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Siemens S7 PLC Basics, Level 1


Learn to setup, use, and program the S7-1200 and S7-1500 from Siemens.


Learn to confidently setup, program, and troubleshoot Siemens S7-1200 and 1500 PLCs with TIA Portal Step 7.

Designed for those with some PLC experience, our Siemens S7 Level 1 PLC course (S7-1200 and 1500) is now available for students who’d like to get up to speed on the world’s most popular line of Programmable Controllers.

Whether you’ve used Allen-Bradley, Mitsubishi, Wago, Phoenix Contact, IFM, Automation Direct, or another PLC, our S7 course will help you make the transition to TIA Portal and Step 7 by first introducing you to the hardware and software, and then walking you through creating, testing, and troubleshooting dozens of practical code examples used in real world applications.

Unlike other vendor’s courses that only become available after you purchase their expensive hardware or trainers, our courses doesn’t require you to purchase any additional parts, and we show you how to get a 21 day trail copy of the Siemens TIA Portal Programming and Simulation software to use with this course.

And for those who’d prefer to learn with a physical S7 PLC, we cover which CPUs and Starter Kits are available, as well as how to set them up and program them. We even provide you with an overview of every S7-1200 and 1500 controller, detailed step by step instructions on how to connect to each, and a list of components and devices used to build the affordable, homemade PLC trainer we use in this course.

Unlike other companies whose job is done once the sale is complete, we’re committed to your success and actively encourage students to post questions in the lesson discussion area. Our expert instructors visit The Automation School each workday to support and answer student questions.

We also invite you to come back and retake any lesson as the need arises, which is made possible by the fact that none of our course come with an expiration date.

And when you finish your course and pass all the quizzes, you’ll also be rewarded with an official Completion Certificate from from The Automation School that lists the Professional Development Hours you’ve earned by completing all of the course content.

Who should take this course:

Anyone who has some PLC experience (those who already understand the basics of ladder logic, as well as the difference between bits and bytes) and would like to learn how to setup, program, and troubleshoot the Siemens S7-1500 and S7-1200 line of Programmable Controllers.

Note: Students who have no PLC experience should consider taking our affordable PLC Basics course prior to taking this course.

Requirements to take course:

After purchasing this online course you will need internet access to take the course lessons and quizzes. Those who would also like to complete optional exercises should first review Lesson 1.02 where we detail several low cost hardware and software options available to students.

Note: Students do not have to complete exercises to complete the course, as not all students will have access to the same hardware and software. That said, we do show students how to get access to a free, 21 day trial edition of the PLC programming and simulation software in Lesson 3.10. For more information, please review Lesson 1.02.

Course Lessons (as of 06/01/23):

  • Lesson 1.00-V: Course Intro
  • Lesson 1.01-V: Products & Topics
  • Lesson 1.02-V: Following Along
  • Lesson 1.03-B: New & Updated *
  • Lesson 2.01-V: Vital Docs & Manuals
  • Lesson 2.10A-V: S7-1500 Overview
  • Lesson 2.12A-V: S7-1500 Details
  • Quiz Prep 2.12A: S7-1500
  • Lesson 2.14A-V: S7-1500 Tour *
  • Lesson 2.10B-V: S7-1200 Overview
  • Lesson 2.12B-V: S7-1200 Details
  • Quiz Prep 2.12B: S7-1200
  • Lesson 2.14B-V: S7-1200 Tour *
  • Lesson 2.20-V: Distributed IO
  • Lesson 2.30-V: Component Selection
  • Lesson 2.50-V: CPU Memory
  • Quiz Prep 2.50: Memory
  • Lesson 2.51-V: Data Blocks, Types, Tags
  • Quiz Prep 2.51: Tags & Data
  • Lesson 2.52-V: Programs, Modes, Execution
  • Quiz Prep 2.52: Modes & Exec
  • Lesson 3.10-B: TIA Portal 21 Day Trial *
  • Lesson 3.20-V: Automation License Manager
  • Lesson 3.21-V: Remaining Trial Days *
  • Lesson 3.30-V: TIA Portal Overview
  • Quiz Prep 3.30: TIA Portal
  • Lesson 4.10C-V: S7 Model, Firmware, Address
  • Quiz Prep 4.10: CPUs
  • Lesson 4.20C-V: Download & Update CPU Firmware
  • Quiz Prep 4.20: Firmware
  • Lesson 4.30C-V: MRES & Factory Defaults
  • Quiz Prep 4.30: Mode/Reset
  • Lesson 5.10A-V: S7-1500 Add, Test, Force IO
  • Lesson 5.10B-V: S7-1200 Add, Test, Force IO *
  • Quiz Prep 5.10: Testing IO
  • Lesson 6.01-V: IEC-61131, Program 1 Details
  • Lesson 6.10-V: Create, Load & Test First Program
  • Quiz Prep 6.10: Basic Ladder
  • Lesson 6.11-V: Test with PLCSim *
  • Lesson 6.20-V: Boolean Logic (P2)
  • Quiz Prep 6.20: Boolean Logic
  • Lesson 7.10-V: IEC-61131-3 Transition & Latch *
  • Lesson 7.20-V: Set, Reset, Edge
  • Quiz Prep 7.20: Transition & Set
  • Lesson 7.30-V: Toggle
  • Lesson 8.10-V: System & Clock Bits
  • Lesson 9.10-V: Motor Control
  • Lesson 9.20-V: Permissive
  • Lesson 10.10-V: IEC 61131-3 Timers *
  • Lesson 10.20-V: TON On-Delay
  • Quiz Prep 10.20: Timer On Delay
  • Lesson 10.22-V: TON Extra Credit *
  • Lesson 10.30-V: TOF Off-Delay
  • Quiz Prep 10.30: Timer Off Delay
  • Lesson 10.40-V: TONR Time Accumulator
  • Quiz Prep 10.40: Time Accumulator
  • Lesson 10.50-V: Memory Reserve, HMI Start, etc.
  • Lesson 11.20-V: Counters, Count Up
  • Quiz Prep 11.20: Counters
  • Lesson 11.30-V: Count Down, Up Down
  • Lesson 12.20-V: PLC Time
  • Quiz Prep 12.20: Time
  • Lesson 13.20-V: Program Control
  • Lesson 14.20-V: Automatic Mode
  • Lesson 14.30-V: Maintenance Mode
  • Lesson 15.20-V: Move, User Data Types
  • Lesson 16.20-V: Math and Comparison
  • Lesson 19.90-AMA: Ask Me Anything on the S7-1200/1500 *
  • Appendix E: S7-1500 Starter Pack Unboxing *
  • Appendix F: S7-1200 Starter Pack Unboxing *
  • Bonus 01: Siemens Online Support *
  • Bonus 02: S7-1200 Interview *
  • Bonus 03: S7-1500 Interview *
  • Bonus 04: DIO Interview *
  • Bonus 05: TIA Portal v17 Interview *
  • Bonus 06: View of Things Interview *
  • Bonus 07: PROFINET Interview *
  • Bonus 08: PROFINET International *
  • Bonus TT: Building a Trainer / Teststand *

* Denotes optional lesson not requiring completion to unlock certificate