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Thread: Float Cut off Switch for Glass Beaker

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    Morning people,

    And onefella, thanks for the diagram. Makes so simple sense now!

    George65, yes, I'll get everything in a Jiffy box. A clear one I think.

    I'll have to wire it up when I get back from work and post the results...



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    Well, all done

    Wired it all up. Got a jiffy box and a 3pin connector (so I can unplug the Sensor from the Jiffy Box), at Jaycar.

    Looking at the relay and the base. I had no knowledge of what spade connection went to what terminal.
    Yes, of course the two inverted spade connections were the 'Coil' - BUT - how would one know - for sure - that they connected to those lower terminals?

    And yes, the connections run in order, from left to right! But how would I know, having never seen one or used one before..?
    As this replay was a DPDT relay, I honestly though that the A nd N would go in one side and the relay would 'pass' it onto the other side...!
    Sure it's stupid! But there's no manual and but of course there is the Internet...
    Some websites will describe the connections different.

    So I have learnt a LOT. I have never had a need to use a relay before. I can see a myriad of uses for them as you George65 have said.
    I don't think the missus is going to be happy...
    I'd like to say that at this most basic of all posts of what a relay does and how to wire it (onefella), I hope that others learn from this.


    Before I go, I'd like to ask one other question about the longevity of this relay.
    It causes a spark (points system). How long will this relay work before the contacts get carbonized?
    Is there a Solid State Relay that is NC from cold...?

    EDIT: This eBay listing 401759993242 seems to say it's NC, but it looks exactly like the three I have here,, LOL! Is it NC or not from cold?


    Anyway, It's Christmas Eve - and for all those who are spending it alone - it's hard as I have done for many many years. But it passes and it all starts again in 8 days...
    All the best everyone and once again thank you for every ones help.

    Cheers,
    GT250.
    Last edited by GT250; 24-12-19 at 05:24 PM.

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    Don't feel in any way bad about not knowing about these things. I didn't a while back till I started playing with them and and putting them to practical use. You probably noticed I didn't give you any specific wiring details. I'm very hands on and can do it when it's in front of me but often trying to describe it leaves me well confused and making mistakes. Once you do it a few times it gets easier. Like I said, I hacked my Ducted air con with these things. Put the hot water on relays that kick in when the solar is generating enough. It's quite simple electrics BUT, often the hardest thing of all is understanding the bare bones basics and in my experience, it's also the hardest thing to find info on.

    I have wiring Diagrams for a lot of these things in a file. I find the bases fairly confusing on a number of these things. You can look at the relay and see where things connect but those bases the first time you use and get to understand them are Different. Wait till you get to the timers and multi function Thermos etc that have round bases that require a couple of jumpers from one side to the other! The relay ones are simple if you understand there are 2x 2 way switches in each one and they are isolated from each other.

    As for the relay Contacts, they are rated at something Biblical like a Million cycles or some inconceivable figure. The ac contacts last forever and the power you are putting through the DC side is insignificant. In any case, just buy some spares and if something does go you just unplug one and put in another. Wear isn't the problem as much as over loading them. I was pushing almost twice the rated current through them by mistake till I wondered why they were melting every few weeks. Oops. I now just bridge the contacts to give double the output and that fixes the problem. If you brew enough Hooch to wear out the relay, You are going to have a lot more problems than just needing a new one that's for sure!

    I keep a stock of those in AC and DC versions anyway and can buy them for about a buck each on fleabay. Also got a heap raiding old AC units at my mates scrap pile. They were all 24V coils but never know what you might need.

    I'm not aware of any SSR DPDT's . Thinking of what I know about their construction, that might actually be an impossibility with them. You would probably be interested to read up on Mosfets. They come in different versions and can switch different ways. Don't wear out, can trigger off miniscule power and switch Significant power in Milliseconds.

    Anyway, I'm glad these "Gizmos " did what you wanted and weren't just a failed trial. :0)

    Enjoy your Christmas Stilling and keep us up to date on how it goes.
    I can see where being on ones own for Christmas wouldn't be all bad. There are tensions in the family atm with both brother in laws. Both complaining about each other but bad as each other at the same time. I'm the meat in the sandwich and god knows what they say about me. Not that I could give a damn. It's all pleasant enough face to face but then the back stabbing starts as soon as someone walks away. I much prefer Boxing day Christmas with my Bikie friends, It's just a nice, relaxed family day with people that really do want to spend time with you and you enjoy rather than put up with spending it with them.

    Have a good one mate!

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    GT250 no one knows everything and we all learn every day playing around with
    different things and reading. Thats why forums like these are a godsend in the
    pursuit of knowledge.

