MOC3061 - not supposed to but....

It's an opto-triac driver, supposed to be used to (drum roll please) drive a bigger triac.

But, I kind of wonder about the output being "Peak Repetitive Surge Current 1 Amp" means that maybe it can output 600 mA house 120VAC --- with a good heatsink? Would that be about 70W?

That device doesn't have a rating for maximum continuous forward current, precisely because it is intended to drive a larger triac. The datasheet quotes a maximum power dissipation rating of 300mW for the diode and 330mW total. It also quotes maximum on-state voltage of 3V at 100mA current.

Being pessimistic, we could infer that the maximum power dissipation for the triac is only 30mW, so we should limit the average forward current to 10mA or so. Being optimistic, we could infer that it might be safe to dissipate 300mA in the triac if we reduce the diode power dissipation to 30mW or less, in which case 100mA forward current would be OK (times 3V = 300mW). Either way, this is much less than the 600mA you are looking for.

You can use them to switch neon lamps (bulbs).

dc42, some of those numbers are for the input section limits aren't they? 3V, 100 mA?

The triac continuous output is 1A peak up to 300VAC. Isn't the RMS close to half the peak with A/C? Should I get 1W heat for every 1W output?

Well, I was hoping anyway. Looks like I should stick to relays if I want to save money.

Under Absolute Max Ratings, the datasheet I'm looking at (Farchild's) has: 1 amp, peak repetitive surge (of 100us, 120 pulse per sec.)

Top of the sine wave, right? Does that translate into some kind of Watts at 110V-120V single-phase? I know it wouldn't be enough to run a 100W incandescent but maybe a 40W?

Rig one up that way, they're less than a dollar. Use a fuse.

Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan.

I was looking at them at the Yourduino site and was wondering. And while I could use a fuse, my house has circuit breakers but if I use a fuse then where will the smoke come from? If I run a small load, perhaps a soldering pen, then that should show me enough.

I'm sure the chip can't take much, even with a nice heat sink.

The things are triac drivers, it says, and then I dig a bit and find you need other bits so for any half decent wattage I will just get a relay board for simplicity as well as bang for the buck.

GoForSmoke: dc42, some of those numbers are for the input section limits aren't they? 3V, 100 mA?

The triac continuous output is 1A peak up to 300VAC. Isn't the RMS close to half the peak with A/C? Should I get 1W heat for every 1W output?

The 3v max @ 100ma is for the output section. However, I did misread the power dissipation; 300mW is the max power dissipation for the output section (with 330mW max for both sections). So 100mA is a safe continuous current for the device.