let's start with apologizing for my lack of knowledge and subsequent mistakes, I'm just getting started.

The Situation

I have a remote receiver (from a kids toy) that outputs between 1.45-2V when triggered. The polarity of this output also changes (used to control motor rotation). I would like to use this output as an input trigger for activating a 12V circuit. This input voltage is obviously too low to directly control the relays (coils require 0.89A @ 9V / 0.66A @ 12V) (and the current draw from the 12V motor would be way to high for the receiver circuitry - max 6A).

I am able to control the direction of the 12V motor using 4 12V relays in an H-bridge configuration by manually triggering the appropriate relays, i.e forward = trigger Rel1 & Rel2, take note that the relay coils are not polarity sensitive.

Basic H Bridge

  • Problem 1

How do I boost the output from the receiver to a voltage high enough to trigger the relays? Keeping in mind that the polarity switches. As far as I could tell, a simple DC to DC step up would only work if the input polarity remains constant. Perhaps another H bridge consisting of a few diodes and transistors could rectify the polarity before pushing into the step up converter?

  • Problem 2

If I do manage to get the voltage up, how do I correlate the original polarity to which relays to close, due to the relay coils not being polarity sensitive?

I'm trying stay away from microprocessors and motor control boards so as to get a better understanding of the logic involved in this type of circuit. So I'm not so much concerned with the easiest way of achieving the desired outcome.

Any advice or steering in the right direction would be appreciated.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The cheapy Arduino relay boards should work for you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kartman
    Apr 22, 2021 at 11:41

1 Answer 1

  1. You don't. You have a battery available to power your motor. You can use the same battery to power the relays and simply use the output from the receiver as a signal. Optocouplers would be ideal for this as the LED inside is polarity sensitive and thus will only work in one direction. You can then use the optocoupler output to switch the relays. Galvanic isolation between the receiver and the motor circuit comes as an extra bonus:


simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab

The circuit above would turn on relay 1 and 2 when activated. A second, identical, circuit would control relay 3 and 4 but the SIGNAL1 and SIGNAL2 wires coming from the receiver would be reversed so it works with current flowing in the other direction.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you referring to the current draw the coils need to operate or are you referring to the current that the motor will be drawing through the relays? \$\endgroup\$
    – Cody
    Apr 22, 2021 at 12:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Cody The current the relays require to operate. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 22, 2021 at 12:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Question has been updated :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Cody
    Apr 22, 2021 at 12:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Cody Updated the schematic. Those relays require a hefty amount of current so I changed the switching transistor to a N-Channel MOSFET. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 22, 2021 at 13:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you very much for your help. Didn't even know optocouplers are a thing. Thanks for teaching me, I hope you have a great week further. (I don't have enough rep to vote you as the answer) \$\endgroup\$
    – Cody
    Apr 22, 2021 at 13:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.