PLC CORE Basics - The original highly rated PLC intro course
4.5 (64 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
238 students enrolled
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PLC CORE Basics - The original highly rated PLC intro course

This introductory course will teach you the basics needed to start using and programming PLCs!
4.5 (64 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
238 students enrolled
Created by Shawn Tierney
Last updated 7/2017
Price: $20
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • 2 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Understand what a PLC is, and how to read Ladder Logic
  • How to download, setup and use RSLogix, RSLinx, and RSEmulate
  • Understand Data Table files O, I, S, B, T, and C
  • Configure RSLinx communications to Emulated PLCs, as well as the Serial DF1 driver and cables used with A-B PLCs
  • Write, download, go online, test, and troubleshoot PLC Ladder Logic programs using Bit, Latch, Timer, and Counter instructions.
View Curriculum
  • Students should have a basic understanding of electricity, and at a minimum understand simple on/off electrical circuits prior to taking this course
  • Students who wish to follow along will also need a personal computer with Microsoft Windows.

July 2017 *** New free optional lesson added on installing software on Windows 10! ***

Using Windows 10? No problem! 

In an all new free lesson I show you how to download and install the three free software packages on Windows 10, including the .Net workaround!


July 2016 *** The original best seller is back, and now even more affordable! ***

I'm very happy to announce I've re-released my original PLC Basics course in this new, super affordable "Core" edition!

Cut from the original 2014 course which earned a 4.6 out of 5 star rating with students in over 45 counties, this trimmer two hour edition has been simplified to include only the "core" topics you need to know to begin using and programming PLCs!

Note: I highly recommend reviewing this courses lesson descriptions prior to purchasing. Also, customers looking for my new, completely re-recorded five hour edition should instead check out my full PLC Basics course.

Interested in my other Udemy courses? 

  • PLC Basics Second Edition, Completely re-filmed & extended = PLC-Basics
  • PanelView Plus Course = PVP-Basics
  • ControlLogix & RSLogix/Studio 5000 Course = PAC-Basics 
  • Micro800 & CCW Course = Nano-Basics


In PLC "Core" Basics you'll learn what you need to know to begin using and programming PLCs! 

And you'll learn it from a professional PLC programmer with over twenty five years of real world "in the field" PLC programming and troubleshooting experience.

PLC "Core" Basics starts with an introduction for new users that covers what a PLCs is, what styles and types they come in, and what is the lowest cost PLC you can learn on that still programs like the most popular PLC used in North America today.

From there, key concepts PLC programmers have to know are introduced, including what components make up a PLC ladder logic program, as well as how those programs are scanned and solved by the PLC's processor. 

The instructor even demonstrates how students (in most countries) can freely download the three PLC programs used in this course right from Rockwell Automation! Perfect for anyone who want to follow along using a Windows 7 or XP compatible PC! UPDATE - Now includes Windows 10 lesson!

Then for the majority of the course you'll learn to write, download, and test PLC programs using Bit, Latch, Timer, and Counter instructions with both the free Programming Software and PLC Emulator, as well as with Allen-Bradley PLCs using serial communications.

And if you're not completely satisfied, and don't feel you can give PLC "Core" Basics a full five stars for meeting it's claim of being able to teach you how to use and program PLCs, you are encouraged to return it for a full refund using Udemy's 30 day no questions asked guarantee!

So what are you waiting for? PLC "Core" Basics is so affordable!

You no longer have to hope someone will take you under their wing, or that the boss will spend thousands of dollars to send you off to factory training!

And if you contact us prior to purchasing the course, we'll even send you a coupon to save you even more!

The fact is, with PLC "Core" Basics you can learn how to use and program PLCs today!

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is not the newest, nor is it the longest version of the course, however it is the least expensive. Those students looking for the newest and longest version of the course should check out my full PLC Basics course.
  • This introductory PLC course is designed for those people without prior PLC experience who want to get started using and programming PLCs as quickly as possible as inexpensively as possible.
  • This course is also recommended as the starting point for beginners who would like to go on to learn about other A-B Programmable Controllers, including the CompactLogix and ControlLogix
Compare to Other PLC Courses
Curriculum For This Course
19 Lectures
PLC Fundamentals
9 Lectures 46:32

In this course introduction video you're encouraged to follow alone with the lessons found in this course, as well as introduced to what is and what is not covered (free preview enabled, length 1:48.)

Preview 01:48

In this lesson you'll learn what a PLC is, what styles and types they come in, and why the Allen-Bradley MicroLogix was chosen for this course. (free preview enabled, length 2:12.)

Preview 02:12

Let's review what you just learned about what a PLC is!

What is a PLC?
2 questions

This is a quick update concerning where to download the free software.

Update: Where to download the free software

Updated for 2017: In this updated lesson you're shown step-by-step how to find and download RSLogix, RSLinx, and Emulate for free (as of the time this updated lesson was recorded.)

