Opto 22

43044 Business Park Drive, Temecula, CA 92590 USA
Local & outside the USA:(951) 695-3000
Toll-Free within the USA:(800) 321-6786
Fax: (951) 695-3095
Email: sales@opto22.com

New OptoMinute Videos

Hot Tips from Product Support: RS-485, Loopback, and Strategy Performance

Did This Ad Look Funny To You?

SNAP PAC System Classes in Massachusetts

New OptoMinute Videos

OptoMinute: PAC Control Here are two new chances to learn about Opto 22 products—in only 60 seconds.

We've just posted two new OptoMinute videos on the Learn section of our website:

The PAC Control video presents the main features of our control programming software at a breathless pace. The pace doesn't seem to faze Kelly Downey, our engineer/OptoMinute star. It's impossible to mention all of PAC Control's features in 60 seconds, but Kelly does her best.

OptoMinute: PAC DisplayIn the PAC Display video, Kelly introduces our HMI development and runtime software in the same speedy fashion. It's a great way to meet this surprisingly full-featured software for the first time.

For a more leisurely introduction to these two, take a look at our PAC Control and PAC Display screencasts. The screencasts walk you through these same features in more detail, showing you how to use them in the software.

To explore PAC Control and see PAC Display in action—even if you don't have any Opto hardware—download the PAC Project Demo.

Or to try PAC Control and PAC Display yourself, just download the free PAC Project Basic software suite, which contains both.

Hot Tips from Product Support: RS-485, Loopback, and Strategy Performance

Opto 22's Product Support Group (PSG) develops some helpful tips as they work with customers who contact them for free product support. Here are a few tips from our PSG engineers.

Q: Why is it important to connect the signal common line to all devices on an RS-485 network?

A: RS-485 uses a differential pair to determine the signal, rather than using a signal wire and signal common, the way it is done with RS-232.

With RS-485, the signal common has a different purpose—it keeps the data lines of each device from exceeding common mode voltage limits.

If the signal common wire is not connected to each device, indeterminate operation or possible failure of the RS-485 transceiver can result.


SNAP PAC R-series controller with I/OQ: What is a "loopback address" and why would I want to use it?

A: The loopback address is an IP address of 127.0.0.1 that tells a device on an Ethernet network to talk to itself.

The rack-mounted SNAP PAC R-series controller functions as both a controller and a brain, providing control and I/O processing for the I/O on its own rack (talking to itself), plus control for distributed brains and I/O.

When running a strategy on an R-series controller/brain, use the loopback address in the strategy when configuring the local I/O. The benefit? If the IP address of the controller ever changes, it can still talk to its own I/O unit without requiring modification to the strategy.

Q: What's a simple way to improve PAC Control strategy performance?

A: Check the Debug level in your strategy. If the strategy is set to Full Debug, you can often improve performance just by changing it to Minimal Debug. Full Debug is great for stepping through blocks, but additional overhead is added.

Once you've debugged your strategy, go back to Configure mode and from the Configure menu, choose Minimal Debug. Then retest your strategy. Minimal Debug removes the additional debug code and may improve the strategy's performance.

Questions? Concerns? Contact Product Support.

Did This Ad Look Funny To You?

Jam PAC'd adIt did to us! Due to technical difficulties at InTech magazine, our centerfold Jam PAC'd ad in their March issue (shown at left the way it should have looked) featured some extra-large text not normally seen on an Opto 22 I/O rack.

If you'd like to have a copy of the ad the way it was supposed to look—without the bonus text—we'd be glad to send you a full-color, full-sized copy, suitable for posting on your office or family room wall.

Just email us at marketing@opto22.com and we'll send you your very own Jam PAC'd ad, no charge.

And look for us in InTech again in April!

SNAP PAC System Classes in Massachusetts

Martindale Associates logoIf you're near Bradford, Massachusetts, you'll want to check out the SNAP PAC System classes offered by OptoPartner Martindale Associates.

Martindale is an Opto 22 Certified Trainer. If you can't come to free training at our headquarters office in California, a Certified Trainer near you can provide the training you need.

Currently scheduled classes at Martindale Associates include:

Four-day, hands-on SNAP PAC System Training
When: April 28-May 1, 2008, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Lunch is included.
Cost: $600 per person ($1000 if hardware is not purchased through Martindale Associates)
Limited to six (6) people
Description: Complete hands-on introduction to PAC Project automation software, SNAP PAC controllers, and SNAP I/O.

One-day Jump-Start Class
When: April 22, 2008, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Lunch is included.
Cost: $225 per person
Description: For those with experience in automation control programming. An introduction to developing a control strategy and HMI using SNAP PAC controllers and I/O.

To register for any class, contact Martindale Associates:
Phone: 978-372-2120 or toll-free (in the U.S.): 1-800-447-1191
Email: training@martindaleassoc.com
Location: 65 Avco Road, Unit M, Ward Hill Industrial Park, Bradford, MA 01835

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Opto 22 Product Support

Opto 22 Product Support is FREE Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time

Product Support Numbers:

Local: (951) 695-3080
Toll-Free: (800) 835-6786
Fax: (951) 695-3017
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