Low Cost MicroLogix Programming Cable

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MIcro Basics DVDAs I began production of my Micro Programmable Controller Basics DVD last May, I realized that people who wanted to learn PLC’s on their own would likely need help finding low cost alternatives to expensive industrial programming cables.

With that in mind, I ordered both the official vendor cables as well as the low cost third party models, and in today’s article I’ll share with you the Serial DB9 to MicroLogix 8 Pin Mini-Din cable I tested and found to work well with both RSLinx and its auto-configure feature.

NOTE: For the low cost USB to Serial cable I tested see my previous article HERE.

The Generic 1761-CBL-PM02

The cable I tested was the 1761-CBL-PM02 from Amazon, which cost roughly $30 depending on the vendor chosen.

As can be seen below, it comes in a simple zip lock bag:


Once I opened the bag and took the cable out, the only major difference I notice was the cable was a couple feet longer than the official A-B cable.


In examining the 8 Pin Mini-Din side, and comparing it to the official cable, the port clearance looked similar, and in my testing I had no issue plugging it into any of the MicroLogix processors..


One final note: I had concerns about whether or not the Mini-Din side would be keyed since some third party cables are missing this feature.

Without the key, I often feel like I’m going to bend the pins of the cable by inserting it incorrectly.

In this case my worries were unfounded as this generic cable does indeed have a key to insure you plug it in correctly.


After a thorough examination, the next step was to test the cable out.

First, I connected my USB to Serial adaptor to my PC. Then I connected this generic 1761-CBL-PM02 to it, and to my MicroLogix 1000 test stand.

I then opened RSLinx Classic Lite, added the DF1 driver, assigned it to my USB Serial Adaptor comm port, and pressed “Auto-Configure.”

The result: RSLinx not only found my MicroLogix 1000, but I was able to download and go online without any issues.

So if you’re looking for a low cost MicroLogix serial programming cable which supports RSLinx’s “Auto-Configure” feature, after my hands-on testing I feel very comfortable recommending this generic 1761-CBL-PM02.

Learn more in the below episode of The Automation Minute:

I hope you’ve found the above information about the low cost MicroLogix serial programming cable I tested helpful.

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or corrections please don’t hesitate to leave them with us by filling in the “leave a reply” form at the bottom of this page.


Shawn Tierney
Automation Blogger and Trainer

Need personalized help? For as little as $25 per month you can get direct access to ask me Rockwell PLC, HMI, and SCADA questions! Learn the details at Patreon.com/Automation

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