How To Install Python Modules Without Internet Access

If you're like me, you love the convenience of installing modules for your Python interpreter from within the IDE. My personal preference is the PyCharm IDE, and easily adding modules for the interpreter is one of the features I love. Recently, however, I found myself needing to install Python modules on a computer without internet [...]

The Best Mesh WiFi Systems On Amazon In 2020 (Comprehensive Guide)

Downstairs, where my router is located, I have excellent 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi coverage. Everything works great; the smart TV, my SmartThings hub, and a decent quantity of smart home devices. Upstairs, however, and particularly in my master bedroom, which is directly opposite from the router's location on the first floor, not so much. I [...]

Automate Two Light Switches (Home) w/ One Device

Want to integrate 2 light switches with your home automation setup? One way to do this is to replace both light switches with smart switches. Smart switches can be pricey, however, and so there's another means of converting two light switches in an electrical box into smart switches. Just as a smart relay can help [...]

Upgrade Your Shelves With Built-In LED Lighting

I recently remodeled my master bedroom's walk-in closet with a wrap-around closet organization system. In the midst of planning the job, I decided that I wanted more than just the overhead lighting - I wanted LED lighting on each of the shelves in the new organizer. In the guide below, I'll take you through the [...]

16 Well-Rated Battery Powered LED Strip Lights

There's some ultra-cool tech out there these days, and LED strip lights definitely fall into that bin. Kits the likes of which used to be hundreds of dollars are now easily affordable, allowing you to transform your living space no matter the budget. Whether you're looking to enhance your home or your car, the battery-powered [...]

Best Smart Bias Lighting For Home Automation Enthusiasts

It seems that bias lighting is all the rage these days for providing awesome ambiance and enhancing color and contrast for your television. For smart home enthusiasts and others who are working on upgrading their home with the latest and greatest, not just any old bias light will do. If you're like me, you'll want [...]

What’s The Difference Between Analog And Digital Sensors?

Sensors are the eyes and ears of your robot or Programmable Logic Controller. They allow your controller to determine the state of objects in and the environment around your automated operations. There are many differences between the wide variety of sensors on the market. You can buy sensors that are inductive, magnetic, photoelectric, or ultrasonic. [...]

Are You A Student? Get Amazon Prime Free For 6 Months!

I wish this deal had been around when I was a student! Whatever your major, if you have a .edu email address and can verify your enrollment (if asked), you are eligible for six months of Amazon Prime Student membership for free. If you meet those criteria, keep reading below for more information. Or, click [...]

Gosund Smart Plug Review 2019 – Great Plug, Great Price

I recently had the opportunity to try out a 4-pack of the Gosund Smart Plugs available on Amazon - and I was not disappointed. In my Gosund Smart Plug Review below, I'll go over setup and performance of the Gosund Smart Plugs. I'm using Samsung SmartThings and Amazon Echo products for control of my smart [...]

Difference Between Robotics Technician And PLC Technician

If you're studying towards or considering a career in industrial automation, you may be wondering about the difference between "robotics" and "automation". Some other industrial automation words that sound suspiciously similar are "mechatronics", "controls", and "motion control". Many of these terms are synonymous, or at least describe greatly overlapping domains. With that said, there is [...]

Fupping’s 8 Gadgets You Can Get For $25 Or Less

Big thanks to Teagan Lion from Fupping.com who used my write-up for Shelly 1 in his recent article. Fupping is an online media site with content for electronics enthusiasts, teachers, mountain bikers, people who like to cook - you name it. Everything from 13 Gadgets To Fill A New Home to 20 Simple Tricks And [...]

Difference Between Inductive And Capacitive Proximity Sensors

Have you recently found yourself staring at two seemingly identical proximity switches? Have you wondered, what the heck is the difference between these two? Or maybe you're getting ready to buy some sensors. You want to make sure you pick up the right device for the right application. Below, we'll illustrate the differences between capacitive [...]

11 RSLogix 5000 Tips To Make You A Faster PLC Programmer

If you're a PLC programmer, you can surely think of someone on your team who is just fast. He or she knows all of the keyboard shortcuts, menus, and tricks. They're like the Mozart of ladder logic, hammering away at the keyboard, with new instructions flying onto the screen faster than you can follow. Part [...]

How To Extend LED Strip Lights By Cutting And Soldering

I recently purchased an inexpensive LED light strip off Amazon. I picked up a battery-powered kit with an integrated motion sensor (click here for my review of the product itself). My plan was to line the inside of the door frame on my new linen closet with the light strip. This way, I could have [...]

How To Backup And Restore A Fanuc R-30iB

Ah, the old backup game. What could be more fun than taking backups for a dozen, a hundred, or a thousand robots? If you're reading this, you probably know that there is something that's a lot less fun than managing backups: not having a backup when you need one. Reprogramming a production robot from scratch [...]

Aimengte Wireless LED Strip Light Review

Shopping for LED strip lights? There's an affordable option available on Amazon from Aimengte for a 1M, 2M, or 3M strip light with a wireless controller. The controller is battery-powered (4x AAA's) and has both light and motion sensors. I purchased an Aimengte wireless LED light strip to automatically illuminate the shelves in my new [...]

Types Of Proximity Sensors Used In Industrial Automation

When you write logic in a PLC that initiates motion, you want to be certain that the motion you are expecting actually occurs. This is where sensors come into play. Sensors provide indication to the PLC, robot, or other controller that some physical event has taken place. As examples, sensors may detect that a part [...]

Smart Home Roundup – 11 Opportunities To Learn More About Home Automation

The world of home automation is ever-changing. With a constantly evolving ecosystem of devices, hubs, sensors, and interfaces, changes are taking place daily. Whether you're just starting out in smart home automation, or whether you're doing custom device mods and setting up state machines in Node Red, there's something on this smart home roundup for [...]

Atomic Data Types in RSLogix 5000 – RSLogix 5000 Training

In this article, we'll discuss atomic data types in Rockwell Automation's RSLogix 5000. Atomic data types are the predefined data types that form the backbone of RSLogix 5000's memory structures. These data types are inherent to RSLogix 5000 and will be utilized by many of its native instructions. RSLogix 5000 supports the following IEC 61131-3 [...]