Reed Relay Keeps Going Bad!!!

migenaus

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Help!!! My camera is built using the Canon Owl PF and the RS-425 sensor. It always works just fine at home but once I get it in the woods after a few days my Reed 5v Relay is shot...It is wired into the IC Pin #2...ANY SUGGESTIONS ANYONE!!
Mike
 



Possum

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Can you give some more info?  What battery source are you using and are you following the daigram on Jesse's page?  Sounds like some extra juice is getting to the relay instead of the 5v coming off pin2.  Tell us how you have it wired in completely.  Also, there is a diode that goes accross the relay.  The other guys will have to tell you what it does exactly.  I believe there is a specific direction it has to go.  I am not a electronic guru - I can only copy what I have seen.
 

glen71

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I wish I could help, but maybe getting this back to the top will catch someone's eye. I have asked what is the optimum way to hook up the RS 49-425 sensor, and I am told to do it like it's shown on Jesse's web page. Sounds like you did it that way, so who knows???
 

Coal30

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You Met Want to Hook the relay to the Speaker Wires i have been useing it this way and have had NO Problems
 

migenaus

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Thanks for the responses...Yes I did wire it according to the website. So it uses a 9v battery. The only thing different about this one is that it is housed in a metal first aid kit box. I have another one using the RS-425 sensor housed in a  plastic hobby box from Radio Shack and it works fine. Exactly what do I wire where in order to wire it through the speaker wires...and does that interfere with the test light...Thanks for the help!!
Mike
 

Possum

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You could wire straight from the speaker wires.  Just substitute the red speaker wire for the red pin 2 wire and the black speaker wire for the black wire wired to the neg post on the board. Now, I believe it will work straight out  but the relay may chime a little due to the voltage rising and falling.  The LED can be wired into this also and put on a DPDT switch so one side will be test and the other camera.  It is all here:  
http://www.jesseshuntingpage.com/rs-49-425.html





(Edited by Possum at 10:28 pm on Aug. 28, 2001)
 

big tom

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I have heard that the Radio Shack relays are of poor quality. If there is an electronics hobby shop in your town, perhaps they can sell you a higher quality relay.
 

Tinhorn

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Just so everybody don't get too worried about RS's relays, I've used them in Old Ponderous (solenoid unit) for 4 years and in about a dozen of these "New" units going back for almost a year and have never had one fail yet.

I don't know if they are of the highest quality or not but I've had good luck with them (on 6v lantern batt's anyway) and I'm not "Skeert" to use them

**********************************

I'm wondering how your relays are failing, is the coil burned open or did the contacts go bad, can you tell?  I'm assuming 2 or more relays burned out.  Surely you're not so unlucky as to get more than one relay bad, right out of the box, something must be wrong somewhere...............

**********************************

Tinhorn
 

Archilochus

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Hi all,
RS does tend to sell low-quality components.... but if used within their listed specifications they should work fine.  If the parts fail quickly something must be hooked up wrong or else the part is being used beyond its specified limits.

Archilochus
 

jayber

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Where do/would you buy your relays from Archilochus and how would they compare in price to the RS ones?  Just curious as to what non-low-quality would mean since I'm no electronics expert.....
 

dharter

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If you stress the leads on those PC mount reed realys, you will get an open circuit.  Is the relay mounted inside the sensor or in your box?  I had mine just soldered to the ms20 in an ammo cam.  After opening it and putting in the battery several times, one of the connections to the relay opened up because of stress on the relay's PC leads.
 

wvhunter

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I am using the RS PIR and RS relay wired to the speaker wires with no problems.  It has been in the woods for probably 12 rolls of film and many many cycles on the bench when testing.  To insulate the relay (as well as cust down on the "singing") I took a piece of foam (like I used to hold the camera) cut a slot in it and put the relay in the slot then taped it closed.  This really cut down on the amount of "singing" that can be heard outside the box and also protects the leads on the relay.
 

migenaus

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Tinhorn..,How can I tell if the contacts are bad or if it is the coil? I am a novice with electronics. If what I think are the contacts is the small wires coming out of each end of the relay...then they seem to be a little looser than when the relay was first put in. I have been thinking on what could be different than my other camera and I had placed foam from an old cushion inside my housing and it was touching the relay wires and sensor wires...If moisture built up inside the housing which in turn would get in the foam..would that cause something to short out? I am not sure really what is going on...Thanks you guys!!  Mike
 

Tinhorn

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Migenaus   (is that some kind of Dinasaur  :E

You are right about the 2 end leads being the contacts, they are rather loose in those reed relays but that is normal.  That's one reason the relay should be soldered to the PC Board rather than left hanging somewhere.

If your curious about the workings:
On one of the Bad Relays, straighten out one of those contact leads and you can slip it out of the tube and see what it looks like.  You can see the contacts when you do this.  The way a relay works is the tube has a coil of wires in it and when they are energized by the batt, it creates an Electro-Magnet.  This magnetism is what closes (pulls in) the contacts.  The contact part is rather delicate and might even not work if it is rotated in the tube wrong.

Testing a relay:
is easiest with an OHMS Meter.  Check continuity on the Coil leads by setting the Meter on Rx1, you should see the needle deflect, if it don't, the coil is "Open" and bad

The next step is to attach the Ohms Meter leads to the contact terminals and apply the proper batt voltage to the relay coil terminals, you should see the needle defect when the contacts get "pulled in"

Like I mentioned above, if the "Reed" contact piece is twisted or moved too much, the contacts may not close.  Be sure this is not the problem in your installation

Tinhorn


(Edited by Tinhorn at 9:01 am on Aug. 30, 2001)
 

Possum

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In order to protect the relay I hot glued the relay to the board.  Then I put a drop of hot glue on the connections after I soldered them together.  Yes, if I replace the relay it will be a little more difficult, but I figured the protection it offered the connections outweighed the ease of replacing the relay.
 

Archilochus

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Hi jayber,
There's the trick!... RS *typically* (not always) sells lower quality parts at "good" quality prices.  With mail order you can get decent, branded relays such as Omron, NEC, P&B, Aromat/NAIS, etc for ~50 cents LESS than the dubious quality RS parts.  If you're selling your cams to the military of shooting them off to the Moon with NASA you can really bust your bank and go with some Crydom Milspec or NASA flight approved relays.
Of course you'll have to add shipping in - usually from 5-10%

The great thing about mail order catalogs is the selection - dozens of sizes, shapes, power/voltage ratings are available to suit your specific needs.  The same applies to almost any other part you might need - not just relays.  You'll usually save from 25% to 70% with mail order, even with shipping added in.

Keep in mind that RS stocks their shelves with whatever "comes to hand" at a low price.  This usually means low quality, but not always.  Sometimes you'll get high quality name brand parts and two months later the same RS part# will be some lump of junk!  This could explain why some have had no problems while others keep having component failures.

My favorite mail order catalogs:
http://www.mouser.com  Good prices
http://www.digikey.com  Free shiping over 25US$ (prepaid)
Also check Allied, Newark, Pioneer/Standard
Lots of surplus catalogs too - but same problem as with RS.

Good Luck,
Archilochus
 

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