How to control a technologically advanced 12-volt actuator
While everything is crystal clear with the linear actuator wiring, there is no standard reply to the answer about the ways to control an actuator.
Linear actuators have become so popular that without them, some industries would not exist. Even if you check your home you will find plenty of devices that are moved by actuators. They owe their popularity to their main features:
- Comfort in use;
- Energy efficiency;
- Low noise generation;
Thus, these items are used in the applications where repeatable movement with precise positioning is needed. How are these items controlled though?
Ways to Control a Linear Actuator
While everything is crystal clear with the linear actuator wiring, there is no standard reply to the answer about the ways to control an actuator. Actuators can be controlled in many ways. The most common ones are via remote control and sometimes, even via a rocker switch. These are manual control methods.
More advanced methods of control are by applying some artificial intelligence. At this level, relays are applied.
Relays as a Control Option of an Actuator
It is very convenient to use a microcontroller to control an actuator. The microcontroller performs the control based on the instructions. The instructions are indicated in the microcontroller code.
Though the actuator cannot access the app and the code. A relay does it. There is a special switching mechanism in it. It works from an electromagnet. The electromagnet pulls the mechanism thus allowing the current flow in a relay.
Relays are a common mechanism to control an actuator. This mechanism is cheap and very efficient.
How to Use a Relay Correctly
A relay board can have 2, 4, or 8 channels. The more channels a relay has, the more power it needs to operate.
To wire your relay, check its control side. It has two pins: the VCC one and the GND one. Also, IN pins are located there. Connect the microcontroller pins to them. As soon as the relay IN pins are connected, the relay is active.
Now, check the terminals on the sides of the relay. There are three of them:
- The Normally Closed Connection, or NC;
- The Common connection, or COM;
- The Normally Open connection, or NO.
Connect the COM and the NC terminals if the relay battery is wired to the IN pin. If the IN pin is connected to GND, then connect the NO with COM.
Now, program the board and the actuator is ready to be used.
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