    I have never played with a 3d printer till a few months ago and fked up so many times
    then as you have i asked questions in the right place and read and read as much as
    i could know i feel confident in replying if some one asks as you can now feel
    comfortable explaining what you learnt about SSR units

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    Hi all,
    THREAD RESURECTION TIME:
    Hope all is ok with the virus crap going around. My partner is still stuck in the UK since March..

    Anyway:

    As you might recall I fitted the liquid level sensor on the side of container that collects the spirit and when it reaches the set level it turns the Still off.

    Last week the Still went BANG!

    I have a suspicion that as the spirit dropplets fall downwards, it creates a ripple and this causes the sensor/relay to switch on and off for a number of times (Which causes the Still to keep powering up and then off VERY quickly - which as its basically a kettle there's a few amps chugging in and very quickly), before the sensor is 'fully satisfied'.

    Is there a way that once the Sensor has activated the Relay for the first time (thus turning the Still off), it stays turned off...?

    Don't mind if the relay is clicking away - but I'd like to have the still kept turned off.

    Cheers,
    GT250.

  • #66
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    Just use a relay module with a programmable timer delay function:
    This era of thoughtless consumption must end so we can encourage a world of creative geniuses rather than consumer idiots.


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    Hi Uncle Fester,

    Would I use this instead of the relay I have been using or in series with it?

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    GT250, you could use an arduino with a modified button 'debounce' sketch. It checks the sensor output (button) at a set period which should stop the 'bouncing' effect you describe.

    This would run on an arduino nano which can be had for $2 on aliexpress.

    Code:
    const int buttonPin = 2;    // the number of the pushbutton pin
    const int outputPin = 13;      // the number of the output pin
    
    int outputState = HIGH;         // the current state of the output pin
    int buttonState;             // the current reading from the input pin
    int lastButtonState = LOW;   // the previous reading from the input pin
    
    unsigned long lastDebounceTime = 0;  // the last time the output pin was toggled
    unsigned long debounceDelay = 30000;    // the debounce time; increased to 30 seconds for sensor 'flicker'
    
    void setup() {
      pinMode(buttonPin, INPUT);
      pinMode(outputPin, OUTPUT);
    
      digitalWrite(outputPin, outputState);
    }
    
    void loop() {
      int reading = digitalRead(buttonPin);
    
      if (reading != lastButtonState) {
        lastDebounceTime = millis();
      }
    
      if ((millis() - lastDebounceTime) > debounceDelay) {
    
        if (reading != buttonState) {
          buttonState = reading;
    
          if (buttonState == HIGH) {
            outputState = !outputState;
          }
        }
      }
    
      digitalWrite(outputPin, outputState);
    
      lastButtonState = reading;
    }

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  • #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by GT250 View Post
    Hi Uncle Fester,

    Would I use this instead of the relay I have been using or in series with it?



    Trying to read the whole thread I am now not clear what you are using. At some stage you were talking about two sensors and several relays, solid state relays, normal relays that spark, so I am now not sure what you end up doing.

    Am I correct that when the still is full a sensor powers a NC relay that powers a heater? So when the sensor detects full, it closes (provides 12V) to relay.

    The relay on that board I suggested could be used to replace that relay.
    It has NO and NC contacts so you can select what works for you.
    However I am not aware of the wattage of your heater.
    The relay is rated for 10A 250VAC but it is Chinese, so I would not use it over 4A which is less than 1000W.

    So if you are currently using a more powerful relay or solid state relay you could use the board's relay to trigger that relay.
    That NOT a series connection from the relay's contacts point of view.
    Think of it as a switch from the 12V to the heater relay that replaces the sensor. Now you would use the NO connection of the relay on the board but still use NC on the heater relay.
    The sensor is then connected to the board to trigger the board's relay.

    The board I suggested has something confusing a bit hidden below in the description, need to scroll in a box to see it. It says it will disconnect after if it gets triggered a second time. This unusual feature is not useful for your application.

    I suggest now this with an enclosure and many modes to select:


    The manual here says you can set it to a mode the ignores the trigger or re-triggers the delay time. The latter would be ideal as the heater should stay off all the time the sensor detects the full level, if it is bouncing around in the waves or not.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/po70ekdpdwo9itw/E1024%20Series%20and%20E1019-User%20Manual-English.doc?dl=0
    Last edited by Uncle Fester; 01-11-20 at 11:25 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GT250 View Post
    As you might recall I fitted the liquid level sensor on the side of container that collects the spirit and when it reaches the set level it turns the Still off.

