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Author Topic: Christmas Lights Relay Problem  (Read 1098 times)
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Hey guys!  I'm using a 16-channel relay board with an arduino mega to control my non-LED christmas lights outside.  Everything works well for about thirty minutes.  After thirty minutes, one of the relays (not the same one every time) stops following my program -- it just stays on the whole time while all the other relays turn on/off based on the rules that I've set within the program.  I'm only using seven of the channels -- the rest are just in the off position.

Things I've tried:
- Buying a second relay board to see if first was defective (same thing happens with the new board)
- Plugging one of the light-sets on a different channel (for example, instead of using channels 1-7, using 1, 3-7, and 8 )
- Changing up my program many, many times to see if that might be causing the issue..

What do you guys think might be the problem?  Thanks in advance for any help!
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 10:37:32 pm by corecase » Logged

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Since it's not the same relay every time the fault is probably in the software. smiley-sad
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Since it's not the same relay every time the fault is probably in the software. smiley-sad

It can't be the software, because, as I said before, it works the way I want it to for about half an hour; it stops functioning properly AFTER that point.
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It can't be the software, because, as I said before, it works the way I want it to for about half an hour; it stops functioning properly AFTER that point.

I agree with @johnwasser.  Given what you've described, the sketch is the best place to start.
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Well, thanks for the help anyway..  If anyone knows something else that might be the problem please let me know.
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Could be thermal run away, provide link to board data sheet. What power source are you using for both, relay board and arduino? Have you try to inject debug messages in software, let say when one relay failed to operate, can you print out status (on serial monitor) of the variable associated with relay or digital pin status?
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Since it's not the same relay every time the fault is probably in the software. smiley-sad

It can't be the software, because, as I said before, it works the way I want it to for about half an hour; it stops functioning properly AFTER that point.

It can't be the hardware, because, as you said before, you've replaced the hardware and its still giving you issues.

If posting the code is such a hassle, then I wouldn't bother asking for help. The more information we have, the easier it is to spot the issue.
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Thanks for the ideas guys.  I think I figured out what the problem was!  I feel like switching among the relays with 250 millisecond delays was the problem...  I'm guessing these relays can't handle that kind of load for a very long period of time.  I made everything a bit slower and it's working just fine.
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