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Wiring a Relay Timer to Control a Gas Solenoid

08/21/2016 6:52 PM

Hello,

I'm trying and stumbling for some reason I don't understand at the simple task of getting an analog 8 pin relay timer to charge a NC solenoid at regular intervals.

The time itself is pretty interesting. Seems to be very simple in design, analog, and passive. Accepts a wide range of AC and DC voltages. Here it is:

I'm wiring it to a solenoid controlling light pressure from a nitrogen line. Here is the valve:

Yes, I am new with electronics, but have been around them in a professional capacity for a while. I initially was completely confused as to why the solenoid would successfully operate the timer, but not energize the coil even directly connected to my variable DC PSU. I slapped my palm across the head and realized my PSU only supplies 500 mA, and the solenoid required more current. I scrounged in the bin and was thrilled to find a 12V 2A wall wart. I clipped the connector and wired it directly to solenoid leads. Bingo. Solenoid pinged and was opening and closing the gas line as I plugged and unplugged the PSU.

Next I tried wiring the relay timer between the PSU and solenoid to accomplish the project: control the interval at which the solenoid opens and closes. I tried to follow the simple schematic, But failed, in two different ways:

I know this is basic stuff, but assistance much appreciated! I'm sure it's an easy fix. Like maybe the timer is stealing current, maybe I need to ground something, etc.

Best

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#1

Re: Wiring a relay timer to control a gas solenoid

08/21/2016 7:13 PM

You don't have any supply in the solenoid circuit. The relay is just a switch!

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Wiring a relay timer to control a gas solenoid

08/21/2016 7:43 PM

Ah ha. Thank you, and to responder below.

A little embarrassing in its simplicity, sure, but now I know.

"just a switch"

Rixter, then I'm not sure I grasp what a relay really is! I could wikipedia it now, and I will, but sometimes it aids memory to be slapped across the face with the answer by a real person. (If you're a robot, you know how to use emojis awfully well, for a robot)

Perhaps because the device I want to control is also "switch-y" on/off, the solenoid, I incorrectly thought that pin 8 and 5 were meant to connect after having passed through the device (solenoid) that is being "switched" by the relay. I thought that that power from pins 7 and 2 were routed through the timer, and then according to user settings timer applies energy in time intervals to pin 8, and that energy travels through one of the leads in the solenoid to charge the coil, and then exits the other lead from the solenoid, which I connected to pin 5. (in retrospect, not rational thinking)

Maybe I was derailed by the abbreviation "COM1" which I figured meant something like "communication to device #1 of 2 (COM2) of on/off intervals". (what does "COM" mean on this type of schematic, anyway?)

I also did a configuration after thinking "but what about the wire that isn't hot? the one that returns the electrons to the opposite terminal" as well as several other random touches of the alligator clips, to no avail.

Anyways, thanks for the first slap across face. It sure fixed my problem.

-Sylvester

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#9
In reply to #3

Re: Wiring a relay timer to control a gas solenoid

08/22/2016 9:48 AM

Busted! I am a robot. How did you figure it out. I thought I was doing pretty good, pretty good, pretty good...

COM stands for "common", NC for "normally closed", NO for "normally open". Normally means when the coil is not energized. The solenoid is just an electrically operated switch that when energized connects the commons to the normally opens instead of the normally closed.

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: Wiring a relay timer to control a gas solenoid

08/21/2016 8:32 PM

use the same power supply for both you can

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#2

Re: Wiring a relay timer to control a gas solenoid

08/21/2016 7:13 PM

in your second drawing, disconnect terminal five and wire it to the same as the power supply on terminal two.

disconnect the green wire from terminal 8 and put a jumper between 7 and 8.

Now connect your green wire from the solenoid to either 5 to deenergize or 6 to energize the solenoid when the time is activated.

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#5

Re: Wiring a Relay Timer to Control a Gas Solenoid

08/21/2016 9:17 PM

This is a pretty good start to understanding how the relay works. While this tutorial is geared toward understanding a standard relay, an electronic relay will work along the same guidelines.

