The IO22D08 8 Channel Pro mini PLC Board

I have been looking for an "Arduino Plug and Play" 8 channel board for a long time. I just wanted a ready-made version that does not require a Dupont cable and is "Arduino compatible". And finally I found the IO22D08 - an 8 channel relay card for the Arduino Pro Mini with a LED seven-segment display.

IO22D08 8 Channel Pro mini PLC Board

Well, it's for an Arduino Pro Mini, but using an USB-TTL adapter it can be programmed like an Uno with the Arduino IDE. That's why I did a trial order and carried out the first tests.

The Board

The additional needed outputs are obtained with the three 74HC595 shift registers.

The relays are not connected in ascending order to shift register U5 but in the order 81234567. The enable input of this shift register for the relays is connected to pin A1. This can be used to activate the outputs after the initialization has been carried out or to implement an emergency shut down.

Two additional shift registers (U3 and U4) are used for the 4-digit 7-segment display. The circuit diagram shows a 18:88 but in fact it is delivered with an 8.8.:8.8. version. The display is common cathode and is soldered directly to the board without a socket. In order to be able to control the mulitplexed LED display data must be sent permanently to the shift registers. I get stable results with a two milliseconds interval. An LED driver like an HT16K33 or MAX7219 would have been a better choice. Pin 13 was selected as the data pin for the shift register, so the LED on the Arduino Pro Mini LED will flicker / glow.

Furthermore, 8 inputs are provided with optocouplers (to be wired against GND) and the inputs are provided with screw terminals.

Additionally there are 4 push buttons on the circuit board.

The pins A4 / A5 are not connected and could be for I2C. The A6 / A7 pins are also available on the Pro Mini (as on the Nano). So in addition to TX / RX, you have a total of 4 other GPIOs at your disposal.

The Arduino Pro Mini is supplied in its socket with VCC = 5V, so a Pro Mini in the 5V variant must be used. For a Pro Mini 3.3 a slight modification is needed to route the 5V to RAW.
According to the circuit diagram, the VIN input of the PCB is protected against polarity reversal with a diode. A simple linear regulator is used to regulate the voltage to 5 V (according to the circuit diagram, there should be a resistor R0 with which the voltage regulator can be bridged, but I couldn't make it out on the circuit board). During operation with the display active, the controller only gets slightly warm.
The board has no cutouts, therefore do not operate on the 230V power supply!
The dimensions of the board are 120 * 62 * 19mm.

IO22D08 8 Channel Pro mini PLC Board

The Software for the IO22D08

The vendor provides a link to a quite well commented example sketch. The used timer library will be included in the zip file and ensures that the display is continuously updated.

The sketch implements eight retriggerable relays with delay: if you push one of the optocoupler inputs against GND, the assigned relay switches on for a certain period of time. With buttons 1 - 4 the time parameters or the remaining time of the first four relays can be shown

An Adopted Sketch for the IO22D08

I didn't like usage of a timer and the functions were a little too confused for me. The three shift registers are addressed in a chain. As described above, the display is multiplexing and you have to shift the relays into the registers every time. Therefore I created a base class IO22D08 that implements the hardware of the shift registers (relay and display). The basic class provides the hardware access for the board and can be reused unchanged in all sketches.


The IO22D08timer class is derived from the base class. This class inherits all methods of the base class and contains additional variables and methods for time control specific for the sketch. I liked the inheritance better than two separate classes for this purpose. The object "board" is finally the instance of IO22D08timer and will be used in the sketch. It will support all methods:

The optocouplers and push buttons are read in a simple function. All in all, I think the sketch is now more readable and easier to adapt for my purposes.

