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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm trying to get up to speed with what the modern PC based control systems are. I'm interested in learning about hardware that can read inputs (switches) and control outputs (lights) utilizing a standard PC and some sort of peripheral equipment.

Not really what we think of as a PLC, although I suppose in it's strictest definition it would be one.

The system I'm working with is very simple. Currently using 12vdc for field devices (light/switches). Timing is not critical and costs need to be kept low although dependability is paramount. I would like a product that can be programed using some sort of standard programing language. C would be #1 choice.

Are any of you willing to help educate me as to what has passed me by? :laughing:

Google has been some help but I figured some of you might work with products day in, day out, that I'm not finding. Thanks for the help :thumbup:
 

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I'm trying to get up to speed with what the modern PC based control systems are. I'm interested in learning about hardware that can read inputs (switches) and control outputs (lights) utilizing a standard PC and some sort of peripheral equipment.

Not really what we think of as a PLC, although I suppose in it's strictest definition it would be one.

The system I'm working with is very simple. Currently using 12vdc for field devices (light/switches). Timing is not critical and costs need to be kept low although dependability is paramount. I would like a product that can be programed using some sort of standard programing language. C would be #1 choice.

Are any of you willing to help educate me as to what has passed me by? :laughing:

Google has been some help but I figured some of you might work with products day in, day out, that I'm not finding. Thanks for the help :thumbup:
You're Welcome.:)
 

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If you are specifically trying to control lighting I would get a lighting controller.

Many companies make them and have the ability to add daylight harvesting, photocells, timing, manual controls etc.

What is the application?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What is the application?
Think of it like a game show type of system.

Users have lighted switches - maybe choice A,B,C, and D

A question is asked on a monitor.

They push a choice, an LED lights up on the button of their choice, and scores are tabulated/processed/displayed via pc.

I can write the code but I don't know what hardware to use to get the inputs into the pc and the lights to light on the buttons.

Simple system, but needs to be cost effective. I can't buy a SLC500 to do it with. Maybe this is the wrong forum for this type of question.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've been doing some research and some of the Arduino stuff looks like it might fit the bill.

This is the kind of stuff I'm interested in. Any other stuff y'all are aware of?
 

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Think of it like a game show type of system.

Users have lighted switches - maybe choice A,B,C, and D

A question is asked on a monitor.

They push a choice, an LED lights up on the button of their choice, and scores are tabulated/processed/displayed via pc.

I can write the code but I don't know what hardware to use to get the inputs into the pc and the lights to light on the buttons.

Simple system, but needs to be cost effective. I can't buy a SLC500 to do it with. Maybe this is the wrong forum for this type of question.
Not at all what I had in my mind.:) I had building / area lighting in mind.

I used to install Omron mini PLCs, they could take a 100 lines of basic programing. They were limited to 8 digital inputs and 8 relay outputs.

There are few guys on the forum, like jlarson and others that can likely help you out more. They do a lot of control work.
 

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We sometimes use Think and Do software and terminator field I/O for PC control apps.

But the application you described really doesn't really come to needing a PC control system. Typically we use PC's where we have vision system and data base requirements.

What you described (switches and lights) falls into the basic PLC category. Don't know how set you are on using a PC in the whole deal but from the sound of things you could probably do away with the PC and gust use a PLC and a HMI touch panel.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I do need the ability to bring the inputs into software. Switch position will be brought to an app that will perform other functions. I will look into your suggestion.
Thanks
 

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1000 i/o

I doubt that you will find anything cheep with that many I/O points, check the forum on PLCS.net them guys do more in that field.:thumbsup:
 

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What type of game show/question asking app needs 1,000 DI/O point? Yikes

Museum, interactive exhibits?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What type of game show/question asking app needs 1,000 DI/O point? Yikes

Museum, interactive exhibits?
:thumbsup:. Capability to have up to 150 users at a time.

Just so no one gets too invested. I'm mostly wanting to learn about the different systems that could be used to accomplish this.

There is a real world application but for me it's a mental exercise to learn.

Thanks for your help!
 

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How reliable does this need to be? Most things like the Arduino are essentially toys. If you want something that will hold up, you can get industrial grade I/O modules or PLCs that can be addressed via Ethernet from any kind of PC.
 
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:thumbsup:. Capability to have up to 150 users at a time.

Just so no one gets too invested. I'm mostly wanting to learn about the different systems that could be used to accomplish this.

There is a real world application but for me it's a mental exercise to learn.

Thanks for your help!
Let me guess...you've been hired by Obamacare to fix their website!:laughing:
 

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Gravy,

Look at Beagleboard Black.

Its like an arduino on steroids.

If you use Eclipse as a compiler you can program in almost anything. C++,C#, Python, Node.js, etc. etc.

You can also use UART or even Ethernet to communicate to additional boards for added I/O, so the possibilities are about endless.

And at 50 bucks- its cheap. Of coarse, you are going to have to use opto-isolators or transistors because its all 1.8 to 3.3 volts.

Another thing is you can pin mux, so most I/O can be programmed to do more then one thing. Analog, digital, P-U, P-D, comms, etc.
 

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:thumbsup:. Capability to have up to 150 users at a time.

Just so no one gets too invested. I'm mostly wanting to learn about the different systems that could be used to accomplish this.

There is a real world application but for me it's a mental exercise to learn.

Thanks for your help!
Yeah then I might be looking at a PC system too. At least I'd be using field I/O for a job like that. I'd use 24VDC stuff too instead of 12VDC, using 24 gives you pretty much unlimited options of cool stuff to use. The 12VDC options in the industrial control world are a lot less then 24VDC.

With 1000+ points I'd definitely avoid hobby stuff like arduino.
 
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