More by the author: Dec Update A lot has happened since writing this article in early So, these days we only buy directly from a few Chinese manufactureres or trusted importers. Yes we still buy Chinese manufactured SSRs. China is just one major manufacturer willing to make whatever we are willing to sell. We started buying only 45 Amp rated SSRs and have been for a while, and the reason is simple.
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As with any new product, before we offered them up for sale we tested our first shipment of these relays that came in the door. Looking on the internet, it quickly became obvious that there have been a lot of complaints about these parts failing. Since the manufacturer FOTEK is considered to be a good quality manufacturer overall, the common conjecture is that the failing parts are counterfeit and therefore presumably of inferior construction.
The label inset in the molding has a rounded corner in the lower right corner of the real parts and are square on the fake parts. Note that on the parts that we received, the label is cut to make it look rounded, but the plastic itself is not rounded. Mfrs may change this type of thing on their end, so this may or may not be a good flag to rely on. The top horizontal line that goes across the AC pins is thicker than the bottom horizontal line that goes across the Input pins on most fakes.
They are the same thickness on the real parts. There are other items that may be tip-offs as well such as the sloppiness of the print around the LED, flat vs textured appearance of the label stock etc.
Here is a link to a UL notice released several years ago about fraudulent use of the UL logo that calls out some of the signs of fakes that were identified at that time. UL Link Below are a pic of a genuine relay with some key items to watch for. Below that is the label from the parts that we received. You can click to enlarge the pics. Assuming construction is similar to what we found, it appears that as long as they are derated down to be within their 12A limit and have good heat sinking at higher power levels over maybe 6- 7A, they should probably perform OK.
Ours ran comfortably at 5A and were starting to get pretty hot up around 8A with no heat sinking. If you have any further info on this topic or corrections to the information I have found and provided, please feel free to share.
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