Technical Note — C3 Latching Solenoid Driver Card — Installation

Larry Pitts

Created: ; updated: .

The Tech Note, OBS-USR-TN001-R2 C3 Latching Solenoid Driver Card, is available for printing and downloading.

The C3 Latching Solenoid Driver Card (Observant Item Number 01702) includes the Latching Solenoid Driver PC board assembly and its mounting hardware, a dual-input cable, and a power input cable.

This note describes its installation in conjunction with any Observant C3 Actuator-Enabled Telemetry Module (C3-A-...).


When installed in conjunction with a C3 Actuator Module, the Solenoid Latching Driver can control up to 4 latching 12 VDC solenoids. These solenoids can be either a 2- or 3-wire type and are used under most typical irrigation scenarios to switch irrigation valves.

Mechanical Installation

The Driver Card is designed to be mounted on the inside of the door of the C3 outdoor enclosure with the supplied screws (as shown below).

If the C3 module is being used without the enclosure, the card can be directly mounted on the wall (below or beside the C3 module) using screws appropriate for the wall material. Note that in that case, the wall surface must be non-conductive.



Electrical Installation

The Driver Card is supplied with just the following 2 cables, required for connection to the C3 telemetry module (as shown in the wiring diagram below).



The cable required for connection of the solenoids themselves (shown below wired to one of 4 possible solenoids) must be provided by the installer.

Wiring Diagram

Additional Items Required for Installation

  • The wire(s) or cable(s) connecting the driver card and the solenoid(s) via screw terminal blocks.
  • Appropriate tools for cutting and stripping solenoid cabling.
  • Small, flat-bladed screwdriver for connection of the solenoid cable to the driver card's terminal blocks.
  • Small, Phillips-head screwdriver for mounting the driver-card to the inside of the C3 enclosure door with the supplied screws.

Further Wiring Considerations

  • All solenoid wiring should be at least 18 AWG.
  • For distances over 300ft (100 m) a larger-gauge cable may be required.
  • If the installation is contained within a small area (such as a pump shed), any type of sheathed or figure 8 style cable may be used.
  • If the cabling has to be routed outdoors, then a sheathed, UV stable, direct-burial style cable is recommended. (It is common for suppliers to refer to this type of cable as “irrigation” or “sprinkler” cable.) Otherwise, standard, less-robust cable can be used when contained within an electrical conduit to protect it from mechanical and moisture damage.


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