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Author Topic: Electrons, local sense, and a new appliance module  (Read 7824 times)

glb7272

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Electrons, local sense, and a new appliance module
« on: October 24, 2009, 01:23:08 AM »

Ok I hope this is the right place to post.
PLEASE NOTE: NEVER MAKE PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH ANY ELECTRICAL CIRCUIT. USE ELECTRICAL GLOVES ANYTIME YOU ARE AROUND LIVE ELECTRICITY. MAKE SURE ANY WIRES THAT YOU TOUCH ARE FULLY INSULATED. NEVER ASSUME THAT POWER IS DISCONNECTED WITHOUT DOUBLE CHECKING. DO NOT PLACE A KEY IN THE SOCKET WITHOUT BEING ISOLATED FROM THE KEY.

I recently received a new (new meaning small chip on bottom of pcb and 14 pins out) appliance module. I tested to see if it had local control. It does not, but one interesting thing I discovered is if you plug in a load 2 times simultaneously (directly into the modules output) the relay will turn. After discovering I started questioning why.
I isolated it down to the hot side of the plug.

Test performed
1. plug load directly into module (any load heater cfl or incandescent) as long as no arcing occurs the relay does not turn on. if an arc occurs the load will turn on.
2 place a switch between the hot and load (using 4 feet of stranded wire-to-switch-to-load), toggle on and off: relay does not turn on. Place a switch on neutral and hot and switch on and off...still nothing.
3. Now here is where the whole thing has me scratching my head. Insert a non ferrous metal into the hot side (of the module output ) remove and replace and the relay turns    on.
    Items used: 2 foot copper stranded wire. 3 inch solid copper wire. car key (unknown alloy). aluminum.
    Above items only turned on the relay (or activated a circuit) IF and only if the item was inserted, removed and reinserted within 5 seconds. All metals had the same     
    time frame. None of the above completed any kind of circuit. It was just a wire lead going nowhere. Now this only turned the relay ON once on i used a remote to turn it off.
4. ferrous metal did not turn on the relay. anything i could find that a magnet would attract Did not work
5. Place copper wire in hot side of one module then place into another module- Does Not Turn on
6 repeat step 5 two times in 4 seconds and both modules will turn on.
7 place switch after module with a 3" solid copper lead (module-to3"copper lead-to-switch-to-3 feet stranded wire all on hot side with no completed circuit just wire) flip the switch on and off and the module turns on. (also did test with 2' of solid wire after the switch n with the same results)
8. Same test as above except neutral and a load (fan) were added to complete the circuit. The relay and fan turned on after turning the switch on off and on.

So now I have several hundred questions with a limited background but the one that has me stumped is what is the wire conducting with no circuit. Is it a static charge? Are electrons moving onto the wire draining a circuit in the module then they are dumped back in flooding another circuit? I thought electrons did not move across wire unless there was a complete circuit. It all boils down to how is one piece of wire going nowhere able to control any circuit in the inside of the module?

I need to attempt to make a schematic and i am realizing that it is easier said than done. I start at one point and get a little lost flipping the board over and over.

Any Ideas would be appreciated.



« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 06:56:33 AM by glb7272 »
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Brian H

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Re: Electrons, local sense, and a new appliance module
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2009, 06:33:58 AM »

Printed out your findings. So I can study them.

Where you in physical contact with the wires?
We can't afford to loose any members here.
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glb7272

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Re: Electrons, local sense, and a new appliance module
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2009, 07:25:38 AM »

Sorry Brian I should have posted a warning about the dangers of doing tests like these. I edited my post. I really do not want anyone to shove a key in a socket especially if they are grounded.

I did remove the D4 diode that runs across the outlet and inlet on the hot side. The relay still turned on.
so the only path would be through the R14 (330K) that connects to the base of a transistor (can't identify number on pcb) and r15 (2.3M). I am still tracing the rest of it out.
Still boggled that a short lead of wire going nowhere is able to activate a circuit.  :o
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