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Old 12-10-2012, 08:09 PM   #1
Munchman
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Default Auber Contactor Problem

Hoping someone out there can give me a hint or two what I might be doing wrong. I'm using PJ's diagram that he did for Johnodon's EBIAB build (diagram in this thread: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/ano...itches-264251/). I've got everything wired up and tried it out today. Pump outlet worked great and the PID worked perfectly as well. But when I hit the switch for the element (the one controlling the contactor) it made a god awful buzzing. Not a normal buzz, but an extremely loud one that you can't think with it going on. And I'm pretty sure the outlet didn't power on either because the element did not start seem to get hot. I tried switching it on and off a few times since I found that in the forums. Didn't help at all.

I checked the schematic again and it looks like I have the 40 amp 2 pole 240V Auber contactor connected properly - I check continuity to the outlet, power, and SSR. I checked continuity to the switch and the neutral on both sides of the coil and it looked good there too. For the power side of the coil, I just ran each of the two from X2 and 24 on the switch each of the two spades on the same side.

I'm at a loss what might be wrong. Any ideas? Is mounting the contactor directly to the Auber project box causing an issue? I've got it locked down with machine screws through the box and nuts on the inside.

Thanks for any help.

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Old 12-10-2012, 08:52 PM   #2
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I would take several measurements with your multimeter.

With element/switch on:
* Do you have 110v at the contactor coil?
* 220v on contactor input (with PID turning SSR ON)?
* 220v on contactor output?
* 220v at connector to heating element?

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Old 12-10-2012, 10:37 PM   #3
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^^^ What jCOS said. Also, make sure the contactor coil is rated for the same voltage as the voltage that you're applying. I've replaced noisy contactors that were very loud and the replacement was fine, so maybe you got a bad one.

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Old 12-10-2012, 11:36 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. Did what you said and I measured 110 across the coil and 220 at the input to the contactor, the output and at the outlet with the SSR calling for heat. So all check out. The buzzing scared me so I'd switch it all off quickly before, so I guess I just didn't leave the element on long enough to see it heat up.

So think I should contact Auberin about the contactor? I'd go nuts brewing with that for hours

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Old 12-10-2012, 11:54 PM   #5
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Relays and contactors using mechanical contacts/coils can be noisy, I've had several like that, and it's the nature of the beast. With cheap components comes the risk of ones that are bad. Quality control is not priority #1 when you're dealing with cheap components. That said, Auber is one of the better vendors out there for replacement and service. I've had no troubles with warranty with them, and I buy TONS of PID's off them.

I've also gotten cases of small relays off ebay where 3 out of 10 were bad, and other times not a single problem. When you're considering how cheap it is to buy one or two items off Ebay, it's not worth it to chase down warranty or try to ship stuff back cause it's bad, the shipping is often more than the item. It's a calculated risk.

When you buy domestically, it's the same issue, but at least there is local support for the product. This comes at a price though, and if you're willing to pay 3-6x more per item, go for it. The parts all come from the same factories in china though....

Or, you could do what I've done sometimes, if you need 2, buy 3 or 4. If your lucky, you got a bunch of cheap backups, if not, you're still further ahead costwise compared to overpriced, middleman marked up, same as you bought stuff, that you bought locally.

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Old 12-11-2012, 04:35 AM   #6
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I just had the same problem, like 3 days ago. I called Auber this morning and they are sending me a new one. Warning, I had to make the sound for them ever the phone before they knew what I was talking about. Once I did they said it was bad and they would send a new one out immediately.

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Old 12-11-2012, 05:32 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info. I'll try Auber first and hopefully they'll replace it. If not maybe i buy a bunch of cheapies on EBay and hope for a good one.

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Old 12-19-2012, 05:49 PM   #8
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Update - Recorded the sound for Auber and they sent out a new one right away. Works great and I'm a very happy customer! Controller worked first shot so I'm pretty excited!

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