerning this newsletter.
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Company News
AutomationDirect sponsors FIRST Robotics team for 2006 competition

AutomationDirect is sponsoring a group of local high school students who have formed a team called the Forsyth Alliance to compete in the FIRST robotic competition. The FIRST organization was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway, to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Registered teams have 42 days to take a 300-lb. pile of parts and design, build, test and ship a 130-lb. man-sized robot to accomplish an assigned task, competing in the FIRST regional competition at the Gwinnett Civic Center in March 2006. If successful, they will be invited to attend the World Competition in Atlanta in April. Over 23,000 students on 1000 teams from around the world participated in FIRST last year. Read the full article on Automation Notebook to learn more.

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New Products

Cutler-Hammer Enhanced 50 series photoelectric sensors
AutomationDirect now offers the Cutler-Hammer Enhanced 50 Series of high performance photoelectric sensors, manufactured by Eaton. Available are through-beam, polarized reflective, diffuse and clear object models all designed in a rugged industry standard rectangular package. Flexibility of input supply voltages (10-40 VDC and 12-240 VDC/24-240 VAC) and output types (relay, transistor, or solid state relay) makes system integration easy. Features such as light/dark operation selection, gain adjustment and multi-color LED indicators reduce maintenance costs and increase system uptime.

The Enhanced 50 Series is a replacement for the Allen-Bradley 9000 series with all the functionality plus higher relay current rating (3A vs. 2A) on electromechanical relay models. The Enhanced 50 Series also offers polarized reflex optics for better immunity to false triggers and better immunity to fluorescent light interference. Prices start at $44.00.

More information on Enhanced 50 photoelectric sensors

D0-DCM communications module for DL05/06

The new D0-DCM Data Communications Module ($129) provides 2 additional serial ports for DL05 & DL06 PLCs. The two ports offer a variety of communication possibilities including PLC programming, operator panel connection, network interface to DirectNET or MODBUS, and ASCII input or output. In a DL06, ASCII devices such as barcode readers, weigh scales or embedded controllers can be interfaced to port 2 of the DCM. ASCII output to printers, labelers or other compatible serial devices is also supported.

More information on DL05/06 communication modules

F0-CP128 Triple Port CoProcessor module for DL05/06

The F0-CP128 Triple Port Overdrive CoProcessor module ($185) is a specialty module that simplifies applications requiring ASCII communications with devices such as bar code readers and serial printers. The module features a 100MHz clock speed, RS-232 or RS485 data interface options, and baud rates up to 512 Kbps. With full BASIC programming available on the module, the three ports can be custom-configured for two-way ASCII communications with almost any serial device. The BASIC capability also complements the DL05/06 PLC's CPU by allowing the user to more easily perform complex math calculations (sine, cosine, square root), or devise custom algorithms that would be difficult to program with Relay Ladder Logic.

More information on DL05/06 specialty modules

F2-8AD4DA-1 and -2 analog modules for DL205

New 16-bit analog combination input and output modules are now available for DL205 PLCs. The F2-8AD4DA-1 ($349) is a combination input/output module with 8 channels of current input sinking and 4 channels of current output sourcing. The ranges on the module are 0 to 20 mA input and 4 to 20 mA output. The F2-8AD4DA-2 ($349) is a combination input/output module with 8 channels of voltage input and 4 channels of voltage output. The ranges on the module are 0 to 5 V and 0 to 10 V input and output. Both modules support selectable input resolutions of 16 bit, 14 bit, and 12 bit, with output ranges fixed at 16 bit.

More information on DL205 analog modules

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New Products

New 22 mm pilot devices
New 22 mm pushbutton models include 5 and 10 K ohm potentiometers, and audible buzzer annunciators. Prices start at $6.

More information on 22 mm pilot devices

F0-08SIM Simulator module
The F0-08SIM ($35) is an 8-point input simulator module for DL05 and DL06 PLCs that provides eight discrete switches at your fingertips, and is perfect for application simulation and testing. The F0-08SIM can also be useful when you need an inexpensive local interface to the PLC.

More information on DL05/06 specialty modules

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Tech TalkRHINO power supplies

Power supply option modules offer solutions to high-reliability
Switching power supplies, when compared to linear technology, have better efficiency, less heat loss, wider input voltage ranges, and are typically smaller in size and weight. Switching power supplies have become widespread in general automation applications, but sometimes there are special requirements that can be complex or expensive to implement. The RHINO series of DC switching power supplies carried by AutomationDirect contains three specialty option modules that simplify applications with redundancy and backup power requirements.

Using two PSM24 power supplies and a PSM24-REM360S redundancy module, you can configure a redundant power system with active current sharing without any additional components. Even if one power supply fails or becomes disconnected, the second unit will supply full current to the load. The module has an alarm contact for monitoring of operations. The inputs are hot-swappable and can be loaded up to 15A each.

The PSM24-BCM360S battery control module, when combined with a PSM24 power supply, creates a DC-UPS system by providing the means to charge and monitor an external lead acid battery. The power supply charges the connected battery and keeps it in a charged mode. Consequently, the output voltage of the system is equivalent to the battery voltage. To avoid overcharging the battery, an external temperature sensor (sold separately) automatically adjusts the battery voltage to the required end-of-charge voltage. This configuration extends the battery life.

The PSM24-BFM600S buffer module will maintain the output voltage of a PSM24 power supply after brownouts or voltage dips for typically 200ms at 25A and up to 4 seconds at 1.2A, making it a cost-effective alternative to a battery-based backup system. An LED on the front panel indicates the current operational mode. Storing the energy in a capacitor bank, this backup solution is completely maintenance free. Its storage capacity does not deteriorate over the lifetime of the unit.

For more technical application notes, visit our Tech Support section of our website

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The Lighter Side

Units of Measurement

While there has been more acceptance of the metric system in the United States , we're not all there yet. Here are a few conversions to help you along:

  • 10e12 Microphones = 1 Megaphone
  • 10e6 bicycles = 2 megacycles
  • 500 millinaries = 1 seminary
  • 2000 mockingbirds = two kilomockingbirds
  • 10 cards = 1 decacards
  • 1/2 lavatory = 1 demijohn
  • 10e-6 fish = 1 microfiche
  • 453.6 graham crackers = 1 pound cake
  • 10e12 pins = 1 terrapin
  • 10e21 picolos = 1 gigolo
  • 10 rations = 1 decoration
  • 100 rations = 1 C-ration
  • 10 millipedes = 1 centipede
  • 3 1/3 tridents = 1 decadent
  • 10 monologues = 5 dialogues (1 decalogue)
  • 2 monograms = 1 diagram
  • 8 nickles = 2 paradigms
  • 2 snake eyes = 1 paradise
  • 2 wharves = 1 paradox

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Comments or suggestions for topics in future newsletters can be directed to

© 2005
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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