Kevin Sangeelee

Raspberry Pi – Driving a Relay using GPIO
Posted on June 26, 2012 by Kevin Sangeelee

There’s something exciting about crossing the boundary between the abstract world of software and the physical ‘real world’, and a relay driven from a GPIO pin seemed like a good example of this. Although a simple project, I still learned some new things about the Raspberry Pi while doing it. There are only four components required, and the cost for these is around 70p, so it would be a good candidate for a classroom exercise. Even a cheap relay like the Omron G5LA-1 5DC can switch loads of 10A at 240V. A word of caution: don’t tinker with mains voltages unless you’re really (really) sure about what you’re doing. A mechanical relay allows a safe learning environment, since you can switch any load with it (e.g. a 9V DC battery/bulb circuit for testing), and the concept of a mechanical switch is very easy to grasp. A more efficient alternative to switch an AC load would be to use a solid-state relay (e.g. opto-coupled Triac), but it’s quite easy to make a wrong assumption and blow everything up with a loud bang and a big spark. I recommend sticking with mechanical relays until you’re entirely sure about what you’re doing. Tip: you can buy plug-in low-voltage AC power-supplies if you want to play with triacs.

The Circuit
There are four components to this circuit. A relay (5V DC coil), a BC337 NPN transistor, a diode, and 1K resistor. Essentially, the transistor is used to energise the relay’s coil with the required voltage and current. A relay will often have 3 significant voltage/current ratings specified; coil, AC load, and DC load. The most important to our circuit is the coil rating, which is the current at a specified voltage required to energise the coil (activate the switch), sometimes expressed as milliwatts (mW). The AC and DC load ratings relate to the switch-contacts, and state the maximum load current (e.g. for your lamp, motor, etc.) that can be carried at the given AC and DC voltages. DC loads are rated lower because they arc (spark) more, which eventually wears the contacts to the point of failure. In general, large loads need heavier contacts, which in turn need bigger coils to switch them, and bigger coils need more power from your circuit. Relays sometimes don’t fit easily onto a breadboard, so you might want to build the circuit on veroboard instead, or just mount the relay on veroboard and add two pins for the coil contacts (allowing you to breadboard it). Don’t ever put AC mains into your breadboard!

and emitter pins on your transistor. so check the datasheet.g. allowing the power to dissipate more gradually.Schematic for a relay via GPIO on the Raspberry Pi The GPIO pin used in the example code is GPIO_17. and therefore also through the relay’s coil. Essentially. Similarly. to activate the relay. through a 1K resistor (you may choose to increase this to 1. or you’ll short 5V to ground via the transistor when the GPIO is high. I’d recommend you double check these two components before . which appears on pin 11 of the Raspberry Pi’s 26-pin expansion header (opposite GPIO_18 (PCM_CLK) and beside GPIO_21 (PCM_DOUT)). c) the actual hFE of the transistor in your hand. The pin ordering varies by type. since they vary wildly and the current gain could easily be significantly more than the stated minimum. if an appropriate DC power supply is used rather than the Raspi’s 5V line. causing current to flow on the 5V rail through the transistor. Most general purpose NPN transistors with an minimum hFE of say 50 to 100 could be used in place of the BC337 – it will depend on a) how much current you’re willing to draw from the GPIO pin.3V from the GPIO pin. base. Although the pin is marked 3. This current is enough to saturate the BC337 transistor.3V on the schematic. The diode in the circuit is there to conduct the current generated by the de-energising coil back across the coil (e. Take care to orient the diode correctly.3V GPIO pin is driving a 5V load – it could also drive a 24V coil. don’t confuse this with the 3V3 pin – I labelled it with the voltage to highlight that a 3. take care to correctly identify the collector. The choice of GPIO 17 was simply because I considered it less likely to conflict with other peripherals likely to be in use. b) how much current is required to energise the relay’s coil. all the circuit does is send a few milliamps at 3.2K if you want to be strictly below 3mA). avoiding a voltage spike. for example. when switched off).