/*
  IO22D08
  DC 12V 8 Channel Pro mini PLC Board Relay Shield Module
  for Arduino Multifunction Delay Timer Switch Board

  Hardware:
  4 bit Common Cathode Digital Tube Module (two shift registers)
  8 relays (one shift register)
  8 optocoupler
  4 discrete input keys (to GND)

  ---Segment Display Screen----
  --A--
  F---B
  --G--
  E---C
  --D--
   __ __ __ __
  |__||__|.|__||__|
  |__||__|'|__||__|
  ----------------------

  available on Aliexpress: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_A0tJEK

  some code parts based on the work of
  cantone-electonics
  http://www.canton-electronics.com

  this version

  by noiasca
  2021-04-01 OOP (2340/122)
  2021-03-31 initial version (2368/126)
  1999-99-99 OEM Version (2820/101)
*/

//Pin connected to latch of Digital Tube Module
// ST Store 
// de: Der Wechsel von Low auf High kopiert den Inhalt des Shift Registers in das Ausgaberegister bzw. Speicherregister
const uint8_t latchPin = A2; 
//Pin connected to clock of Digital Tube Module
// SH clock Shift Clock Pin
//de: Übernahme des Data Signals in das eigentliche Schieberegister
const uint8_t clockPin = A3; 
//Pin connected to data of Digital Tube Module
const uint8_t dataPin = 13;
//Pin connected to 595_OE of Digital Tube Module
// Output Enable to activate outputs Q0 – Q7 - first device: Relay IC
const uint8_t OE_595 = A1; 
// A4 - unused - not connected - I2C SDA
// A5 - unused - not connected - I2C SCL
// A6 - unused - not connected
// A7 - unused - not connected
const uint8_t optoInPin[] {2, 3, 4, 5, 6, A0, 12, 11}; // the input GPIO's with optocoupler - LOW active
const uint8_t keyInPin[] {7, 8, 9, 10}; // the input GPIO's with momentary buttons - LOW active
const uint8_t noOfOptoIn = sizeof(optoInPin); // calculate the number of opto inputs
const uint8_t noOfKeyIn = sizeof(keyInPin); // calculate the number of discrete input keys
const uint8_t noOfRelay = 8; // relays on board driven connected to shift registers
byte key_value; // the last pressed key

// the base class implements the basic functionality
// which should be the same for all sketches with this hardware:
// begin() init the hardware
// setNumber() send an integer to the internal display buffer
// pinWrite() switch on/off a relay
// update() refresh the display
// tick() keep internals running
class IO22D08 {
protected:
uint8_t dat_buf[4]; // the display buffer - reduced to 4 as we only have 4 digits on this board
uint8_t relay_port; // we need to keep track of the 8 relays in this variable
uint8_t com_num; // Digital Tube Common - actual digit to be shown
uint32_t previousMillis = 0; // time keeping for periodic calls

