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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all!


So I am trying my hand at a 4 channel prop controller. (completely new territory for me!) Running into a triggering problem.
I using the fourbanger.com setup.

Got all the parts and thought I was ready to roll, but alas I have an issue. It doesn't trigger props...kinda a deal breaker, right!?

So the setup-I am running an Uno, thought I bought everything on the list. I went the 12v relay route (which I think may be the issue...but his notes said he recommended it.)

It's all wired- the PIR and MP3 Player test and operate properly when triggering the sequence. The relays light up in the order they should using the test program- but when a prop is hooked up it will not trigger. I have tried a few different props, but still no go. I am not sure if this helps, but I do not hear the relays "banging" like the videos I watched- not sure if they all should or if different ones act differently. I tried two separate relays as I bought 2 of everything...same for both.

Pretty sure all is wired per his diagram.
Think I am better ordering a couple 5v relays? Something else?

Thanks for any thoughts!
Kevin
 

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Sounds like you have it wired correctly. The relays only break the circuit so you still have to have power on one of the two wires going to each relay.

I'll send you a IM
 

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If you followed the instructions on the buttonbanger site, there's one small problem: the hookup diagram is for a 5v relay. Assuming you're using a 12v power adapter, move the wire connecting Vcc (on the relay) and 5v (on the Arduino) off the 5v pin and onto the "Vin" pin on the Arduino power block. That should get you the power you need to trigger the relay. When the Arduino is supplied power from through an e xternal power supply, the Vin line can be used to tap power directly from the source.
 

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slukev,
I have not built one of these Four Bangers so I'm not an expert on the whole setup but I am familiar with the relay board that I believe you are using. The 12V relay board needs to be powered directly from your 12V power source, not the UNO. There is a jumper on the relay board labeled JD-VCC and VCC. Remove that jumper and connect 12V+ directly from your power supply to the JD-VCC pin. Assuming you are using the same power supply for the UNO, connect negative to the GND pin on the relay board. Connect the IN1-IN4 pins as normal to the outputs of the UNO. I think the reason you were getting the LED's on the relay board to light up but no relay function was due to not having 12V to the relay coils. Also, the "IN" pins of the relay board need a full 5V+ for the circuit to activate the relay. If the voltage to the "IN" pins is less than 5V you will see the LED light up but the relay will not energize. Hope this helps you out.
 

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For sure like j-man said, drive the relays from the power supply and not the uno, but it sounds like you're already doing that if you're hearing the relays open and close.

You didn't clarify which prop you're trying to trigger and how?

I suspect if you're using a regular store bought prop and closing the circuit on the 'try me now' button, then this is your problem.

I've used the 4 button banger from scubaspook (haven't built the arduino based one yet), but the relay closure process is the same.

The older props would just close the circuit with the try me button like a light switch, but newer ones want a rise in voltage because they use a piezo based matt or button. I don't recall the exact details (need to start dragging my stuff out of boxes), but I would do something like tie the prop input to ground and when the relay closed then go to a high with a pull-up resister. If I recall, I think they needed something like over 3.8v to trigger. Don't hold me to the exact details because it's been 3 yrs since I went through this, but I know for sure just trying to close the input via a relay alone won't do it if you're using a prop that is expecting an input from a piezo based device.
 

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For sure like j-man said, drive the relays from the power supply and not the uno, but it sounds like you're already doing that if you're hearing the relays open and close.
Actually, I think he said that he could not hear the relays clicking on and off.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks! I am away from home but will toy with this this weekend.

I see the issue with 12v vs 5v on the relays, I think-lol.

But may have a couple issues based on comments. I tried a couple props with the try me button. I think they are newer ones. Not sure the difference but can poke around. I also tried it on a 110v , so if I get 12v to the relays that one may be ok if I am following correctly.
Fyi-I work with 110 a lot so no need to run and scream. Just need to figure the programing an low voltage stuff.

Looks like I have some testing to do this weekend. Thanks again! I'll update with results
 

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Just an FYI, any "try me" button will work with a relay. The button is just a switch. If you remove the button and connect the 2 wires to COM and NO on the relay, when the relay is energized it will trigger the prop. The key is that the relay has to close, and then open, and then remain open until the prop sequence is finished. If the relay closes again before the sequence is done, it will stop it. Also nice to have a post delay in the program so it can't re-trigger immediately.
 

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Just an FYI, any "try me" button will work with a relay. The button is just a switch. If you remove the button and connect the 2 wires to COM and NO on the relay, when the relay is energized it will trigger the prop. The key is that the relay has to close, and then open, and then remain open until the prop sequence is finished. If the relay closes again before the sequence is done, it will stop it. Also nice to have a post delay in the program so it can't re-trigger immediately.
That's the problem I ran into with the Home Depot wolf. The Try Me button turns it on and then if pressed again, turns it off. So now I have basically ripped all the controllers out of it and am in the process of redesigning using an Arduino.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the help everyone! I messed with it a bit this weekend and just couldn't see I had anything messed up. So on a whim I figured I would order the 5v relay to wire exactly as directed to minimize variables.
I was/am on a conference call and heard the mail come-so swapped the relay.
5v relay worked perfectly!!! (Luckily I had the phone on mute before the circus monkey started screaming when it triggered! May have been interesting to explain)

I am guessing I had a bad batch of 12v relays. I had switched the power cable so they should have been powered. I had 2 and both were no good... Not sure if I'll just roll with the 5v for now as not running much off it.

Thanks again, now I need to build the prop I was planning to use this on!
 

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Thanks for all the help everyone! I messed with it a bit this weekend and just couldn't see I had anything messed up. So on a whim I figured I would order the 5v relay to wire exactly as directed to minimize variables.
I was/am on a conference call and heard the mail come-so swapped the relay.
5v relay worked perfectly!!! (Luckily I had the phone on mute before the circus monkey started screaming when it triggered! May have been interesting to explain)

I am guessing I had a bad batch of 12v relays. I had switched the power cable so they should have been powered. I had 2 and both were no good... Not sure if I'll just roll with the 5v for now as not running much off it.

Thanks again, now I need to build the prop I was planning to use this on!
While it's certainly possible, it is highly unlikely that you had two 12v relay boards that are DOA. If you're certain you had everything wired correctly, it points to not enough voltage going to the "IN" pins on the relay board. As I mentioned before, if the voltage to any "IN" pin is less than 5v, it will light the corresponding LED but it won't energize the relay.
 

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Any chance you could draw up a diagram for this? I tried wiring a 12v power supply directly to the JD-VCC and then ran the ground wire to the ground pin on the relay board and also the Ardiuno and my relay board started smoking. Not sure if I ruined it or not. I rewired it back to how the Four Banger directions show and the relays clicked like they work but can't get it to power a 12v pneumatic solenoid valve.

If you need more info let me know. I'm stumped here
 
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