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Hello all,

I just recently began my job programming PLCs for a custom welding manufacturer, so there will be many different types of programs to brainstorm and create. I am VERY new to programming itself let alone Visilogic and PLCs in general, no past experience aside from a few linux classes before coming into this job(unrelated just my only programming experience prior). That being said, I'm learning ladder logic and Visilogic from the ground up and was hoping a few of you gurus could point me in the right direction to make my learning process a bit smoother than it'd be with just google and I. To familiarize myself and experiment with the program I am using a Unitronics v350-35-ta24(B) with the 4.3 O/S. Attached to my PLC are a few digital inputs and outputs as well as an analog input and output. I have watched all the webinars on the website 5 times through, even the ones I don't understand. It seems there is a void in tutorials between the basic introductory buttons/timers videos and the complicated vectors, strings,  etc. I have somebody nearby to tell me how to do what I want, but the resources to teach myself and learn in my own way seem to be lacking somewhat unless I am missing the right videos somewhere on the internet, though I have searched far and wide, to infinity and beyond, etc. At this point I can do the basics as far as buttons, jumps, timers are concerned, my only confusion with contacts at this point is how to incorporate inverted contacts/coils smoothly which I feel will come as I design my programs and find my pace.

My purpose of this post was to collect as much research material as possible that I may not know of yet, any relevant videos or forums/posts/documents about ladder logic, programming, or specific Visilogic that would help me better understand the language I am attempting to teach myself. The software is very easy to understand and work with, as well as the videos/forums that I have found so far; and you all do a great job at responding to questions on here. If anything comes to mind that might help a toddler in the Visilogic world mature a little bit it would be greatly appreciated. At this point I am really trying to master using contacts in sequence to perform AND statements, using them "stacked"(for lack of  better term) as OR statements, and trying to master my motor and PID instincts. I know this is a vague request and nothing exactly specific, but any examples of simple old code you may have from when you were learning or from simple programs you had to do, websites you refer to in order to refresh your memory or thought process, or ANYTHING informational about basic Visilogic and/or programming would be greatly appreciated.

 

Hope you all have a great weekend,

Derek Godown

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Phase 1:  Don't try to write the PLC program yet.  Sketch out a flowchart of your program on paper. 

This sounds like a simple step, but even if you think you have the program operation clear in your mind it's much easier to have a plan to refer to.

It's a good to play with the software to get familiar with it.  Go through all the drop-down menus and look at the functions available, even if you may not know yet what they do.  Know that they're there.

Phase 2:  Google "State Machine" and get familiar with the concept.  This is my preferred method of programming a sequence as it is by far the easiest to troubleshoot.  You use the flowchart you created in Phase 1 to make it.  Your program won't work right the first time (mine never do and I've got 30 years under my belt) but it will be much easier to find problems in the small chunks of code that the state machine runs on.

Look at this post for an example I did-

http://forum.unitronics.com/topic/4333-when-set-coils-turns-on-it-turns-the-corresponding-reset-coil-on-also/?tab=comments#comment-15823

Phase 3:  Profit!!

No, really-  write code and post it with questions.  There's nothing more frustrating than try an answer programming questions from people without being able to see the whole picture.

Good luck!

Joe T.

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Hi Derek,

+1 to all that Joe says.

I also suggest that you make frequent use of the Help/Help, and Help/Examples files found within the program itself.  Nearly all the knowledge you want is contained within and is easily accessible.  Like with anything new and sometimes complex, the learning curve can be very steep.

How did us old codgers get all our know-how in the first place before internet forums even existed?.......That would be the examples and help files, and a fair bit of brain tinkering along the way. 

The forum is a great resource for "stumbling blocks" or other questions that pop up in one's brain.  Participants that have had a go at things in the first place before asking questions will get more sympathetic responses than those who show no effort being put in at all!  (and by the sound of it you are in the first category!)

cheers, and happy learning.

Aus

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On 1/26/2018 at 6:19 PM, Joe Tauser said:

Phase 1:  Don't try to write the PLC program yet.  Sketch out a flowchart of your program on paper. 

This sounds like a simple step, but even if you think you have the program operation clear in your mind it's much easier to have a plan to refer to.

It's a good to play with the software to get familiar with it.  Go through all the drop-down menus and look at the functions available, even if you may not know yet what they do.  Know that they're there.

Phase 2:  Google "State Machine" and get familiar with the concept.  This is my preferred method of programming a sequence as it is by far the easiest to troubleshoot.  You use the flowchart you created in Phase 1 to make it.  Your program won't work right the first time (mine never do and I've got 30 years under my belt) but it will be much easier to find problems in the small chunks of code that the state machine runs on.

Look at this post for an example I did-

http://forum.unitronics.com/topic/4333-when-set-coils-turns-on-it-turns-the-corresponding-reset-coil-on-also/?tab=comments#comment-15823

Phase 3:  Profit!!

No, really-  write code and post it with questions.  There's nothing more frustrating than try an answer programming questions from people without being able to see the whole picture.

Good luck!

Joe T.

Much appreciated, Joe!

I'll refer back if I have any issues or questions but this should give me some solid study material for now. Thanks for the tips and the assurance I'm on the right track. I'll be sure to include screenshots if my issue is code specific.

Thanks again!

Derek

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On 1/26/2018 at 10:58 PM, Ausman said:

Hi Derek,

+1 to all that Joe says.

I also suggest that you make frequent use of the Help/Help, and Help/Examples files found within the program itself.  Nearly all the knowledge you want is contained within and is easily accessible.  Like with anything new and sometimes complex, the learning curve can be very steep.

How did us old codgers get all our know-how in the first place before internet forums even existed?.......That would be the examples and help files, and a fair bit of brain tinkering along the way. 

The forum is a great resource for "stumbling blocks" or other questions that pop up in one's brain.  Participants that have had a go at things in the first place before asking questions will get more sympathetic responses than those who show no effort being put in at all!  (and by the sound of it you are in the first category!)

cheers, and happy learning.

Aus

The Help section and I have become well acquainted, my learning method is "cram and cram information until the brain has no choice but to retain some of it" otherwise I'll remember the title and maybe a keyword in the whole section. So I handwrote 70-80% of the Help menu 2-3x over. It was brutal and I'm pretty sure I gained a nice batch of arthritis doing so, but it was well worth it. Thanks to you and Joe for your quick and positive responses, I've found some helpful conversation in the forums in the past but have also recently realized there are hundreds of others that I have yet to find that may help me learn specific things I'm having trouble with. I'll be sure to be back if I have any issues that I just can't figure out myself.

Thanks again,

Derek

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