g.powering up. to make it correspond with the 26-pin header numbering. Using the relay via the ‘/sys’ filesystem Enable GPIO 17 access via the Kernel on path ‘/sys/class/gpio/’. If it’s likely to also spend some time as an input. then a resistor (10K would do) between the base and ground would ensure the transistor is fully off. Blue is 5V. Make sure you keep the resistor in the circuit (e. rather than having a floating voltage applied. The breadboard photo shows it wired up. The pin numbering on my IDC plug should be though of from above the connector. The green wire connects from GPIO 17 (pin 11 on the Raspi’s 26-pin header) to the transistor base via resistor R1. and configure it as an output pin: - echo "17" > /sys/class/gpio/export echo "out" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio17/direction View the current state of GPIO 17: - cat /sys/class/gpio/gpio17/value Set the state of GPIO 17 by writing “1″ for high (relay on) and “0″ for low (relay off): - echo "1" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio17/value echo "0" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio17/value . and brown is Ground. don’t just take a wire from 3V3 to the transistor’s base pin). You should hear a click as you connect/disconnect 3V3. You can test that the relay is working by disconnecting the wire from GPIO 17 (pin 11 of the 26-pin header) and touching it to 3V3 (pin 1). Note that the circuit assumes the GPIO pin will be configured as an output.

addr + 5) // Reserved @ word offset 6 #define GPSET0 *(gpio. see <> * * This is intended as an example of using Raspberry Pi hardware registers to drive a relay using GPIO.addr + 13) #define GPLEV1 *(gpio. As far as possible. The usleep(1) call has been used to create a short delay before reading the LEVn register to feed back the pin status.addr + 8) // Reserved @ word offset 9 #define GPCLR0 *(gpio.addr + 0) #define GPFSEL1 *(gpio.addr + 7) #define GPSET1 *(gpio. It’s all in one file for simplicity and for clarity. remove the pin from the control of the Kernel driver: - echo "17" > /sys/class/gpio/unexport The C Code Alternative The C source code below shows how to drive the relay using the GPIO peripheral’s hardware registers. /* * gpio_relay.c . but even if it’s 30ns.addr + 4) #define GPFSEL5 *(gpio.addr + 1) #define GPFSEL2 *(gpio. */ #include <stdio.h> #define IOBASE 0x20000000 #define GPIO_BASE (IOBASE + 0x200000) #define GPFSEL0 *(gpio. I've omitted anything that doesn't relate to the Raspi registers. * conventional ways of doing this using kernel drivers.addr + 14) #define BIT_17 (1 << 17) #define PAGESIZE 4096 #define BLOCK_SIZE 4096 .addr + 3) #define GPFSEL4 *(gpio.example of driving a relay using the GPIO peripheral on a BCM2835 (Raspberry Pi) * * Copyright 2012 Kevin Sangeelee.addr + 10) #define GPCLR1 *(gpio.Finally. This is because the rise time for a GPIO pin (the time for the voltage on the pin to rise to a level that’s considered ‘high’) is around 100ns to 3V. to use the C code instead.h> #include <fcntl.gnu.addr + 2) #define GPFSEL3 *(gpio. * Released as GPLv2. and is enough time to read the LEVn register before it has transitioned. though there’s not much to it.addr + 11) // Reserved @ word offset 12 #define GPLEV0 *(gpio. that’s 21 ARM clock cycles at 700MHz. Use a * risk or not at all.h> #include <sys/mman. The ‘high’ threshold is probably less than half that.

// Some forward declarations. void unmap_peripheral(struct bcm2835_peripheral *p).struct bcm2835_peripheral { unsigned long addr_p. int gpio_state = -1. int map_peripheral(struct bcm2835_peripheral *p). unmap_peripheral(&gpio). // Done! } // Exposes the physical address defined in the passed structure using mmap on /dev/mem int map_peripheral(struct bcm2835_peripheral *p) { // Open /dev/mem if ((p->mem_fd = open("/dev/mem". printf("GPIO 17 is %s\n".\n"). } if(map_peripheral(&gpio) == -1) { printf("Failed to map the physical GPIO registers into the virtual memory space.. force to zero) GPFSEL1 |= (1 << 21).. volatile unsigned int *addr. char *argv[]) { if(argc == 2) { if(!strcmp(argv[1]. struct bcm2835_peripheral gpio = {GPIO_BASE}.e. "off")) gpio_state = 0. "on")) gpio_state = 1. void *map. int mem_fd. register bit. //////////////// // main() //////////////// int main(int argc. // Mask out bits 23-21 of GPFSEL1 (i. // Set bits 23-21 of GPFSEL1 to binary '001' if(gpio_state == 0) GPCLR0 = BIT_17. usleep(1). }. (GPLEV0 & BIT_17) ? "high" : "low"). return -1.\n"). return -1. O_RDWR|O_SYNC) ) < 0) { printf("Failed to open /dev/mem. if(!strcmp(argv[1]. else if(gpio_state == 1) GPSET0 = BIT_17. } p->map = mmap( . try checking permissions. } /* Set GPIO 17 as an output pin */ GPFSEL1 &= ~(7 << 21). // Delay to allow any change in state to be reflected in the LEVn.

