Unipi Extension modules

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Unipi Extension modules represent a cheap and simple way to extend your automation network by additional inputs/outputs. 

Unipi Extension modules represent an easy and inexpensive way to extend your automation project by additional inputs and outputs. Modules communicate using the Modbus RTU protocol and RS485 interface and can be connected to all Unipi Neuron, Unipi Patron and Unipi Axon controllers, as well as PLCs from other vendors.

Unipi Extension model overview

Model DI RO AI AO RS485
Extension modules, the size on a DIN rail: 4 modules = 7 cm
xS11 12 13 - - 1
xS51 4 5 4 4 1

Examples of usage

Unipi Extension modules are a simple and inexpensive solution in cases your PLC's I/O number is no longer sufficient. Modules are managed by a control logic running on the PLC, and as such don't require any programming. Multiple extensions can be placed on a single bus, allowing you to create a network of modules with a very high number of I/Os, controlled by a single PLC. 

Alternatively, you can use the extension modules to make inputs and outputs accessible in installations located away from the central distribution box with the PLC (i.e. next room, another floor, etc.). You can simply install the extension in the remote location, connect all devices you want to control or monitor, and then connect the extension to the PLC using only a pair of serial cables. This solution significantly decreases the amount of needed cabling, reducing the expenses considerably. 

A tutorial for connecting extension modules to Unipi PLCs, a description of their functionality and other information, can be accessed either in the technical documentation or on the Unipi Knowledge Base.

Special functions

Along with standard inputs and outputs, the extension modules also feature other functions enhancing their performance. 

Direct Switch
This function connects a digital input with digital output or relay output. The function is independent on the master PLC and is suitable for time-critical applications (i.e. lighting control). The function can be configured to one of three available modes: 

  • Copy: output is switched by an active input
  • Invert: output is switched by an inactive input
  • Toggle: output is switched by any change on the input

Default settings
This function allows the user to store the default configuration of the module into its internal memory. If the module is rebooted, the default configuration is loaded automatically. 

Master Watchdog
The function monitors the communication between the module and the controller. If the communication is interrupted (e.g. no response from the controller is detected within a defined time frame), the module automatically loads the default settings. This function keeps the module operational even in case of a controller failure or software issues. 

Device addressing and DIP switch settings

Addressing the extension module can be done either via control software running on the remote master control unit or can be set manually via the integrated DIP switch. The DIP switch allows the user to set up to 4 bits of address and is evaluated in preference to software settings. If the address on DIP switch is set to “0000”, all DIP switch settings are ignored and the software settings take priority.

A detail of DIP switches

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