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  • Relay dropping out momentarily

    Just playing with my brain, I have a relay hooked up to the brain, nothing else other than 12v power and the USB. The relay drops out momentarily every few seconds. It's inconsistent, and just clicks as it drops out and pulls back in before it drops all the way out. The 12v centre positive transformer is rated at 2A so I know that i'm not short on power to hold the relay in. The LED beside the output port flickers as it loses voltage and reenergizes instantly. This random clicking is driving me crazy!

    I've now tried this with multiple relays, and even a better faster computer, still have the same problem.

    As far as how I'm setting it up I went through the ninja kitty wizard of doom with the default template to make the setup as quick and painless as possible so there's really nothing complex or extra going on. I have no inputs hooked up at the moment.

  • #2
    Any suggestions?

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    • #3
      I had the same issue with mine. It was a hardware problem. The replacement worked great.

      Yours maybe not be the same issue though. Use a multimeter to check the voltage you're putting into the brain, and the voltage on the output ports.
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      http://www.mp3car.com/fusion-brain/1...-internet.html

      Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)
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      • #4
        It could be a hardware issue. My power supply says I'm putting 11.93V in which should be plenty for pull-in on the relays. With no load, the output ports I checked all say 11.10.

        With relays connected, measuring at the coil inputs on the relays themselves, I have a range from 10.2V to 14.1V depending on which output port I check (and of course, depending on the specific relay I have connected to the output). My voltages are all high enough to hold the relay in, and when it drops out it just pulls out and in so fast I just hear one "click".

        Similar to your problem?

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        • #5
          I also do need to add that I'm using a cheap multimeter so the voltages I posted are probably out a bit. I would guess that they're all a little bit low. It gives a good idea to what's going on though.

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          • #6
            Could be a hardware error or it could be a slow refresh rate on the serial connection. The brain has an inactivity timeout if the connection is lost or not polled quickly enough but I don't recall exactly what it is. My bet's still on the first guess though...
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            • #7
              Does the same thing happen to all ports, or just the one?
              Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
              1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
              30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
              15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
              Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

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              • #8
                On all ports. Any relay on any port does it. The LED on port 5 also doesn't work properly (really really dim) but I wouldn't think that's a related issue.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by acbusdriver View Post
                  On all ports. Any relay on any port does it. The LED on port 5 also doesn't work properly (really really dim) but I wouldn't think that's a related issue.
                  When did you get yours? I tested all that were sent out since the end of December personally to work. Also you did get a full brain, or a semi-defective one?
                  Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
                  1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
                  30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
                  15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
                  Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

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                  • #10
                    I ordered a full brain, not semi defective. I ordered it at the beginning of January, and it arrived last week. The clicking is inconsistent in timing but I can count on it happening sometime after I energize the relay. Sometimes it will go for a minute without any issue, other times I'll turn on the relay and it will click 3 or 4 times within 10 seconds. With the relay attached I can see the LED just flicker when it drops, but without a relay connected and watching the LED i can't really tell when or even if the dropout is happening.

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                    • #11
                      Was there ever a definitive answer to this? I'm experiencing the same symptom.

                      Well, I was - suspecting it might be caused by my power source I hooked up a different 12v supply and accidentally wired it backward... Turns out the FB doesn't like -12v... One loud 'pop' and a few sparks later and I'm looking for a replacement 5v regulator to repair my brain...

                      It still works when jumpered to run off USB, but outputs of course are unusable that way. (I'm assuming/hoping that only the regulator blew, and nothing else - nice-sized chunk out of the regulator housing flew across the room, but nothing else appears damaged, apart from my pride)

                      Meanwhile I was thinking about ordering a second (semi-defective) brain. It'll probably be a couple weeks before I can get the regulator (waiting for our next order from digikey to avoid paying $$ shipping on a 70-cent part) so that one could substitute without throwing my schedule too far off.

                      But I need to know I can conquer the random relay clicks first, else I won't have a use for the second brain.

                      j

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                      • #12
                        Well it does like 12 volts quite a bit if jumpered for 12 volts. It blew because the supply was hooked up backwards.

                        The solution was to replace the brain.
                        My Nearly Complete Car:
                        http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ed-car-pc.html

                        Micro Control Center... Control Your Car Across the Internet
                        http://www.mp3car.com/fusion-brain/1...-internet.html

                        Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)
                        http://paulfurtado.com/

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                        • #13
                          I don't know if the issue's been solved or not... I'm just waiting for my replacement brain to come and we'll see.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PaulF View Post
                            Well it does like 12 volts quite a bit if jumpered for 12 volts. It blew because the supply was hooked up backwards.

                            The solution was to replace the brain.
                            Yes, I was aware of the first part - look again and you'll note that I said "-12v".

                            The second point is rather unfortunate for me, as of course my now-damaged brain isn't valid for RMA.

                            Thanks (Paulf & ACbusdriver) for the responses. Not what I wanted to hear, of course, but that's life.

                            j

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                            • #15
                              If the device still enumerates when plugged into a computer and powered off of USB, then the micro is probably ok. Do the LEDs light when you turn the outputs on?

                              The regulator is not used with the outputs at all, the voltage is passed through the darlington arrays in the ULN2803 chips. So my guess is you will need to replace both the regulator and both ULN chips on the bottom of the board. I am not sure how the thermal fuse would handle reverse voltage like that, but you could just short that. The fuse is probably what protected the microcontroller though...
                              Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
                              1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
                              30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
                              15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
                              Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

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