| Last time we looked at my electric relay solution to a problem presented by a 120 volt alternating current (VAC) drive motor operating within an x-ray film processing machine. Now let’s see what happens when we press the button to set the microprocessor into operation.
Figure 1 shows that when the button is depressed, the computer program contained within the microprocessor chip goes into action, signaling the start of the control initiative. 5 volts direct current (VDC) is supplied to Output Lead 2, and FET 2 (Field Effect Transistor 2) becomes activated, which allows electric current from the 12 VDC supply to course into the 12 VDC electric relay, through the relay’s wire coil, then conclude its travel into electrical ground.
The electric relay components, including a wire coil, steel armature, spring, and normally open (N.O.) contact, are shown within a blue box in our illustration. Current flow is represented by red lines. The control initiative passes from the microprocessor to FET 2, and then to the 12 VDC electric relay, just as the Olympic Torch is relayed through a system of runners.
We learned in one of my previous articles on industrial control that when an electric relay coil is energized, electromagnetic attraction pulls its steel armature towards the wire coil and the N.O. electrical contact. In Figure 1 this attraction is represented by a blue arrow. With the N.O. contact closed the drive motor is connected to the 120 VAC input, and the motor is activated.
Figure 2 shows what happens after the button is depressed. The computer program is activated, directing the microprocessor chip to keep 5 VDC on Output Lead 2 and FET 2 while the prerequisite 40 minutes elapses. Thus the relay remains energized and the motor remains on during this time.
In Figure 3, at the end of the 40 minute countdown, the computer program applies 0 VDC to Output Lead 2. FET 2 then turns off the current flow to the relay and it begins to de-energize, causing the spring to pull the steel armature away from the N.O. contact and the 120 VAC power supply to be interrupted. The motor is deactivated.
At the same time, the computer program applies 5 VDC to Output Lead 1 and FET 1 for 2 seconds. FET 1 turns on the flow of current through the buzzer, causing it to sound off and signal that the x-ray film processing machine is ready for use.
Next time we’ll look at how transistors are used to regulate voltage within direct current power supplies like the one shown in Figure 3 above.
Tags: armature, buzzer, computer program, design, electric circuit, electric drive motor, electric relay, electronic control, electronics, engineering expert witness, FET, field effect transistor, forensic engineer, industrial control, machine, microprocessor chip, microprocessor control, MOSFET, motor control, normally open contact, output lead, power supply, pushbutton, spring, transistor, voltage regulator, wire coil, x-ray film processing machine