Blog

Protect Your Loads with our RIB® Prepackaged Circuit Breaker Switches

It is always a good idea to protect your loads from short circuit and over current problems. However, sometimes your loads, transformers, or even your controllers do not come equipped with this necessary protection. You can protect...

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550 VA UPS Power Supply Kit with BACnet® Communication

Functional Devices manufactures a series of UPS backup power supply kits for use in critical controller applications. All models come prepackaged in a metal enclosure with an interface board and status LEDs for convenience...

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Using RIBs® in a Laundry Facility

I answered a call from a technician in the field recently who wanted status feedback on clothes dryers in a small laundry facility. The technician wanted to monitor the current flow of three different dryers. If one or more dryers became active, a booster fan should also be activated to pull the exhaust air out...

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Finding a RIB® Relay for Obscure Voltages

Occasionally we get calls about controlling an unusual voltage with our RIB® relays. Finding a relay with oddball voltages can be incredibly difficult, especially if you want a prepackaged one with transient suppression and an LED indicator. Voltages could be 5V Transistor-Transistor Logic (TTL) signals from computers or microprocessors, 18V for renewable energy applications or 16.4V for railroads. But what if it got more difficult? What if...

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Normally Closed Current Sensors

Occasionally a customer will call our Technical Support to ask if we offer any Normally Closed (N/C) current sensors. While it is true that all of our self-powered AC current sensors only offer a Normally Open (N/O) Solid State contact, we do carry several relay & AC sensor combinations that can be configured to function as powered N/C current sensors...

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All American

There could be many reasons to take pride in your job. For me, pride is experienced in the fact that our products are designed, tested, and manufactured right here in the United States of America.

Need to call in for help with an install? Need to send...

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Emergency Lighting with Dimming Control

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about two of our UL924 Emergency Lighting Bypass / Shunt Relays (models ESRB and...

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Using RIB® Products in a Fountain Pump Application

I recently had a customer call into our Technical Support team with a unique problem, hoping we could help him devise a solution. After he explained his needs, I was confident that some configuration of our products...

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The City of Kokomo

Functional Devices is located in Sharpsville, Indiana, but we are also just south of Kokomo, "The City of Firsts". Even though our RIB® products are...

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Dry Contact RIB® Relays Stop Voltage Drop

Wireless technology is a fantastic thing. It allows people to control devices that are hundreds, if not thousands, of feet away. But what if wireless isn’t reliable enough? What if wireless is too expensive? What if you want a hardwired solution? No one wants to run thousands of feet of wire. That’s expensive...

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Using a BACnet® Compatible RIB® Relay

Building automation controllers can be quite expensive, and purchasing one just to add a couple more points on the network may not be ideal. Luckily Functional Devices has a solution for these cases – using...

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Using RIB® Sensors with Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)

On my last technical support day, I received a few questions about whether our RIB® current sensors work well with variable frequency drive (VFD) motor...

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RIB® Relays in 2017

Dear Diary,

It’s a new year full of new resolutions and experiences. New resolutions come with new hopes, new dreams and new opportunities. I’m looking forward to the chance to make better decisions this year and impact my community and the environment in a more positive way. That is how...

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Navigating our Website to Pick the Perfect RIB®

In this week’s Tech Tuesday blog post, I thought it might be helpful to give an overview of Functional Devices’ website. There is a lot of useful information available to help you pick the right RIB® device or realize an application. I will point out some of the key sections of our website, so you can find the information you...

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Navigating our Datasheets

With as many devices as we offer, it may feel like quite an accomplishment when you narrow it down to a few options! After that, the concern comes to the specifications of the device and how to differentiate them from one to another. In this week’s Tech Tuesday post, I would like to help you better navigate our data sheets in order to quickly determine the correct device for...

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The Best Choice for UL924 RIB® Relays

Functional Devices knows that versatility is a big benefit when it comes to products for the engineering, installation and maintenance fields alike. For the engineers writing the specs, having one go-to product for a vast array of applications is a must. For the installer, having the flexibility to change the wiring for a system on the fly is key. For the maintenance men, adjustments to installations is necessary. Let’s take a look at one of our UL924 Emergency Lighting Relays, model ESRN, designed with...

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Transformers

Most people are aware that Functional Devices offers RIB® relays, current sensors and power supplies, but fewer people know that we also carry an extensive line of transformers...

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Using RIB® Current Sensors with ECMs

From time to time, we receive technical support calls and emails about whether our current sensors are compatible with ECM loads. With many motorized loads utilizing an ECM, this is a valid question. Not too long ago this question led our engineering team to conduct our own research and testing, and we determined that our RIB® current sensors could indeed sense an ECM load being activated. That research and testing was...

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I/O Expanders and Sequencers

The RIBMN24Q Series of I/O Expanders and Sequencers can be very useful. I would like to focus on the RIBMN24Q4C-PX today. This device is the coolest of them all from this series, in my...

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Zone Valve Control

Problem: About a week ago, a contractor called into tech support looking for help to get his customer’s new heating system up and running. The customer had a hydronic heating system that consisted of a boiler...

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PSH500A AC Power Supplies

Many of our past Tech Tuesday blogs have featured different RIB® relays that we produce. From the simple to the more “smart” relays, we offer quite a variety! Maybe you’re asking yourself: "Does Functional Devices make more than RIB® relays?" That’s a great question because we do! This week I would like to zoom in on some of our power supplies that are quite popular: the PSH500A family of AC power supplies....

