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M4T VW

2 x Brand new FGS221 Stuck Already?

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Today i installed my first 2 x 1.5kw relay on these LED lights.

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Previously i have used the dimmers on my internal LED's from JCC and they all work fine (With the odd dimmer bypass). These are the first LED's i have installed outside and are high quality, Not cheap. There are 7 of them in total so only 42w of power.

However, When first turning the switch on and off a few times it works well. After 10 minutes the relay "click" gets quieter to the point that the lights no longer turn off and there is no click when you turn them off. They are stuck on.

I tried a different module but it was the same problem, They work fine for an hour but start to go down hill.

 

I read many posts about this but no one really comes up with an answer. Some say to install one of these

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Can anyone confirm if that will actually solve the sticking relay problem?

 

I see fibaro have released a dimmer 2 module, Is there a relay 2 module in the pipeline? Is it worth me waiting for a module that will work with any load or should i look at a different brand for these LED's?

 

Thanks

Mathew

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That's odd. I think I have a similar problem with my Qubino relays. They also used to turn on gardening lights (leds, similar as yours).

However, due to the load of the lights and the number of wires, I use the Qubino relays to switch a din relays (teleruptor) which has the wires of the garden lights connected.

 

While testing, all goes well. Once in production, they don't want to be switched off anymore. This because they indeed were on for a longer time. I need to press my switch several times on and off before my lights actually goes off.

 

Qubino recommended me to buy 

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My electrical store could not help me. So I send an e-mail again to Qubino support in order to clarify me in detail what device I need and how to install. But what you're referring too, looks very simular.

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  • Hi

     

    Thanks for the reply. It's strange that the module switching another relay also does it as that whats a few people recommended as a fix to take the load off the Fibaro (or Qubino) relay.

    I cannot find anyone saying that they have actaully fixed the problem, People suggest things but no replys on if it actually worked or not.

     

    Thanks

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    I use an NTC in series with LED that don't have inrush current limiters. Some background on welding of relays and NTC here:

     

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  • Hi Peter

     

    Thanks for the info, I have read that thread many times and it still does not fill me with confidence.

    How long have you been using an NTC with your module?

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    I understand why you don't feel confident... It's not a standard solution. And, I never reported back because I wanted to make sure that it was a reliable solution. So I waited, and waited, and then forgot.

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    /emoticons/default_icon_smile.gif" alt=":-)" /> I have 2 modules that get used at least daily and one module that I use at least once a week. They have been in use for 15 months. No stuck relay, no blown NTC, no damage to the light. I have more relays than that, but those three are connected to a load that welded my first relay within one month of regular use. I don't put an NTC in series, if I don't have too.

     

    If don't own the relays yet, you may want to consider the new FGD212 even for non dimmable loads. It features soft start, and can also switch non dimmable loads. It has over-current and over-voltage protection. And maybe, one day, you'd like to replace the non-dimmable bulb with a dimmable one? Please don't jump to conclusion and rush to buy one... There is also a practical limit to the amount of inrush current it can handle, but I'm 99% sure that it doesn't damage the dimmer. I recommend you to have a look at the manual, it is available under "support" on the global fibaro web site.

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  • If don't own the relays yet, you may want to consider the new FGD212 even for non dimmable loads. It features soft start, and can also switch non dimmable loads. It has over-current and over-voltage protection. And maybe, one day, you'd like to replace the non-dimmable bulb with a dimmable one? Please don't jump to conclusion and rush to buy one... There is also a practical limit to the amount of inrush current it can handle, but I'm 99% sure that it doesn't damage the dimmer. I recommend you to have a look at the manual, it is available under "support" on the global fibaro web site.

     

    I do own the relays but prepared to do what i can to make it right. Most of my relays are new still so i could return them.

    I like the idea of the new Dimmer 2. My LED's are not dimmable and wont ever be (They are fixed PCD in ground units) and with the dimmer 2 you can choose to make it a switch rather than a dimmer. Are you sure this will work and be safe with my setup? I dont think 42w is alot myself so surprised i have this problem, But i understand the inrush is alot more.

     

    Thanks for your help

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    Inrush is a complex matter. There is no uniform definition and it's difficult to measure. A total of 40 Watt of LED (supplies) can make the miniature relays inside those modules stick. I'll do some testing with my FGD212 to see if that is an option for that amount of load. The load itself is within spec, but the dimmer may still see this kind of load as "faulty".

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    I've tested my dimmer with two very difficult loads (LPV-60-24 and LPV-35-24 switched mode power supplies). I picked these, because the manufacturer specifies the inrush current. And the numbers explain why they make relays stick. For the 35 Watt: COLD START 55 A (twidth=525 micros measured at 50% Ipeak) at 230VAC. And the 60 Watt: 60A. Also, these power supplies contain bigger primary capacitors than LED lamps. That's because the LVP need to keep running, even when the 230 V has some interruptions. I loaded them with a light load and a 40 W load.

