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DTF Mini shaker relay and other concerns.


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I’ve had my mini shaker for around 7 months, and while it has worked really well- I have ran into a few issues. This isn’t limited to the ones Andy sell, but rather all of them of similar design ( which is basically all of them).  I am not knocking them in anyway, im sure they will work for many people as-is. But these are my experiences:
 

1. my take up motor quit working well, it would work on and off. Turns out a relay wire had melted in two, and was no longer providing ground, so the unit was grounding to the case to function at the power port for the take up motor, which definitely isn’t ideal- meaning the unit continued to function with a bad ground, running current through the ground designed to protect me.  
 

2. The other relay ( heater relay) had severe scorch marks all over the inside, with carbon built up on the contacts. Meaning, the more carbon, the more resistance, more heat and arching- making it worse and worse. Eventually it would have melted and potentially caused other sever issues, especially if not completely watched over while on. 
 

3. After severe use, I have noticed a major issue, at least if you are not aware. DTF ink in general, as it evaporates and “ cures” the ink, once that evaporated “water” cools, it turns into a oily goo. I have a 6” fan on my units sucking the fumes out. Over time, and build up of this, it condensates on the heater unit “lid” and drips down, on the inside where you can’t see. As it builds up, it runs down the sides of the unit( down inside the front electrical panel too), and even drips into the powder portion, ruining the powder it touches. If you don’t remove the ruined powder, and recirculate it back into the hopper like this, it clogs the powder holes, and ruins more powder and creates a large mess.  It does have a “ drip tray” at the back half of the unit, but it is just designed to drip into the powder hole. When I removed the hoses going to the fan, I found another big surprise. About half a liter to a liter of this oily goo, dumped out all over the ground. So basically, in my view of things, whatever it is, isn’t water, ( if there is water, that may just evaporate away, this isn’t water though). So the units need cleaned regularly. I ran this unit for 3 months, maybe 6-8 liters of ink in total and it was pretty bad. 
 

4. the power wire inside the unit, as it runs into the metal portion, there isn’t a rubber grommet. The coating on the power wires is very soft, so while I was cleaning the unit I also found a 120V leg of the wire coating half cut into from the sharp “circle” edge. Mind you, the unit was also grounding to itself because of the bad relay- so this would have been bad, for me too if I was touching it and it cut all the way through the wire, possibly damaging some of the circuitry and expensive power supply.
 

 

all in all, they work well. But I STRONGLY recommend doing the following:

1.replace and toss the old clone relays. These are Chinese clones included with the units, which are poorly made and dangerous in my opinion. You can buy a name brand quality Omron branded relay for about $10 each, which will last a LONG time in comparison, and more than likely won’t start a fire. Forget about buying them on eBay and Amazon, most if not all of them are fakes, clones, etc. there are a ton of videos on these clone relays and they are dangerous. Some people bench testing them under the rated current experienced melting, smoking, and fire. Testing the quality “ original” showed the real difference, since they worked as they should. To me, this is VERY important, since the relays are very important and control the heater unit. 
 

2. clean the unit regularly, watch for the oily drippings and clean it up accordingly. Clean the exhaust hose/fan at least once a month depending on usage. 
 

3. Add a grommet to the power (220v) wire inlet on the underside of the unit. It should be there anyway, and will prevent the “shaking” from rubbing the wire until it shorts out. May just have been missing on mine, it’s worth a look. 
 

4. Never leave it unattended while on for precaution. 

 

they are great units and do suffer from a few downfalls, but it’s easily remediated and offers a great introduction into DTF. I made several thousand transfers before these issues occurred, bringing me at least $30,000 in gross sales, on a $1700 unit. Spend another $30 or so and have a regular cleaning schedule and you won’t have the issues I mentioned above and it should work for a very long time. If you aren’t comfortable with replacing relays and doing a few things here and there, I wouldn’t recommend any of these ( large ones included) to you. Sticking to the basic sheet print and oven cure method would be best. 
 

overall, just pointing out the things to be aware of, at the very least replace the relays with some quality name brand relays- they are snap in and easy to change. 

Edited by johnson4
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5 hours ago, elliotiscool said:

This is the stuff that most people don't talk about when it comes to these systems. I was planning on getting one of these in the coming months. Thank you so much for sharing.

Not a problem, it’s a great machine, just gotta watch out for those cheap relays, and check the wiring going into the unit. Maybe mine was just missing the rubber grommet, who knows. I’m buying a 2nd one once Andy gets them in. Either way, it’s still well worth it. 

 

I’ve ordered from a few electronics places, to see if I’m getting the correct genuine Omron relays, if so, I’ll post a link to them. I’ll also abuse them in “ bench” testing. 
 

Literally, they are $3 more than the knock off relays. 

personally, seems like a solid state relay would work better, for the heating element anyway. I’ll test and check though and report back :) 

Edited by johnson4
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5 hours ago, anum11 said:

I was planning on making one, valueable information for me.

im also going to try and build a “ filter/drip box” to put inline with my hose to try and catch all the fluid, so instead of disassembling everything I can just empty the box and clean the filter. something like that anyway. 

