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How to convert a cheap UPB appliance into a remote relay

UPB logoOne of our members (drozwood90) has discovered a method to convert a UPB appliance module into a UPB remote relay.  Since some Fry's stores still carry some of these modules for just a few bucks (plus once in a while you can find them cheap online), it's a pretty easy and affordable to create a UPB based relay.  You can find the tutorial below, as taken from the original thread.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to post them in that thread.

CocoonTech.com and its staff are NOT responsible for any injury or property damage resulting from anyone using this tutorial or any associated pictures or links.

How to convert a cheap UPB appliance into a remote relay (by drozwood90)


With desoldering the relay, then desoldering 1 wire, then shorting another wire in...you can turn one of these into a remote relay, UPB controlled.

I didn't want to keep spending $99 per UIO32 module especially since they can only switch something like 42VAC. By modding this device, you get a relay that can switch up to 120VAC...

Not that that is terribly important...BUT the important thing is that they are MUCH cheaper then the UIO32. I know I had picked up a bunch on e-bay a while ago for $15 each (they are HAL branded...but I didn't care).

The other thing to mention, if you look at the 3 prong guy...take notice of WHERE the holes are for the pass through. If you cut two slots in about the same location on the two prong guy...you will see that there IS a receptacle behind the plastic. So, you can stack them (which is useful to me in a few locations).


Ok, bare with me...I'm trying to do this from memory, and based on the pictures, and the thread, this was 7/72007 that I am trying to remember from! Also, . I.e. if you do damage to you your person / house / dog / fish / pink-panther-diamond / etc....I didn't TELL you to do this...it was just for information. Remember, this WILL void warranties, also this mod is NOT UL approved (especially since this will mix high and low voltage VERY close together!!).

First thing is first, open up the box. This, as indicated in other parts of this thread, is not too hard. I also started at the "bottom" plug end and just stuck a flat head screw driver into the device. Just be careful, as you need to pry back the sides all around to break the glue bond, PRIOR to working it free. Then it is a matter of "popping" the cover off where the tabs are.

Be careful you do not damage the LED or programming button.

After you have opened the unit, you can see that there is a board in there. Take it out and flip it over. You will see a "thing" that looks like this:


This is the relay. The thing that is flipped on and off by the PIC micro controller that is on the board next to it. Interestingly enough, they are using a RF PIC in this design! I've used this guy in RF designs...never to read from a power-line.


As shown in the next image, you will need to desolder this part.


** I also think that there is a wire that connects from the hole that is near the "double" slots on the right hand side of the last "board" image to the bottom left most hole that looks like it has solder goop on it. This (I believe) is the neutral wire. That is why we need to isolate that pad (see next paragraph).


You need to isolate all the HV from the LV. I believe (from memory and looking at my images) that there is a trace that you need to cut...as shown here:


You will need to lift the resistor shown in this image:

Yeah, I know, I can't really remember. Looks like someone will have to go through and verify the voltage on that pin...or I will next time I need to make up a module.

Next, attach a small piece of wire to the relay, as shown here:

You should make the wire large enough for the current you are going to push through the module. Remember, it is rated 300W for AC voltage. It is NOT 300W for DC. There is a de-rating...which I can't find a link to right now. Does anyone have a link??

To be "ultra" safe (HV / LV) I put a piece of electrical tape to ensure that there is no immediate contact to any of the relay's parts. The idea being, even if the tape moves, wears, etc. the Relay SHOULD be soldered in place "hovering" above the board at least the tape's thickness.

The wire will then get soldered into the hole that was created when the "neutral" wire was taken out.

When you are done, snap it together and MAKE SURE YOU MARK IT RELAY!!! The green wire came from an outdoor lamp that died on me. It made a perfect way to "plug" into the relay module and provide me with wires to use wire twists on. I have used this for pushing the button on my garage door opener as well as turning on a PC (I wired this in parallel to the "power" button).

As a final note, before snapping everything back together, if you look at this image:
Notice that there are two slots in the board, on the right hand side (in this image). If you line that up with the "top" lid and cut two slots there...make them small slits so that the plastic can help hold you plug in...but this will create the "pass-through" slots for you. I do this on modules that I am NOT, repeat NOT turning into relay modules. I prefer to keep my HV and LV mixing to a minimum!

Extra pictures

P1000561 P1010498 P1010500 P1010504 P1010506 P1010507 P1010508