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Get to Know RIB

This week’s blog post is a little bit different. We would like for you to get to know the RIB® product line in a new way – using a RIB® themed crossword puzzle!

Feel free to download the document and fill it out! Most of the answers can be found at www.functionaldevices.com. If you need help, contact our Technical...

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Energy Saving Applications

Whether it is for environmental or monetary reasons, many people constantly look for ways to save energy. I am one of those people, and I have implemented many energy saving technologies in my own home. I have automated lighting, a smart thermostat which controls a high efficiency heat pump, and many energy saving appliances. These additions have cut my average monthly electric bill by about 10%. While that might not be a lot of money back in my pocket, big energy users like office buildings and hotels can realize large savings...

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Functional Devices Plastic Mounting Track

The devices that we make are not always prepackaged in gray plastic enclosures. In order to make our products more panel friendly, we have developed track mount versions of our popular RIB® relays and other devices. A panel builder or panel shop can effectively utilize the valuable space by grouping together our devices using our panel track. This helps make wiring and panel layout neat and tidy. In this week’s Tech Tuesday post, I want to discuss Functional Devices’s very own Snap Track and AdapTrack®, noting the...

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Engineering Roles at Functional Devices

I want to spend this week discussing the role of our Engineers here at Functional Devices, particularly as it relates to our customers. If you have been reading our blog posts over the past few months, you may have noticed that there are three of us who are writing. Sam, Henry and I only represent a fraction of the Engineers, but all of our roles are similar. Our responsibilities can be broken down into three...

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Double-pole Relays in Latching Applications

Problem: When a customer calls into Technical Support and starts to ask me questions about our latching relays, I know the question that they are usually working up to. “I see you have latching relays with 12 Vac/dc and 24 Vac/dc coils, but I do not see any with a higher coil voltage. Do you have any?”

Solution: It is true that our RIB® latching relays...

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RIB® Current Sensors

Many technical calls that I have answered have been in regards to our RIB® current sensors and the different features these popular little devices have. In this week's Tech Tuesday blog entry, I would like to give a general overview of the RIB® current sensors and include an explanation of the different features that I highlight during a technical call. I hope that reading this week's post gives you a better understanding our RIB® current sensor devices. Choosing the right model from the start will save time, money, and a possible "doh" along with a bump to your forehead with your palm after talking to our technical support about why your current sensor...

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Our BACnet RIB® Devices are now BTL Certified

Our customers’ time is valuable. That’s why we don’t want you spending time troubleshooting our BACnet® RIBs® in a system with devices from multiple vendors. The BTL Mark assures that our devices have passed the industry standard conformance tests that allow them to work interoperably with other BTL Certified devices, including controllers, thermostats, occupancy sensors and more.

Using BTL Certified devices makes the integration of a BACnet® system...

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Tech Tuesday: Controlling a Closet Light with RIBs

Problem: This past week, I had two customers call in for help using an RIBU1C to control a closet light. That is a legitimate question because, after all, the device between a low voltage switch and a high voltage load is commonly a relay. The problem is that using an RIBU1C as a closet light controller, requires a stepdown transformer..

Solution: Use a CLC (Closet Light Controller) Series RIB®

Fortunately, we design our RIBs for all types of applications, including controlling...

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Tech Tuesday: A Delayed Bathroom Exhaust Fan

Problem: Our customer needed a bathroom exhaust fan to come on when the light turned on, but wanted the fan to continue operating for a time after the light was turned off (to clear the air).

Solution: Use a RIB® Current Sensor and Delay on Break (DOB) Time Delay Relay per...

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Tech Tuesday: Versatility of Dry Contact Input RIB® Relays

I consider frogs to be rather intelligent creatures. Ask one how to activate a flood light when a garage door opens, and it will respond “RIB-it.” Ask another how to activate a damper when a hood fan is energized, and yet again, the response is “RIB-it.” Seems we could learn a thing or two - even from a frog! If there is a specific family of RIB® devices that a frog is referring to, I’d like to think it is the dry contact input line of relays. These devices have proven to be quite versatile in the field, and I find myself suggesting...

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Tech Tuesday: Differential Pressure Switch Lockout Relay

Recently I had a request for a Differential Pressure Switch Lockout Relay. The customer wanted the HVAC unit to stay off once the Differential Pressure Switch (DPS) measured above the acceptable limit across an air filter...

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Tech Tuesday: Make-up Air Required for Range Hoods

I am installing a large range hood for a customer, and I need a way to open a make-up air damper whenever the hood is on. Is there a RIB® product that can help me?

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Tech Tuesday: Making the Impossible Possible with RIBs® in Niche Applications

The thing I like most about handling Tech Support calls is hearing a customer say, "You probably don't have a solution for my application because I can't find anyone who does," and then actually having a solution for them. I can always visualize their contorted, yet enthusiastic facial response as they say, "Really?!" Chances are you have been in a tight spot at one time or another and a RIB® has gotten you out of it.

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Tech Tuesday: Automating a Motorized Projector Screen

Part of the responsibilities as an engineer at Functional Devices is to answer the technical support calls and emails that come in to the office. Calls can sometimes be routine – from confirming device specifications and device operation to giving a RIB® suggestion to the individual’s problem they may have.

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Tech Tuesday: EnOcean® Relays

In a recent support email, a customer inquired about our EnOcean® enabled RIB® devices, which utilize EnOcean’s® wireless technology. The customer wanted to know whether cross talk was an issue, which is a common question we receive. Specifically, the customer planned to install more than 20 in a single room that were linked in three groups and was concerned because he did not understand how the devices communicated with each other...

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