I want to use PLC to do security, temperature and light controls. I took case in PLC, but I don't have real world experience to set up a PLC system. Since I do not want to spend too much (less than USD$400 for PLC and HMI), would anyone please suggest me what I have to buy and how much would they cost? I read a site , it says the AB mircologix is around $100 and the software is free. Would it be good for me my usage? Thanks

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why do you want to use an PLC instead of a mcu development kit such as the Arduino? \$\endgroup\$
    – sptrks
    Jul 31, 2012 at 5:16
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Because I want to improve my PLC knowledge and skill \$\endgroup\$
    – Superhero
    Jul 31, 2012 at 5:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ And the most important thing is that I did not hear about mcu at all. You just taught me a keyword for a new area. \$\endgroup\$
    – Superhero
    Jul 31, 2012 at 6:15
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I agree with @sptrks - Using a PLC seems to be industrial standard for controlling some basic machinery? Using an MCU like Arduino, Netduino or even the RaspberryPI you can get allot more functionaly (Attiny can handle wireless liek zigbee, netduino can go as far as touch LCD's and Raspberry you can even integrate standard Wifi, Webcams and large storage ) all which costs about 30- 80usd \$\endgroup\$
    – Piotr Kula
    Jul 31, 2012 at 8:17

1 Answer 1


For a cheaper solution you may use Chinese brand PLC FATEK, which you will get at very low price. You may also use Taiwan brand WINTEK HMI Touch Screen, You total cost will be under you limit. These products comes with Free Softwares, You may downloaded them from their websites for testing before purchasing.

You may use Microcontroller Development kit for this project, but for microcontroller development kit, high skills are required as compared to the PLC Project.

The main difference between Micro and PLC is of Graphical symbol programming and Monitoring, Programming of PLC is much simpler than of Microcontroller. And PLC has better online visual monitoring, however for Microcontroller monitoring you need to use JTAG.

AB Micrologix from plcdev are refurbished, and its Analog input/output card is costly. However FATEK comes with Digital and few Analog Input/outputs, so its depends upon requirements.

Another option is of SIEMENS LOGO PLC and Schneider Electric ZELIO PLC Smart Relay, its similar chinese product is IDEC SmarRelay. All these PLCs comes with a Graphical LCD, where you can see your data or any digital or analog I/O.

Among these PLC IDEC SmartRelays comes with four analog Inputs at lower price.

So, Choice is yours :)

  • \$\begingroup\$ you are welcome, if you want any further help i shall guide you, I am a Professional Automation Engineer for PLC, SCADA, HMIs, Microcontrollers and Embedded Solutions. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 31, 2012 at 15:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hey masterleous, I would like to get in contact with you regarding home automation advice and info. Do you have email? If you could drop yours so I can email you with the info, or if you could drop one in mine at: [email protected] thanks \$\endgroup\$
    – Pavan
    Mar 29, 2013 at 19:03

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.