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### Sensing 12v input using GPIO

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:47 am
Hello guys

I'm doing quite a large project in which I'm planning to control a spa from the raspberry PI.
I've got most of the things figured out but i'm stuck at the following problem.

I've got 4 12vdc lines that I need to sense whether they are powered or not and read this into the pi by gpio.
I've found on the web that I should ideally use an optocoupler for each line so I refrain from frying the PI.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to find a clear how-to for connecting the whole, as I've only done a couple of projects I'm still a bit wary of calculating resistors and such.

From my current knowledge I should do the following:
-> The optocoupler has a forward voltage of 1.2 V at 0,02 A
-> This means the 12+ should be connected to a 560 ohm resistor and that should be connected to the anode, the cathode should be connected to the negative pin. (does the wattage of the resistor matter?)
-> The emitter should be connected to ground and the collector to the gpio pin and to the 3,3v rail with a 10k ohm resistor in between.

Is that correct?
As an extra question how much power would such a setup draw from the 3,3 pins? I think I'm getting very limited in available power there

### Re: Sensing 12v input using GPIO

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:11 pm
12V=1.2V = 10.8V if R =560 then I = 10.8/560 = 0,0192 A or 19.2 mA close enough!

Wouldn't worry about the 0.33mA a 10K pullup would draw from the 3V3 device, when pulled low.

you are golden.

Two tips, a 100nF capacitor between the GPIO and GND would cure any glitches and most "key-bounce" problems that could occur, and a 560 Ohm resistor between the GPIO and the emitter of the optocouplers-isolator would prevent you could fry your GPIO if you accidentally program it to output 3V3, while the transistor of the optocouplers-isolator is open.

### Re: Sensing 12v input using GPIO

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:39 pm

So this should be correct?
schama 12v sensing.PNG (9.74 KiB) Viewed 4424 times

### Re: Sensing 12v input using GPIO

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:10 pm
Hi.

No you have R3 in the wrong place it needs to go between the GPIO and the point were R2 connects.

### Re: Sensing 12v input using GPIO

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:14 pm
yeah, i meant collector not emitter.

### Re: Sensing 12v input using GPIO

Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:33 pm
Okay thanks for the correction, so this should be it?
schema 12v sensing.PNG (10.29 KiB) Viewed 4301 times

### Re: Sensing 12v input using GPIO

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:52 am
Yes!

again, sorry for the confusion.

### Re: Sensing 12v input using GPIO

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:30 am
I think you also meant to say "while the transistor of the optocouplers-isolator is closed", or even better conducting, not open.

### Re: Sensing 12v input using GPIO

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:06 pm
No! I don't think I made a lapsus here..

I was learned that you can "steer a transistor open", that is you steer (send) current into it's base and the transistor "opens", meaning it starts to conduct current. But yes its a bit confusing because an "open switch" means that the switch does not conduct current.

But IMHO a transistor that is "open" is conducting, in normal parlor.

But I could be wrong... I guess its open to two interpretations.

### Re: Sensing 12v input using GPIO

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:30 pm
I've always used open/closed for a transistor in the switch sense ie on=conducting=closed and off=non-conducting=open. But there again I'm a self-taught hobbyist of 40 years, not the electronics pro I suspect you are... also that's why i suggested "conducting" may be less ambiguous.

### Re: Sensing 12v input using GPIO

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:58 am
yeah conducting would have been better.

By the way I have been "into electronics" for about 50 years, and a professional for about 40 years.
Also English isn't my native language, and so maybe I learned "steering open" in my native language, and it might not apply well to English.

Still I think you shouldn't apply terminology meant for switches to transistors, or things like Opamps, or for that matter Tubes.
When I think about it, I think I picked up "steering open" in relation to tubes where the grid is used to "open or close a path for the electrons" so steering open means leaving a conductive path open for the electrons.

### Re: Sensing 12v input using GPIO

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:56 am
The use of open/closed & my misunderstanding/its ambiguity seems to stem from whichever crude model you relate to: the plumbing model with a valve controlling the flow of water (open=on), or the electrical model of a mechanical switch (open=off).

### Re: Sensing 12v input using GPIO

Posted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:16 am
@mahjongg

Your use of '[steering] open' is definitely not something a native English speaker would understand; the phrase conveys the opposite of what you intend.

You're right that 'Conducting' would make your meaning clear. It's also common to refer to a conducting transistor as 'on', but that is less intuitive to a beginner.