// low level HW access to shift registers
// including mapping of pins
void update()
{
  static const uint8_t TUBE_NUM[4] = {0xfe, 0xfd, 0xfb, 0xf7}; // Tuble bit number - the mapping to commons
  // currently only the first 10 characters (=numbers) are used, but I keep the definitions
  // NO.:0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22 23 24 25 26 27 28*/
  // Character :0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,A, b, C, c, d, E, F, H, h, L, n, N, o, P, r, t, U, -, ,*/
  const uint8_t TUBE_SEG[29] =
    {0xc0, 0xf9, 0xa4, 0xb0, 0x99, 0x92, 0x82, 0xf8, 0x80, 0x90, 0x88, 
     0x83, 0xc6, 0xa7, 0xa1, 0x86, 0x8e, 0x89, 0x8b, 0xc7, 0xab, 0xc8, 0xa3, 0x8c, 0xaf, 0x87, 0xc1, 0xbf, 0xff};
  uint8_t tube_dat; // Common Cathode Digital Tube, bit negated - sum of all segments to be activated
  uint8_t bit_num; // digital tube common gemappt auf tuble bit number
  uint8_t display_l, display_h, relay_dat; // three databytes of payload to be shifted to the shift registers
  if (com_num < 3) com_num ++; else com_num = 0; // next digit
  uint8_t dat = dat_buf[com_num]; // Data to be displayed
  tube_dat = TUBE_SEG[dat]; // Common Cathode Digital Tube, bit negated - sum of all segments
  bit_num = ~TUBE_NUM[com_num]; // digital tube common gemappt auf tuble bit number
  display_l = ((tube_dat & 0x10) >> 3); //Q4 <-D1 -3 SEG_E
  display_l |= ((bit_num & 0x01) << 2); //DIGI0<-D2 +2
  display_l |= ((tube_dat & 0x08) >> 0); //Q3 <-D3 0 SEG_D
  display_l |= ((tube_dat & 0x01) << 4); //Q0 <-D4 -4 SEG_A
  display_l |= ((tube_dat & 0x80) >> 2); //Q7 <-D5 -2 SEG_DP - Colon - only on digit 1 ?
  display_l |= ((tube_dat & 0x20) << 1); //Q5 <-D6 1 SEG_F
  display_l |= ((tube_dat & 0x04) << 5); //Q2 <-D7 5 SEG_C
  // output U3-D0 is not connected, 
  // on the schematic the outputs of the shiftregisters are internally marked with Q, here we use U3-D to refeer to the latched output)
  display_h = ((bit_num & 0x02) >> 0); //DIGI1<-D1 0
  display_h |= ((bit_num & 0x04) >> 0); //DIGI2<-D2 0
  display_h |= ((tube_dat & 0x40) >> 3); //Q6 <-D3 -3 SEG_G
  display_h |= ((tube_dat & 0x02) << 3); //Q1 <-D4 3 SEG_B
  display_h |= ((bit_num & 0x08) << 2); //DIGI3<-D5 2
  // Outputs U4-D0, U4-D6 and U4-D7 are not connected

  relay_dat = ((relay_port & 0x7f) << 1); // map Pinout 74HC595 to ULN2803: 81234567
  relay_dat = relay_dat | ((relay_port & 0x80) >> 7);

  //ground latchPin and hold low for as long as you are transmitting
  digitalWrite(latchPin, LOW);
  // as the shift registers are daisy chained we need to shift out to all three 74HC595
  // hence, one single class for the display AND the relays ...
  // de: das ist natürlich ein Käse dass wir hier einen gemischten Zugriff auf das Display und die Relais machen müssen
  shiftOut(dataPin, clockPin, MSBFIRST, display_h); // data for U3 - display
  shiftOut(dataPin, clockPin, MSBFIRST, display_l); // data for U4 - display
  shiftOut(dataPin, clockPin, MSBFIRST, relay_dat); // data for U5 - Relay
  //return the latch pin high to signal chip that it no longer needs to listen for information
  digitalWrite(latchPin, HIGH);
}

  public:
    IO22D08() {}

    void begin() {
      digitalWrite(OE_595, LOW); // Enable Pin of first 74HC595
      pinMode(latchPin, OUTPUT);
      pinMode(clockPin, OUTPUT);
      pinMode(dataPin, OUTPUT);
      pinMode(OE_595, OUTPUT);
    }

    // fills the internal buffer for the digital outputs (relays)
    void pinWrite(uint8_t pin, uint8_t mode)
    {
      // pin am ersten shiftregister ein oder ausschalten
      if (mode == LOW)
        bitClear(relay_port, pin);
      else
        bitSet(relay_port, pin);
      update(); // optional: call the shiftout process (but will be done some milliseconds later anyway)
    }

    // this is a first simple "print number" method
    // right alligned, unused digits with zeros
    // should be reworked for a nicer print/write
    void setNumber(int display_dat)
    {
      dat_buf[0] = display_dat / 1000;
      display_dat = display_dat % 1000;
      dat_buf[1] = display_dat / 100;
      display_dat = display_dat % 100;
      dat_buf[2] = display_dat / 10;
      dat_buf[3] = display_dat % 10;
    }

    // this method should be called in loop as often as possible
    // it will refresh the multiplex display
    void tick() {
      uint32_t currentMillis = millis();
      if (currentMillis - previousMillis > 1) // each two milliseconds gives a stable display on pro Mini 8MHz
      {
        update();
        previousMillis = currentMillis;
      }
    }
};

