A Two Point Process Controller or Temperature Controller would look like this. When a High-Low Alarm Protection for uC based Controller was needed the same was modified and used.

Sometimes uC based instruments just forget and that can be costly, the watchdog timer has solved this problem. In Industrial Process Control we cannot take any chances, so a two tier or even three tier protection is required, especially so if the Job or Raw material being processed is expensive. So Real Time Analog Trip + uC Controller is safe. Then you can still have Electro Mechanical Devices for Extra protection against Fire or Meltdown.

Two Setpoint Temperature Controller

Temperature is the most common process parameter, Pressure seems to be next. Flow, Level, RPM, Distance and many more follow.

When a physical parameter let us say distance is measured, we first need a sensor that converts it into electrical values, digital or analog. The sensor used for length is a Linear encoder and it creates the electrical information for the DRO to Display.

Now many sensors like a strain gauge produce very low and weak signals and some are non-linear. So the signals undergo Amplifying, Temperature compensation and Linearizing together called Signal Conditioning. This stage outputs some standard values like 4-20mA, 0-10 V, 1-5V, or even directly digital or wireless in the new technologies. Even when a digital interfacing standard is used, amplification and some signal conditioning is required at sensor end. Compensation and Linearizing can be better done with a uC using Math or Look up Tables.

When you have many different parameters then it is better to use process controllers with a 4-20mA input standard. Then the inventory of controllers can be reused for any process.

It is always better to use sensor-end transmitters to get 4-20mA to your Controller, Recorder or SCADA System.Weak signals are corrupted by noise and dont travel long wire distance. Junction EMF at joints and terminal blocks add to errors. These are overcome by the 4-20mA signal that has the juice and punch to transmit the data over the shop floor to the control panel rooms.

Read more here Temperature Measurement and Control

This is an Application note i used to give with my ssr – app012.pdf – Ananth

Diagram of SSR 5000 DC 3-30 Control / 230V AC N.O. @ 3A.

This is a Thyristor Based Normally Open 230V Switch that can be turned on / off at a fast rate. This switches at Zero Crossover . Use 5V DC for Best Results.

PCB SSR Wiring

  • No moving parts hence no wear and tear.
  • Dissipates Heat when in On Condition 5 Watts @ 3 Amps.
  • Mount with adequate Air Ventilation for 3 Amps.
  • Dissipation is 1.4 Watts per Amp thru Load.
  • Input to Output is optically isolated 1kV.
  • This one is DC 3-30 Control AC 230V N.O. Output.
  • Off state snubber Leakage is around 1 mA.

Notes –

The Termination’s of High Current Lines going to Load must be very tight and crimped. Loose contacts will Spark and cause Fire.

Fast Blow Fuse is to be used. Use a 2 Amps Fuse with Holder in the Hot Line.

This is a DC Input DC Output SSR Solid State Relay. It was made for Printing or Photo Processing Equipment. It has an optical isolation and can be used for inductive loads.


The R1 Limits current and Z1 and D1 protects. The 2N3904 limits current in the Opto-Led. When the LED in CNY17-3 turns on, the Light passes thru a electrically insulating area and falls on the photo-transistor in the opto-coupler. This transistor conducts biasing Q2 PNP power transistor. Then Q2 drives Q3 to saturation, turning it on. Q3 is a High-Voltage and High-Power rugged device. This can derive a solenoid, DC motor or Lamp.

DC Load DC Control SSR

This is a Normally Closed PCB Mount SSR. That means when DC Control input is low, the triac is ON, the output passes the load current to turn on small heater-motor-lamp or a bigger contacter-drive etc.

NC Solid State Relay or SSR

When input DC is high the output is OFF. This is also Optically Isolated from Mains. A Microcontroller output which is buffered by some driver can drive this relay. It is better that in big systems these SSR Modules can be on another PCB, to avoid mains wiring near Logic circuits. But this cannot be used for medical electronics, or critical applications. More reliability and visual isolation of voltages may be required for such equipment.

NC AC Load SSR DC control

EMI RFI Filters are required in two situations, to prevent EMI from an Electronic Equipment Like A Dimmer, Thyristor Drive, SMPS or Switcher affecting other Modules in a System or Neighboring Equipment. The Second Situation is when a Sensitive Equipment Like a Medical Apparatus or Precision Measuring Instrument has to be Immune to any Noise from outside, as it can affect performance. EMI RFI Filter

Sometimes it is Accuracy that can get affected, but some electrical jolts can damage or desensitize fine sensors or positioning systems.

On the right you can see a Filter that i used to make long ago, This is connected in series with an Existing Mains Chord. It can also be Fixed in a Control Panel with a Clamp. One Y cap is Missing in this Piece. The Big one must be the X cap a higher Capacitance Value. The Y cap is Lower Value and withstands around 1kV, It is better if X cap is AC 440V.

Related Resources

This was a Fire Retardant Plastic Box which was made for the SSR I/O Stackable Modules. DC Control for an AC Load. Usually it is to control another Big Three phase contactor;

Pneumatic or Steam Valve, Solenoids-Motors. When Mounted at the end of the PCB it offers over 2kV Isolation from the Digital Circuits. The Output 230V signals NO-NC, can control Light Loads like the Coil of a Big 230V Relay also called contactor.


It could be Mounted on a PCB by soldering or a Plugin Base. It is better to have Crimped connections or Terminals. A very good quality spring Loaded Socket may also work but it has to be rated for many operations. Things like Nickle Alloy Plated, Beryllium Copper were the Materials Jargon. A contact resistance in the Terminals, a mismatch of alloys, electrochemical reactions, Corrosive Fumes, Brine or High Humidity can build a Loose connection into a Dangerous Sparking Contact.

Not only the Functionality of the SSR will be affected in a Sparking Contact, but a Risk of a Fire Developing. When Inflammable Materials or Volatile Liquids are Present Nearby, the risk is even greater.

Read More – Solid State Relays SSR

This is a Regulated 0-30 V DC Power Supply manufactured by me in small numbers, 0-30V 5A and 5V -5A. It had a Switching Preregulator. This keeps the Vce across Transistor Bank at the Back of Instrument, at the lowest possible level, in order to keep them Cool. When Vce and Ic both are more in a Power transistor it will get heated more, then the efficiency of power supply is low.

Variable Regulated Power Supply

The Output had both Constant Current Control and Constant Voltage Control. The CC control is also a Short circuit protection. The Output was protected from outside voltages damaging output circuits even when equipment is switched off. The back panel is a finned anodized black aluminum heat sink with many transistors.

I looked for the circuits to scan them, i could not find it. I made-n-sold quite a few of them years ago. All of them work well even today as i over-rated most components. The cabinet was Steel for EMI-RFI Immunity, it was painted with Stipple Matt Powder Coating, the Cabinet maker had just learnt to give such a finish to his boxes.

Read more

Study these applications at IRF Applications and ST Application Segments.

This was a Beta Hfe and Vce Measuring Instrument used in Incoming Inspection of Power Transistors made by me 16 years back.

Transistor Beta Tester

Custom Built Test Instruments

I designed and built many custom “engineered” Test Instruments. They were not prefect, as only one or two were fabricated. That means it will be costly to produce such instruments. It is just like tooling, you have to make some numbers to recover costs, or price it very high to compensate for the wastages and iterations.