Where do I begin? - old forum post


Joined on 09-29-2007
Posts 2
Where Do I Begin?

I’m a C# programmer and intergrading OPTO data into software I’m currently writing for a small company (as a contractor).

I may want to get into OPTO programming and other OPTO consulting.

Where do I begin to learn OPTO systems as a complete beginner?

And, is OPTO used much in Europe?


09-28-2007, 2:07 PM
Joined on 12-01-2003
Optomation Systems, Madrid, Spain
Posts 153
Re: Where Do I Begin?

Welcome to the world of Opto22. As an experienced C programmer you have found the ideal product to extend your knowledge.

My suggestion would be to checkout the Opto22’s Screencast video for an official introduction. The OptoScreencast: PAC Control Basic is a good place to start.


Then download a full function free version of PACProject that you can install onto your Windows 2000/XP operating system. This includes all of the manuals including PACControl Users Guide and PACControl Command Reference which as a C programmer you will enjoy studying. No ladder logic, poor instruction sets or weird mnemonics here. You will find however that using a multitasking operating system is slightly different to a standard C environment.


The compiler PACControl allows the development of any local and distributed control, data acquisition and monitoring applications. Combining the simplicity of flow chart programming, multitasking and with OptoScript, a command rich high level procedure language similar to C or Pascal avoids the weight and problems associated with Microsoft VisualC. The end result is smaller, simpler, faster, easier to debug and more orientated towards
real time control.

So how to show the results and develop a user interface without using Visual? PACDisplay allows you to develop a high quality graphical interface in record time. As this runs in the PC and not the controller, the advantage is that any problem that could occur in the operator interface application or the PC on which it is running cannot affect the real time control application.

To see how this all fits together download demo files which show working examples including a bottling plant and a catamaran yacht! You can find all the details in the following document including the downloadable virtual controller.

If you really want to dive off the high board into the deep end of the swimming pool, checkout appendix E of the 1700_PAC_Control_Users_Guide.pdf where you will find notes for experienced programmers and a comparison of the OptoScript language. Personally I would recommend paddling around in the shallow end where the water is warmer!

Which country are you from? You will find Opto 22 represented in every country in Europe. While Opto is not number#1 in Europe it does have a widespread and loyal customer base, especially amongst experienced engineers who have moved on from traditional PLC control and their limitations. Contact your local representative using the following link, who will be able to tell you about well known customers using Opto22 in your country, show you real applications and organize some hands on experience or training. If they are really nice you can even borrow some hardware!


Good luck and have fun!

09-29-2007, 10:36 PM
Joined on 05-10-2007
Opto 22
Posts 28
Re: Where Do I Begin?

Great suggestions George! A few other suggestions:

  1. Opto 22 offers free training which is a great way to learn the basics of the system. If you are interested in attending a class, check out the class schedule for available seats at http://www.opto22.com/site/su_training.aspx
  2. If you cannot make a training class, browse the Opto 22 tutorials. This is a great way to get step by step instructions of how to do basic functions using PAC Project and PAC hardware.
  3. When you start exploring and run into questions, feel free to post them on the forum.

Good luck and have a great day!
-Kelly D.