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Author Topic: Newer AM486 - low voltage (latching) relay modification  (Read 6156 times)

TomKrajci

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Newer AM486 - low voltage (latching) relay modification
« on: February 11, 2013, 11:49:24 PM »

I have a newer AM486 (14 pin chip, not 18) that I would like to modify to serve as a latching low voltage relay. 

I don't want the relay connection to provide 120VAC house current (as originally designed).  I want the relay contacts to be electrically isolated so that the relay can serve as an on/off switch for a low voltage application I'm working on.

I need the relay to latch.  I don't want momentary operation.

I see from other posts about this newer AM486 that R14 (330K) is part of an on/off sensing input to the 14 pin chip.  Normally R14 is connected to the relay output (120VAC when the relay closes)...and this input to the sensing circuit will make the relay latch, not act in a momentary manner (actually momentary twice for typical X10 commands).

I have successfully isolated the relay contacts from the 120VAC line voltage, but now that means the sensing circuit in the 14 pin chip gets no information about the state of the relay (is it open? is it closed?)...so my AM486 now acts as a momentary relay.

What must I do to make this AM486 work as a latching low voltage relay?

Thanks in advance.
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Brian H

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Re: Newer AM486 - low voltage (latching) relay modification
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013, 06:13:20 AM »

One correction to your findings.
There is no relay in an appliance module. It is a ratchet switch that has a coil pulsed with a half cycle 120 volt DC pulse. To ratchet it to its next position.
R14 does detect if it  is closed or open as you found.

I hope someone can provide you an answer. As I have never seen it done for either the old or new style appliance module. I have seen mods for momentary operation.

You may have done better with a Universal Module UM506 low voltage isolated switch.

The Insteon 2450 I/OLinc has a low voltage isolated form C relay in it and can have an X10 address programed into it.
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dhouston

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Re: Newer AM486 - low voltage (latching) relay modification
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2013, 08:04:26 AM »

I would never recommend trying to convert the appliance module outlet to isolated low-voltage - one side of the SPST is attached to the frame of the switch which is attached to line voltage (i.e. to the hot side).
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dave w

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Re: Newer AM486 - low voltage (latching) relay modification
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2013, 08:36:11 AM »


What must I do to make this AM486 work as a latching low voltage relay?

Thanks in advance.

You are trying to convert a Ford Focus into a fishing boat. Ain't possible. You would have to add another relay to feed fake status back to the chip.

Use an Appliance Module or a Socket Rocket to drive a 120v coil relay instead.
http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/RLY-453/120-VAC-RELAY-DPDT-12-AMPS/1.html

Or get a Universal Module UM506 or the Smarthome I/O Linc like Brian suggests.
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TomKrajci

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Re: Newer AM486 - low voltage (latching) relay modification
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2013, 01:32:11 PM »


What must I do to make this AM486 work as a latching low voltage relay?

Thanks in advance.

You are trying to convert a Ford Focus into a fishing boat. Ain't possible. You would have to add another relay to feed fake status back to the chip.

 Universal Module UM506 or the Smarthome I/O Linc like Brian suggests.

I measure a DC voltage potential between the leads of the low-voltage device I want to control, and I also measure a DC voltage (and AC voltage) potential between the AM486's R14 and the low-voltage device I want to control.

And when I had both devices connected to 120VAC power, and was measuring the voltage potential between AM486 and low-voltage device...the impedance across the voltmeter was enough...to cause the AM 486's relay/switch to change state!

It seems that there is a way to get status/state info from the low voltage device  to the sensing circuit in the AM486.  But I'm poking about blind because I don't know that much about electronics.

What can I measure, or what things can I do to get a better understanding of the sensing circuit in the newer AM486?  (Maybe I need to swap out 2 or 3 resistors to make the sensing circuit more sensitive?)  Maybe set up a crude, adjustable voltage divider that feeds the sensing circuit...and determine what voltage threshold the sensing circuit requires?  Other?

Thanks in advance.
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dhouston

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Re: Newer AM486 - low voltage (latching) relay modification
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2013, 02:04:41 PM »

But I'm poking about blind because I don't know that much about electronics.
STOP POKING ABOUT! You are in danger of electrocution!

The people who have responded here all do know electronics.

X10 uses the hot side of the mains as logic ground. The appliance module relay makes/breaks this hot side. If you measure between it and earth ground you will see 120VAC. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO ISOLATE THE RELAY!

Use...
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 02:19:19 PM by dhouston »
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TomKrajci

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Re: Newer AM486 - low voltage (latching) relay modification
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2013, 02:51:47 PM »

STOP POKING ABOUT! You are in danger of electrocution!

When I took the AM486 apart, I easily saw the connection of the relay/solenoid to the 120VAC black/hot line.  I broke that connection.  It's now physically separated and insulated.  Both relay contacts are disconnected from dangerous voltage.  That was verified by visual inspection, and voltmeter readings.

But now that makes the AM486 a momentary switch/relay.

How can I connect the sensing circuit to the low voltage signal of my other device so that the sensing circuit will make the AM486 a latching switch/relay?

Thank you in advance.
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dhouston

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Re: Newer AM486 - low voltage (latching) relay modification
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2013, 03:08:20 PM »

THROW THE AM486 IN THE GARBAGE AND BUY THE UM506.
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Brian H

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Re: Newer AM486 - low voltage (latching) relay modification
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2013, 03:44:03 PM »

Both the older and CFL friendly Appliance Modules use the AC Power Line for its internal power supply common. As Dave pointed out.

Do not even attempt to run anything externally to sense the low voltage status. Even if you did completely unsolder the ratchet switch from the Appliance Modules PCB. It could kill you or do damage to your home. Like a fire. If any external connections get referenced to power line ground.

Get an isolated low voltage module like a UM506 or an external 120 AC volt relay as mentioned.
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dave w

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Re: Newer AM486 - low voltage (latching) relay modification
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2013, 09:15:53 PM »

When I took the AM486 apart, I easily saw the connection of the relay/solenoid to the 120VAC black/hot line.  I broke that connection.  It's now physically separated and insulated.  Both relay contacts are disconnected from dangerous voltage.  That was verified by visual inspection, and voltmeter readings.

But now that makes the AM486 a momentary switch/relay.

How can I connect the sensing circuit to the low voltage signal of my other device so that the sensing circuit will make the AM486 a latching switch/relay?
Boomer, what are you trying to save? The 120v coil relay plugged into an Appliance Module will do exactly what you ask for and cost five bucks. Radio Shark used to have 120V AC coil relays for six bucks if you can't wait for mail order.

If you keep driving down the road you are on you will toast yourself or your house.

I for one am ignoring any futher questions about isolating the Appliance Module relay.
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beelocks

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Re: Newer AM486 - low voltage (latching) relay modification
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2013, 09:53:46 PM »

THROW THE AM486 IN THE GARBAGE AND BUY THE UM506.


I think this is the only sure way to isolate it :)
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