close(p->mem_fd). NULL. This entry was posted in Technical Stuff and tagged Electronics. BCM2835 Datasheet PADS Addendum – additional registers to configure the GPIO peripheral.c . // File descriptor to physical memory virtual file '/dev/mem' p->addr_p // Address in physical map that we want this memory block to expose if (p->map == MAP_FAILED) { perror("mmap"). If the pin fails to go high. References BCM2835 Datasheet – abbreviated datasheet for Broadcom SoC. } void unmap_peripheral(struct bcm2835_peripheral *p) { munmap(p->map. return 0.). and has other references to Gert Van Loo’s work./gpio_relay on high . BLOCK_SIZE). My I2C RTC Example – Gives some info on using mmap() to access IO Peripherals. PROT_READ|PROT_WRITE. MAP_SHARED. } p->addr = (volatile unsigned int *)p->map. raspi. p->mem_fd. Tutorial on Transistors – a guide to transistors by The Electronics Club./gpio_relay off low Note: there was an error in the original example code. RPi Low Level Peripherals . among others. BLOCK_SIZE. where it was initialising GPFSEL0 rather than GPFSEL1. Tutorial on Relays – a good beginners tutorial on relays by The Electronics Club. } The code can be compiled and run with root@pi:~# root@pi:~# GPIO 17 is root@pi:~# GPIO 17 is gcc -o gpio_relay gpio_relay. hardware. 38 Responses to Raspberry Pi – Driving a Relay using GPIO . maybe you’ve got the original code. Bookmark the page that gives more details on GPIO (and more). raspberry pi. return -1.

I got from Maplin: QR40T – 2N3904 transistor RP68Y – 6V 10A PCB Relay QL76H – 1N4004S diode M1K2 – 1K2 Metal Film 0. I was impatient and only had Maplin to hand so I used N18AW relay. the noble aims of the Raspberry Pi Foundation celebrated with such enthusiasm :) Reply mike says: July 9. 2012 at 1:52 am What’s the diode you used? Great post. I am making a build notification tool (lava lamp & buzzer alertion system .2Kohm resistor and a 2N3904 transistor. but most diodes would do (voltage and current conducted aren’t high when a 5V coil’s field collapses). a cheap 1. a cheap diode. Knocked one of these up last night – works a treat. 2012 at 6:58 pm Ah yes. I just used what was handy at the time. Thanks to Simon C for the exact parts details. Reply Simon C says: July 28.6W Resistor Hope this helps anyone else :) Reply Steve White says: August 19. Plan to make a Raspi controlled beer o’clock alarm for the office :D Reply Kevin Sangeelee says: July 3. 2012 at 10:46 am Great post. 2012 at 8:03 am Great post. 2012 at 11:57 am The diode happened to be a 1N4004. thanks Reply Kevin Sangeelee says: July 9. . 2012 at 10:56 pm Loved this post.Phil Lavin says: June 29. Was just over £3 in total.) The parts I used to build this. All mounted on some stripboard.

