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Fotek SSR's are not THAT bad...

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MrShake

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Sorry, this accomplished nothing, so I removed my post.
 

iijakii

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1) I'm not going to let you bully me into giving away something I worked HARD to find for "cred". I will earn "cred" by offering great products and customer service. Find a customer of mine, they will back that up!
Do you sell panels or something? What's your company?
 

augiedoggy

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These cheap fotaek and knock off ssrs have been used by members here for years... as far as these go I dont see how you "worked hard" for anything when it comes to marking them up and selling them... all it took was buying some from different vendors and then sticking with a vendor whom your CUSTOMERS had the best luck testing for you with no failures as you basically said earlier.
This is not some new product you discovered or had a hand in developing... Its a commonly available $4 relay. and it doesnt take a lot of work to find the real ones on amazon or aliexpress . Its totally your right to not tell us where you get them and I for one could care less... I was mainly commenting on how you make a bulk purchase on aliexpress buying them for $3-4 a piece with shipping and then turn around and sell them for $12 each plus shipping.... In my opinion that is not a fair way to do it at all, but hey thats for your customers to decide.
 

augiedoggy

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Buying from someone like Auber gets you a seller in the US you can complain to if needed. Thats worth something to some people. Some of us are fine to play the odds, some of us want it to just work first time
Good point but I'll point out my experience from many many purchases.

Every time I bought an item from a Chinese vendor and there was an issue with it, The vendor either refunded me or sent me a replacement for no charge... its not like the vendors on ebay or the like have no accountability although that is the misconception here all too often.

I got an unfair deal twice in my 1000+ ebay purchases , once with a $2 safety switch which I never received and I honestly didnt notice until well over a month had passed and once with a $12 pt100 sensor that started rusting... The seller pointed out it was not advertised to be made of stainless and I had already left positive feedback early instead of waiting like I usually do. all this cost me maybe $15 which is a drop in a bucket compared to the thousands I saved vs buying from other vendors.
 

PeteNMA

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Ive had different experiences myself so YMMV. Plus waiting three weeks for a dead part to show up then another three weeks for a replacement just seems crazy
 

MrShake

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Nevermind, this is not worth engaging with.
 
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alphaomega

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While I appreciate that we seem to have reached the end of this discussion, I just re-read the thread, to see exactly what was said. And I find that MrShake, has deleted most all of his posts. Now, I'm really not looking to start anything again, so I won't state my opinion on doing so.
Fortunately, I think you can get the gist of it even without his posts, should anyone read this thread later on.
 
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FuzzeWuzze

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Makes me wonder if my 2 Foteks are fake, they probably are..done 4 brews though so far with no issue.

I do have a few Auber 40A SSR's i bought as well later on that Ive thought about swapping out, maybe ill do that before my next brew after reading this thread.
 
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alphaomega

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@FuzzeWuzze: That might no be a bad idea :)

I found this UL announcement; http://ul.com/newsroom/publicnotices/ul-warns-of-solid-state-relay-with-counterfeit-ul-recognition-mark-release-13pn-52/
The thing to look out for should be that the notching in the lower right corner of the sticker, has a matching protrusion in the case, preventing the sticker to accidentally being applied the wrong way (so the input and output terminals would be swapped).

Also, I noticed that the stickers does seem to have a difference in appearance. However, I don't know how reliable that is.
For example the text on the genuine:
Solid State Module
Rated: XXA max.
Taiwan made
One of the reasons I don't know how reliable that is, is that this picture is found on Fotek's own product page:


Which itself looks a bit different, but might be due to them not updating their site (sorry for the small size, it seems to be what is available from Fotek). Notice though that on neither the image from UL or from Fotek, the text "Made in Taiwan" appears, (it's either "Taiwan made" or nothing).

I've done some light searching on the usual suspects, to see if I could find something, that could be genuine and found this:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fotek-Solid-State-Relay-SSR-40DA-SSR40DA-New-In-Box-QTY-5-Per-Lot-/291454258612

Now, I know. You can't trust the images on eBay to be representative of the actual product, but at least it has the actual sellers water mark and the image does seem to show a genuine SSR as per the UL announcement.
There might be cheaper ones than this, but at $173 for 5 pieces, (that is $34,60 per SSR), even if a cheaper source of genuine SSR's is to be found, they probably won't come at $6 a pop, like some claim (you know who I'm talking about...).

