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Entries for the 'Custom Hardware and Software' Category

How To Disassemble and Fix a Fried S7-1200 PLC
Jirka Hladis

How To Disassemble and Fix a Fried S7-1200 PLC

Don’t you hate it when your coworker inadvertently wires up a 24V PLC to wall power and lets out the magic smoke? Just such a mishap happened in our lab a while back and the broken PLC was sitting around in the junk bin for a while. Figuring there wasn't anything to lose, I decided to try my luck and see if it could be revived.  Fortunately, the Siemens S7-1200 series PLCs are quite easy to disassemble, and I was able to replace the damaged components and restore it t...

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Simultaneously Flash 8 ECUs with LabVIEW and Vector
Cecilia Brookshier

Simultaneously Flash 8 ECUs with LabVIEW and Vector

Flashing an ECU can be a time-intensive process, so it’s no wonder that automotive OEMs are looking for ways to speed up production. Luckily, Vector has released a set of C/C# API commands called vFlashStation. This library has the capability to simultaneously flash up to eight ECUs on separate communication channels. Additionally, these APIs are compatible with several application environments, including LabVIEW. Learn vFlashStation API Calls This blog explains how we were able t...

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Easy Alarm Generation in RSLogix and FactoryTalk View Studio ME
Kevin Best

Easy Alarm Generation in RSLogix and FactoryTalk View Studio ME

Manually adding alarms in FactoryTalk View can be tedious. When you have a system with lots and lots of devices, as DMC often does, this can become nearly impossible. That’s why during one of our annual FedEx days, DMC engineers built a custom Windows application to do all the grunt work for us. Quick Summary This tool takes in a CSV file of the controller tags, which is easy to generate in RSLogix (Tools -> Export -> Tags and Logic Comments). In this example, we will use any b...

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How To Make a Simple Time-lapse IP Web Camera Using a Raspberry Pi
Jirka Hladis

How To Make a Simple Time-lapse IP Web Camera Using a Raspberry Pi

When it comes to capturing time-lapse videos, there are numerous off-the-shelf solutions and libraries out there. For last year’s FedEx Day project, I decided to implement a minimalist solution on a Raspberry Pi using only the default image capture API that ships with Raspbian (raspistill), the built-in UNIX task-scheduler (cron), a video conversion utility (avconv), and a lightweight web server (lighttpd). Set up your Raspberry Pi with the latest version of Raspbian by burning ...

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SQL Express Scripting from WinCC Advanced
John Williams

SQL Express Scripting from WinCC Advanced

The ability to access a SQL database in real time from WinCC runtime can be beneficial for manufacturing processes. It can be used to determine what should be run on a line, log parameters of a process, or provide tracking of products in real time. This tutorial will go through some of the steps necessary to access data from an SQL database with WinCC advanced. An important note is that SQL access is not allowed through scripting from a Siemens Comfort Panel. One way to work around this&...

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5 Great Uses of the Spread Operator in a React App
Jacob Bruce

5 Great Uses of the Spread Operator in a React App

React has quickly become one of DMC’s favorite tools for web front-end development due to its component-based structure and growing adoption. However, between the JSX syntax, component lifecycle, and state management, learning to use React effectively sometimes feels like learning a language in and of itself. JavaScript’s spread operator sees a lot of use in DMC’s React applications due to its concision and versatility. Here are 5 of our favorite uses of the spread operator ...

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8 Readability Tips to Try on Your Next HMI Project
Ashley Sherwood

8 Readability Tips to Try on Your Next HMI Project

Why do we code PLCs, design HMIs, create complex SCADA networks? The short answer is - so that somebody can use them to get a job done. For an HMI to be useable, it must be readable. Readability isn't just a matter of word choice. Technical choices like text alignment, line width, or font size can make or break readability. Here are eight tips for ensuring readability in your HMIs:  1. Left-align Text Likewise, justifying text creates awkward g...

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Employees Lead Company Improvements During FedEx Day 2018
Anna Jankovsky

Employees Lead Company Improvements During FedEx Day 2018

DMC recently took a break from day-to-day tasks to participate in one of our favorite company traditions, FedEx Day. Routine work on hold, our offices still brimmed with life and projects while everyone worked on whatever they wanted.  FedEx Day is always an opportunity for fun, learning, and collaboration, with only two catches: the project must in some way help to improve the company, and it must be deliverable by the end of the day. This year, our employees took on everything ...

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5 Ways DMC Engineers Ensure Project Success with Critical Support
Jesse Batsche

5 Ways DMC Engineers Ensure Project Success with Critical Support

To ensure broad-based project success, DMC places a significant focus not only on the technical and engineering aspects of our projects, but also on following well-formulated project communication, management, and quality practices. Thus, as part of DMC’s standard project process, there are many critical supporting services that DMC performs for our clients. Here are five ways DMC ensures the success of projects:  Design Reviews Application Testing and Project Quali...