     

    The FGD212 can reliably detect and switch the 35 Watt version. There's not much to tell. The FGD212 switches on at zero crossing and avoids the inrush current from switching on a "cold" lamp at the peak of the sine wave. But... Still current draw is significant, because you are charging a capacitor.

     

    But... The LPV-60-24 will almost never switch on... It's internal switch pulses "on" a few times, but I guess current limiting kicks in before the capacitor has charged enough. I can see that on my scope. It doesn't destroy the dimmer. When you try often enough, it's possible that the capacitor was partly charged from previous attemps, and then the FGD212 switches on. Now, how can I limit startup current? And would that make it work? Of course

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    /emoticons/default_icon_smile.gif" alt=":-)" /> I have tried it. I have several NTC devices that I used for my double relays. And with 5, 10, 22 or 60 Ohm the FGD212 works flawlessly! But if you need an extra NTC... You could just as well apply that NTC to your double relays!

     

    So, what's my advice?

     

    Buying a FGD212 can, but is not guaranteed to work. You need 42W and that is closer to my LPV-35 test (good) than to my LPV-60 test (not good). But it's not 100% certain. And one minor thing: the FGD will show in the interfaces as a dimmer. Setting the slider to anything but zero switches on the load. That's a little odd.

     

    An NTC fixed my problems on load similar to yours. It's an inexpensive device and you only need 1 cm of space around it to function.

     

    I selected an NTC for you that will work with loads from 20 W to 300 W.

     

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    Last option, using an extra relay, seems unnecessary in this case. But I would recommend it if you have to switch ferromagnetic devices, like high power gas discharge lamps with iron ballasts, motors or pumps. These loads will not only cause high currents, but also generate high voltage spikes (without proper measures) that can wear out relay contacts.

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  • Hi Peter
     
    Thank you for that in depth testing of your modules.
    Using a FGD212, On parameter 32 you can tell the module to act as a switch, I wondered if that changed the appearance of the device.

     

     

    32. On/Off mode

    This mode is necessary while connecting non-dimmable light sources. Setting this parameter to 1 automatically ignores brightening/ dimming time settings. Forced auto-calibration will set this parameter’s value to 2.

     

    Available settings:

    0 - on/off mode disabled (dimming is possible)

    1 - on/off mode enabled (dimming is not possible)

    2 - mode selected automatically

    Default setting:

    2

    Parameter size:

    1 [byte]

     

     

    An NTC does seem like a solution. I will have fun trying to fit it into my wall box though. I will have to heat shield the legs on it also.

    I managed to find a UK supplier also.

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    Thanks
    Mathew

     

     

     

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  • Could you tell me if any of these would work?

     

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    Hi! Parameter 32 does not change appearance.

    I haven't dealt with Farnell, but a friend of mine (a hardware engineer) buys from them regularly.

    The devices you selected from RS will do, but they are rather big. I've found a somewhat smaller disc from RS here: 

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    The part from Farnell is the smallest one.

    I agree... the mechanics of the NTC solution is the hard part

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    /emoticons/default_icon_smile.gif" alt=":-)" />

    Thanks for the feedback! And good luck!

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  • Hi Peter

     

    Thanks, I am always ordering parts from Farnell so jumped them on an order I placed today. They should be with me tomorrow so I can give it a try.

    How do you suggest wiring it up? In the UK we have metal boxes that the wall switches get mounted in so it will need to covered, I guessing  by heatshrink on exposed metal legs leaving the top part sticking out.

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  • Hi Peter

    I now have the NTC. Just checking that I install it across the relay between the live and neutral?

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    It has to be connected in series. So you remove one wire of the load from the Fibaro Relay and put the NTC in between.

     

    In my implementation, I remove one wire of the switch contacts of the relay and put one wire of the NTC there, so they are mechanically somewhat bonded. Then I connect the load from the wire (the one I just removed) to the second lead of the NTC.

     

    Attempt at ascii art:

     

    --- = wire or connection

     

    L-------- (contact I) DOUBLE RELAY SWITCH (contact O1 or O2)-------- (Lead 1) NTC (Lead 2)-------(Wire 1) LOAD (Wire 2) -------N 

     

    Does this help?

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  • So your putting the whole load through the NTC? Are the legs not too thin for that!?

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    Yes, the load goes through the NTC. The type you have was designed for this application. I checked the specs. It's what they use in switched mode power supplies, think e.g. PC power supplies of several hundreds of Watts.

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  • Okay, you say you removed one wire so I was thinking you had other wires which would carry the load also. In my case I only have one wire and the rest of them are connected in the garden so I will be putting ALL the load through this NTC.

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