but a darlington array should be ok. Reply Michele says: September 12. The power requirement of the relay coils would need to be known. 2012 at 5:52 pm I’m wondering if all this will work with a darlington for an example – you can either compile and run from the shell. Google for “Relay Module Switch Board For Arduino” Mike Reply Kevin Sangeelee says: September 23. or use it as an example to incorporate into your own code. in total.Reply Mike Kelly says: September 8. You can get from 1 to 16 relays. such as uln2803 (which is basically the same thing. 2012 at 8:36 pm Hi! Nice word… Just a quick question… Is there a way to check the status of the gpio line using C language? I’m a total noob in C (but a great programmer in Delphi/Lazarus :P) Reply Kevin Sangeelee says: September 12. it’s worth pointing out that if you just need relay control and aren’t interested in learning how to do the electronics stuff yourself. and a separate power source provided if they exceed. 2012 at 6:05 pm I’ve not used that chip. you just need to read the LEVn registers (see datasheet) to get the actual level on the pin. 2012 at 8:39 pm Yes.3V though. they look like they will do the job. in an IC) it’s a bit of a risk to see if the uln2803 will work at 3. See another post I wrote here (http://www..3V as a ‘high’ signal will work directly with the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO outputs. then there are numerous cheap options available – in fact. any board that accepts 3. and would reduce the current requirement from the . Reply Adrian says: September 28. 2012 at 11:59 pm Thanks Mike – yes. 2012 at 10:19 pm Relay modules for Arduino coat about $1 per relay on eBay. the power available from the Pi.susa. we’ll see :P Reply Kevin Sangeelee says: September 28.

DC stuff (LEDs. 2012 at 3:46 am Hi Kevin I am attempting to use my Pi and this circuit to switch a garage door opener (GDO) with a 30V DC coil relay. it works perfectly :D 8 relays with one IC. but bear in mind that a line-driver will only switch DC loads. but in terms of energising a DC coil as per the post. 2012 at 6:14 pm Just to let you guys know. your DC power-supply grounds must be connected. 2012 at 6:50 pm Good news. they can provide enough current to drive most general purpose transistors for switching relay coils. Reply Adrian says: October 29. I don’t want to give advice on switching mains level voltages. Reply Kevin Sangeelee says: October 22. . Regardless. the ULN2308 IC arrived. you need to ensure that your transistor can switch the load required of the coil (given either as ohms. I have been using a SY-4080 SS Relay as a test relay (before connecting to the GDO) as it accepts 3V-32VDC – but will only trigger when I supply 5V. Richard.GPIO pins. 2012 at 12:44 pm yes. Reply Adrian says: October 22. Also. The GDO provides a Common (ground) and Relay (30V) connectors which when connected trigger the AC motor to open the door. not bad. you can drive motors and coils directly from the IC. without even the need of a relay. As you’ll be aware. the C-E voltage rating must be greater than the requirement of your coil. 2012 at 10:22 am Hi Richard. or mA – convert between them using Ohm’s Law). then the ground of this supply would need to be connected to the ground of the Raspberry Pi’s supply. I’m planning to use the relays on home appliances and lighting (AC. obviously). I have also tried a test of a 12V and no luck. mW. so they are necessary. and at whatever voltage i choose to input to the IC Reply Richard Stent says: September 30. Reply Kevin Sangeelee says: September 30. When I connect this/your circuit but provide 30V from the Relay (instead of 5V from the Pi) it does not want to work. etc) already work nicely. If you have a 40V DC supply to energise a 30V DC coil. motors. Your advise please. Also.

I now believe I need a mechanical relay that has a 5V coil (powered from the Pi and energized with the BC337 NPN transistor) that will allow me to switch this 30V DC contact load briefly (via GPIO on/off commands from my Pi program). All that is contained inside the GDO. connecting ‘relay’ (R) and ‘common’ (C) results in an internal relay energising.However. could easily kill your Raspberry Pi (and quite possibly even yourself). You’re essentially doing what the GPIO pin does when it goes high and low. Thanks for your help. I measured the voltage and current across the contacts (using a multimeter) and is it reads 30VDC and draws 76mA. Rest assured I am going no where near any AC mains level voltages. A mistake or misunderstanding on this. and the current through R->C is 76mA. Thanks for your help. Reply Kevin Sangeelee says: October 1. Reply Richard Stent says: October 1. The voltage across R->C is 30V. Regards Richard. and make that audibly click before moving on to anything else (and certainly before trying to control any domestic mains circuits). buy a relay with a 12V coil. when using mains AC voltage. whereas 30V DC contact rating would be very common. I’d try it first without the Raspberry Pi – just find a 3V3 or 5V supply. I am learning lots … but feel free to comment if I still don’t seem to get it. 2012 at 9:41 am Hi Kevin Thanks for your reply. Yes. 2012 at 12:45 pm If I understand correctly. Reply Richard Stent says: October 15. then connecting R to the transistor’s collector. I would think that I am trying to connect to (switch on) a 30V DC ‘contact’ as it is currently activating the relay/switch (inside the GDO) when the common and relay are briefly touched. . I’d recommend you find a 12V DC power-supply. so if it works. C to the emitter and to the Raspberry Pi’s Ground should be enough to drive the internal relay coil. If so. Richard. Don’t forget to join your ‘common’ and ground too. connect a resistor to the transistor’s base and then connect the other leg of the resistor alternately between +ve and ground of your supply. :-) Your site is very enlightening. 2012 at 4:07 am Hi Kevin Yes. I suspect that you’ve confused the contact rating (the switch) with the coil rating (the bit that flicks the switch) – a 30V DC coil would be very unusual. then it should work fine with the Pi. it is working now using the Pi and the (R) and (C) connections as you advised.

