SSR Controling a massager, but only works on one speed... help

I have this solid state relay http://www.ebay.com/itm/180842481825?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

I and messing around with this old messager. http://compare.ebay.com/like/220979207835?var=lv<yp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar

My goal is to make it do more than just vibrate at one speed. The thing is I can get it to pulse using the blink script and that works fine for what I am trying to do. The only thing is that it will ONLY work on the highest speed. Does anyone know what (If anything) I can do to fix this? I apologize if this is a basic question. This is my first real experiment with Arduino.

That SSR looks like it is just an on / off control type, not a phase angle proportional type. So just turning it on an off with the blink an LED program is going to do nothing for you. An SSR like this will only turn off on the mains cycle after the input signal is removed, so you don't have much control.

The timing of the blink is exactly what I wan't actually. It makes it pulse instead of staying on a all times. My only issue is that the messager has 4 settings and will only work on the highest one. I hooked up an extension cord to try different things and found when I run 2 things at once the lower settings work just fine and pulse like they should. Is there something I should add?

I hooked up an extension cord to try different things and found when I run 2 things at once the lower settings work just fine and pulse like they should.

That will explain it then. With an SSR there is a minimum load requirement for keeping it turned on. This varies with different SSRs and should be mentioned in the data sheet. However as you bought your from ebay then it is likely that these are rejects that do not meet the specification, or ones that do not have a proper data sheet.
By adding something else you get the total load over this minimum level and it works as expected. So short of getting another SSR then adding a load looks like your only choice.

It is also likely that your massager presents a very inductive load to the SSR. This can also produce problems with turning it off.

Is there something I should add?

Yes, it's frequently called a 'snubber circuit' and is required often when switching inductive loads with a thyristor class devices like a SSR. Search with that term and you should find further explanation and example circuit components.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snubber

Lefty

Grumpy_Mike: That will explain it then. With an SSR there is a minimum load requirement for keeping it turned on. This varies with different SSRs and should be mentioned in the data sheet. However as you bought your from ebay then it is likely that these are rejects that do not meet the specification, or ones that do not have a proper data sheet. By adding something else you get the total load over this minimum level and it works as expected. So short of getting another SSR then adding a load looks like your only choice.

It is also likely that your massager presents a very inductive load to the SSR. This can also produce problems with turning it off.

I found this sheet on line that matches the numbers on my unit. http://www.fotek.com.hk/solid/SSR-1.htm Hypothetically what kind of snubber would I need to put together?

Yes but the data sheet does not say what the minimum load is.

Thank you very much for all of your help. Could you point me to a source for a phase angle proportional type SSR? One that would work for all the the speeds? I would rather just buy another one that I think I will work than keep messing with this one. I have searched for a phase angle proportional ssr but I cant seem to find anything. Once again thank you and I apologize for being a pain :)

The pic on the document you linked to shows that it has a snubber (internal).
It’s a zero-crossing device, so it can only be triggered on at 0v.
There was a guy [jimjam] recently working with a proportional output1 “SSR”, it varied the ac output, like a variac, it didn’t trigger on phase-angle like.

      • remembered “handle” * * *
        1I’d never seen one of those before, maybe it IS phase-angle output or attenuated, without a 'scope trace I’m in the dark.

I have searched for a phase angle proportional ssr but I cant seem to find anything.

Look here:- http://uk.farnell.com/jsp/search/browse.jsp?N=2031+203128&Ntk=gensearch&Ntt=SSR+phase+angle&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial

However your problem is not a lack of phase angle control. You proved that when you added an extra load and it worked for all speeds. Your problem is either the minimum current to hold the SSR on, or the phase shift between current and voltage your unit gives. So a snubber circuit might solve the phase shift problem and a better SSR might solve the minimum current problem. You do not need proportional control unless your application demands it.