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'[EE]: interfacing a a relay (automotive world)'
2002\06\17@131826 by Erik Jacobs

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face
I apologize in advance for posting this message... my flame shield is on :)

I'm embarking on a automotive project using a PIC that will control some
electric fans.  The "parts" involved with this portion of the project are
the PIC, somet interface, and an automotive relay.  I should probably find
some specs on an automotive relay but I'd assume that it only needs a few
volts to engage and a very small constant voltage to keep it on.  I highly
doubt that a little output port on a PIC micro is going to be able to drive
a relay, so I'm wondering what kind of intermediary device I would need.  I
was thinking something along the lines of a power transistor, but someone
suggested to me using an SCR(?).  What are your thoughts/ideas/experiences?

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2002\06\17@134745 by Pic Dude

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face
Generally when you think automotive, expect the devices
(relay) to run at ~12V, and for that you'll need a driver.
(Even with a non-automotive relay, you'll need a driver.)

Driver can be a simple transistor (2N2222 or similar) with
a resistor to the base and a rectifier diode across the
relay coil.  I'm not too good with ASCII graphics, but you
can search google for "transistor relay driver" and you
should come up with many options.

Cheers,
-Neil.




{Original Message removed}

2002\06\17@142014 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Mon, Jun 17, 2002 at 01:18:51PM -0400, Erik Jacobs wrote:
> I apologize in advance for posting this message... my flame shield is on :)

????. WHy the apology in advance?

>
> I'm embarking on a automotive project using a PIC that will control some
> electric fans.  The "parts" involved with this portion of the project are
> the PIC, somet interface, and an automotive relay.

OK.

>  I should probably find
> some specs on an automotive relay but I'd assume that it only needs a few
> volts to engage and a very small constant voltage to keep it on.

May not be correct on that. You really need to look up the specs as it may
take a significant fraction of 12V to engage and some 10's or 100's of
milliamps to hold.

> I highly
> doubt that a little output port on a PIC micro is going to be able to drive
> a relay,

That's right on the money.

> so I'm wondering what kind of intermediary device I would need.

A transistor and a catch diode to take care of the collaping magnetic field
energy of the coil when the relay disengages.

> I
> was thinking something along the lines of a power transistor, but someone
> suggested to me using an SCR(?).  What are your thoughts/ideas/experiences?

You can get both the transistor and diode in a TIP series Darlington transistor
package. I used automotive relays in my homebuilt thermostat project. The
basic config is as such:

* Connect one end of the relay coil to +12V
* Connect the other end of the coil to the collector of a TIP120 transistor
* Connect the emitter of the transistor to ground.
* Finally connect the PIC I/O port pin to the base of the transistor through
 a small valued resistor. In my project 1K worked fine for me.

That's it. When the PIC pin is raised to 5V the transistor will engage and the
relay coil will pull the relay in. When the I/O pin is dropped to 0V the
transistor will turn off and the mag field energy will conduct through the
builting diode of the TIP 120.

Hope this helps,

BAJ

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2002\06\17@143907 by Brendan Moran

picon face
Time for some ASCII art!!

I think this is what we're all thinking of.

                                          +5V
                                           |
                                       +---+
                                       |   |
                                       |   )
                                      _|_  )
                                      /_\  )  Relay coil
                                       |   )
                                       |   )
| Logic decive |                        |   |
|              |                        +---+
|              |                            |
|              |                            |
|              |     Some resistance        |
|   output pin |o--------/\/\/\/-------| |--+
|              |                       |
|              |                       | |<-+
|              |                       |    |
                                      | |--+
                                           |
                                           |
                                         ------
                                         / / /



Ugh... This looks horrible in this particular email program. (It defaults to
a non-monospaced font, when Plain Text encoding is specified)

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2002\06\17@145747 by Daniel Rubin

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Just cut and paste into Notepad.exe...  and presto looks perfect!

- Dan

At 11:40 AM 6/17/02 -0700, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2002\06\17@145954 by Brendan Moran

picon face
Someone will, no doubt correct me, if I'm wrong, as I'm not completely sure
on this one.