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For anyone curious, since i wasn’t sure either, 

 

the mini shaker uses a power converter, which converts a standard 110V outlet to 220V to run the mini shaker. with everything in full power, at the outlet, it pulls 1200W from the 110V outlet. So the converter is pulling 1200W to run the unit when the heater etc is all on. 

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So just an update- I received my Genuine Omron relays today for the Mini shaker. 

First thing I noticed, they weigh over twice as much per relay. They have markings on the relays showing they are compliant and have a conformity stamp. 

The 2nd thing I noticed, is they are rated for 12 Amps( at 240 volts), ( which is actually more fitting for the current the heater pulls on the mini shaker). 

From what I can tell, ALL genuine Omron relays are stamped " Made In Indonesia" At least, all the one's I have found. If it says Made in china, Probably not authentic. 

I bought several units from various places, Ebay, Amazon, compatible units, etc. So far, all of them have been knock off's except the one's ordered from an electronic supplier, which actually shipped in the original OEM packaging. 

 

Overall, the device is much heavier, and built much better. The wire gauge inside the relay is thicker and more fitting, all the solder joints are very well done instead of " welded" like the clone units. The contact's appear to be much better quality, From my perspective the "contacts" appear to be much better. I personally feel MUCH more comfortable with these running inside the unit instead of the clones. Time will tell, but I think it will be fine. After seeing the clones after a couple months of use, You would easily be replacing them 3-4 times a year if you actually use the machine daily. 

 

So the Clones cost me around $8, some came with the base. In general the price varied between $5-10 some with and without the base. 

The Genuine Relays Cost me $9.71, without the base and without shipping, It's a flat $7.50 for shipping no matter how many you order. 

I'll test these out, and also order a Solid State Relay and test that as well. 

In the end, I just want a reliable machine that I can repair on the spot if an issue occurs, as I'm sure all of us do. 

If anyone needs part numbers for the relays, Just let me know. 

They have two compatible versions, one with the LED light and one without, both at 12A. 

 

 

 

 

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This is one clone, that was used on the heater circuit. This is after 60-90 days of almost daily use. The other one failed within that time ( white wire broke at “weld”). 
 

looking at the contacts show the amount of arcing and carbon build up, just overall low quality relay. 
 

 

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Edited by johnson4
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9 minutes ago, anum11 said:

Omrons are good. I use them on height adjustment dc motor. Until This time i maybe used 30-40 of them only one broken.it is around 8 USD in my country from electric supply centers.

Yea, I agree. They use Omron in quite a bit of stuff, hvac fans are what I see them used for the most and they last forever. Hopefully these prove me right by lasting longer. 

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6 hours ago, Mr.Carter said:

I will recommend you guys to use solidstate relay SSR for heaters and motor which runs on mains AC

Thanks, yea I’ll be looking into it if the Omron doesn’t work out. It should, it’s well under its amperage rating, but we’ll see. 

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1 hour ago, johnson4 said:

Thanks, yea I’ll be looking into it if the Omron doesn’t work out. It should, it’s well under its amperage rating, but we’ll see. 

Mechanical relay creates spark when ever they get trigger which is ok for small dc current but AC heater creates huge spark as they consume above 1000 watts i dont know why those stupid Chinese guys use Mechanical relay for this much of load there is some problem with there engineering

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14 minutes ago, Mr.Carter said:

Mechanical relay creates spark when ever they get trigger which is ok for small dc current but AC heater creates huge spark as they consume above 1000 watts i dont know why those stupid Chinese guys use Mechanical relay for this much of load there is some problem with there engineering

From my readings it shows the heater uses 5.65A at 220V( which pulls 1200W from the wall due to the 110-220 inverter), the relay is rated for 12A at 240V AC and 550 million cycles before failure ( from Omron). So it should be well within the limit. 
 

the problem I see is they just made poor relays, the wiring size, the crimping instead of soldering, and the material the contacts are made of are super soft. Overall, these relays would fail even at small currents. I mean, honestly it’s expected. The Omron relays contacts are super hard and I can’t even scratch them with a knife, the Chinese clone contacts felt like solder almost. 
 

while SSR relays aren’t much more, and would work a ton better, I like to test and rule out all options, I’m starting with a quality relay. If over time that relay fails, or does the same, I will test an SSR relay as well. For most others, swapping a clone with a genuine relay is simple, easy, and could provide an easy fix. Using an SSR relay would require requiring etc and be a much more involved process for many, so I’d like to just see how it goes. 
 

I do see variations of these relays with similar power ratings on 220V hvac fans last many years, which also pull around the same amperage. In the end though, I know I’ll be fine, but others may encounter problems and if a genuine relay can fix that, that’s the best solution for everyone. If not, I will definitely find a way to make it work, SSR is my next go to after these. 

Edited by johnson4
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2 minutes ago, johnson4 said:

I know for sure it was only a matter of time before a fire started because of the clone relay, if left unattended. I would say in general those relays have around 100-200 hours of printing time on them. Imagine the ones that never get checked. 

