Switch and Relay Circuits


Computer Off Switch

How often does it happen that you close down Windows and then forget to turn off the computer? This circuit does that automatically. After Windows is shut down there is a ‘click’ a second later and the PC is disconnected from the mains. Surprisingly enough, this switch fits in some older computer cases. If the […]


Petrol Gas Switch For A Pajero

My current vehicle, a Pajero, was modified for dual fuel – ie, petrol and gas. However, it’s necessary to run the vehicle on petrol at regular intervals to stop the injectors from clogging up. This simple circuit allows the vehicle to be started using petrol and then automatically switches it to gas when the speed […]


ATX Power Switch Substitute

An additional push-button switch is normally required for the ATX Power Switch/Soft Power Switch signal, but you can do without it if you use this simple circuit. It is an artful design, but it has been repeatedly tested. The zener diode is intended to provide protection against excessive voltages and reverse-polarity connection. In the latter […]


Reducing Relay Power Consumption

Relays are often used as electrically controlled switches. Unlike transistors, their switch contacts are electrically isolated from the control input. On the other hand, the power dissipation in a relay coil may be unattractive for battery-operated applications. Adding an analogue switch lowers the dissipation, allowing the relay to operate at a lower voltage. The circuit […]


Electronic Fuse Employs A Relay

While many power supplies can be set to limit their output current to a defined level, to protect the circuit they are powering, no such protection is available if you are powering a circuit from a battery. If a fault develops, the circuit can blow before you have a chance to disconnect it. Of course, […]


Multi-Position Mains Switch

The circuit shown here was born out of necessity after one of our colleagues had just renovated his kitchen and realized afterwards that there were not enough switches. Obviously he was not too keen to partially demolish the kitchen to install a few additional wires in the already tiled wall. That’s how the idea arose […]


Mains Remote Switch

This compact design forms a remotely operated switch that receives its control signal via the mains voltage. The switch is operated using the ‘mains remote transmitter’ described elsewhere in this issue. With this transmitter, a switch should be connected between pins 1 and 2 of K1. Depending on the application, this must be either a […]


Heat Sensitive Switch

At the heart of this heat-sensitive switch is IC LM35 (IC1), which is a linear temperature sensor and linear temperature-to-voltage converter circuit. The converter provides accurately linear and directly proportional output signal in millivolts over the temperature range of 0°C to 155°C. It develops an output voltage of 10 mV per degree centigrade change in […]


Switchmode Constant Current Source

Operating a stepper motor using a fixed (constant) voltage supply results in poor torque at high speeds. In fact, stepper motors tend to stall at fairly low speeds under such conditions. Several approaches can be used to overcome this problem, one of which is to use a constant current supply in place of the more […]


Low-Voltage Remote Mains Switch

This circuit allows a 240V mains appliance to be controlled remotely via low-voltage cabling and a pushbutton switch. The mains appliance (in this case, a light bulb) is switched with a suitably-rated relay. All of the electronics is housed in an ABS box located in proximity to the appliance. The pushbutton switch and plugpack are […]