Hardware Comparison: CompactLogix 1769 vs. 5069 Series

In 2016, Rockwell Automation announced an update to their small controller package in the Logix line of controllers, the 5069 CompactLogix controller family. Previously, the CompactLogix processors had been classified under the 1769 (and previously the 1768) family numbers. With the update came several changes, most notably in form factor and performance.

1769 Controllers

The 1769 family of controllers started with the L1x, L2x and L3x, then continued with the 5370 series controllers. These controllers are part of the Logix line of Process Automation Controllers (PAC) from Allen Bradley and are designed to accommodate small to medium sized automation projects. Some common features of the 1769 series are dual RJ45 ports for Ethernet/IP (only a single IP address allowed), LED status indicators on the front of the processor, a USB and SD card port for programming and storage, and a program/run/remote mode switch. Options in the series allow for up to 48 Ethernet/IP nodes, 16 axes of motion, and integrated safety functions. 1769 family IO modules can either be locally or remotely located, and other families of IO can be remotely connected to the controllers. Until the introduction of the 5069 CompactLogix family these controllers were the premier solution for smaller projects and will continue to be supported and have a place in the automation environment.

5069 Controller

The 5069 family is a definite upgrade from the 1769 family of CompactLogix controllers. Two versions of this controller exist, the 5380 and the 5480 series of controllers. The 5380 controllers also sport dual RJ45 ports for Ethernet/IP (plus the ability to have dual IP addresses), a program/run/remote switch, LED status indicators, and a USB and SD card port. The similarities between the 1769 and 5069 families end there, though. The 5380 controllers have an integrated power supply and associated wiring connections, a four-digit digital status display, and integrated wiring terminals for processor and field power. Options in the family allow for up to 55 Ethernet/IP nodes, 20 axes of motion, and integrated safety functions.


The differences between the two families become evident when you start looking at the performance of each. The 5380 controllers utilize new technology, allowing for improved scan times, communications, and capabilities. One of the biggest differences that programmers will notice is the change in memory reserve. In 1769 controllers, at least 20% of the available memory is needed to be reserved for communications and housekeeping operations while in the 5069 controllers all the available memory is usable for programming (the communications and housekeeping functions have been allocated to other memory.) The biggest advantage of this is that most programs can be moved from a 1769 controller to a smaller (and less expensive) 5069 controller. Additionally, the 5380 allows for dual Ethernet addresses instead of a single Ethernet address, allowing for the controller to be used as the gateway between the control network and upstream networks. The Ethernet ports are upgraded to 10/100/1000 Mbit on the 5069 family from 10/100 allowing for improved data transfer between controllers and remote nodes. Overall, these performance upgrades allow for the same program to run 5-20 times faster on a 5069 controller over a 1769 controller.

Most of the differences run in the performance features between the two families, with the 5069 family being an overall upgrade from the 1769 family. With the advent of integrated safety in controllers, the 5069 has a huge advantage over the 1769 controllers. To use integrated safety in a 1769 controller, the Motion option must also be selected which adds a 30% premium to the controller’s price tag. The new 5069 controllers allow for safety without the motion requirement, allowing for a modest price increase (typically 10% or less) based on the removal of the unneeded motion capabilities. With the minor cost increase, the future proofing with integrated safety is almost a no-brainer with the 5069 controllers. One note with the integrated safety, the 5069 safety controller is functionally different than the 1769 safety controller. The 5069 safety controller utilizes 1oo1 safety functionality, allowing for a maximum of SIL2/PLd and Category 3. The older 1769 family utilizes an integrated safety processor for 1oo2 safety functionality, allowing for a maximum SIL3/PLe and Category 4.

Finally, there’s one controller not mentioned yet, the 5480 controllers in the 5069 CompactLogix family. These controllers are like a 5380 controller; however, they integrate an instance of Windows 10 running on the processor. This Windows 10 instance allows for on-the-processor integration of analytics, data gathering, and modelling. The direct access to the processor allows for high speed communications between the control and the higher-level functions associated on the processor. An additional GbE Ethernet port (for a total of 3) is included for connection to enterprise networks. It also includes an integrated DisplayPort for connection to a local monitor. This Windows instance is not something for integrating a programming station or an HMI into the processor (the cost is prohibitive, and the capabilities would be wasted.) This controller was created to leverage Rockwell’s foray into analytics and predictive modelling.

FAMILY 1769 (5370) 5069 (5380) 5069 (5480)
Memory Size 384KB-5MB 0.6-10MB 3-20MB
Number of Nodes 4-80 16-180 60-250
Max Motion Axes 2-16 2-32 16-150
Safety Memory Size 0.5-1.5MB .3-5MB (50% of Program memory) NA
Local IO 6-30 4-31 31
Number of Tasks Allowed 32 32 32
Conformal Coating Yes Yes No
Minimum Studio 5000 Version v20 v28 (v31 for full network nodes) v32
Safety Performance Level SIL3/Ple SIL2/PLd NA

The 5069 family is a technological step forward from the 1769 family of CompactLogix controllers. Enhanced performance and capabilities run throughout the 5069 family, and with the 5480 controllers, CompactLogix has been taken to a level rivaling the ControlLogix controllers. Increased network connectivity, increased processing speed, and improved integration of higher-level functions are all major features of the new 5069 family. While they aren’t such an advance to create a need to replace running 1769 controllers, as new projects come up, the 5069 controllers should be looked at over the 1769 controllers.

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