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RSLogix 500 Software: A Guide for Beginners




If you are interested in learning how to program and control industrial automation systems using the Allen-Bradley SLC 500 and MicroLogix families of processors, you will need to use the RSLogix 500 software. This software is a Windows-based application that allows you to design, test, and debug ladder logic programs for these processors. In this article, we will introduce you to the basic features and functions of the RSLogix 500 software and show you how to create a simple program using it.


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What is RSLogix 500?




RSLogix 500 is a software tool that was developed by Rockwell Software, a subsidiary of Rockwell Automation, to provide a graphical interface for programming and configuring the SLC 500 and MicroLogix controllers. These controllers are widely used in industrial applications such as manufacturing, packaging, material handling, and process control. They can communicate with various input and output devices, such as sensors, switches, valves, motors, and displays, using different protocols and networks.


The RSLogix 500 software allows you to create ladder logic programs using a drag-and-drop method. Ladder logic is a graphical programming language that resembles the wiring diagrams of relay logic circuits. It consists of rungs that contain contacts, coils, timers, counters, and other elements that represent the logic and operations of the controller. You can also use function block diagrams (FBD), structured text (ST), or sequential function charts (SFC) to program the controller using the RSLogix 500 software.


The RSLogix 500 software also provides features such as online editing, simulation, documentation, troubleshooting, and data monitoring. You can connect your computer to the controller using a serial cable, an Ethernet cable, or a wireless adapter. You can then upload or download programs, edit them while the controller is running, simulate them without hardware, generate reports and comments, diagnose errors and faults, and monitor data values and status.


How to Install RSLogix 500?




To install RSLogix 500 on your computer, you will need to purchase a license from Rockwell Automation or one of its authorized distributors. You can choose from different versions of the software depending on your needs and budget. The most basic version is RSLogix Micro Starter Lite, which is free to download and use. It supports only the MicroLogix 1000 and MicroLogix 1100 controllers. The next level is RSLogix Micro Starter, which costs $151 USD and supports all the MicroLogix controllers. The highest level is RSLogix 500, which costs $1,820 USD and supports both the SLC 500 and MicroLogix controllers.


Once you have purchased a license, you will receive an activation file that you will need to install on your computer using the FactoryTalk Activation Manager. This tool will allow you to manage your software activations and transfer them between computers if needed. You will also need to download the latest version of the RSLogix 500 software from the Product Compatibility and Download Center. You can then run the setup file and follow the instructions to complete the installation.


How to Create a Program Using RSLogix 500?




To create a program using RSLogix 500, you will need to follow these steps:



  • Launch the RSLogix 500 software and create a new project by clicking on File > New or pressing Ctrl+N.



  • Select the type of controller you are using from the list of available models. For example, if you are using a MicroLogix 1100 controller, select MicroLogix1100 from the list.



  • Enter a name for your project and click on OK.



  • You will see a blank ladder logic program with one rung. You can add more rungs by clicking on Edit > Insert Rung or pressing Ctrl+R.



  • You can add contacts, coils, timers, counters, and other elements to your rungs by dragging them from the instruction toolbar or double-clicking on them from the instruction palette. You can also type in their addresses or symbols in the edit boxes.



  • You can modify the properties of each element by double-clicking on it or right-clicking on it and selecting Properties. You can change its address, symbol, description, preset, accumulator, and other parameters.



  • You can add comments to your rungs by clicking on Edit > Insert Comment or pressing Ctrl+M. You can type in any text you want to explain the purpose or function of your rung.



  • You can save your program by clicking on File > Save or pressing Ctrl+S.



  • You can verify your program by clicking on Tools > Verify Project or pressing F5. This will check your program for any syntax or logic errors and display them in the error window.



  • You can download your program to the controller by clicking on Communications > Download or pressing Ctrl+D. This will open a dialog box where you can select the communication method and the controller address. You can then click on Download to transfer your program to the controller.



  • You can run your program by clicking on Remote Run or pressing F9. This will switch the controller to the run mode and execute your program. You can also switch to the program mode by clicking on Remote Prog or pressing F8.



  • You can monitor your program by clicking on Online > Online or pressing Ctrl+O. This will connect your computer to the controller and display the current values and status of your elements. You can also edit your program online by clicking on Online > Online Editing or pressing Ctrl+E.




Here is an example of a simple program that turns on an output when an input is activated:


-----[ I:0/0 ]----- ( O:0/0 )


This program uses one input (I:0/0) and one output (O:0/0). When the input is turned on, it closes the contact and energizes the coil, which turns on the output. When the input is turned off, it opens the contact and de-energizes the coil, which turns off the output.


Conclusion




In this article, we have introduced you to the RSLogix 500 software, a tool that allows you to program and control the SLC 500 and MicroLogix controllers. We have shown you how to install the software, create a program, and download it to the controller. We have also given you an example of a simple program that uses one input and one output. We hope that this article has helped you understand the basics of the RSLogix 500 software and inspired you to learn more about it.


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