Digital Timer Control of a Linear Actuator

We will be going over how to use one of our Digital Programmable Timers to control the extension and retraction of a linear actuator with the help of a 12V Relay. Our digital timer allows up to 17 different time schedules to be set, meaning it will make the actuator extend and retract based on when the clock matches the user set time. This doesn’t require any coding as all the control is done with the timer, all we need for it to function is a 12V power source that can handle at least 5A of current for the linear actuator.

First we need to do some wiring with the relay, which will create a half bridge. When the relay is in its default position it is deactivated and to activate it you need to apply 12V of power to Pin 8 on the relay. In this case we are going to set the default position of our linear actuator to be fully retracted, that way once we activate the relay the actuator will activate as well, causing it to extend. In order for that to happen we first need to wire our actuator to the relay. First connect Pin 1 to Pin 4, Pin 4 to the 12V power source, Pin 2 to Pin 3, Pin 3 to Pin 7 and Pin 7 to GND. After that you can connect the actuator wires to Pins 5 and 6. If the actuator starts to extend then just flip the connections on Pins 5 and 6 to make sure the default position is retracted.


Now it’s time for the main portion, connecting the digital timer. When you wire the timer to a 12V power source its ON times (we will go over these later) will coincide with the relay activating. Some soldering is required here for connecting the timer to the relay. If you turn the timer over you will see two wiring ports, Switch and Power. The wires will need to be soldered to the timer and arranged like this; 12V and GND connect to the Power side while 12V and Pin 8 connect to the Switch side.


Once all the components are wired and ready to go we can test the actuator to make sure everything works. Press the MANUAL button on the digital timer to activate it, the orange light should turn on and the actuator should start to extend. As stated earlier our timer allows 17 different times to be set for the actuator to activate, we’ll be going over how to program and set a time now. First we need to program the current day and time. Notice the D+, H+ and M+ buttons under the screen, these are to edit the Day, Hour and Month respectively. Just hold down the Clock button in the middle of the bottom row of buttons and press each + button until you are satisfied with the time.


To program and set a time for the actuator to extend first press the P button under the screen. On the screen in the bottom left there should be a small number with ON or OFF below it. Pressing the P button a second time will start to list through options 1 ON, 1 OFF, 2 ON, 2 OFF and so on up to 17. These ON, OFF numbers represent the program number with ON activating the relay and OFF deactivating it. After picking a number, let’s say 1 ON, then use the + buttons to set a time for that number. Once that time is reached the actuator will extend. If you make a mistake and need to start over just press the C/R button on the bottom right. Once finished with programming times just press the Clock button to go back to the current time.

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