March 30, 2015 at 11:18 am #36393
Hi all. Thanks in advance, and sorry for the long post. My kids tell me I suck at telling stories.
Since my OS (non-rPI, Arduino-based) is in my garage, I finally decided to try to utilize the mini-relay included on the device to control the garage door. Soldered a couple short wires to the locations according to the documentation I could find here, and set one of the unused stations (S8) to activate the relay when triggered. Connected a short run of alarm system cable from the two pigtails now on the OS to the garage door controller button, triggered S8 for a couple of seconds, and the garage door moved! Sweet!
The next day, I put the cover back on the OS and mounted it back on the wall. I then noticed that there was a firmware update, so took it back down and inside to connect to a PC to update the FW. FW update went without a hitch, and I took the OS back to the garage and hooked everything back up again. Sprinkler system all works as expected (with the exception of a suspicious 0% weather-adjusted watering level I’m not trusting right now, but that’s another issue), but the relay doesn’t seem to be doing anything to the garage door anymore. I know my cable from the controller button to the pigtails on the OS is OK, as I can short the two together and I get garage door action. I hear the relay click when I trigger S8, so I’m pretty sure that the OS software is ok. That leaves my soldering on the board itself as the only other possible point of failure.
All of that to ask this…. I’m not an electronics guy, can count on one hand the number of times I’ve soldered on a PCB. I’ve got a voltmeter. How can I check to see if I’ve damaged the solder spots for the relay on the PCB, or whether my solder job is just sucky and I’m not sending a signal out?
TerryMarch 31, 2015 at 8:22 am #36405
We have planned to remove the support for the relay feature: in terms of hardware the new OS units do not have the built-in relay any more; and in terms of software, the relay support will also be removed at some point (although the current firmware still supports it).
Since you can hear the relay click, that means it’s activating correctly. Also you said manually shorting the two wires triggers the garage door action, so those wires are also fine. This leaves only two possibilities: soldering joints, and the relay itself. It’s possible that the relay is defective, so while the coil can activate, the contact points no longer connect reliably. You can use a multimeter to do continuity checking of the two relay pins (that connect to your garage door wires). When the relay is activated, the two pins should be shorted, simulating shorting the two wires.
Do you know how long the relay clicks each time you activate S8? It’s supposed to be a pulse (i.e. the relay should turn on for a short amount of time and turns off). The timing can be controlled by the ‘Relay Pulse’ option (under Advanced Tab in Edit Stations page). If it clicks too briefly, it might not be sufficient to trigger the garage door. If it just stays on, that might also cause issues. I think 2000ms is a good number to try.
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