An SCR is like a locking relay:  Once you turn it on, it's on.  As far as I
know, the only way to turn off an SCR once it's triggered is to lower the
current through it to below the SCR's holding current, whether through
another active device or through it being used in an AC system. (inherent
current change 120 times a second due to reversing voltage)

Your friend was probably thinking of an AC system, where this idea would
work, but I don't think that for what you want it's practical.  I'd suggest
a power MOSFET or even a small relay.  There are small enough relays that
they can be used to activate larger relays from a logic device (like an
MCU):  They're what are used for the ouputs in PLC's since they provide
better electrical isolation than a semiconductor device, and what you're
implementing here is pretty close to a crude PLC.

IMPORTANT: if you use a relay anywhere near a logic device of any kind, wire
a diode backwards across the coil of the relay.  If you don't do this, you
will destroy the logic device from time to time due to voltage surges caused
by the coil turning off.

--Brendan

{Original Message removed}

2002\06\17@145959 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 02:19 PM 6/17/02 -0400, you wrote:

>That's it. When the PIC pin is raised to 5V the transistor will engage and the
>relay coil will pull the relay in. When the I/O pin is dropped to 0V the
>transistor will turn off and the mag field energy will conduct through the
>builting diode of the TIP 120.

There is no such diode in the TIP120, sorry.

>Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
spam_OUTspeffTakeThisOuTspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
9/11 United we Stand

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2002\06\17@150405 by Erik Jacobs

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> I think this is what we're all thinking of.

Yes, that's it.  My question (posed to someone else privately) is:  Why do
all the diagrams I see for this sort of thing typically use a BJT?  Is there
any reason that a BJT is preferred over a MOSFET?  Could one just as easily
use a MOSFET here?  I plan on having up to 3 devices being controlled by
relay circuits like this, it seems that it would be easy to just get an IC
that has several transistors on it and wire it up like that.

> You can get both the transistor and diode in a TIP series
> Darlington transistor package. I used automotive relays
> in my homebuilt thermostat project.

Do they make several TIP120 devices in a package?  say 3 or 4?  I find
Fairchild's site very difficult to navigate -- I can't find Darlingtons in
their product groups unless I search for them and then I just get listings.

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2002\06\17@151440 by Erik Jacobs

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face
> An SCR is like a locking relay:  Once you turn it on, it's on.

Yeah... it was my dad suggesting it :)  And he was thinking of AC... I
remember the conversation.

> I'd suggest a power MOSFET or even a small relay.

Yeah, MOS is what I was thinking originally but it seems that most of these
transistor/relay circuits are BJT.

> There is no such diode in the TIP120, sorry.

http://www.fairchildsemi.com/ds/TI/TIP120.pdf

That's the datasheet for a TIP120.  There is a diode, however it appears to
be in the wrong direction to shunt current from a collapsing field in a
relay coil that would be above this device (connected at C).  When base
current disappears, both the BJTs go off, but nothing can flow to ground
through that diode... no?

Shrug!

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2002\06\17@152253 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 03:14 PM 6/17/02 -0400, you wrote:

>Yeah, MOS is what I was thinking originally but it seems that most of these
>transistor/relay circuits are BJT.

Nothing wrong with BJTs, they might be a bit cheaper than a MOSFET, and
they work to rather low Vcc if that is a requirement (not in an automotive
application, most likely). For more than 100mA the MOSFET starts to look
better, but at 100mA or less (roughly) a 2N4401 does an excellent job for
pennies.

> > There is no such diode in the TIP120, sorry.
>
>http://www.fairchildsemi.com/ds/TI/TIP120.pdf
>
>That's the datasheet for a TIP120.  There is a diode, however it appears to
>be in the wrong direction to shunt current from a collapsing field in a
>relay coil that would be above this device (connected at C).  When base
>current disappears, both the BJTs go off, but nothing can flow to ground
>through that diode... no?

Right. The voltage will increase limited by the breakdown voltage of the
transistor or the parasitic capacitance in the circuit. The parasitic
diode shown in some data sheets doesn't conduct at all. This can cause
SOA failures of transistor (typically "on"). Some MOSFETS are
avalanche-rated and you don't need the diode if the energy of the
relay coil is low enough.

