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Newsletter Issue # 28

Real Time Automation's - Best Darn Newsletter 

Have You Hugged Your Salesman Today?
Take the Modbus Quiz
Fun Facts and Trivia

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January 2016
EtherNet/IP Assemblies 101
January 2016
New Years, Old Modbus
December 2015
The Headache That Is Embedded Security
December 2015
The Secrets of OPC UA Clients
December 2015
Immortal Modbus
November 2015
Sit Tight; EtherNet/IP Quick Connect is Around the Corner



Practical tips and information for young engineers. This issue, featuring:

- Why are Control and Information Technologes Pointed in Opposite Directions?



Have You Hugged Your Salesman Today?

A Column of personal opinion by John Rinaldi, Founder and Owner of Real Time Automation.

A while back I had dinner with my cousin and her son. He’s a nice guy. Twenty-two. A freshly minted graduate of our advanced education system. History, no less.

History just happens to be one of my favorite subjects, but it isn’t one of the more sought-after degree programs. History majors hunt down employers like big game. If they corner one, they ask for a job by prostrating themselves in front of them like a priest taking vows of charity, obedience and chastity.

With relatives, the less said is always better, but I couldn’t help myself, so I offered unsolicited advice. I mentioned the difficulty “some” history majors have finding jobs and suggested a sales career. I should  have know better. Unsolicited advice always gets you a kick in the pants, and this was no different.

He reacted like I had just suggested he become the elephant prep man at the circus. For those of you that didn’t investigate a career in the circus after graduation, it’s the man responsible for manually clearing the elephant’s bowels before a show. I’ll let you imagine how they accomplish that. So with that elephant prep man look on my cousin’s son’s face, he replies that he wouldn’t consider it, as he doesn’t want to “lie to people.”

Knowing that I had less hope of penetrating his four years of ignorance than I would have throwing his 295 lbs. into the lake, I quickly changed the subject. But the incident really bothered me.

Why are salespeople held in such disrespect?

I’m an engineer who has come late to the sales game. Despite my late start, I’ve tried to master it as best I can, knowing that it’s a profession and that professions are never mastered. But as I’ve learned about sales over the years, I’ve cataloged the ways that salespeople are commonly maligned or simply misunderstood.

· The first myth is that selling is about manipulation, deception and deceit. That’s generally not true. Most salespeople firmly believe in the benefits their product offers the customer.

· The second is that sales is all fun and games. The truth is that customers beat them up and slap them around most days of the week. It’s a tough job that many of us don’t have the resilience to do.

· Then there’s the fantasy engineers love, the “Field of Dreams” fantasy: if you build it, they will come. Truth is, if you build it, they won’t come. Your product is nothing but a worthless pile of silicon until somebody sells it

· Next is the myth that all salespeople are selfish and dishonest. Look at it this way: If you’re selling a fire alarm to a family with four children that doesn’t have one, you should use all the energy and persuasive skill you can muster to get that sold and installed tonight. In fact, it’s disrespectful to not try your best to sell it.

· Then there’s the idea that “Sales is easy. Anyone can do it.” The truth is that it takes really hard work to make sales look easy. And it’s probably harder than doing what you do. Salespeople must master persuasion, listening, questioning, body language and a lot more. It’s harder than learning C or Java code (I’ve done both.)

The young history major understood none of this at the time. So what happened to him? Well, he did find a middle management job, and I’m willing to bet he resents the pay and benefits of the sales staff. I doubt that he respects the tough job they have. But hopefully you do, and, later today, you’ll give a salesperson that hug that they so richly deserve.



- John



· What group of people receives the most valentines?

· How many pet owners buy gifts for their pets on Valentine’s Day?

· What percentage of the year’s marriage proposals takes place on Valentine's Day?

· In which month are more home pregnancy tests purchased than any other month?


Answers located on bottom of page.

Modbus Quiz

Test your knowledge of Modbus to see how well you know your stuff!

Answers located in Young Gun Automation Insert.

1. Modbus was originally developed by:
A.  Microsoft
B. Groupe Schnieder
C. Modicon
D. Lady Gaga

2. Modbus can only communicate over RS485 and Ethernet.
A. True
B False

3. Modbus Registers are 16-bit unsigned integers.
A. True
B. False

4. Modbus Registers cannot be used for Floating Point data.
A. True
B. False

5. Modbus ASCII is more efficient than Modbus RTU.
A. True
B. False

6. Modbus TCP packets carry more register/coil data than Modbus RTU data packets.
A. True
B. False

7. Only one Master is allowed on a network of Modbus RTU Devices.
A. True
B. False

8. What is the practical limit to the number of Slave devices on a Modbus RTU network using RS485 serial communications?
A. 7
B. 15
C. 31
D. 63

9. How many Modbus TCP Slave devices can be connected on a Modbus TCP Network?
A. 63
B. 127
C. 255
D. Unlimited

10. The Modbus Organization requires all Modbus Master and Slave devices to be certified.
A. True
B. False

11. CRC stands for:
A. Cryptic Response Code
B. Cyclic Redundancy Counter
C. Cyclic Redundancy Check
D.  Check Redundancy Check

12. Modbus is an obsolete protocol and no more devices are going to use Modbus.
A. True
B. False

13. How many slave devices can be addressed on a Modbus RTU network?
A. 7
B. 63
C. 127
D. 247

14. Address 400100 designates:
A. The 40,100th Register
B. The 40,039th Register
C. Holding Register 100
D. Input Coil 100

15. Modbus Function Code 16 designates the:
A. Read Coil
B. Set Coil
C. Preset Multiple Registers
D. Set Register

16. The minimum number of coils addressed in a Modbus Coil operation is:
A. 1
B. 8
C. 16

17. Modbus RTU is a connectionless protocol.
A. True
B. False

18. The Advantage of Modbus RTU over Modbus ASCII is:
A. Amazon sells RTU so it’s cheaper
B. RTU supports more data types
C. RTU is more efficient
D.  RTU can transfer more data

19. Modbus RTU messages are preceded by a silent time of:
A. 50msecs
B. 100msecs
C. 3.5 character times
D. Device specific time

20. Modbus sequences bytes using:
A. Big Endian (High byte/ Low Byte)
B. Little Endian (Low Byte / High Byte)

21. Modbus RTU is a stateless, connection-less protocol.
A. True
B. False

22. Modbus RTU devices are addressed by a slave ID in the range of 1 to:
A. 32
B. 99
C. 247
D. 255

23. Modbus RTU reserves device address zero for:
A. Future use
B. Program downloads
C. Null messages
D. Broadcast messages

24. Modbus supports Bit, Integer and Floating Point Data Types.
A. True
B. False

25. Modbus data areas are addressed as 1-65536. How are these data areas addressed on the wire?
A. 1 to 65536
B. 0 to 65535


Answers located in Young Gun Automation Insert.






Fun Facts

·It's a myth that no two snowflakes are exactly the same. In 1988, a scientist found two identical snow crystals. They came from a storm in Wisconsin.

·The typical snowflake has 180 billion water molecules in it.

·Deep snow can often appear blue. The layers of snow can act like a filter, causing more red light to be absorbed than blue light, resulting in a blue appearance.

·For the first time ever, snow was reported on the ground of all 50 states on February 12, 2010.



  Trivia Answers: Teachers; Over 9 million, or about 3% of pet owners; 10% - there is an average of 220,000 proposals on Valentine’s Day; March

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