Notice: This page contains information for the legacy Phidget21 Library. Phidget21 does not support VINT Phidgets, and will not support any new Phidgets. Phidget21 will be maintained until 2020. We recommend that new projects be developed against the Phidget22 Library.

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Difference between revisions of "3051 User Guide"

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(Connecting the Pieces)
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Latest revision as of 14:37, 9 May 2018

Go to this device's product page

Getting Started

Checking the Contents

You should have received:

  • A Dual Relay board
  • A sensor cable

In order to test your new Phidget you will also need:

  • A PhidgetInterfaceKit 8/8/8 or a PhidgetTextLCD
  • A USB cable
  • A 9V battery, a battery connector
  • A piece of wire
  • An incandescent bulb

Connecting the Pieces

  1. Connect the black/negative(-) wire from battery connector to one of the bulb wire.
  2. Connect the red/positive (+) wire from the battery connector to the 1C (Common) connector on the Dual Relay Board.
  3. Connect the other bulb wire to the NO (Normally Open) connector on the Dual Relay Board.
  4. Connect the Dual Relay Board to the InterfaceKit 8/8/8 using the sensor cable. This provides 5V power to the relay board.
  5. Connect Control 1 on the Dual Relay Board to Digital Output 6 on the InterfaceKit 8/8/8 using a piece of wire.
  6. Connect the 1018 - PhidgetInterfacekit to your PC using the USB cable.

3051 1 Connecting The Hardware.jpg

Testing Using Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / 7

Make sure you have the current version of the Phidget library installed on your PC. If you don't, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Quick Downloads section on the Windows page
  2. Download and run the Phidget21 Installer (32-bit, or 64-bit, depending on your system)
  3. You should see the Ph.jpg icon on the right hand corner of the Task Bar.

Running Phidgets Sample Program

Double clicking on the Ph.jpg icon loads the Phidget Control Panel; we will use this program to ensure that your new Phidget works properly.

The source code for the InterfaceKit-full sample program can be found in the quick downloads section on the C# Language Page. If you'd like to see examples in other languages, you can visit our Languages page.

Updating Device Firmware

If an entry in this list is red, it means the firmware for that device is out of date. Double click on the entry to be given the option of updating the firmware. If you choose not to update the firmware, you can still run the example for that device after refusing.

Double Click on the Ph.jpg icon to activate the Phidget Control Panel and make sure that the Phidget InterfaceKit 8/8/8 is properly attached to your PC.

1018 2 Control Panel Screen.jpg
  1. Double Click on Phidget InterfaceKit 8/8/8 in the Phidget Control Panel to bring up InterfaceKit-full and check that the box labelled Attached contains the word True.
  2. Click on the Digital Out box. A tick mark appears in the box and the bulb lights up. Click on the box again. The tick mark goes away and light goes out. If you unplug the Dual Relay Board while the light is on, it will go off. Move the bulb wire from NO to NC (Normally Closed). Now the light is on when there is no tick mark and off when there is. If you unplug the Dual Relay Board when the light is on, it will stay on.
  3. The bottom row of the digital out shows the status of the request, while the top row displays the status of the digital output as reported by the 3051 Relay.

3051 1 InterfaceKit Screen.jpg

Testing Using Mac OS X

  1. Go to the Quick Downloads section on the Mac OS X page
  2. Download and run the Phidget OS X Installer
  3. Click on System Preferences >> Phidgets (under Other) to activate the Preference Pane
  4. Make sure that the is properly attached.
  5. Double Click on in the Phidget Preference Pane to bring up the Sample program. This program will function in a similar way as the Windows version.

Using Linux

For a step-by-step guide on getting Phidgets running on Linux, check the Linux page.

Using Windows Mobile / CE 5.0 / CE 6.0

For a step-by-step guide on getting Phidgets running on Windows CE, check the Windows CE page.

Technical Details


A relay is an electrically-controlled switch. Although many types of electrical switches exist, a relay’s mechanical nature gives it the advantage of reliability and current-switching capacity. The main disadvantage to using mechanical relays is their limited life-span, as opposed to solid state relays who do not suffer from this drawback. For more information on mechanical relays refer to the Mechanical Relay Primer 3051 1 Relay Diagram.jpg

Using a Digital Output Relay

Relays have a connection scheme determined by the arrangement of contacts within the relay. Because relays are a type of switch, they are defined in the same way other electromechanical switches are defined. In switch schemes, the number of poles represents the number of common terminals a switch has, and the number of throws represents the number of switchable terminals that exist for each pole. The relays used in the Dual Relay Board are SPDT relays: single pole, double throw. The internal construction of this type of relay is depicted in the diagram above. Many other types of relays exist: SPST, DPDT, and DPST, to name a few. In an SPDT relay, one of the throw terminals is labelled Normally Closed (NC), and the other is labelled Normally Open (NO). As the name indicates, the normally closed terminal is the terminal connected to common when the relay coil is not powered. When the relay coil is energized by the relay control circuit, the electromagnetic field of the coil forces the switch element inside the relay to break its contact with the normally closed terminal and make contact with the normally open terminal. The switch element would then connect the normally open terminal and the common terminal.

Using Relays as an H-Bridge to implement Forward/Reverse

Connect the load to the COM terminals, in this case the wires of a DC motor. The NormallyOpen (NO) terminals are connected to the power supply (VCC), and the Normally-Closed (NC) terminals are connected to the ground (GND) of the power supply. Connect the Control pins to a digital output. You can toggle the corresponding output to switch the relays. Looking at the diagram, when LeftCtrl is enabled and RightCtrl is disabled, the current will flow from the NO terminal of relay K1 through the motor and into the NC terminal of relay K2. This will cause the motor to rotate in one direction. Similarily, if LeftCtrl is disabled and RightCtrl is enabled, the current will flow from the NO terminal of relay K2 through the motor and into the NC terminal of relay K1. This will cause the motor to rotate in the opposite direction. When both LeftCtrl and RightCtrl are disabled, both ends of the motor will be shorted to ground and no current will flow. When both leftCtrl and RightCtrl are enabled, both ends of the motor will be shorted to VCC and again, no current will flow. 1014 1 Bridge Diagram.jpg

Wetting Current

When a relay is in one switch position for a period of time, oxidation of the open contact(s) can occur. Depending upon the internal coating material of the contacts, oxide films of varying density will be displaced upon the surface of open contacts; this film acts as an insulator to current flow. When the relay is switched, a certain amount of current flowing through the contacts, known as the wetting current, is required to remove the film of oxides and ensure proper conduction. Because of this requirement, these relays are not reliable for signal switching. See the device specification on page 10 for detailed requirements.

Load Noise

If highly inductive loads are used with the Dual Relay Board, it is recommended that a noise limiting component be used to prevent damage to the device. An MOV, TVS diode, or kickback diode (for DC applications) shunted across the load will assist in dissipating voltage transients.

Analog Input Cable Connectors

Each Analog Input uses a 3-pin, 0.100 inch pitch locking connector. Pictured here is a plug with the connections labelled. The connectors are commonly available - refer to the Analog Input Primer for manufacturer part numbers.


Product History

Date Board Revision Device Version Comment
October 2007 0 N/A Product Release
September 2008 1 N/A Bigger connectors, Bigger board