More ambitious students would want to buy a physical PLC and test out their programs with actual inputs and outputs.
And in my twenty fives years as an Automation Specialist it was pretty clear the simplest Inputs and Outputs to learn with were basic push buttons and pilot lights.
With that in mind, I headed off to test some affordable (but not very industrial) buttons and lights. Below I detail the models I decided on using in my Micro Programmable Controller Basics video.
The unit comes with four push buttons installed in an enclosure. Three of the buttons are momentary, and one is a mushroom style push in / twist up.
Two of provided contact blocks are normally closed, and two are normally open. And like industrial grade buttons, these contacts were easy to rearrange and wire.
That's what I found in these low cost LED's which come in either 120/240vac or 24vdc versions, both of which I tested.
Again, these aren't going to stand up to the vigor's of an industrial environment, but for home based learning on a budget they worked extremely well.
I also needed a box to put them in, and while I would have preferred something a little shorter, the box I ended up choosing worked just fine and the price was right.
Well, I hope the above recommendations of low cost operators you can use for home based learning projects was helpful.
If you have your own recommendations or questions, please feel free to leave them with us by filling in the “post a comment or question” link below.