Now, this does not mean that there could be better knockoffs to be had. Or that the Mager ones could be "genuine" (or at least of better quality than most Fotek knockoffs).

Edit: I still maintain though, that ~$4 for one of the Fotek knockoffs, is not a bad deal for what you get. You just shouldn't put a lot of load on them. They can have a use, but just use them with care and for low power applications.

Edit2: This instructable also has some good info on the subject. Someone mentioned in the comments that PQLYT SSR's seems to be performing quite well also. Here's a link to one of those. It seems to be a few bucks more expensive, but they state it uses a BTA41 800B triac and it also seems to be sealed properly as well. Might not be a bad deal.
 

augiedoggy

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@FuzzeWuzze: That might no be a bad idea :)

I found this UL announcement; http://ul.com/newsroom/publicnotices/ul-warns-of-solid-state-relay-with-counterfeit-ul-recognition-mark-release-13pn-52/
The thing to look out for should be that the notching in the lower right corner of the sticker, has a matching protrusion in the case, preventing the sticker to accidentally being applied the wrong way (so the input and output terminals would be swapped).

Also, I noticed that the stickers does seem to have a difference in appearance. However, I don't know how reliable that is.
For example the text on the genuine:


One of the reasons I don't know how reliable that is, is that this picture is found on Fotek's own product page:


Which itself looks a bit different, but might be due to them not updating their site (sorry for the small size, it seems to be what is available from Fotek). Notice though that on neither the image from UL or from Fotek, the text "Made in Taiwan" appears, (it's either "Taiwan made" or nothing).

I've done some light searching on the usual suspects, to see if I could find something, that could be genuine and found this:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fotek-Solid-State-Relay-SSR-40DA-SSR40DA-New-In-Box-QTY-5-Per-Lot-/291454258612

Now, I know. You can't trust the images on eBay to be representative of the actual product, but at least it has the actual sellers water mark and the image does seem to show a genuine SSR as per the UL announcement.
There might be cheaper ones than this, but at $173 for 5 pieces, (that is $34,60 per SSR), even if a cheaper source of genuine SSR's is to be found, they probably won't come at $6 a pop, like some claim (you know who I'm talking about...).

Now, this does not mean that there could be better knockoffs to be had. Or that the Mager ones could be "genuine" (or at least of better quality than most Fotek knockoffs).

Edit: I still maintain though, that ~$4 for one of the Fotek knockoffs, is not a bad deal for what you get. You just shouldn't put a lot of load on them. They can have a use, but just use them with care and for low power applications.

Edit2: This instructable also has some good info on the subject. Someone mentioned in the comments that PQLYT SSR's seems to be performing quite well also. Here's a link to one of those. It seems to be a few bucks more expensive, but they state it uses a BTA41 800B triac and it also seems to be sealed properly as well. Might not be a bad deal.
90% of the foteks bought and used on homebrewtalk are used as ssrs for heating elements and most of them are 18 amps or more applications so... an ssr rates and safe for only 12a has limited useful application here the was I see it but I'm not arguing they arent good for 12a or less.
 

Cardog

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I won't comment on fake vs real or the quality but just to share my experiences. I run six 25amp Fotek SSR's that yes, got off of ebay from China. The only reason why I got 25 amps is because I found a seller selling them cheaper then the guy selling the 10 amp ones.

1 controls a the fermenter @ 2 amps, 2 of them control my pumps @ 1 amp ea. and the other 3 control my gas valves @ 0.5 amps ea.

So as to confirm the consensus with the ratings and reliability, these have worked flawless for 2 years.

inside box close up.jpg

Inside panel.jpg
 
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alphaomega

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@augiedoggy: Sure, and for higher amps getting a better SSR makes sense. The Mager or Pqlyt ones seem promising or just shell out for a brand one from a trusted vendor.
Where I'm at, we have 230VAC and most outlets are 10A, so we are not all that limited. Still, the post by @Cardog also show other low power usages.
Limited usage for you guys? Sure. But not unusable.
 

0wly055

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just had a 40a fotek take a crap on me in my 2.5 gallon 13A brew system on the first run. melted the crap out of it and it got stuck in on position. I use the exact same ones in my 5500w system and they ahve been running strong for over 6 months, seems like quality is super hit or miss.
 
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alphaomega

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@0wly055: It isn't as much about quality as what triac happen to be be used. You can 'luck out' and stumble on a Fotek branded knock off that happens to use a triac that is rated for more than 10A.
 