    Last week the Still went BANG!
    thats not good , have you had the air still apart yet ? can you buy parts and repair it?

  • #71
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    What about a relay that once off cannot be turned back on until the power is turned off and on again
    I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message...

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  • #72
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    That attachment thingy is showing invalid.
    How about just posting a simple web link to the product.

    I had thought earlier about an RS flipflop(has a reset button) that drives the relay but wasn't sure you want to start soldering PCBs.

    I was also wondering if such a specialty relay exists but was a bit lazy in my search, so hopefully LSemmems can fix that link. Might not be cheap though.
    You could also use a bistable latching relay that has two coils, I have some at home and can send you one free of charge. They are low current so you can only use them to control your heater relay.

    Let me know how you would like to proceed before I get deeper into that.
    Last edited by Uncle Fester; 02-11-20 at 02:20 PM.
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    Hi all,
    One Fella, Jeeze, i appreciate the Arunido thing, but at my age, I can't learn anymore programming (I understand you've sent me the script), LOL!

    I'm not sure if the pics are still are still up, but i got his relay and it's been working fine.


    The Still is a kettle type thing
    So I don't know how many AMPS it's pulling - I'd say over 5 though.

    I don't have the old still as it's been replaced for me - so I have a brand new one and I'm thinking that the repeated on/off has put a lot of wear on the Still.
    I haven't plugged the new still in yet.
    So I just wanted to see if there was a way that once the the liquid sensor sends its signal to the above relay and then relay turns OFF, then the still stays OFF.

    Cheers,
    GT250.
    Last edited by GT250; 02-11-20 at 04:16 PM.

  • #74
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    GT250 something like this circuit should work. I can understand you not wanting to start tinkering with Arduino's just for this one project.

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    Sorry about the invalid attachment it did show up when I posted it. All it was, was a relay with two sets of contacts, A make set to ensure the power from the relay is removed when the level is achieved and a break set which will shut down the circuit to the sensor. i.e. power to the coil via the make set ensures the relay stays operated the break set removes said power when the appropriate level is achieved. It was a chicken scratching that I did in Gimp and promptly deleted when I'd uploaded it.
    I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message...

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    Hi all,
    I made a screw up in the photo, doh!

    Here is my set up - I know it's a bit rough...



    Onefella, I'll check that out later, as i've got to rush to work now...

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    Improved circuit with labels.

    edit: might need to adjust my original script to make sure the relay goes off when the sensor is on.
    Last edited by Onefella; 03-11-20 at 02:24 PM.

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    Onefella, that looks just great.

    Must admit i was hoping to get an 'off the shelf' - some form of negative pulse (if such a thing exists lol), that would do the job.

    But i honestly really appreciate your idea.

    So to be clear: This Arduino Nano or Uno - if i get one, i don't have to do any programming etc, as in it's by default ready to control the inputs...?

    Cheers,
    GT250

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    Quote Originally Posted by GT250 View Post
    So to be clear: This Arduino Nano or Uno - if i get one, i don't have to do any programming etc, as in it's by default ready to control the inputs...?
    The Arduino is programmed via a USB cable from a PC that is running the Arduino IDE program. It's fairly straightforward, but there's a small learning curve to setup the IDE and connect to the Arduino. After that, the script I posted can be cut, pasted, and programmed.

    If you are interested in going down this route, I will write a better program. The de-bounce program just checks to see if the input has changed since the last time it checked. It would be better to positively check the input for a high or low signal.

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    I am not sure if a debouncing circuit would be sufficient to solve the problem. The ripple effect of the liquid dripping in can go on for quite a long time, possible minutes rahter than seconds or milliseconds as that code above indicates.
    The only 100% reliable and most simplest solution is an RS(set reset) flip flop which can be realised in many ways.
    It can be done with a Nano, a CMOS logic chip, a bistable multivibrator with two transistors, a simple latching relay and possibly Lsemmen's idea using a relay with separate contacts to create some kind of holding situation after it has tripped, which I am not quite sure about with your existing relay so I would like to see his schematic. A second small relay just switching and holding the 12V would work using it's NC contact to break the main relay.

    The only direct 'plug n play' solution I see is that delay relay board I suggested above because my gut told me earlier that you would like something more like that rather than building, soldering and programming things. A breadboard setup is only for experiment and must not be seen as a permanent solution especially next to a beaker containing liquids and possibly releasing flammable fumes. Your 240V relay wiring needs to be located further way and wrapped at least with electricians tape or better in an insulated enclosure with a bit of IP rating(some what resistant to ingress of liquids).
    Last edited by Uncle Fester; 04-11-20 at 12:12 PM.
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