Did you mean they even dont tested it for 100hours? 😂

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9 minutes ago, Mr.Carter said:

Did you mean they even dont tested it for 100hours? 😂

Yea, the original ones. One failed due to poor quality, ( wire broke at crimp) for the take up roller. 

The other one is in the photos above, it still worked. 

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My latest modification, I added the sides to keep the film more centered and to keep it from running left/right. It has a bit of room to move around, but nothing that will cause any issues. A few times it would slide to one side or the other and that causes the entire run of film to be tight on one side and loose on the other, causing issues that can run all the way back to the printer itself causing head strikes. More/less user error, but this will prevent that. 

ACEE4EBB-CBB6-44D9-997F-3D656F6272B6.jpeg

Edited by johnson4
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On 8/12/2021 at 8:15 AM, johnson4 said:

So just an update- I received my Genuine Omron relays today for the Mini shaker. 

First thing I noticed, they weigh over twice as much per relay. They have markings on the relays showing they are compliant and have a conformity stamp. 

The 2nd thing I noticed, is they are rated for 12 Amps( at 240 volts), ( which is actually more fitting for the current the heater pulls on the mini shaker). 

From what I can tell, ALL genuine Omron relays are stamped " Made In Indonesia" At least, all the one's I have found. If it says Made in china, Probably not authentic. 

I bought several units from various places, Ebay, Amazon, compatible units, etc. So far, all of them have been knock off's except the one's ordered from an electronic supplier, which actually shipped in the original OEM packaging. 

 

Overall, the device is much heavier, and built much better. The wire gauge inside the relay is thicker and more fitting, all the solder joints are very well done instead of " welded" like the clone units. The contact's appear to be much better quality, From my perspective the "contacts" appear to be much better. I personally feel MUCH more comfortable with these running inside the unit instead of the clones. Time will tell, but I think it will be fine. After seeing the clones after a couple months of use, You would easily be replacing them 3-4 times a year if you actually use the machine daily. 

 

So the Clones cost me around $8, some came with the base. In general the price varied between $5-10 some with and without the base. 

The Genuine Relays Cost me $9.71, without the base and without shipping, It's a flat $7.50 for shipping no matter how many you order. 

I'll test these out, and also order a Solid State Relay and test that as well. 

In the end, I just want a reliable machine that I can repair on the spot if an issue occurs, as I'm sure all of us do. 

If anyone needs part numbers for the relays, Just let me know. 

They have two compatible versions, one with the LED light and one without, both at 12A. 

 

 

 

 

Johson4, incredible information.  Thanks so much for taking the time to put it together and share.   I'd love to follow your advice and replace those relays.  Would you mind sharing the part numbers?  BTW- No rubber grommet for roll motor cable on mine either.  I also have scorching on one of the relays.  I've also been puzzled by the mystery fluid.  Mine mostly runs down the front / roll side of the machine, but often gets on the underside of the film and really messes things up on otherwise flawless prints.  It occasionally makes its way to the powder bin.   Unrelated note.  I saw that the Audley shaker has an anti-static ionizer bar to cut down on excess powder due to static.  I can't find a cost appropriate bar sized for the mini-shaker, but am going to try an anti-static ionizer fan ($58) lightly hitting the film at different points.  I'll check back with results.   I'm guessing there's even more of a static charge issue in dry climates like PHX?  I'm not sure if I'm reading it all right, but seems to me like if you have too much humidity, then the humidity itself causes excess powder to feed through. Little to no humidity means there's more static, which also pulls excess powder through. Thanks again.   

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53 minutes ago, PacStyle said:

 

Johson4, incredible information.  Thanks so much for taking the time to put it together and share.   I'd love to follow your advice and replace those relays.  Would you mind sharing the part numbers?  BTW- No rubber grommet for roll motor cable on mine either.  I also have scorching on one of the relays.  I've also been puzzled by the mystery fluid.  Mine mostly runs down the front / roll side of the machine, but often gets on the underside of the film and really messes things up on otherwise flawless prints.  It occasionally makes its way to the powder bin.   Unrelated note.  I saw that the Audley shaker has an anti-static ionizer bar to cut down on excess powder due to static.  I can't find a cost appropriate bar sized for the mini-shaker, but am going to try an anti-static ionizer fan ($58) lightly hitting the film at different points.  I'll check back with results.   I'm guessing there's even more of a static charge issue in dry climates like PHX?  I'm not sure if I'm reading it all right, but seems to me like if you have too much humidity, then the humidity itself causes excess powder to feed through. Little to no humidity means there's more static, which also pulls excess powder through. Thanks again.   

Not a problem. Definitely the stock relays suck. The Omron relays are just LY2-dc12. The base is LYN, and the version is DC12 relay inside at 10 amps. Don’t buy from Amazon or eBay if you want genuine. 
 

yea, it’s the ink causing the liquid, and my fix is just to clean it often. I’ll add a “filter box” inline with the fan to catch it. 
 

as for the static, on the shaker machine I built, and the one I purchased, never had a single issue with static. If I have too little or too Much powder, I look at my ink or film. My humidity demeans about 55-60 percent around 70 degrees- pretty humid area. 

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