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5 Ways To Know If You Should Be A PLC Programmer

Are you considering a career in PLC programming? Awesome! I can tell you, first-hand, learning how to program PLC's (and how to debug under pressure) is an incredibly fun and rewarding experience. Maybe you've been considering attending a tech school, or have been talking to a friend who is a licensed electrician or who works [...]

Iris Replacement – Home Automation Hubs I Would Choose

If you're a once-proud owner of Lowe's Iris home security and automation system, I'm sure you're aware that Iris shut down for good on March 31st, 2019. Well, it is what it is. If we hope to continue to use the Iris components that we've acquired along the way, it looks like we'll be forced [...]

What is a PLC?

If you're considering a career in Industrial Automation, you are probably starting to hear a lot about PLC's. If you haven't worked with PLC's before, they might seem a bit mysterious. I hope to shed some light on the topic for you below. Image credit What exactly is a PLC? A PLC, or Programmable Logic [...]

What Is An Automated Systems Integrator?

If you've become involved in the world of industrial automation, you may have heard the terms "integrator," "automation integrator," or "automated systems integrator." The term "systems integrator" exists in both the fields of industrial automation and information systems. There are some blurred lines between those fields, as both involve networking, computers, and programming. In this [...]

User-Defined Data Types in RSLogix 5000

If you're starting to dive into the world of User-Defined Data Types (UDT's) within RSLogix 5000, have no fear. UDT's are an extremely useful way to package your data and keep your tag list manageable.  Here are some of the things that UDT's can do for you: Consolidate many related data points into one tagAllow [...]

Pairing a 1st-Gen Iris Security Keypad With a Next-Generation Iris Hub

Update, 29 Mar 2019: If you're an Iris owner, you've probably heard by now that Iris is shutting down on March 31st, 2019. With the shutdown impending, I spent some time evaluating different options for home automation hubs and home security kits to replace Iris. I put all of that information together in this post, [...]

Fix for RSLogix 5000 EXCEPTION_ACCESS_VIOLATION on Windows 10

When I first installed and tried to run RSLogix 5000 on my new Windows 10 laptop, I was met with the following ugly Fatal Error for an EXCEPTION_ACCESS_VIOLATION:   I searched through several forum posts and tried several solutions, but what solved the problem for me was running the program as administrator.     To [...]

So, You Want to Be an Industrial Automation Engineer

Are you considering or aspiring to a career as an Industrial Automation Engineer or Controls Engineer? Awesome choice. Below, I'll talk about what employers are looking for in an Industrial Controls Engineer. Additionally, I'll cover what a typical workday is like and some pros and cons of automation industry jobs. Lastly, we'll look at what [...]

Can First-Generation Iris Components be Used with Amazon Echo?

Update, 29 Mar 2019: If you're an Iris owner, you've probably heard by now that Iris is shutting down on March 31st, 2019. With the shutdown impending, I spent some time evaluating different options for home automation hubs and home security kits to replace Iris. I put all of that information together in this post, [...]

NO and NC (Normally Open and Normally Closed) Proximity Sensor Basics

When I was learning PLC programming, I remember scratching my head about some of the concepts surrounding proximity sensors. Digital or analog, Normally Open (NO or N.O.), or Normally Closed (NC or N.C.)?  What exactly does it mean for a sensor to be NO or NC? What effect will it have when I'm checking the [...]

1st Gen Echo Show Review – Two Years Of Use

We were packing for our family vacation a couple years ago when my wife, Sarah, surprised me with news of her new purchase.  I asked her if she'd grabbed "the JBL", our well-worn Bluetooth speaker, and she said, "I have something better!" My father-in-law, Andy, is a bit of an early adopter, and so he [...]

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