NodeSwitch™ RF remote control of relays, solenoids, motors, lights: basic instructions and wire connections

NodeSwitch™ RF remote control of relays, solenoids, motors, lights: basic instructions and wire connections

The above picture shows the NodeSwitch™ (RN-12v-10w-1) controller internal features, with the lid off and the motherboard raised slightly in its slot.

NodeSwitch™ Relay, Solenoid, Motor and Lighting Controller: Background

The NodeSwitch™ RN-12v-10w-1 unit is an Arduino compatible controller that was created as a companion product for our radio equipped shade and blind motors. An RF (Radio Frequency) signal is used for transmission of the remote control signal, capable of passing through walls, and in most cases can reach anywhere inside a typical home. It can be used to control relays, solenoids, motors, lighting and other devices.

The 2 channel MiniMight™ output board is designed to be used as a reversing controller, but it can also be re-purposed and used as a simple ON/OFF switch to control other devices (such as relays and solenoids). If you want to add timing elements or design a 'one shot' or 'toggle' action, that can be done by reprogramming the Arduino™ microprocessor with a laptop or PC. This functionality is detailed in the advanced instructions for reprogramming the microcontroller, and will not be covered in this article. It is a simple procedure that uploads a file (downloaded from our website) via the USB port to the Arduino microprocessor on-board the NodeSwitch™ unit.

If you want to examine the program script code that is pre-loaded into the Arduino Nano for the on/off switching function described here, please go to the NodeSwitch™ Script Library and look at the script entitled NodeSwitch Relay, Solenoid, DC Motor ON/OFF with Optional Timed Operation, using both output channels combined.

The NodeSwitch™ controller is available in our online store

You can also extend your system to work with phones, tablets, PC or any other web enabled device, whether at home or away (and continue using your original hand held remotes in your home). The Vera™ system also supports Z-Wave™, Insteon™, x10™ and other control protocols, and it can be added at any time - you do not have to purchase it at the outset. Please see this article for further information: Vera™ control system.

Basic Operating Instructions for Remote Control ON/OFF Switching of Relays, Solenoids

Please note that the UP and DOWN buttons on the remote turn the the output on and off - the 'Stop' button on the remote is not used.

The unit has optional timed operation, one-shot mode, toggle mode, etc. Please see script library link above.

Connecting The Wires

The NodeSwitch™ controller is easy to connect and put to use immediately. Here is a summary of the basic steps you will follow:

  • Undo the 4 screws that secure the lid and remove it
  • Connect a 12 volt DC power source, observing polarity
  • Connect the relay, solenoid, motor or other device to the output screw terminals
  • Drill a small hole if you want the status LED to be exposed
  • Assign the NodeSwitch™ unit to one of the remote control radio channels
  • Re-attach lid with screws, mount the unit wherever desired

Connecting Wires to the NodeSwitch™ Terminals:

The most important item for installers are the 2 main screw terminal blocks: a 10 position unit for general connections (numbered 1 to 10), and a 2 position unit (numbered 11 & 12) for the dedicated PWM LED dimmer output. This article will only be concerned with the 2 output channels at positions 7, 8, 9, 10, and we will be combining the 2 motor channels into a single channel to boost the output to ~3 amps.

Starting at screw terminal #1 (see picture below), the sequence of connections is:

  1. Positive 12 volt DC power input, from external battery or power supply.
  2. Negative 12 volt DC power input, from external battery or power supply.
  3. Positive 12 volt DC output (self-resetting fuse triggers at 11 amps, resets at 7 amps). The positive lead from your LED lighting circuit would be connected here.
  4. +5 volt DC regulated output from pin 27 of the Arduino Nano, if you need to power external circuitry. This is also available on the breakout headers, as is the 3.3v regulated DC output from pin 17 of the Nano v3.
  5. Switched ground from power supply. This line is interrupted when the auto-off circuitry is triggered and will shut off anything connected here.
  6. Switched ground from power supply, same as pin 5.
  7. Motor A connection 1
  8. Motor A connection 2
  9. Motor B connection 1
  10. Motor B connection 2
  11. LED ground connection. The negative lead from your LED lighting circuit would be connected here.
  12. LED ground connection, same as pin 11.
  13. Trigger signal from RF remote control receiver board. This is not normally touched, but could be used with an alternate external 12v trigger signal.
  14. Trigger signal from RF remote control receiver board. Pins 13 and 14 reverse polarity, depending on whether UP or DN signal is transmitted from remote.

Arduino LED dimmer and motor controller motherboard

Here are the actual output and power connections, note the 2 jumpers that combine the 2 output channels into a single channel:

Arduino LED dimmer and motor controller motherboard

If you connect a polarized device such as a solenoid or 12v DC motor, if it operates in the opposite direction to what should be normal, simply reverse the leads to make it operate in the proper direction.

The LED status light header accepts any ordinary LED, and can be used to monitor the state of the controller; it operates in parallel with the status LED on the Nano v3 board, and is powered from pin 16 of the Nano board (referred to as D3, digital pin 13). We provide the header so you can insert an LED and drill a small hole to extend it through the lid if you want a visual indication of the controller status.

Assigning the NodeSwitch™ Controller to a Channel on the Remote Control:

Please follow this sequence to assign your controller to a specific channel on the hand held RF remote:

  • Locate the setting switch (at the top middle of the receiver carrier board). Press and hold it for a few seconds until you hear a series of short beeps.
  • Set the remote to the channel you wish to assign, then press the 'confirm' switch to activate the pairing. You will hear another series of confirmation beeps, indicating that the channel assignment is complete.
  • As a convenience, each motor is automatically assigned to the ALL group when it is paired with another channel. There is no need to assign it separately.
  • Please Note: The 'limit' switch inside the remote is not used and should not be pressed, or you may require a factory reset.

The NodeSwitch™ controller is available in our online store

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We sincerely hope you enjoy using these advanced motors; if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time!