First Impressions: Koyo Click

C

Curt Wuollet

Hi All

Still doing automation on contract. Started a project that needed two "special" sensors that output measurements as analog voltage or RS232 or microsecond pulse widths. Do some math, fire a couple solenoids, turn two motors on and off. Approach is experimental, so budget is low. Sounds like a brick PLC that has two RS232 ports that can do ASCII or two analog inputs. Shop prefers AB and I'm fine with that. Cheapest AB that meets the criteria is $600-$700. Not good. Hello Automation Direct. Click that meets the criteria $129, software free. Client agrees. So what can you expect from a PLC that sells for as little as$69 (I got the top of the line for the analog ports)? Ordered it and downloaded the software. I've used AD PLCs before and the software I graded as adequate. Needed the books to get analog working and there was some stuff that had me scratching my head for a while. So I didn't expect much.The Click software installed on XP smoothly and I opened it up. Same rung/cell type setup, but the toolbars and sidebars have been reworked and now everything you need is on one screen and more obvious. I/O configuration was dead easy and provided the information needed to use the analog inputs without digging. Much better, actually made sense and pretty nice. I needed the analog inputs because even though the "high end" Click provides 3 serial ports, one is a dedicated programming/modbus port, one is an "open" RS232 port like I need and the last is RS485. Three com ports is a big plus, but they get a 0 in this case because they aren't what I needed. Anyway, after configuring the I/O, I sat down and wrote the rest of the application. Read that again.

It sounds dismissive, but it's actually the highest praise in my book, formerly only true for RSLogix. It isn't a big program, but I could have added 50 lines of routine ladder without breaking a sweat. And it seemed like anyplace I would have had a question, it opened a dialog and made the options clear. Now, I'm not a babe in the woods, and I have been exposed(subjected?) to a lot of PLC programming software, but in my book, commissioning and programming a PLC I've never seen before in a couple of hours is remarkable, very remarkable. In fact, with some PLCs that I _have_ used before, very spendy ones to boot, the software is so nebulous and non-intuitive that 2 days would be a win. You know who you are :^).

In short, I was impressed. True, the software only has to deal with the Click, and the instruction set is not as large as say, Rockwell's, but somebody who has actually applied PLCs must have worked over that software. The program mostly does math, and I like their implementation of a formula box. The type conversions are for the most part automatic and I spent more time deriving the formulae on paper than coding them. I'll update when it's on the hardware and running. It's not often that I get to play with something new.

Regards
cww

David_2

Thanks for the excellent review. I'm going to get one just to try it out.

C

You're Welcome.

I was pondering on what factors make a package rise above the rest. I think it's things like opening to the place you want to be and having the things you need right there. And providing the right information for you to stay on task. And you should never have to have 4 windows open for reference. The next criteria to be met is that connecting with the PLC and up/downloading should not be an exercise in guessing or requiring that you know the pet obscure designations for the various means of connecting. The Click should do all right there as I believe _all_ AD PLCs connect with the same hardware and the same $14 cable. No dialogs having you pick between things that all sound bad or saying your XXZ54345434 should be a BBW9s8dra. No kludges or cable lumps or adapters. And it sure doesn't hurt using commonly available connectors. I have never seen any non-standard one that offers any plausible advantage for programming. Kudos to Koyo for establishing that this can be done. And for people who have newer laptops they offer a reasonably priced USB solution that should work. Answers in the next couple days. Regards cww C Curt Wuollet Addendum below: > Still doing automation on contract. Started a project that needed two "special" sensors that output measurements as analog voltage or RS232 or microsecond pulse widths. Do some math, fire a couple solenoids, turn two motors on and off. Approach is experimental, so budget is low. Sounds like a brick PLC that has two RS232 ports that can do ASCII or two analog inputs. Shop prefers AB and I'm fine with that. Cheapest AB that meets the criteria is$600-$700. Not good. Hello Automation Direct. Click that meets the criteria$129, software free. Client agrees. <

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