>Shrug!

;-)

>Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
.....speffKILLspamspam@spam@interlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
9/11 United we Stand

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2002\06\17@152912 by Brendan Moran

picon face
> > I'd suggest a power MOSFET or even a small relay.
>
> Yeah, MOS is what I was thinking originally but it seems that most of
these
> transistor/relay circuits are BJT.

Ok, while that is true, don't worry about it.  Here's what you do:

1.Find out what the activation current/voltage is for the relay
2.Use the transconductance of the MOSFET to determine how high a voltage it
needs to be driven with to get that activation current, the drive it at 5V
if the voltage required is less than that.

3. Supply enough voltage to the coil to make that work (refer to my ASCII
art, previous post)
4. Remember to wire a diode across the relay, or you'll let the smoke out.

Remember Electronic devices don't work without the smoke; if you let the
smoke out, your project doesn't work anymore. ;)

Oh, just a note, a diode across the MOSFET is not what you want here.  The
diode needs to go across the coil.  If that's not how you work it, there's
problems.

If the diode across the MOSFET is wired as drain/cathode to source/anode,
then current never flows, and if there's a current spike, it won't conduct.

If it's wired as drain/anode to source cathode, your relay is always on.

A diode across the MOSFET won't help.


Hope that helps,

--Brendan

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2002\06\17@153248 by smerchock, Steve

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part 1 2866 bytes content-type:multipart/alternative;
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Erik,

I used the attatched file to control fans (24VDC @ 1A) and
higher current relays with good success. The switching
action is controlled by a PIC pin on the BS170. The parts are
available from DIGIKEY. It's not the cheapest of circuits but
I don't like to use relays if it is possible. Also, the IRFU9120 is
a DMOS part, the diode is part of the process.

Best of luck!!
Steve

Steven Kosmerchock
Radio Frequency Systems
Phoenix,  Arizona  USA
(WORK) http://www.rfsworld.com

http://www.geocities.com/researchtriangle/lab/6584

"Great spirits have always encountered violent
oppposition from mediocre minds."--A.Einstein





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<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<META NAME="Generator" CONTENT="MS Exchange Server version 5.5.2653.12">
<TITLE>RE: [EE]: interfacing a a relay (automotive world)</TITLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY>

<P><FONT SIZE=2>Erik,</FONT>
</P>

<P><FONT SIZE=2>I used the attatched file to control fans (24VDC @ 1A) and</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=2>higher current relays with good success. The switching</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=2>action is controlled by a PIC pin on the BS170. The parts are</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=2>available from DIGIKEY. It's not the cheapest of circuits but</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=2>I don't like to use relays if it is possible. Also, the IRFU9120 is</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=2>a DMOS part, the diode is part of the process.</FONT>
</P>

<P><FONT SIZE=2>Best of luck!!</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=2>Steve</FONT>
</P>

<P><FONT SIZE=2>Steven Kosmerchock</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=2>Radio Frequency Systems</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=2>Phoenix,&nbsp; Arizona&nbsp; USA</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=2>(WORK) http://www.rfsworld.com</FONT>
</P>

<P><FONT SIZE=2>http://www.geocities.com/researchtriangle/lab/6584 </FONT>
</P>

<P><FONT SIZE=2>&quot;Great spirits have always encountered violent </FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=2>oppposition from mediocre minds.&quot;--A.Einstein</FONT>
</P>
<BR>

<P><FONT SIZE=2>&nbsp;</FONT>
</P>

<P><FONT FACE="Arial" SIZE=2 COLOR="#000000"></FONT>&nbsp;

</BODY>
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part 2 5040 bytes content-type:image/gif; (decode)


part 3 144 bytes
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2002\06\17@154123 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> I'm embarking on a automotive project using a PIC that will control some
> electric fans.  The "parts" involved with this portion of the project are
> the PIC, somet interface, and an automotive relay.  I should probably find
> some specs on an automotive relay but I'd assume that it only needs a few
> volts to engage and a very small constant voltage to keep it on.  I highly
> doubt that a little output port on a PIC micro is going to be able to
drive
> a relay, so I'm wondering what kind of intermediary device I would need.
I
> was thinking something along the lines of a power transistor, but someone
> suggested to me using an SCR(?).  What are your
thoughts/ideas/experiences?

