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Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 763
K
Member
Wow, I guess just like with anything else it looks like you really have to shop around when buying those relays. I cant believe the prices some places are asking for those new replacement RR7s.
Ive often wondered if maybe in a pinch for a temporary repair on a GE resi relay lighting panel, if you couldnt use a standard 16-Amp 24-VDC latching relay and plug in base, assuming you could find room for it. Im guessing the mA or VA rating for the DC coil is probably higher than the little RR7 though, so I suppose that might be an issue.

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 81
A
Albert Offline OP
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KJay,

I haven't done a thorough search, but so far I haven't found any other relay (except the WattStopper HDR) that matches the GE in terms of load ratings, installation ease (no socket needed, just pop it into a KO), pilot-contact capability, and price.

In terms of ratings, the nice thing about the GE relay is that it is essentially the same as a toggle switch, so it can be used with pretty much any 20A load. The other relays I've looked at all fall short in one rating aspect or another, most often lacking a tungsten rating or having one that's significantly less than the full amp rating. That's important because the relay could be controlling a receptacle, which could have anything plugged into it.

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
H
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Albert,

They look good, the worst thing I see is if you want to use them on an existing installation, you have to cut off the pin cap.

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 81
A
Albert Offline OP
Member
Yes - and I think the GE relays all now come with that connector, too.

I have one of the GEs; the only markings on the connector are "AMP" and "85". It might be possible to find a mate in an electronics distributor catalog like Mouser or DigiKey. But it'sa n insulation-displacement connector, which means an expensive installation tool. Probably better to cut it off as you say, and maybe crimp on a few more inches of wire.

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 81
A
Albert Offline OP
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Right now I'm working on a little project to run the GE relays off a PLC. It implements a few simple functions, like allowing the use maintained-contact switches (including photocontrols) or single pushbuttons in place of the system's standard double-throw switches. It will also allow master control of groups of relays, with override of individual circuits.

I haven't played with PLCs before, so the project has been a great learning experience - and a lot of fun. This is the PLC I'm using: Click PLC.

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 81
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Albert Offline OP
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The PLC project is coming along nicely. It lets the relays be controlled by 2-wire circuits in place of the original 3-wire design. Any combination of momentary and maintained-contact switches (including standard toggles) can be used - they all work together like a conventional 3/4-way installation; i.e. each time any of the switches is operated, the relay changes state. The momentary switches can be paralleled, but of course each maintained-contact switch needs its own PLC input.

The PLC program also implements a Master ON/OFF function, emulating the GE "sweeper" or its ancient ancestor, the "motor master" controller.

Joined: Jul 2004
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G
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I am doing that with a half a D flip flop CMOS chip and an SSR.


Greg Fretwell
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 81
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Albert Offline OP
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Very interesting approach, I like it!

Yet another option: a member of the GE low-voltage Yahoo group implemented 2-wire operation using diodes.

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