If I had a group of followers, I am sure one would ask me how to get started with PLCs. I would answer that the best way is to install some free PLC programming software and experiment a little to see if PLC programming is for you.

PLC programming is a very windows centric exercise with all software I have seen only running on windows. If you have a Mac or Linux computer, you may need to install Virtual Box and run a Windows VM.

PLC programming is also a very expensive exercise. Many companies charge hundreds or thousands of dollars to buy their software. This might not sound like much if you need it to run a multi-million dollar machine, but for the students or experimenters out there it makes it inaccessible.

My favourite free PLC programming software is called Do-more Designer, and comes from Automation Direct. This software is great because it comes bundled with a free PLC simulator.

The software has comprehensive help resources and youtube clips to help you get started.

Once you have finished with the standard PLC hello world examples, the next problem you face is finding example code to see how practical problems are solved.

My next blog post will be about getting started with Git version control software, and I am going to start posting some PLC code examples on Github, so if you have Do-more designer installed, you can download the code and look through it on you own computer.

This will give me a chance to learn how Git works and share some PLC code.