Looking for input on my next course covering the Compact and ControlLogix


As you may have already heard, I just released the second edition of my PLC Basics course.

With that done, I'm now preparing to move on to my next project, PAC Basics, and I'm looking for your input.

I would very much like PAC Basics to be a complete Compact and ControlLogix basics course, including coverage of all four programming languages, as well as substantial content on the ControlLogix hardware.

PAC-Basics-1320x660-v3-2016However, the cost of ControlLogix software and hardware is quite staggering (even on the used market.)

But without RSLogix Standard or Full, some 1756 I/O, and at least an L63, I don't know that I could do the ControlLogix justice?

And as a sole proprietor, there's no corporate fund I can dig into to acquire the equipment.

So with that in mind I thought I would ask you, my colleagues, connections and visitors to my blog, what you think would be the best way forward?

Below I'll list some ideas I have, but please feel free to add comments with your own ideas as well!

Option 1) Start small

PAC Basics 1The first option is to start small with what I have and produce a shorter course mostly on the CompactLogix.

Then, if the course sells well enough I can begin to acquire additional hardware, add more lessons, and raise the price accordingly.

The advantage of this choice is I can proceed immediately. The disadvantage is many customers will be disappointed that the course doesn't cover everything they need from day one.

Option 2) Customer Partnership

PAC Basics 2I could reach out to see if any OEMS, SIs, or End Users would be willing to partner with me to make the course happen.

Partnering to me would mean that in exchange for the customer “loaning” me equipment and software, as well as input on what he would like to see in the course, the customer would get free live WebEx training by me for his staff (as a first draft of the course,) as well as several free copies of the final course once it was completed.

The advantage of this option would be eliminating the cost of buying software and hardware. The downside could be the time it takes to get everything setup and rolling – time during which I wouldn't be selling a PAC course.

Option 3) Kickstarter Campaign 

PAC Basics 3The advantage of running a Kickstarter campaign is I can use it like a pre-order service allowing interested users to fund the project in order to get a copy of the course when it is complete. I can also scale the course based on the number of funds I receive.

For instance, if I only receive $2,000 in backing (aka pre-orders,) I could just upgrade my Mini software to Lite, allowing the course to cover all four programming languages. And if I received $50K or more I could upgrade to RSLogix/Studio 5000 Full ($7K?) as well as try to purchase some of the new products like the L71, L82E, EN2T, 5380, 5069, 525, 527, IO Link, etc, etc.

The down side is, it takes a lot of time to run a Kickstarter with no guarantee that it will be successful.

Option ?) What do you think?

PAC Basics 4So which of the above choices do you think is best?

Would you be willing to pledge to a Kickstarter in return for a Logix video course, and how much would you pledge?

Or would your company like to partner with me on the course, allowing me to borrow hardware, software, and your time to insure you got the particular course your company needs?

Or should I just make a CompactLogix L23 / L1 / Ladder Logic course now, and then upgrade it as fund become available?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts, suggestions, and support! It is always greatly appreciated!


Shawn Tierney
Automation Instructor and Blogger


Old Comment:

  1. You may have explored this idea already, but if I need hardware to simulate for a project I’ve made requests to my AB distributor and received hardware to use for a period of time. L6x hardware and ENBTs aren’t the hot stuff right now so they probably have some dusty ones in the corner that you might be able to borrow. Not sure what they would do for you on software.

    • Good morning Jeff,

      That’s great advice, and having worked at the original A-B distributor for many years they were kind enough to let me borrow an EN2T and L7 so I could include those in the course 🙂

      As for the rest of the equipment, as no one took up my offer above I’ve decided to make a large investment on my own to purchase the 1756, 1794, and 1734 hardware needed to make it a comprehensive course.

      That said, I’m hoping readers will spread the word about the course as I know there’s a huge need for affordable Logix training, but spreading the word about it is more than I can do on my own.

      Thanks as always, and have a great weekend!

      Shawn Tierney