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Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow haunters!! I am having a problem with an Arduino I hope someone can help with!! I have put together several of these Arduino's but this is the first time I have powered one up with a solenoid connected. With power going to just the Arduino the program runs fine and the relays work as they should. When I apply power to the solenoid, the program works sometimes and most of the time it just clicks the relay a couple of times and resets!! I am using separate 12v 5a power supplies for the Arduino and the solenoid. I tried running them both from the same supply and have the same problem!! If I put in a 12 volt LED in place of the solenoid it works perfect!! I have also tried 2 different 12 volt solenoids and have the same problem with both!! I am sure I am doing something wrong but I sure as hell cant figure out what it is!! Any ideas?? Thanks!! HH
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well I'm not really sure what that is, but for each relay there is a tiny part labeled D1, D2, D3 and D4!! I am assuming they are diodes!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oh!! I don't know!! I don't think so, on one of them the wires are sealed right into the coil, on the other one the wires go to a connector that has a resistor and an LED!! That plugs into the coil!!
 

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They likely do not have diodes. Put a 1N4001 diode across the solenoid that has the LED. The band on the diode has to face the positive lead going into the solenoid. Solenoids without snubber diodes can sometimes do wacky things to a microcontroller.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I will give that a try, I will have to order the diodes!! What about the other solenoid, is there anything I can do for it?? Do most solenoids have a diode?? Thanks J-Man!!
 

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If that fixes the problem with the solenoid that has the LED, then yes, you can tap into the leads of the other solenoid close to the coil. I don't know if there are any Radio Shacks still open or if you even have one close, they would have the diodes. Any 1N4000 series will work.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
All the Radio Shacks around here are unfortunately gone!! My father left me a big box of electronic parts and I know there are some diodes in there, I will have a look, they are from the 60's but I guess that won't matter! Lol!! What does this diode do??
 

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Won't matter if they're old. Any inductive load, such as a motor or a relay/solenoid coil, will produce a voltage spike when the supply current is abruptly cut. That spike can do weird things to sensitive electronics. The snubber (sometimes referred to as a flyback) will kill that spike by feeding it back into the load where it's depleted.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks J-Man and David!! I understand what they do now!! When I get back to the shop I will see what I have!! Are diodes labeled with the number or are they coded like resistors??
 

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Diodes normally have a printed number on them or sometimes a code.

Common numbers for flyback diodes are the 1N400x and 1N540x series.

If in doubt, post what you have (find) and we'll advise.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Bosco!! I have never seen that!! It explains a lot!! Where did you find the Octobanger manual?? All I have seen is the PDF file that shows how to put one together!! HH
 

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Thanks Bosco!! I have never seen that!! It explains a lot!! Where did you find the Octobanger manual?? All I have seen is the PDF file that shows how to put one together!! HH
The download you get should have it... the zip folder has: backup, Controllers, Database, Docs, download, and Hex folders, and some files (like dll, exe, etc) but if you open the "Docs" folder, there's 2 pdfs, one for the flyback, the other for PIR info.
 
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