Relay or electronic switch

Thread Starter


Joined Oct 20, 2015
Hi Guys,

Complete newbie here so apologies for my ignorance in advance.

I have a project on the go at the minute and I'm a bit stuck. Basically I have a control board which operates a relay. I want this relay to operate a mechanical actuator. The problem is I need a neutral position with the actuator otherwise it is going to burn the motor out. At the moment I only have normally open or normally closed positions which I use to drive the actuator in one direction or another.

Is there such a thing as a three position relay in which I can have one position with no current flowing?

Thank you for your time in advance.



Joined Aug 1, 2013
It sounds like the relay performs the reversing function, probably with DPDT (double-pole, double-throw) contacts. If so, a common solution is two SPDT relays controlled by a center-off switch.



Joined Jun 22, 2012
Yes, two separate relays, so one is driving the motor one way, no relays activated no movement.
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Joined Apr 16, 2010
The OP said that the relay was to control a "mechanical actuator." I take that to mean that the motor direction is controlled by the position of this mechanical actuator and that the actuator makes and breaks the electrical connections to the motor to control its direction.


Joined Oct 29, 2013
A couple of relays, or an H-bridge. Or you could use limit switches to stop the motor when the actuator reaches its end points. Combine with a fuse of some sort in case it gets stuck somewhere in between.