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My actuator died after just 2 months. Was the relay the villain? Answered

I set up a linear actuator on a timer with a relay and 12 Volt 5 Amp battery exactly like to project you show on your site. It worked like a champ for about 2 months the stopped. I thought maybe the battery need a recharge but that wasn't the issue. When the switch opens and remains open the red light on top of the relay remains on. I keep the door open for about 4 hours in the morning then it closes. It opens again for about 4 hours before dusk then closes again until the next morning. My concern is that the red light on the relay is indicating that the switch is on continuously sending electricity to the actuator. After 2 months it just fried the actuator.  I took apart the actuator and it looks like its brand new with no black spots on the copper wires. I'm hoping I just have a bad actuator.

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iceng

3 years ago

Perhaps the actuator has a one_time thermal safety that needs to be replaced for it to work again. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_cutoff

And this time you add a second digital timer that cuts off power to the actuator when it should not be moving. Neatly avoiding a zombie turtle getting jammed in your mechanism and causing problems...

Click picture to view the whole image.

Thermal_onetime_Fuse.jpg
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Josehf Murchisoniceng

Answer 3 years ago

The actuator doesn't have a thermal cutoff iceng.

I found the datasheet:

http://www.progressiveautomations.com/media/catalo...

My guess is the limiting circuit is always powered 24-7, so if it has a 1 year warranty 2 months is about right at 24-7 use.

It could be the diodes in the limiting circuit or it could be the switches in the limiting circuit. My guess it is stuck in the position it spends the most time.

He might be able to fix it if he bypasses the internal limiting circuitry and adds an external limiting circuit.

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icengJosehf Murchison

Answer 3 years ago

+1 Good finding that linear actuator break_out Josehf !

What they call a diode looks more like a pair of metal tubes pinched on a cable or magnets because the limit devices are mentioned as Hall Effect Sensor.

My revised cause of failure is the extremely very Cheep six bar commutator armature and brush wear factor.. They don't even mention the PM field magnet material..

Most definitely you want to severely limit the device run time and even place a current detect cutout in addition to true external limit switches , unless you are using the full extension of the actuator. This thing is a very pretty, carefully designed device to fail and sell often to enrich the Progressive Automations company !!!!

I have added a non-brush linear screw stepper motor and a limit switch for everyone to visualize.

actuator.jpgsteppeRod.JPGSWlimit.jpg
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Josehf Murchisoniceng

Answer 3 years ago

You got to admit it is a good machine, it took 2 months abuse before it went.

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icengJosehf Murchison

Answer 3 years ago

As you say it certainly was a hero machine...

but not space travel worthy

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icengiceng

Answer 3 years ago

And the Zombie proof circuit.

time.jpg
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Downunder35m

3 years ago

1. If you use instructions from this then it makes sense to ask questions IN that Instructable.
2. If 1 is no option for you then the least would be to provide a link as with amounts of Ibles here noone has them all in his head.
3. The actuator should have a worm drive and be unpowered unless moving.

A proper test of all parts is recommended everthing else is just guesswork.

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Jack A LopezDownunder35m

Answer 3 years ago

+1 to this sentiment in point 2. It would be so very helpful, if people with questions about a particular instructable, could provide link to that particular 'ible for to let us know the details of what they're asking about.

It's like these question askers expect us to be clairvoyant.

Speaking of which, if you open your third eye, it is possible to discover OP has asked a similar question unto the author of the not-explicitly-mentioned 'ible, via that 'ible's comment page, uh... here:

https://www.instructables.com/id/12V-Relay-with-Tim...

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Josehf Murchison

3 years ago

If I get the schematic from the Instructable right, the power to the actuator is on all the time.

It should be power on to open and when open power off.

Then power on to close and when closed power off.

The power to the actuator is never off so I would say the top end switch and the bottom end switch in the actuator is toast.

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steveastrouk

3 years ago

The actuator should have internal switches that cut it off at the extremes of travel. Its more likely your relay is the problem.