Welcome to The Automation Blog’s

“Flashback Friday!”


Today’s Flashback Friday article is a little different than previous editions.

Today I’m highlighting a piece of legacy hardware, the SLC-500 blue demo case.

When I got my first job in the automation industry back in 1990, the SLC-500 was the big deal with Allen-Bradley users.

Shawn-Teaches--SLC500-In-Albany-NY-1Similar in many ways to the PLC-5, the SLC-500 was substantially less expensive and in some ways much easier to use.

Because it was such a popular item, Rockwell actually manufactured and sold four different models of blue hard-case demos.

And I not only wrote my first SLC-500 program on one of these demos, I also used them extensively over the years in dozens of SLC-500 classes I taught.

The cases were simple, compact for the time, and surprisingly functional.

These cases were strong, and traveled very well. In all my years using them, I never actually had one break.

They were also very practical, as the cover became part of the demo’s stand, and the small array of pilot lights, illuminated push buttons, and selector switches were a good fit for those learning to write their first lines of ladder logic.

And when these demo cases first came out, we often taught our classes using the Hand Held Terminal which some models came with.

Shawn-Teaches--SLC500-In-Holyoke-MA-2These HHT’s, while primitive when compared to a PC, were miles ahead of the SLC-100’s and actually displayed multiple rungs at once.

If fact, as I was testing the HHT in the unit I recently acquired, the memories from using them back in the 90’s came flooding back.

After a couple of minutes, I actually looked like I knew what I was doing, writing test rungs and forcing some I/O to insure everything in the demo was working.

So, did you ever use one of these demos, and do you have any found memories using them?

If you do, I’d love to hear them! Just reply to this post using the “post a comment or question” section at the bottom of this page.

Until next time, Peace ✌️ 

Shawn M Tierney
Technology Enthusiast & Content Creator

Have a question? Join my community of automation professionals and take part in the discussion! You'll also find my PLC, HMI, and SCADA courses at TheAutomationSchool.com.

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Shawn Tierney



  1. Hello,
    I had a demo system with the same condition that was stolen from my garage back in 2018/early 2019. I used it to complete my thesis and never used it afterwards. Frustrating.


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