The SLC-500 family of Programmable Logic Controllers was quite popular when it launched in the early nineties.
The 5/01 and Fixed Controllers: Modular and Brick
The first controller to come out for SLC-500 modular systems was the 5/01.
While the L514 used battery backed memory, the L511 had capacitor backed memory with the option to use a battery.
Both 5/01 models were said to be capable of controlling up to 3840 digital I/O points across a maximum of 3 I/O Chassis and 30 I/O Slots.
These processors had an average scan time of 8ms per 1K of program, and supported 52 Ladder Logic instructions.
They both came with a DH-485 programming port that accepted an RJ45 style connector, a connector most readers today will associate with Ethernet cables.
It's important to note that all SLC-500's with a native DH-485 RJ45 style port also provide power via that port for accessories like the original Hand Held Programmer (1747-PT1) as well as the DH-485 Link Coupler (1747-AIC.)
SLC-5/01s could be programmed through their DH-485 port using either a Hand Held Terminal (a 1747–PTA1E installed in a 1747–PT1) or the SLC-500 version of Rockwell's 6200 software known as APS (Advanced Programming Software, 1747-PA2E.)
As far as the Fixed SLC-500's are concerned, they shared all the same specs as the 1747-L511, except each had a limited number of build-in I/O points, and accepted a single two slot I/O expansion chassis.
The 5/02: Faster and More Powerful
This processor was similar to the L514 as it had 4K of battery backed memory and a DH-485 communications port.
But it differed from the L514 in that it executed it's programs much faster (4.8ms/K,) and could initiate DH-485 network messages as well as respond to them.
The 5/02 also supported up to 4096 I/O points across 3 chassis and 30 slots.
But the biggest new features of the 5/02 included it's 19 additional ladder logic instructions, one of which was the first iteration of a SLC-500 PID instruction.
The 5/02 was also the first SLC-500 to support Indexed Addressing, Interrupts, User Fault Routines, and the ability to handle 32 bit signed math functions.
The 5/03: Online Editing and a whole lot more
And in addition to the DH-485 port, it also had a user friendly RS-232 9 Pin D-Shell port which could be used for programming via the DF1 Full Duplex protocol, or used in SCADA Master/Slave systems with DF1 Half Duplex protocol, or used with ASCII instructions to read and write to ASCII devices like Bar Code Readers and Serial Printers.
All three models had battery backed memory, and an average scan time of 1ms per 1K or program.
The SLC-5/03 controllers also included a real-time clock, 2MS STI (Selectable Timed Interrupt) .5ms DII (Discrete Input Interrupt), as well as true Indirect Addressing.
As far as instructions, the SLC-5/03 supported 99, including advanced math features like trigonometric and exponential instructions, as well as a more advanced PID instruction.
The 5/03's were also the first SLC-500s to support upgrades through flash firmware, as well as new instructions like the CPT “Compute” instruction, and support for the Floating Point data type (i.e. F8:0.)
The 5/04: Can I get Data Highway Plus with that?
With that in mind, the SLC-5/04 was born.
Note: If you're thinking that should be 56K and not 57.6K, you're not alone! Many people get that DH+ baud rate mixed up with the fast 56K dial-up modems of the time 😉
The SLC-5/04 would also eventually come in three memory sizes: 16K (L541,) 32K (L542,) and 64K (L543.)
Aside from being slightly faster than the SLC-5/03 by scanning 1K of program in just .9ms, most all of the other 5/04 specs are the same as the 5/03.
The 5/05: Ethernet Please!
Initially the 5/05's 10BaseT RJ45 Ethernet Port only supported 10Mbps, but with the release of the Series C hardware, Rockwell added 100 Mbps support as well.
So what did you think of the above overview of SLC-500 controllers?
Did I miss anything, or do you have a question about something I wrote?
If you do, you can let me know by clicking on the comment link below my signature.
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