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January 16, 2006
Automation Engineer in the Power Industry. I like writing software for PLC’s to control gas turbines.
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For me it would be to develop devices to simulate inputs into a PLC control system using Arudino or other microcontroller for dynamic software testing. Actually you could use these devices to simulate inputs into an Arudino also.
In particular RTD’s, thermocouples, and AC frequency for speed simulation.
There are some crude ways to somewhat simulate these devices but they have limitations. There are calibrators ($$$) on the market that can do these things but they require you manually setting the output using a keypad.
For example, there is nothing to take a 4-20mA (very common) input and produce a simulated bipolar mV output signal for input into a PLC for testing . You can use a 1 ohm resistor to get positive mV values but not negative mV values.
Basically it would be developing the “Signal Simulator” as show below…
Simulator PLC (4-20mA Out) –> (4-20mA In) [Signal Simulator] (mV OUT) –>(mV IN) PLC Under Test
I have started writing a control specification thinking I might submit to CSU (I live in Fort Collins) for a Senior project for a student.
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