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PC relay controler


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#1 nyphonejacks

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 10:44 PM

I am interested in setting up a PC to control some relays.
I do not currently have any solid plans for what I will use this for
I will be using one of my unused PCs so OS installed would depend on what drivers are available.

I would like:
expandability - so far most of the stuff i have found online are projects that will only handle several relays. I would assume that I would eventually want at least several dozen relays connected, if not more.

internet access to activate relays, should be able to be accessed by smart phone - telephone access would also be a useful feature, but not really required (ability to control individual relays by calling into system - would be great to allow temporary access to a locked location, example for a maintenance worker)

ability to monitor status of individual relays

ability for individual relays to operate with a timer as well as being controlled by commands inputted on remote device.


does anyone on here have any experience in setting up any PC controlled relay systems?

#2 Powermaniac7

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 01:10 AM

Relays that are used in electronics? That are like a switch but when activated switch on and hold there as long as it has an electric current applied or some other form of relay? Such as a phone relay that relays information and recorded sentences to do with advertising and or sending out a particular recorded message?

If it is the former then I may be able to help, latter not so much...

Edited by Powermaniac7, 27 November 2011 - 01:12 AM.


#3 PurpleJesus

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 10:20 AM

I am interested in setting up a PC to control some relays.
I do not currently have any solid plans for what I will use this for
I will be using one of my unused PCs so OS installed would depend on what drivers are available.

I would like:
expandability - so far most of the stuff i have found online are projects that will only handle several relays. I would assume that I would eventually want at least several dozen relays connected, if not more.

internet access to activate relays, should be able to be accessed by smart phone - telephone access would also be a useful feature, but not really required (ability to control individual relays by calling into system - would be great to allow temporary access to a locked location, example for a maintenance worker)

ability to monitor status of individual relays

ability for individual relays to operate with a timer as well as being controlled by commands inputted on remote device.


does anyone on here have any experience in setting up any PC controlled relay systems?



Do you want to buy a pre-built solution? http://www.relaypros...y_Code=Ethernet
Just google around for things like 256 relay board, and hordes more will show up.

Or do you want to build this yourself? That'd be cool, but man.. getting it to interface with your phone might eat some dev time. --but it'd be cool.

#4 Powermaniac7

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 10:52 AM

Okay it does contain the electronic relay component I was thinking of...I can't think of the use of this that you couldn't do with some self written program unless you are wanting to interact with something physical you want to switch on/off (note on/off could apply to multiple scenarios).

Or you could use an ardruino board with a mictocontroller that you have programmed to activate/deactivate something or multiple things depending on what you are connecting it to and how big it can be etc.

#5 systems_glitch

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 12:24 PM

If the machine you're going to be controlling the relays from has a parallel port, that's probably the simplest way to interface with your PC. I've done quite a bit of parallel port programming under Linux...if you're comfortable with C, check out libparapin here: http://parapin.sourceforge.net -- it provides a convenient bit-twiddling interface and initialization code. Fully decoding the 8 data lines of the parallel port would give you control of 256 relays, and the remaining 4 status lines could be used to latch data or be added to the control lines if you needed more than 256 relays.

If the parallel port isn't an option, use the serial port or a USB -> Serial adapter and a microcontroller.

#6 nyphonejacks

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 12:25 PM

Do you want to buy a pre-built solution? http://www.relaypros...y_Code=Ethernet
Just google around for things like 256 relay board, and hordes more will show up.

Or do you want to build this yourself? That'd be cool, but man.. getting it to interface with your phone might eat some dev time. --but it'd be cool.


was contemplating building from a kit vs. pre-built, was hoping to find some sort of pre-built solution. did not even consider that there would be something that would connect directly to ethernet, thought I would have to interface with one of the I/O ports on a PC...

pricing seems to be rather high though... guess i will keep looking, since this is right now just something i want to play around with

#7 Powermaniac7

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 11:15 PM

Considering I seem to be out of the loop I shall just continue reading updates in this thread to see where it is going...

#8 Powermaniac7

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 04:27 AM

I came across this email I had received a while back and thought it might be of interest to this project. Well the article that my email linked to.

http://jjshortcut.wo...ontrolled-room/

#9 nyphonejacks

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 07:07 PM

the stuff on here http://iorelay.com/ seems to be good... no need to keep it connected to a PC since they interface directly to the LAN so i guess i am going to have to find something else to do with all of these PCs lying around...

thanks for giving me some direction to search...

#10 Powermaniac7

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 12:59 AM

I'm finding this very interesting but for some reason my mind seems to be blanking out on what exactly you can use these for. So could you explain some of the functions it could be used for please?

