From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Sent: Dec 10, 2004 7:47 AM
Subject: [TowerTalk] Driving Remote Relays--simply
Remote Ant. Switch Operators:
Here is perhaps a simpler (and certainly more efficient) solution for sticky
Given that relays need a higher 'activate' current than 'hold' current, what
we'd really like to do is boost the supply voltage temporarily--long enough for
the relay to move from OFF to ON-- then drop back to a lower voltage holding
level. Yes, it is CURRENT we need, but we drive current with voltage, of course.
Several years ago, Tony, K1KP, presented a circuit designed to speed-up the
large, clanky relays in Ameritron amplifiers. This circuit provides a short
burst of double the supply voltage, then drops back to normal supply voltage.
This speed-up functionality should be ideal for remote antenna switches
(especially with long cables) as well. Virtually zero additional wear-and-tear
on the relay, yet it gets hit hard, long enough to make solid, clean contact.
Another approach is to use a 3 terminal regulator as a constant current source
(set for the "hold current") and a fairly large capacitor across the output.
When the realy is open, the capacitor charges up to the max supply voltage
through the regulator. You close the switch, and you get a high current pulse
as the capacitor discharges, with a long pedestal on the back, at the current
regulated by the regulator. A resistor/capacitor combination can do the same,
but if the temperature of the relay coil and wiring changes, its resistance
changes, and the current will change.
A post yesterday or the day before discussed the 3 terminal regulator approach.
Something like an LM317 works well, and has minimal voltage drop across the
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Stations", and lot's more. Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions
and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.
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