View Full Version : SSR question

12-14-2013, 07:17 PM
I am trying to learn about SSR's, and trying to find out if there is any advantage of using them in my display vs just using the standard Renard controllers. My yard is not large, so I was not for sure what the advantages and disadvantages of using SSR's vs renard controllers might be if any. What is the difference in using SSR's vs renards? Is the price per channel cheaper?

12-14-2013, 07:32 PM
An SSR is a Solid state relay. When talking about Renard boards there are two main types. Those with built in SSR's and those that use external SSR's. I use both in my display. For item where It would be to hard to mount a full renard board but still want to control 4 channels I use an external SSR this then plugs into one of my boards which support an external SSR. I use ren24lvs, ren64s, and ren48lsds. So all depends on what you want to do and do you have all your stuff gathered together or are some pieces further away from others.

12-14-2013, 07:51 PM
Most of my yard pieces are less than 10-15 feet away from one another. Sounds like. I could use renards with built in ssr's just as easy. Is there a lower cost with the external ssr's, vs ones built in, or do they equal
out by the time you get everything needed?

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12-15-2013, 12:32 AM
I have both also. The main point for me is on board SSRs (standard Renard) require lots more extension cords. SSRs require lots more cat5 cables. Cat5 cables are cheaper than extension cords. As mentioned layout sometimes leans toward one or the other.


12-15-2013, 12:33 AM
It is mainly a preference. I like the versatility of the external SSRs. I have both AC SSRs and DC low voltage SSRs on the same controller. I do not need to purchase purpose built devices. IMO it is easier to swap out a 4 channel SSR than a 16 channel controller.

12-15-2013, 01:23 AM
A controller that has on-board SSR’s cannot be easily changed. It pretty much is what it is.

A controller that has off-board SSR’s has four 0-5 volt control lines that could be used to switch AC or DC voltage. They can be configured for high or low voltage. They can actually handle about 1 amp each without a heatsink and more depending on the type of heatsink.

If you know how to write your own programs I’ve seen these same four outputs used for stepper or servo motors. Using Charlieplexing, four outputs can control 12 outputs.

If you have a Renard 64, you have 16 ports that can potentially all be for totally different purposes.

Also if you have an off-board SSR that gets water in it or burns up for some reason, you only lose four channels. It can easily be replaced with a spare.

12-15-2013, 02:05 AM
Thanks for all thr replys, and help. I am going to havee to do some more research on them. It is something I would like to learn anyway. Next year i am going to incorporate another house in my display, so I could see sime benefit there. Time to take a longer look at the wiki.

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12-15-2013, 11:05 AM
Real simple decision for me. I run all AC LED Strings.
Centralized elements get a Renard with onboard SSRs. Example would be my megatree.
All of my decentralized elements are driven with a REN64.
The key point is that your SSR needs to be close to your elements because you most likely don't want to be running a lot of power cables. The tradeoff with decentralized elements is that you will have to run data cables.

However, the paradigm is now changing with wireless. You may want to wait and see what is developed over the next couple of months by the group. I suspect 2014's big change will be the ability to run both controllers and SSRs wireless.