My first reaction is a NPN transistor with emitter to ground, base to the
PIC output pin via a 1Kohm resistor and emitter to the relay coil.  The
other end of the relay coil goes to +12V with a reverse diode accross it to
snub the kickback when the relay coil is switched off.  That will support a
relay coil current of up to 200mA.  Use a smaller resistor if you need more
relay current.

A logic level FET doesn't require the resistor, but will be more expensive.

An SCR is inappropriate here because there is no way to actively switch it
off.  It will also cost more than the "jelly bean" transistor.


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2002\06\17@155527 by Erik Jacobs

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> available from DIGIKEY. It's not the cheapest of circuits but
> I don't like to use relays if it is possible. Also, the IRFU9120 is
> a DMOS part, the diode is part of the process.

I'd like to use a relay only because it allows a small harness to be run
from the cabin to the engine bay where it will hit the 3 relays.  That then
allows minimal wiring in the engine bay from alternator/battery direct to
fans.  Having all the circuitry in the cabin and then having to run 12v all
the way to the fan would result in a lot of parasitic loss from all the mess
of wiring, no?  Granted your circuit could be placed in the entirety of the
engine bay, however that means more components in addition to the simple
controller that have to be located.  Shrug again!

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2002\06\17@162426 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> Yes, that's it.  My question (posed to someone else privately) is:  Why do
> all the diagrams I see for this sort of thing typically use a BJT?  Is
there
> any reason that a BJT is preferred over a MOSFET?  Could one just as
easily
> use a MOSFET here?  I plan on having up to 3 devices being controlled by
> relay circuits like this, it seems that it would be easy to just get an IC
> that has several transistors on it and wire it up like that.

Each have their purpose.  The FET requires a voltage signal instead of a
current.  This also gives it nearly infinite power gain which can be very
handy in low power circuits.

At a first pass approximation, an on FET looks like a resistor, whereas a
saturate BJT looks like a fixed voltage drop.  One problem with FETs is that
the basic process produces FETs that want about 10V on the gate to fully
turn them on.  You can get "logic level FETs" that only require 5V, but
these cost more and/or have a higher on resistance.  On the whole, FETs are
more expensive than BJTs.

I suggested a generic "jelly bean" NPN transistor because these are dirt
cheap and quite effective for this purpose.  Just about any TO-92 small
signal NPN should work fine for drive currents up to a few 100mA.  I use
2N4401 for this sort of purpose, but there are lots of alternatives.


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2002\06\17@164740 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> > I suggested a generic "jelly bean" NPN transistor because these are dirt
> > cheap and quite effective for this purpose.  Just about any TO-92 small
> > signal NPN should work fine for drive currents up to a few 100mA.  I use
> > 2N4401 for this sort of purpose, but there are lots of alternatives.
>
> Could you give an example of an IC that has 3 or 4 of these devices on it?

No, these are discrete parts.

Also, please fix your email settings to not insert a REPLY-TO address.  That
way the default reply address will be to the list.  I just sent you a
response and noticed too late that it was going only to you.  That defeats
the purpose of most people from whom you seek help.


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2002\06\17@184449 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
> > No, these are discrete parts.
>
> yeah I know I replied to you in private

Don't do that unless it's really private, which this was not.  I'm not your
personal consultant (unless of course you want to pay me to be).  Read the
PIClist FAQ.  I don't want to waste time writing an answer that only one
person sees, and you will have better chance of a complete and checked
answer by posting to the list.

> I didn't want to waste everyone else's bandwidth :)

Logically following from that is that you think it's OK to waste my personal
bandwidth whenever you like.  This is not the way to treat someone you are
asking a favor from.