To put it simply: Between pins 2 & 7 is the relay coil. Pin 2 (labeled COM1), is the "COMmon" for contact set number 1. Pin 4 is the Normally Closed (relay de-energized) contact for contact set 1. Pin 3 is the Normally Open (relay energized) contact for contact set 1. Pins 7, 5, 6 serve the same functions for contact set number 2.

The coil of a standard relay is essentially no different from your solenoid: Sending "juice" through the coil produces a magnetic field, which in turn creates mechanical motion in a ferromagnetic material. While the electronic relay you show does not have a coil, it "works" the contacts in the same way to be compatible (pin wise) with a standard relay.

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#6

Re: Wiring a Relay Timer to Control a Gas Solenoid

08/22/2016 5:17 AM

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Wiring a Relay Timer to Control a Gas Solenoid

08/22/2016 6:04 AM

Also need connections from the power supply to relay pins 2 and 7.

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#10
In reply to #7

Re: Wiring a Relay Timer to Control a Gas Solenoid

08/22/2016 2:12 PM

Also need a clamping diode across the coil if he wants his power supply to last.

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Wiring a Relay Timer to Control a Gas Solenoid

08/23/2016 3:43 AM

Quite. The same could be said for the contacts inside the timer relay.

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: Wiring a Relay Timer to Control a Gas Solenoid

08/22/2016 8:27 AM

Do #7⇑ to the circuit in #6⇑ and "Robert is your mother's brother".

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#12

Re: Wiring a Relay Timer to Control a Gas Solenoid

08/23/2016 11:06 PM

Here is a edited diagram for the timer to energize the solenoid when it's cycle is initiated . As JE stated you modify this by wireing the solenoid to either 5 to deenergize or 6 to energize the solenoid when the timer is activated.

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#13

Re: Wiring a Relay Timer to Control a Gas Solenoid

08/27/2016 4:07 PM

This worked--briefly--then I burnt out my solenoid!

Here's what I did. Triple checked this to make sure it is accurate. I'm using alligator clips to secure things.

What did I do wrong?

I know this is basic stuff, but I assure you I'm not just passively following instructions and demanding "FIX IT" of the community here. I am (within the limits of my free time, which quite limited) actively and trying to understand these concepts and encode to memory. For example, when I followed the link provided to an explanation about relays, I was fascinated by what, I think, is the possibility of using chains of relays to create something akin to a pure hardware algorithm, but one that takes place at the speed of electrons on copper, and cannot be changed without solder.

Details:

I knew the solenoid "burnt" (don't know exactly what that means afraid) because I had it hooked up to my pressurized air line, and it was working, turning on and off, then the pinging turned to a soft clicking, and then it remained closed. The housing was warm to the touch.

While it was working, I also found the physical user interface reversed. The "ON" side of the timer was controlling the duration the solenoid was left off--meaning closed--and vice versa.

I'm thinking that what WJMFIRE said: "Also need a clamping diode across the coil if he wants his power supply to last." followed by pwlsack: "Quite. The same could be said for the contacts inside the timer relay." were instructions I should have followed (I'm only seeing them now), although it was the solenoid that went, not the PSU.

I have these diodes, and a bunch of resistors on hand.

The tiny datasheet for this timer is here. Additional wiring and dip switch setting diagrams are there.

Rixter the Robot, thank you for your inpu--I mean output.

I'm arriving at this from a non-technical broadcasting role, Where "COM" or "COMMS" marked on a device means other than common port/pin--mainly intercoms or some other one or two way communications connection.

Thanks to everyone else who helped me get this working! (for a while)

-Sylvester

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Wiring a Relay Timer to Control a Gas Solenoid

08/29/2016 7:19 AM

Have you - since the "burnout" - tried the solenoid directly connected to the power supply? If not, it could be a problem with the timer relay.

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: Wiring a Relay Timer to Control a Gas Solenoid

08/29/2016 1:51 PM

Your 1N400X series diodes will work fine.

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Users who posted comments:

brettj1au (1); JE in Chicago (2); JohnDG (2); Kilowatt0 (1); kvsubramanyam (1); PWSlack (2); Rixter (2); sylvester (2); WJMFIRE (2)

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