Ladder Logic

Ladder Logic is the language used to program factory controllers which are called Programmable Logic Controllers (or “PLCs” for short).

This example uses an Automation Direct PLC called the “DoMore” to show you how to program a pinewood derby track controller that tells you which car won the race.

Once you see how easy and fun it is to program a PLC, you might want to consider learning about factory automation as a career choice and help keep America’s factories running!

Download software:

Cost: Free

Instructions to setup software: Run the installer downloaded above.

Hardware requirements: PC

Operating systems supported: Windows

Difficulty level: 1 out of 5


With your parent’s permission download and install the DoMore Software (it’s free), then just watch this video and do what it says. You’ll have a two-lane pinewood derby controller up and running on a simulated PLC in minutes!


1. Modify the program to work with 8 lanes.

2. Add a new input signal that tells you when the race starts, then use that to add timers to tell you how long it takes for each car to get to the finish line.

3. Add a new input signal (a button press) which controls motors to automate the start of the race (drops the starting gate).

LEARN MORE –- A one stop shop for all factory automation needs — A professional PLC training site with hundreds of videos. This is normally a fee based site, but the owner is a HUGE Boy Scout fan and provides his training videos to Boy Scouts working on the Programming merit badge for free. Just send them an e-mail to get access. – A free site with lots of training videos on all things automation.

Comments about “Ladder Logic”

  1. I Luv Planes says:

    I enjoy Ladder Logic. It is very fun.

  2. Anonymous says:


  3. billybob says:

    The video for ladder logic is great.

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  • 1. Safety. Do the following:
      a. Show your counselor your current, up-to-date Cyber Chip.
      b. Discuss first aid and prevention for the types of injuries or illnesses that could occur during programming activities, including repetitive stress injuries and eyestrain.

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      b. Describe the evolution of programming methods and how they have improved over time.

    3. General knowledge. Do the following:
      a. Create a list of 10 popular programming languages in use today and describe which industry or industries they are primarily used in and why.
      b. Describe three different programmed devices you rely on every day.

    4. Intellectual property. Do the following:
      a. Explain how software patents and copyrights protect a programmer.
      b. Describe the difference between licensing and owning software.
      c. Describe the differences between freeware, open source, and commercial software, and why it is important to respect the terms of use of each.

    5. Projects. Do the following:
      a. With your counselor’s approval, choose a sample program. Then, as a minimum, modify the code or add a function or subprogram to it. Debug and demonstrate the modified program to your counselor.
      b. With your counselor’s approval, choose a second programming language and development environment, different from those used for requirement 5a and in a different industry from 5a. Then write, debug, and demonstrate a functioning program to your counselor, using that language and environment.
      c. With your counselor’s approval, choose a third programming language and development environment, different from those used for requirements 5a and 5b and in a different industry from 5a or 5b. Then write, debug, and demonstrate a functioning program to your counselor, using that language and environment.
      d. Explain how the programs you wrote for requirements 5a, 5b, and 5c process inputs, how they make decisions based on those inputs, and how they provide outputs based on the decision making.

    6. Careers. Find out about three career opportunities in programming. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required. Discuss this with your counselor and explain why this career might be of interest to you.

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