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2002\06\17@190741 by Andre Abelian

picon face
I design automotive products over 5 years I went thru this
Long time ago and I learned my lessen a few things I will suggest.

1. use DC to DC converter to isolate 5 volts (if you can or you have
room)
  this is for best result other wise use 100mh inductor with 10 ohm
series
  resistor on 12v line.

2. use opto isolator to drive your replay never connect direct

3. any glitch on crystal pin or on 5v line effects internal
functionality
  and PIC may start doing wrong things. Some hackers use this method
  to disable code protection bit.

4. use at list 4 layer board with power and ground plane.

5. any input or output must be optically isolated.

6. input of each opto isolator add 39 pf cap to filter some noises.
Because
  of leds are in noisy area.

do not use SCR wont work use IGBT transistor with optoisolator

hope this helps

Andre Abelian





{Original Message removed}

2002\06\17@224418 by Tal (Zapta)

flavicon
face
You may try the ULNxxxx chips. Go to DigiKey.com and search for 'uln'. I
think they
have high gain (darlington) and already include the base resistor and
reverse voltage
diodes.

Tal



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2002\06\18@034016 by Erik Jacobs

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face
> You may try the ULNxxxx chips. Go to DigiKey.com and search for 'uln'. I
> think they have high gain (darlington) and already include the base
> resistor and reverse voltage diodes.

here is the techsheet for the ULN series:

http://www-s.ti.com/sc/ds/uln2004a.pdf

Now... I'm a little confused with the COM connection.  Would that go to,
say, +12V, in the case where the relay coil is connected between +12V and
output C?  And E would just get tied to ground?

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2002\06\18@052050 by Erik Jacobs

flavicon
face
> 2. use opto isolator to drive your replay never connect direct

So I would assume something like NEC/CEL PS2502-4 (Quad opto isolator
darlington) should work fine?  I'd still need 4 diodes to put across the
coils for when the field collapses... would any simple diode array IC work?

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2002\06\18@053129 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Andre Abelian [SMTP:engelecspamKILLspamEARTHLINK.NET]
> Sent: Monday, June 17, 2002 11:58 PM
> To:   .....PICLISTKILLspamspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU
> Subject:      Re: [EE]: interfacing a a relay (automotive world)
>
> 2. use opto isolator to drive your replay never connect direct
>
What does this achieve?  The high current side of the relay is already
(hopefully) isolated from the coil.  Adding a diode to prevent back EMF
spikes from destroying the driver should be enough protection.  I have
dismantled many OEM automotive electronic modules and I've never seen a
manufacturer resort to opto-isolators to drive a simple relay, even
extremely inductive components such as the ignition coil and injectors don't
appear to be opto-isolated within the ECU.

Regards

Mike

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2002\06\18@095710 by Tal Dayan

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face
Yes, the COM should go to the + side of the relays such that each diode is
connected in parallel to the relay.

And as you mentioned, E goes to the ground.


Tal

> {Original Message removed}

2002\06\18@101810 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 10:31 AM 6/18/02 +0100, you wrote:

>What does this achieve?

Better isolation.

>The high current side of the relay is already
>(hopefully) isolated from the coil.

This is the analog world. Isolation may be pretty good at DC but
rather less so in the MHz region.

>Adding a diode to prevent back EMF
>spikes from destroying the driver should be enough protection.

This is not a safe assumption, in general.

>  I have
>dismantled many OEM automotive electronic modules and I've never seen a
>manufacturer resort to opto-isolators to drive a simple relay, even
>extremely inductive components such as the ignition coil and injectors don't
>appear to be opto-isolated within the ECU.

It's really not uncommon in conservatively designed industrial electronics.
The car manufacturers have the resources to work out the bugs in using
low-cost circuits. If you want something to work for sure without having
trouble calls, in many installations, without spending engineering time
dealing with EMC issues, the advice given may prove useful.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
EraseMEspeffspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTinterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
9/11 United we Stand

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2002\06\18@130427 by Andre Abelian

picon face
Mike,

Use what ever you think it is right for you.
Have you done any ECU project? That works fine

Andre Abelian





{Original Message removed}

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