2012 at 8:29 pm It’s a perfectly reasonable question – the answer is that you can drive directly from a GPIO pin if you can find a relay that will energise with the current that the GPIO pins can supply (e. which is why the transistor is required. then you should be able to control it. then you’ll understand what’s required. sorry if this is a stupid question. thank you.g. Reply Kevin Sangeelee says: November 3. Reply David says: November 3. Can you explain or (give some overview?) how one would customize this for each GPIOx. Reply . 2012 at 10:19 am Hi Kevin Yes. 2012 at 7:20 pm Hi. it’s just a matter of setting the appropriate GPFSELn bits to ’001′ (so the corresponding pin functions as an output). The transistor conducts a relatively large current when a relatively small current is applied to the base pin – small enough to be driven by a GPIO pin on the Raspberry Pi. 2012 at 3:05 pm More of the same really.3V output from the GPIO pin? Reply Kevin Sangeelee says: October 18. but: why is the transistor required? Can’t you just switch a (3V) relay with the 3. Away on a ski holiday at present so apologies for the delayed reply. For the C code.0 512M boards. Most small relays require between 50mA to 150mA to energise. a lot less than 25mA). and using GPSETn and GPCLRn bits to set and clear the bits that relate to the pins you want to control. You might try connecting the transistor to a different pin. As long as you know which physical pin on the Pi is connected to the GPIO you’re using. Richard Reply Bos says: October 18.Reply richard says: October 9. As best I can tell there can be 17 to 21+ GPIO’s available in the new 2. I’m a total noob. The Bash approach makes it even more obvious – just replace 17 with the GPIO that you want to control. 2012 at 6:21 am Great outline. that is my way forward. Will let you know how I get on in a week or so.

-) Between the datasheet.wordpress. Wrote about it at http://saranga2000. is GPIO Input.g. over the next couple of weeks. An enhancement might be a darlington array chip to provide multiple high-gain transistors in a single package – neater than 16 x 3-pin transistors. A 16 channel driver is really just more of the same as what’s here (and written elsewhere). I plan to try out switching a simple led with a 5v relay before moving on to switching on AC circuits at home. Certain kernel drivers will reconfigure pins if loaded. PWM and other types ( I have yet to understand what these are). and if so you might need to prevent them loading (e. PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) peripherals generate high/low pulses of a specified width. need to be capable of energising 16 relays . The GPIO function select registers determine what peripherals (I2C.only as a thankyou to all the Giants (including you) on whose shoulders I stood today. we configure the required pin as a GPIO Output. and helped me be a little more confident as I wired up a led today ( without worrying about using/messing up a wrong pin). 2012 at 11:17 am Hi Vinod./gpio_relay 17 on ie .) are is connected to (is active on) a pin. PWM. The power supply would. 2012 at 9:38 am Thanks for this post Kevin ( most detailed one I saw on this topic anywhere online). read the datasheet to understand how the function-select bits work for each pin. The I2C and SPI peripherals are just for serial communications. 2012 at 5:28 pm Thanks for the detailed reply Kevin – was most so it’s more of an ‘exercise for the reader’ . etc. Can all the pins on the RPi be used – 17-21 like David says above? Most forums seem to indicate that only 5 odd are GPIO pins. Reply Kevin Sangeelee says: December 7. SPI. the schematic and the code. As a starting point. In short. For our application. blacklist them). and at a specified frequency – commonly used to generate a variable average voltage or to drive servos. 2012 at 10:33 am With respect to the C code above would it be possible to alter the code to take a variable input into the command line. Reply David says: November 4. most of the pins on the P1 header can be used for GPIO (some on other headers can be used too). I believe that the default state for any pin. it would be awesome if you can post a detailed tutorial like this one on driving a 16 channel 5V 10A relays using the RPi – something like http://www. unless you take steps in software to stagger them. for example so that is might work like .com/2012/12/07/raspberry-pi-hello-gpio/ . I got the led on/off via GPIO working today. and thanks to webiopi.Vinod says: December 7. others are I2C./gpio_relay x on where x is the particular pin being controlled? Reply . Reply Vinod says: December 7. all the information you need is there to extend this. of course. other than the UART. through a web interface – in about 30 minutes flat.

