Design Engineering

Space-saving distributed I/O system


General DPN

AutomationDirect has added a new line of distributed field I/O to its product offering. The new Protos X expansion I/O allows users to easily add low-cost I/O points to your programmable logic controller (PLC) or PC-based control system without investing in additional controllers.

Designed to save space, a single Protos X system can save users up to 74% in I/O footprint inside an enclosure when compared to other I/O systems. The small form factor allows installation directly on or near equipment and connects directly to typical PLCs, including all the Productivity3000, DirectLOGIC, Do-more and CLICK series.

Allowing precise I/O count distribution, Protos X supports up to 255 modules and is scalable from 2 to 4,080 points.
Bus couplers (interface modules) are available in Modbus RTU and TCP versions allowing connection of up to 64 terminals per assembly, for a maximum 255 terminals total. Serving as the link between the Protos X I/O and the system’s main controller, the Modbus RTU/ASCII slave bus coupler communicates via a 9-pin D-sub RS-485 port; the TCP server bus coupler communicates to the client via an RJ45 Ethernet port.
Protos X I/O terminals (I/O modules), in two, four, eight and 16-point (discrete only) versions, are the connection to real world devices and offer 12 discrete input and output terminals; 18 analog input and output terminals include 4-20 mA, +/-10 Vdc, Pt100 RTD, as well as Type J and K thermocouples.
Power feed terminals, starting at $18, are available in 24 Vdc and 120-230 Vac styles to add or change supply power to the terminal power bus; an available 24 Vdc power distribution terminal with 8 connection points (24 V and 0 V for each connection) provides access to the integrated 24 Vdc terminal power bus.
Easy-to-use configuration software (available as a free download) shows the auto-configured Modbus addressing, sets IP (Ethernet) address and communications parameters (serial). Users can also set/disable Watchdog timers, reset bus couplers and more; a communication cable ($56) is available for configuration of the bus couplers. Available bus expansion coupler terminals enable expansion of terminal assemblies with up to 31 couplers in a group.


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