Solid State Relays

So I'm a 100% newbie to electronics. However, I know what I want, but don't understand the terminology of relays. So here is my story:
I am building a pinball machine and I need to use a relay for two seperate components.
This first will be the ball lock mechanism. I am using a pac driver board which is 5 volts DC. I want to use this board to turn on the relay which will be connected to three switches that can all run chained on the common line. They will also be on a 5 volt DC circut. What would the specification of the solid state relay for this application?
The second application would be turning on a solinoid circut that will be powered at 50 volts DC. I would like to turn on this circut with a 5 volt DC circut. What would the specification be for this relay?
Any help would be greatly appreciated! I know the question is very basic.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Oct 15, 7:39 am, " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

solid state relay = transistor
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Oct 15, 2:23 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

no. solid state relay sometimes means transistors but often means scr. scrs cannot interrupt dc current.
the first question isn't very clear. for the second, consider using a TIP-122 or similar. this is an npn bipolar darlington transistor. pro: dirt cheap, easy to drive, can handle 50v easily. con: neither efficient nor fast.
some other options: logic drive n-fet: more expensive and may not be rated for 50v ordinary n-fet: need >5v drive to turn it on completely ordinary npn: need more current on the 5v drive
in any case, for a 50v inductor, a catch diode is essential.
-chris.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

To flesh this out more, I'm using a I-pac board - http://www.ultimarc.com/ipac1.html to trigger the little rollover switches when the ball rolls over them. The Ipac sends it as a keystroke to the computer. However, in a trough (or where a ball is locked) the balls sit on the switch, so I want to turn on and off the switches via a relay to detect when a ball is just sitting on the switch. To do this I'm planning on using a pac driver - http://www.ultimarc.com/pacdrive.html to signal the relay to turn on the switches which will push keystrokes through the ipac back to my vb.net program.
The pac drive runs at 500mA 5Vdc, so the relay I need would need that for the trigger circut and would need the same for the switch circut. Make sense?
And for the second half of my question I would like to do a similar application removing the switch issue and inserting a 50vdc solenoid instead. That would mean the trigger circut would be running at 500mA 5Vdc and the switch circut would be at 50Vdc (need to check on amperage). Either way similar application and it is all a USB power specs so I know they've got to be out there, just having trouble being an electronics newbie.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Like the others have said, a rudimentary transistor set up (with the appropriate flyback diode across emitter/collector, bias resistor, etc.) is a simple way to go. You can also purchase some actual solid state relays, and if you go surplus (like C&H or Herback & Rademan) they won't be too expensive.
But surely you want to reproduce the old-fashioned clackity-click feel of a vintage pinball machine, right? Go with a real relay. Most of the loud ones are for 12-24 VDC and 120 VAC, but I'd even think about using a level-shifting transistor setup to go from your 5VDC board voltage to 24 volts, and get a bunch of surplus 24 volt relays.
Okay, so you'll need to periodically replace the relays, but the atmosphere they'll add to the game, IMO, will be worth it.
Just a thought.
-- Gordon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Oct 15, 5:01 pm, " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

I am totally confused. If I understand you right, you are using a USB relay driver to control a PS2 keyboard encoder. That seems sort of stupid. Is this all just to get around the number-of-keys-down- simultaneously limitation of a PS2 encoder?
-chris.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You may be using the wrong tool for the job. You have some inputs and outputs you want to control through a USB port. There are devices for that. See, for example,
    http://ontrak.net/ADU200.htm
which is an industrial control interface with four relays that can handle up to 5A at 120V. That's enough current capacity to handle most pinball machine components. It also has four digital inputs for sensing. There's even Visual Basic support under Windows. It's $139, and you're going to spend that much on the I-Pac, etc. There's an 8 in/8 relay version for $189, if you need more inputs and outputs. There are many other vendors, such as "http://www.j-works.com ".. Search for "USB relay".
Going this route, you get around the limitations of something that emulates a keyboard. The "want to turn on and off the switches via a relay to detect when a ball is just sitting on the switch" problem goes away; you can read on/off state directly via the USB device.
Incidentally, if you want to detect metal balls, Hall sensors work better than switches.
                John Nagles
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Oct 15, 10:39 am, " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

There are alot of relays there. Why do you want a solid state relay? What type of mounting do you need - PC board, DIN rail, panel mount?
BRW
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.