|Item model number||4450182|
|Item Weight||3.2 ounces|
|Product Dimensions||2.6 x 2 x 0.8 inches|
|Item Dimensions L x W x H||2.6 x 2.01 x 0.79 inches|
JBtek 4 Channel DC 5V Relay Module for Arduino Raspberry Pi DSP AVR PIC ARM
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- Equiped with high-current relay, AC250V 10A ; DC30V 10A
- 5V 4-Channel Relay interface board, and each one needs 50-60mA Driver Current
- Be able to control various appliances, and other equipments with large current
- Application：Supports all MCU control, The industrial field, PLC control, Smart home control
- Indication LED's for Relay output status
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5V Relay Module 4-ChannelThis is a 5V 4-Channel Relay interface board. It can be controlled directly by Micro-controller (Raspberry Pi, Arduino, 8051, AVR, PIC, DSP, ARM, ARM, MSP430, TTL logic)
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As there is no documentation, I was very skeptical of this unit trying to sink too much current to my RasPi's GPIO pins (which can only sink/source a max of 16mA per pin). Reading the datasheets for the individual components "confirmed" this believe by the Optocoupler (817C) showing normal operating current of 20mA - yikes!
I crunched the numbers and took some readings from my relay module in use and found that the unit only sinks ~2.1mA on the IN'X' pins, well within the tolerance of the RasPi (most Arduinos can sink/source 40mA or so, so even less of a problem there). The reason why is there is a 1k ohm resistor in series with the optocoupler and an LED, so basically 2 LEDs and a 1k resistor (the input side of the Optocoupler is just an LED).
Why did they make the optocoupler run at suboptimal current? It enables the relay to be de-energized when using 3.3V as is common on Arduino and is the only voltage the RasPi's GPIO can handle.
READ HERE FOR HOW TO HOOK THIS BAD BOY UP THE RIGHT WAY (WITHOUT BLOWING UP YOUR PI OR ARDUINO):
Most Arduinos can handle I/O DC current of up to 40mA (This relay module only draws 2.1mA from the I/O pin). You probably won't encounter a microcontroller that cannot handle this current (if you do, that means you are probably an embedded engineer and this guide isn't for you). Some Arudinos can operate at 3.3V (not from USB), if this is your case then you will need a separate 5V circuit to power the relay module.
Raspberry Pi's are a bit more limited I/O wise than their Arduino brethren, only being able to take I/O DC current up to 16mA. Again, this is still well within the limits. We are using the Raspberry Pi's power bus, which the supported current is dependant on the USB powersupply you have chosen - if you are using a 2A charger like you should be, you won't encounter any issues.
There are two rows of input pins (GND IN1 IN2 IN3 IN4 VCC) and (JD-VCC VCC) with the latter coming with a jumper bridging the pins (keep the jumper on!). Connect a wire from GND on your device to GND on the relay module. Connect a wire from the 5V pin on your micro to the VCC pin that is adjacent to IN4 (not the one next to JD-VCC!). Also note the 5V pin I mentioned is the actual 5V rail of the micro, not the GPIO or I/O pin that you are going to be using to trigger the relay. Finally hook the GPIO or digital I/O pin up to IN1 and set the pin to 'low' or 0V in the software to activate and 'high' or 3.3V-5V to deactivate.
If your board cannot source ~60mA from the 5V rail or if your board only runs at a maximum of 3.3V you have to use a secondary power source to power the relay.
1) This board is turning on the relays when the inputs are LOW!!!! This is not mentioned in the description/features of the board and it creates an uncertainty as far as how it may behave during power on or power cycle conditions. Yet, it mentions that it is suitable for "PLC control". As someone that has used PLCs and created several applications for industrial production line purposes, I will tell you there is no way I would ever trust to hook up anything on a relay that goes hot when the input is LOW. The idea of connecting relays to a micro controller is to be able to precisely control their function and be sure that the relays will not have a mind of their own at any time. You would think that when someone designs a general use board like this, they would have as default to turn on the relays when the input is HIGH. I do not know what this engineer had in mind.
2) The description says that it is equipped with high current relays (10A) yet, the terminals are to small to support anything above 16AWG. Considering that usually you will want to create power bridges between relay contacts, there is no way that you can secure 2 16AWG wires in a single terminal and you will have to use pigtails. I think that they could have used better connectors.
I used it to control some LED lights with an arduino and it works well but that is just because I do not mind a momentary On/Off during power on or power off. For the price, I do not mind having it laying around in case I have another similar application for it.
HOW TO HOOK IT UP:
The board has a six pin header labeled GND, IN1, IN2, IN3, IN4, VCC and a two pin jumpered header labelled VCC/JD-VCC. Leave the jumper installed. For GND, you can connect to any of the GND pins on the Pi's header (Pins 6,9,14,20,25,30,34,39). For VCC, connect to pin 2 (+5V). Connect each of the IN pins to a GPIO pin (I used GPIO 8,9,10,11 which are pins 24,19,21,23 respectively).
HOW TO CONTROL IT:
Use Python (should be available in your RasPi distro) along with the RPI.GPIO library. You'll need to run your scripts with sudo as manipulating the GPIO pins requires root access. You can set the GPIO pin using GPIO.output(PIN, True) to turn off the relay, and GPIO.output(PIN, False) to turn it on. My only nitpick is that the logic is backwards. Driving a GPIO pin high (TRUE), should turn on the relay while driving the GPIO pin low (FALSE) should turn it off, but it's easily fixed in software.
Pros: Plug and play, just works. Will be getting more of these. You don't have to worry about building interface circuits, transistors, load calculations down to the mA or anything overly complicated. Basic research into the GPIO library for Python, a couple of GPIO pinouts for the RasPi and I was up and running within minutes.
Cons: Logic is backwards, you have to send a GPIO pin LOW to turn on the relay but this is a very minor thing and can be easily fixed in software.
Verdict: If you are looking to be able to control equipment using a Raspberry Pi, this is the board to use.
Most recent customer reviews
3 boards had 1-3 relays that were not activated by Arduino.Read more