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Frame Accurate Video Scrubbing in the Client
Serena Shah-Simpson

Frame Accurate Video Scrubbing in the Client

There are a variety of desktop applications that allow users to seamlessly scrub back and forth through a video to determine the exact frame in which some action should take place or where the placement of a tag should go. Some popular applications include Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro. This sort of smooth functionality is difficult to attain on a website due to the limited resources of a browser client in comparison with a desktop environment.  In this post, I will walk through h...

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DMC to Present at UEI Seminar Series on April 25
Jessica Mlinaric

DMC to Present at UEI Seminar Series on April 25

DMC Project Director, Jon Carson, will lead presentations at the United Electronic Industries educational seminar series on April 25, 2018. A morning session and an afternoon session will be held in Hauppauge, NY. The seminar is targeted to engineers and admission is free. The morning seminar's topic is "Aerospace Test and Control Applications." The afternoon seminar will focus on "IoT Applications for Your Industry." UEI and DMC will lead disc...

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Arduino Programming with VSCode
Tyler Brink

Arduino Programming with VSCode

Get started programming Arduinos through Visual Studio Code (VSCode).

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Nucleo UART Tutorial Mbed-Style
Ji-hoon Kim

Nucleo UART Tutorial Mbed-Style

Introduction ARM touts its mbed platform as an all-in-one solution to the Internet of Things. Today, we’re going to focus on one of its great benefits: “vendor-layer” abstraction. In other words, with mbed, you don’t have to write code for a specific target. Mbed will compile it for the target you want, whether it’s an EFM32 or an STM32. At DMC, we work with all kinds of different platforms for all kinds of different projects. Being able to borrow and port ...

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Turning an Arduino into a Modbus Device
Eric Baggen

Turning an Arduino into a Modbus Device

A situation arises where you have a system that includes a PLC, an HMI, and some peripheral devices. The HMI displays some information to a user and allows for some basic control and the PLC manages data collection and communication through an RS485 network using a Modbus RTU protocol. Easy, right? Many PLCs already support RS485 and Modbus communication and only require a few functions blocks. There is a twist, however. The devices with which the PLC is communicating a...

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Setting Up Docker for WordPress Development
August Karlstedt

Setting Up Docker for WordPress Development

Way back when in 2014, I wrote a blog about setting up WordPress on IIS. At that time, Docker was only a year old and I hadn't even heard of it. It's now 2017 and things are different. Docker has matured and has gained enormous popularity for making developers' lives easier. One of Docker's uses we'll examine today is using Docker for development, particularly web development in WordPress. First, let's have a little Q&A session and then we'll jump r...

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DIY Dog Tracker Using Bluetooth and Power BI
Matt Goedke

DIY Dog Tracker Using Bluetooth and Power BI

DMC routinely completes projects involving a variety of technologies including Bluetooth connected devices and web-based API’s. During a recent FedEx Day, where everyone in the company works on a project that interests them and that they think will improve DMC, we decided to combine a few of those technologies and create a system for tracking the locations of our many office dogs! Getting Started FedEx Day requires that a project is completed in the span of FedEx day. Depending on th...

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Low Cost Function Generator Amplifier DIY
Tim Jager

Low Cost Function Generator Amplifier DIY

Introduction A majority of function generators are only capable of driving a couple hundred milliamps, which is fine for most applications. If you want more output current, you can shell out $400 dollars for a professional signal generator amplifier, or you can do what I did and hack one together for under $40. A signal generator is an indispensable tool for developing and testing electronic designs. You may find yourself wishing yours could output more current. You could test your po...

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Boston FedEx Day Produces Smart Bike Lights
Frank May

Boston FedEx Day Produces Smart Bike Lights

It's not fair.  Your car shows brake lights when it brakes. Some cool cars turn their lights on when you approach your car at night. Some really cool cars change the intensity of brake lights when they brake hard.  My bike has a red light that turns on when you press a button.  NOT FAIR.  For my FedEx Day project (a day where our company lets us make anything for 'next day delivery'), I brought my bike into the future with the help of a coworker and a ...

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CMSIS-Pack Integration with TrueSTUDIO & Atmel Studio 7
Ji-hoon Kim

CMSIS-Pack Integration with TrueSTUDIO & Atmel Studio 7

In this blog, we'll take a look at how CMSIS-Pack is being integrated with TrueSTUDIO and Atmel Studio 7, two IDEs (integrated development environments) that are commonly used among embedded folks here at DMC. But first... What Is CMSIS-Pack? The Hardware's capabilities and specs dominated device selection in the past. As 32-bit microcontrollers became cheaper, the number of viable hardware choices increased and other considerations, such as the software ecos...

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DMC to Host Microsoft Partners to Discuss IoT 
Jessica Mlinaric

DMC to Host Microsoft Partners to Discuss IoT 

DMC is proud to host Microsoft Partners at the Chicagoland International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) and Women in Technology (WIT) March meeting.   The IAMCP and WIT community members will gather at DMC on Tuesday, March 28 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. to learn about Microsoft’s Azure Platform Services and the Internet of Things (IoT).  Microsoft Azure Platform Services is comprised of some lesser-known services that can be cost-saving alternatives to th...

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