The SRD-05VDC-SL-C relay has three high voltage terminals (NC, C, and NO) which connect to the device you want to control. The other side has three low voltage pins (Ground, Vcc, and Signal) which connect to the Arduino.
- NC: Normally closed 120-240V terminal
- NO: Normally open 120-240V terminal
- C: Common terminal
- Ground: Connects to the ground pin on the Arduino
- 5V Vcc: Connects the Arduino’s 5V pin
- Signal: Carries the trigger signal from the Arduino that activates the relay
Inside the relay is a 120-240V switch that’s connected to an electromagnet. When the relay receives a HIGH signal at the signal pin, the electromagnet becomes charged and moves the contacts of the switch open or closed.
NORMALLY OPEN VS. NORMALLY CLOSED
The relay has two different types of electrical contacts inside – normally open (NO) and normally closed (NC). The one you use will depend on whether you want the 5V signal to turn the switch on or turn the switch off. The 120-240V supply current enters the relay at the common (C) terminal in both configurations. To use the normally open contacts, use the NO terminal. To use the normally closed contacts, use the NC terminal.
In the normally open configuration, when the relay receives a HIGH signal the 120-240V switch closes and allows current to flow from the C terminal to the NO terminal. A LOW signal deactivates the relay and stops the current. So if you want the HIGH signal to turn ON the relay, use the normally open terminal:
In the normally closed configuration, a HIGH signal opens the switch and interrupts the 120-240V current. A LOW signal closes the switch and allows current to flow from the C terminal to the NC terminal. Therefore, if you want the HIGH signal to turn OFF the 120-240V current, use the normally closed terminal: