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Remote Mains Switch Problem

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Jeff
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Jeff posted on Sun, Mar 11 2012 4:22 AM

I have two remote mains switches that have ceased to function. They will turn on and apply power to the outlet if the bypass button is pushed, but will not work in automatic mode.

Ive opened one up, and it appears that the main relay is used for both modes. That kind of eliminates it as the issue, though I thought that would be the culprit. 

Anyone have experience repairing these? Any advice appreciated, thanks.

Jeff

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Jeff
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Jeff replied on Thu, Mar 15 2012 1:36 AM

Thanks for the additional info! Both of these were once working, one with an AV7000, one with a Beosound 9000. On the AV it switched a small Carver amp for the rear channels, on the BS it switched a Proton integrated that I used to run a couple of pair of speakers in the rest of the house. Both worked off the Powerlink for years, about a decade, before they failed, first one, then the other, a couple of years apart. 

They came with a PL adapter, a short length of cable with a male PL on one end, a female PL on the other. Out of one of the PL connectors a two conductor wire issues forth, fitted with a small plug, female I think. The converter has a small wire with a male plug that fits into this. 

We do get a lot of lightning here in Central Florida, but their failure wasn't accompanied by any other failures, but who knows. I did lose a couple of pieces once, one of which wasn't even plugged in! Had a huge strike about 15 feet from the house that vaporized about 50 feet of buried phone line and cable. Both devices lost their touch sensitive switches, nearest I could tell for the unit that wasn't even plugged in was that the static sensitive CMOS devices in the switches (this was back in the 80's when these were fairly rare) got EMP'd to death. 

Imwill have some more time over the weekend to delve further.  Thanks again!

Jeff

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solderon29
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Just realised,the input connection to the opto coupler should be pin 1 positive,pin2 negative(via R7 and D6).If it still does'nt function with a test battery input,it must only be the opto coupler.I Imagine a variety of modern devices would suffice as replacements.

Amazed to hear of your various power supply trauma's,you must glow in the dark after all that lightning?

Nick

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Thu, Mar 15 2012 2:13 PM

Haven't had any lightning damage lately, knock on wood. But we get some increcible storms, supposedly we have more lightning than anywhere other than some place in central Africa. We get hot air that rises from the center of the state, but being as how the state is only about 170 or so miles across here, we get cooler, wetter air coming in from both coasts. They all meet in the middle and generate some very turbulent effects. I remember when I first moved here as a kid, sitting on the porch being fascinated by the huge storms that rolled in every late afternoon in the summer.

I went to a lightning seminar as part of my engineering tasks on a project long ago. The instructor had this large aluminum box that came from one of the toll roads here, the kind used to hold large copper buss bars and cable to connect the road lights/street lights. He stole it basically, because it demonstrated the power of lightning. It was big, about 2.5 feet high by about 1.5 feet wide or so, and almost the whole inside was plated with copper, and it was filled with these tiny copper spheres rolling around the bottom. All that was left of the wiring that was in the box, which was made up of cable over an inch in diameter.

I'll be getting to the remote switch this weekend, maybe tomorrow. I will probably need some advice on picking a replacement, so far what I've seen are surface mount devices which don't seem adaptable.

Jeff

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solderon29
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If you need an opto isolator Jeff,look at Atex 0pl11oa.This is a four wire(not pin!) device,designed to do just what you need?

Regards,

Nick

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Sun, Mar 18 2012 7:55 PM

Thanks for the part info! I've yet to have time to get to it this weekend but hopefully tonight. I've found a source for the H242 but the minimum order is $100 US and that's of the same part. What I'd do with a hundred bucks worth of them I have no clue.

Jeff

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Jeff
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Jeff replied on Sat, Mar 31 2012 5:08 PM

OK, here's an update. At work browsing I found a substitution for the H24A2, and ordered a few (0.66 cents each). Before stuffing one in today I hooked a 9 v battery up to the thing, and lo and behold it works, the relay pulls in and the plug becomes active (I had a night light plugged in, you could hear the realy trip and see the light turn on).

Now, why did it stop working with the Powerlink when it used to? Is it possible the opto-isolator grows weaker with time, so that it takes 9 volts to turn it on? That's the only thing I can think of right now. I guess I can replace it in one of them and see what happens.

Any ideas other than aging of the opto? I need to get the two data sheets for the original and replacement opto-isolator side by side to make sure they are truly equivalent, as the new one is much smaller. It was listed as a substitution, but who knows for sure until I compare specs. But it was cheap enough it'll go in the spares bin if it's not.

Frustrating.

Jeff

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tournedos
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The red electrolytic capacitor is responsible for filtering the output of the power supply section... I guess that it could get marginal enough to drop the supply enough that the triac/thyristor won't trigger early enough (or at all) to energize the relay with the nominal output from the opto. The Powerlink trigger voltage is only 5 volts. Perhaps the opto could degrade as well, but I doubt it.

As I said earlier, I don't really think the type of the opto matters at all as long as the maximum ratings are at least the same as with the original - but I could't find a single type that would have the same footprint.

--mika

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Sat, Mar 31 2012 6:26 PM

Well, this gets stranger. The relay triggers with 9vdc, and I tested it with 3vdc and it triggers perfectly. So, I figure it's a connector issue. I check both Powerlink ends of the adapter, both show continuity. So I check the other plug, it has continuity. So I check continuity from the Powerlink plug, thru the two conductor plug that connects the PL to the older Beocenter type plug, all the way back to the circuit traces inside the switch, all good. 

So, I figure something is afoot at the PL on the Beosound, nope, I get 4.1 vdc across the pins. 

So, right now I'm completely out of ideas. Everything says this should be working. 

Jeff

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tournedos
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What do you have on the PL, or across the LED of the opto, when the switch is connected (no need to connect it to mains during this test)? Perhaps it is loading the PL trigger too much...

--mika

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Sat, Mar 31 2012 7:40 PM

Now I'm completely flummoxed. Plugging it all in I measure no voltage across the opto, but then I measure no voltage across the PL adapter even when I unplug it from the switch. I pull the adapter, and measure directly across the PL cable from the BS, and I seem to sometimes get voltage and sometimes not, probably due to trying to hold the probes on the connectors (I need to rig up a PL test jig). When I measure continuity across the adapter it measures fine so I have no idea why I'm not measuring voltage when it's plugged in and the switch isn't. 

This isn't turning out the way I thought it would to say the least! I definitely need a test harness before I can get to the bottom of this. 

Jeff

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Jeff
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Jeff replied on Sun, Apr 1 2012 1:04 AM

OK, so anyone know where to buy female Powerlink plug?

Edited to be more specific, I can find 8 pin DIN male plugs for the end of cables, and female panel mount jacks. What I need is a female plug for the end of a cable if such a thing exists. 

Jeff

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hemenex
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something like this?

In Germany but probably the type MAK80SN helps (take care of MAK80S, it's in horseshoe-shape and doesn't fit!)

  Gunther

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Sun, Apr 1 2012 4:15 PM

That's what I need, thanks! I know what description to look for now. 

I have about two weeks to get this sorted out, ideally. That's when my handyman is scheduled to finish wiring the rest of the house speakers, and I'd like to have them come on automatically with the Beosound. 

Jeff

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