We could all use some tips for optimizing systems. In tomorrow's webinar, Pre-sales Engineer Ben Orchard helps you make your SNAP PAC System fly with field-proven tips:
- PAC controller multitasking
- Using delays to speed up your system (Sounds crazy, but it works!)
- Gaining more efficient I/O communication
- Improving PAC Display throughput
Optimizing SNAP PAC System Throughput Seminar
When: March 4, 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time
Duration: 45 minutes plus Q&A
See other upcoming seminars, including What's New in PAC Project 9.0.
With support for true controller redundancy and many improvements to both PAC Control and PAC Display, PAC Project 9.0 will be available soon. Here are some highlights of the new version.
- You can use one SNAP PAC as the primary controller with a second running simultaneously, ready to take over immediately if anything happens to the first.
- In PAC Control Basic, you now have several I/O features that used to be available only in Pro. Pulsing, totalizing (both analog and digital), TPO, ramping, and frequency and period measurement commands are all now in Basic as well as Pro.
- You can start alternate host tasks to divide up the communication workload for the controller.
- You'll see cleaner toolbars and a search box at the bottom of the Strategy Tree (very useful for finding tags).
- In Debug Mode, you get a lot more data in Inspect dialog boxes, and with Pro, you can even plot I/O points.
- In PAC Display Pro, you can display a webpage window in Runtime.
- New alarm features include a new Warning alarm state as well as the ability to display alarms in an alert window in Runtime and to send an email when an alarm occurs.
- In Runtime, users allowed to log into PAC Display may be added and modified by a qualified operator.
- You can also create a PID button that launches a graphical PID tuner in Runtime (PAC Display Pro only), so operators can change PID parameters as needed.
There's a lot more, too. We'll keep you posted so you'll know just as soon as PAC Project 9.0 is released.
Here's a useful gem on the Opto 22 website: Topic pages.
Topic pages bring together a lot of information about one subject, all on the same page so it's easy to find what you need. There's a topic page on migrating to newer Opto 22 products, a topic page on wireless, a topic page on energy monitoring, and many more.
The easiest way to find the topic page you need is by checking the index. In any Opto 22 web page, scroll down to the dark gray section, look in the lower right under "Popular Links," and click "Topic Pages."
And here's another link to the topic pages index.
In the last OptoNews we mentioned the useful PAC Control and PAC Display sample code files installed with PAC Project. Among those is the OptoScript example, which Product Support Engineer Bill Steffens notes is "really, really helpful" any time you're writing OptoScript code.
OptoScript is an optional programming language you can use within a PAC Control flowchart block. OptoScript makes some common programming tasks a lot easier. Extensive math calculations, complex loops, and string handling are all easier with OptoScript.
If you have a programming background, you'll really like the options OptoScript gives you. But even if you aren't a programmer, you'll find it's a great tool for certain tasks.
Here are a few tips for using OptoScript.
Before you start using OptoScript, take a good look at the sample code (default location: C:\Program Files\Opto22\PAC Project 8.5\Control Basic Examples\OptoScript Examples), as well as Chapter 11 in the PAC Control User's Guide. When you're writing OptoScript code, you can paste in parts of the sample code and then change it to suit your purpose.
In the OptoScript editor, it can be hard to remember the exact spelling or argument syntax of a command. So click the Insert Action Command (or Insert Condition Command) button at the top of the editor.
Choose a command from the list. To see the arguments, click the Command Help button (at the bottom).
In the Help window, scroll down till you see the OptoScript example. You can even highlight the example, copy it, and paste it into the OptoScript editor, then just change the arguments as needed. Note that in PAC Control version 9.0 (almost ready for release), you'll be able to get parameter help right in the editor.
Questions? Comments? Contact Opto 22 Product Support.