// the timer class extends the basic IO22D08 board
// with some timers for the relays
// this is the specific implementation for this sketch
class IO22D08timer : public IO22D08
{
  protected:
    bool isActive[noOfRelay]; // timer of this relay is running
    uint32_t previousTimer[noOfRelay]; // start time of relay

  public:
    IO22D08timer() : IO22D08() {}

    uint16_t delay_time[noOfRelay]; // delay time of this relay - I'm to lazy to write a setter, therefore public

    void startTimer(byte actual) { // start the timer and activate the output
      previousTimer[actual] = millis();
      isActive[actual] = true;
      pinWrite(actual, HIGH);
    }

    void tickTimer() { // a specialised "tick" method avoiding a virtual/override, hence the different name
      uint32_t currentMillis = millis();
      if (currentMillis - previousMillis > 1) // each two milliseconds gives a stable display on pro Mini 8MHz (3ms will flicker)
      {
      // 01 check if there is something to do for the relay timers:
      for (size_t i = 0; i < noOfRelay; i++)
      {
        if (isActive[i]) // check for switch off
        {
          if (currentMillis - previousTimer[i] > delay_time[i] * 1000UL)
          {
            isActive[i] = false;
            pinWrite(i, LOW);
          }
        }
      }
      // 02 update the output buffer
      if (isActive[key_value])
        setNumber(delay_time[key_value] - (millis() - previousTimer[key_value]) / 1000); // calculate remaining time
      else
        setNumber(delay_time[key_value]); // just show programmed delay time
      // 03 default todos as in base class tick:
      update();
      previousMillis = currentMillis;
      }
    }
};

IO22D08timer board; // create an instance of the relay board with timer extension

void readInput()
{
  for (size_t i = 0; i < noOfOptoIn; i++)
  {
    if (digitalRead(optoInPin[i]) == LOW)
    {
      board.startTimer(i); // activate pin on board
    }
  }
  for (size_t i = 0; i < noOfKeyIn; i++)
  {
    if (digitalRead(keyInPin[i]) == LOW)
    {
      key_value = i;
    }
  }
}

void setup() {
  //Serial.begin(9600); // slow for 8mhz pro mini
  //Serial.println("\nIO22D08 board");

  for (auto &i : optoInPin) pinMode(i, INPUT_PULLUP); // init the optocoupler
  for (auto &i : keyInPin) pinMode(i, INPUT_PULLUP); // init the discrete input keys
  board.begin(); // prepare the board hardware
  // set some default values
  board.delay_time[0] = 16; // 1-9999 seconds, modify the number change the delay time
  board.delay_time[1] = 2;
  board.delay_time[2] = 3;
  board.delay_time[3] = 4;
  board.delay_time[4] = 5;
  board.delay_time[5] = 6;
  board.delay_time[6] = 7;
  board.delay_time[7] = 8;
}

void loop() {
  readInput(); // handle input pins
  board.tickTimer(); // timekeeping for display/
}

The new sketch should do exactly the same as the Chinese example, but does not require a timer library,  uses around 200 bytes less program memory, but 25 bytes more SRAM.

The display output is currently limited to integers. In principle, you could also inherit the IO22D08 from print, but that only makes sense if you also complete the character set, because currently only numbers on some letters are defined (similar to the Chinese example sketch).

Pricing of the IO2D08 Relay Board

This 8 channel relay board is available for aprox. 20 USD. Let's do a comparision with other components:

So in total around the same costs, but you don't need messy Dupont wires to connect all components.

Summary on the IO22D08

This 8 channel PLC board fulfills the purpose of a compact assembly. You have to take care of the optocoupler if you want to connect your own sensors. The control of the LED display with shift registers is by far not perfect, but there are several examples available how to update update the display. However, since the I2C ports are not used so fare, the purchase is worth the money for me.

Links

*) Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you I will earn a (little) comission if you click through and make a purchase. I only recommend products I own myself and I'm convinced they are useful for other makers.

History

First upload: 2021-04-02| Version: 2021-04-03