#11 nyphonejacks

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 03:56 AM

I'm finding this very interesting but for some reason my mind seems to be blanking out on what exactly you can use these for. So could you explain some of the functions it could be used for please?


relays are just basically switches - but with a bit more circuits in them... some are activated with a dry contact (short) others might be tripped by a sensor, or phone call or just about anything else... they can be set to operate momentarily, or latch on/off when receiving their signal..

one of the main uses for relays is access control... ever go to an office or apartment building and someone had to buzz you in? chances are that a relay is what opened the door latch for a pre-programed amount of time.

relays are also useful for home automation - to control lighting, electrical outlets, etc. you could set it up so that you have a relay turn on your A/C at a certain time - or if you call your home phone you can have it turn on your PC.. the applications for relays are pretty much endless.. if it can switch on/off then chances are that you can connect up a relay to it somehow to automate the process..

i was watching a bunch of these http://www.controlan...e/VIDEO#General at work today while i was waiting for someone to call in with a repair or install for me.. it gives you some examples of what you can do with relays...

#12 Powermaniac7

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 05:33 AM

Yes I know what they are and do I was studying Systems and Control at one point at a school I was attending (basically electronics but not the 240v stuff miniature forms). So I understand how they work, that they are a form of switch they can stay constantly on if a current is applied to them otherwise they lock back to being off.

Was just wondering what interesting ideas you had for there use.

Edit: I just watch the video you linked to, I noticed he doesn't go it to much detail, I might as well add the current going through the relay produces a magnetic field making the metal pole/switch/or rudder as the dude in the video calls it swing over to the output or throw switching it off or on/on or on between two different devices etc. And which the pole/switch/rudder springs back when no current is affecting it thanks to a spring... The solid state drive ones are different...

Edited by Powermaniac7, 29 November 2011 - 05:51 AM.


#13 phaseshift

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 05:06 PM


I'm finding this very interesting but for some reason my mind seems to be blanking out on what exactly you can use these for. So could you explain some of the functions it could be used for please?


relays are just basically switches - but with a bit more circuits in them... some are activated with a dry contact (short) others might be tripped by a sensor, or phone call or just about anything else... they can be set to operate momentarily, or latch on/off when receiving their signal..

one of the main uses for relays is access control... ever go to an office or apartment building and someone had to buzz you in? chances are that a relay is what opened the door latch for a pre-programed amount of time.

relays are also useful for home automation - to control lighting, electrical outlets, etc. you could set it up so that you have a relay turn on your A/C at a certain time - or if you call your home phone you can have it turn on your PC.. the applications for relays are pretty much endless.. if it can switch on/off then chances are that you can connect up a relay to it somehow to automate the process..

i was watching a bunch of these http://www.controlan...e/VIDEO#General at work today while i was waiting for someone to call in with a repair or install for me.. it gives you some examples of what you can do with relays...




I just purchased a book about home automation projects using arduino and andriod devices.. it called "arduino + android projects for the evil genius " isbn 978-0-07-177596-0 and another book by the same author "30 arduino projects for the evil genius" isbn978-0-07-174133-0 u can order the series cheaper on amazon.com just stating this as a matter of fact comment. in case u want to experiment with project from there. the evil genius series is a great collect of book for a hobbist library. i have about five of these books. im planing on doing a home automation project using my andriod phone and android tablet that i ordered. excuse my spelling. lol

Edited by phaseshift, 03 January 2012 - 05:16 PM.


#14 phaedrus

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 04:03 PM

These are good too, just string together as many as you like, put a 1wire controller on your pc and under linux install the OWFS fuse filesystem.
Then you can just use cat to read the devices as if they were flat text files in the filesystem and expose the status and other niceties to whatever client you fancy via a webserver on the box.
Dallas do a whole 1wire series, the temperature sensors are really cool too. If you ring dallas and pretend to be needing them for company prototyping, they usually will send you free ones.

My only warning would be to power them, as in parasitic mode when the bus gets long and complex, you sometimes see weird glitches because of it.


edit, forgot the damn link...
http://www.maxim-ic....dex.mvp/id/3818

Edited by phaedrus, 16 January 2012 - 04:04 PM.


#15 tonyakerman

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 07:08 PM

the stuff on here http://iorelay.com/ seems to be good... no need to keep it connected to a PC since they interface directly to the LAN so i guess i am going to have to find something else to do with all of these PCs lying around...

thanks for giving me some direction to search...






thanksfor the info.....


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Edited by tonyakerman, 05 February 2012 - 07:02 PM.





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