Note: Due to the vendor's website occasionally changing (multiple times between 2013 and 2017) this video may not continue to be accurate in the coming years. However the instructor does provide a link to the latest procedure it this video in case over the coming years the video becomes out of date. (length 6:31)

PLC Software - updated for 2017!

A brief article explaining the following free new lesson on using Windows 10

Preview 00:34

This new free optional lesson walks you through downloading and installing the three free software packages on Windows 10 (added July 2017)

Optional: Download and Install Software on Windows 10

In this lesson you'll learn about PLC Memory, including program files and data files O, I, S, and B (length 5:51.)

PLC Memory

Program and Data Files
2 questions

In this lesson you'll learn about the elements that make up a ladder logic program, as well as how logical continuity works, and how the PLC scans ladder logic (length 12:56.)

Ladder Logic

In this quiz we'll test you knowledge about Ladder Logic.

Ladder Logic
2 questions

In this lesson you'll learn how to use the basic bit instructions XIC, XIO, and OTE (free preview enabled, length 5:09)

Preview 05:09

Bit Instructions
3 questions
PLC Programming
8 Lectures 01:37:38

In this lesson you will learn how to write your first PLC program including documenting addresses, writing three different rungs of logic, as well as documenting your program (length 14:40)

First Program

In this lesson you will learn how to download your program to a PLC and test it. First, you'll learn about the cables needed, then how to set them up and configure them in RSLinx. From there you'll use RSLogix to download and test your program with a Allen-Bradley PLC. Students without a physical PLC may wish to skip to the next lesson (length 18:06)

Download to PLC and Test

In this lesson you will learn how to download your program to a free emulated PLC and test it. First, you'll learn how to setup and configure RS Emulate and RSLinx. Then you'll use RSLogix to download and test your program using the free RSLogix and Rs Emulate software. While students with a physical PLC may skip this lesson, they also may find the topics covered helpful (length 10:27)

Download to Emulator and Test

In this lesson you'll learn how the latch and unlatch instructions work (length 13:38)

Programming with Latch Instructions

In this lesson you'll learn about the Timer data file T4, as well as how the TON and TOF Timer instructions work (length 17:40)

Programming with On and Off Delay Timer Instructions

2 questions

In this lesson you'll learn how the RTO and RES instructions work (length 7:47)

Programming with Retentive Timers and Reset Instructions

In this lesson you'll learn about the Counter data file C5, as well as how the CTU and CTD Counter instructions work (length 12:49)

Programming with Counter Instructions

2 questions

This is the final lesson of the course prior to the appendixes (length 2:31)

Final Lesson
2 Lectures 09:20

In this Appendix you'll learn about all the parts used in this course, including the lights, buttons, and more (length 5:52)

Appendix A - Parts used in this course

In this Appendix you'll learn about low cost cable options for programming PLCs. (free preview enabled, length 3:29)

Preview 03:29
About the Instructor
Shawn Tierney
4.7 Average rating
381 Reviews
1,114 Students
5 Courses
Automation Instructor & Author of The Automation Blog

UPDATE: Due to how the Udemy website works, my courses are divided between two different users, ShawnTierney, and Shawn-Tierney-2, and between the two I have the following courses available:

PLC "Core" Basics: Getting started with A-B PLCs!

PVP Basics: Learn to setup, use, and program the PanelView Plus!

PLC Basics, Second EditionLearn to setup, use, and program A-B PLCs!

PAC BasicsLearn to setup, use, and program the A-B ControlLogix!

Nano BasicsLearn to setup, use, and program the A-B Micro800 using CCW!

CCW VFD QuickstartLearn to use CCW to backup, edit,& restore A-B VFD parameters!


My name is Shawn Tierney from The Automation Blog, and I love sharing what I've learned about automation products with others.

I spent my first twenty five years in the automation business working as an Automation Specialist helping electricians, technicians, and controls engineers implement automation solutions using Allen-Bradley PLCs, PACs, and HMIs, as well as Rockwell Software SCADA and MES products.

Over the course of my career I attended over fifty weeks of Rockwell factory training, and attained several certifications including Rockwell's Certified Automation and Information Specialist, as well as Microsoft's Certified Professional status.

I've also maintained an online presence since 1996 to share automation tips and code, and launched my first website in 1999 featuring my own sample code for PLC-5, SLC-500, MicroLogix, ControlLogix, PanelView and RSView products.

And for over a decade Rockwell Automation even featured my HMI graphics in their own demos, presentations, and sales brochures, as well as on the Automation Fair show floor, and in RSTechED sessions.

These days I'm self-employed as an online automation trainer and author of the internet's most popular independent automation blog, The Automation Blog dot com, which includes a forum where I enjoy discussing automation products and challenges with people from around the world.