ITSRyan

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Hello,
There are many fake foteks on the market.
here is the UL warning and how to spot a fake (but even that is a bit outdated) https://www.ul.com/newsroom/publicn...nterfeit-ul-recognition-mark-release-13pn-52/

My company, Infinite Thermal Solutions INC, is the official USA distributor. We are listed on Fotek's website under the sales channel. We get our relays directly from Fotek. We have solved many problems because they were using counterfeit units.

If you want any additional information, please email us @ [email protected]
 

day_trippr

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I think the official Fotek USA distributor should immediately launch a gloriously huge Fotek SSR marketing campaign with products offered at discounts that leave the end users happy to buy more...

Cheers! :D
 

augiedoggy

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Hello,
There are many fake foteks on the market.
here is the UL warning and how to spot a fake (but even that is a bit outdated) https://www.ul.com/newsroom/publicn...nterfeit-ul-recognition-mark-release-13pn-52/

My company, Infinite Thermal Solutions INC, is the official USA distributor. We are listed on Fotek's website under the sales channel. We get our relays directly from Fotek. We have solved many problems because they were using counterfeit units.

If you want any additional information, please email us @ [email protected]
that information is already posted above in this thread and is no longer valid though as another person pointed out in another webpage (which I dont have handy) that some of the fakes now use identical markings...

this manufacturer has photos on both types of stickers.

https://www.alibaba.com/product-det...pm=a2700.details.maylikehoz.11.468c105aMUttvh

and then theres these with pictures of the same factory? which appear to have the fake sticker you mention for a cent each...

https://www.alibaba.com/product-det...60460906970.html?spm=a2700.7724838.0.0.pfSuIa

and yet again the correct markings and stickers from the same Yueqing Kampa Electric Co., Ltd. factory...

https://www.alibaba.com/product-det...pm=a2700.details.maylikehoz.17.3e287f38e4uZSp

going by this one could easily assume both the counterfeit and real foteks are made in the same factory "Kampa OEM" as often happens?? you can see how this makes a person skeptical.
 
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ITSRyan

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Its a pretty common practice in China to make counterfeit parts. I wouldn't assume the counterfeits and Real Foteks are both made by the same place based on the fact that UL says "This (the counterfeit SSRs) Solid State Relay has not been evaluated by UL to any Standards for Safety and it is unknown if this product complies with any safety requirements."
 

augiedoggy

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Its a pretty common practice in China to make counterfeit parts. I wouldn't assume the counterfeits and Real Foteks are both made by the same place based on the fact that UL says "This (the counterfeit SSRs) Solid State Relay has not been evaluated by UL to any Standards for Safety and it is unknown if this product complies with any safety requirements."
Im going by the fact that the manufacturer makes both the type with the stickers that the article you shared claims is real and the stickers that the very same UL warning claims is fake are coming from the same manufacturer... if they really were the same ssr internally why do they have two differently configured labels both claiming to be the same thing? Again... it doesnt add up. I'm going by the photos from the manufacturer on alibaba.. as well as the article you suggested.
 

brueng78

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Since this post is already full of opinions, I'll just stick to the facts.
I've been using FOTEK brand SSRs for years before finding out that some of them on the market are counterfeit. I've been building and selling brewing controllers that contained FOTEK SSRs for years without any issues until recently, more about that in a minute. I don't know which of the FOTEK SSRs where counterfeit (maybe all; I had purchased on ebay), but about two years ago I decided to tear down one of them just to peak inside.
This was a unit marked as a 40A rated SSR, inside was a BTA24-600A triac (a 25A max rating), which if you're running a 5500W element (~23A) is close to the maximum. After that I decided to move away from FOTEK all together, since I have no sure way to tell which SSR is counterfeit and which isn't.
It's a good thing I did. A few weeks ago a received a controller from a customer who's been using it regularly for about 2 years with a complaint about burned plastic smell. Inside I found one of the last FOTEK SSRs I had used in my controllers before making a switch to AOLE ASH-40VA (these use a potentiometer to control power output). They cost more but are well worth the extra $ (see attached pictures; I think they are self explanatory).
I think the message I'm trying to convey is unless you know and trust the supplier and/or the SSR you're buying there is really no way to tell which ones are counterfeit.
Use caution; spend a few extra $ if that gets you a known good SSR. It's well worth the peace of mind.
 

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