Back in 1991 Rockwell Allen-Bradley released the SLC-500 family of small programmable logic controllers in two hardware styles: Fixed and Modular. The modular style became the most popular version, and is what most people are familiar with today. However, many small systems did use the fixed style which was the precursor to the MicroLogix line released in 1994.
Fixed SLC-500 I/O Counts
- 1747L20_: 20 total I/O (12 inputs and 8 outputs)
- 1747L30_: 30 total I/O (18 inputs and 12 outputs)
- 1747L40_: 40 total I/O (24 inputs and 16 outputs)
In addition to I/O count, these small PLC’s also had different options for (1) line power, (2) input type, and (3) output type. Below is a chart which correlates the final letter in the catalog number with the power and I/O option it represents:
- Part Number, Inputs, Outputs
- 1747-LxxA, 120VAC, AC/DC Relay
- 1747-LxxB, 120VAC, AC TRIAC
- 1747-LxxC, 24VDC Sink, AC/DC Relay
- 1747-LxxD, 24VDC Sink, AC TRIAC
- 1747-LxxE, 24VDC Sink, 24VDC Source
- 1747-LxxL, 24VDC Source, 24VDC Sink
- 1747-LxxR, 2400VAC, AC/DC Relay
- 1747-LxxP, 2400VAC, AC TRIAC
- Part Number, Inputs, Outputs
- 1747-LxxF, 24VDC Sink, AC/DC Relay
- 1747-LxxG, 24VDC Sink, 24VDC Source
- 1747-LxxN, 24VDC Source, 24VDC Sink
The Fixed SLC-500 also came with a built-in communications port. Its a standard RJ-45 jack and is located behind a small door on the front of the unit. The protocol used is DH-485, which is an Allen-Bradley protocol communicated over a standard RS-485 network.
Many different devices could connect directly to the Fixed SLC-500’s communications port, including:
- 1747-PIC Programming Cable – 25 or 9 pin D-Shell to DH-485 RJ45 port.
- 1747-HHT Hand Held Programming Terminal (used in place of PC, PIC, and Programming Software)
- 1747-DTAM Data Table Access Module (simplistic HMI)
- 1747-AIC Isolated Link Coupler for networking applications
- 2711 PanelView HMI products
Some devices, like the 1747-PIC and 1747-AIC, need 24vdc power to operate, and the DH-485 port on the Fixed SLC-500 provides this power. This is a little known fact, and back in the 90’s we’d often get calls from customers trying to use the 1747-PIC connected directly to a 2711 PanelView to download it’s program, but without a PLC also connected there was no power for the PIC. For these instances Allen-Bradley actually sold a separate RJ-45 based power supply to power the PIC when a PLC wasn’t available. In the case of the AIC, it had a terminal block on the bottom where external 24vdc power could be connected for those instances when no SLC was directly connected.
The Fixed SLC-500 also accepted an EEPROM for program backup in the event the onboard battery backed memory was lost. As with most PLC’s, the EEPROM could be set to never load, load on every power cycle, or only load when the SLC’s memory was invalid.
Note: For more details reference the Fixed SLC-500 user manual here.
Well that’s it for my introduction to the Fixed SLC-500. Next time we’ll discuss replacing one of these units with a more modern PLC. If you have any questions or comments on this article please feel free to leave them by using the “leave a reply” form at the bottom of the page.