I did some debugging and saw that: 1. Is this it? Or am I doing something else wrong? If former. 2012 at 2:51 pm Hi Kevin.freeshell. I am able to light up a LED through the same circuit. 2012 at 3:00 pm You can try using a lower value resistor to the base. Ive been trying to get a circuit like above ( controlling a relay with the GPIO) to work. BC547B transistor 2. 1N4007 diode 3. I used 1. the RTC post has source-code that uses these). even among transistors of the same type. Note your link returns ‘permission denied’.net/wiki/doku. 2012 at 10:49 am Great post for beginners like me. Reply Kevin Sangeelee says: December 12. a local relay I got in a kit – that seems to indicate its a 6v relay ( pic attached). Reply Pingback: Getting Started w ith My Raspberry Pi – Part 1 : Blog Post Survey | Lasse Christiansen Development Michael Horne says: December 7. Circuit and Relay spec pics are here: http://kannvin. to make sure that the transistor is reaching saturation – you could use your 470R instead. 2012 at 11:17 am Hi David. which contain the ‘count’ and ‘values’ of parameters respectively.Kevin Sangeelee says: November 4. I wired up the exact same circuit but with different parts ( using what I had with me).3V pin. yes it’s easy to get at parameters from the command line – define main with ‘int argc’ and ‘char *argv[]‘ parameters (for reference. and passing the 5v through a 470ohm resistor through led 2. Reply . the relay itself is working – i get a clicking sound if I connect the 5v pin and ground directly to the leads of the relay. You might also try a another transistor.php?id=personal:journal:2012-12-12-144621 I don’t get the clicking sound with the base connected through a 1K ohm resistor to the 3. what should I do different to drive the relay. since the actual gain varies wildly. removing the diode. Please help. Thanks :-) Reply Vinod says: December 12. You can use the printf() function to display the parameters if you want to experiment a bit. What am I doing wrong – the only thing I can think of is the BC547B is not able to power up sufficiently to turn on the 6V relay.

Vinod says: December 12. because there’s still a transistor driving the relay’s coil. Glad you figured it out. 2012 at 4:09 pm I just figured out what the problem was – I had the Emitter and Collector swapped. but not a perfect symmetry. and consider that a bipolar transistor is made from two diodes – there are plenty of sources on the net that will explain the details better than I could. A higher current through the base may actually drive it to saturation. just not so well (hence a small current flows. The protection diode allows the induced voltage to drive a brief current through the coil (and diode) so the magnetic field dies away quickly rather than instantly. Reply Kevin Sangeelee says: December 12. 2012 at 12:06 am This is nicely explained in the “Tutorial on Relays” (linked in the References) – “Current flowing through a relay coil creates a magnetic field which collapses suddenly when the current is switched off. It works now. Can you please explain the purpose of the diode in this configuration? Would the diode still be required if a darlington array were used? Cheers! Reply Kevin Sangeelee says: December 20. The relay spec and circuit should now be accessible at http://kannvin.” It’s still required for a darlington pair. enough to drive an LED but not enough to drive a relay). To understand more you need to read about doping of diodes. 2012 at 5:18 pm There’s a symmetry in an NPN transistor. 2012 at 11:59 pm Thanks for posting this! Great place to start for a noob like me. The sudden collapse of the magnetic field induces a brief high voltage across the relay coil which is very likely to damage transistors and ICs. Reply scott says: December 19. So it will work similarly when connected in reverse like you did.freeshell. Reply SusaNET Proudly powered by WordPress.php?id=projects:rpi . . Thanks for your prompt help Kevin. This prevents the induced voltage becoming high enough to cause damage to transistors and ICs. Although interestingly I was able to light up an LED even with the E & C