P13472: Change of Resistance Test Stand


Project Summary Project Information

For an updated project description, click on the following link for the Project Readiness Package.



Located in Syracuse, NY, Cooper Crouse-Hinds Industries is a leading manufacturer of luminaries for use in hazardous locations. By hazardous location it is understood a site where the presence of gases, dust or fibers can create a fire or an explosion if a spark or a flame is present. To avoid the catastrophic consequences of an explosion, these luminaries require a particular design and rigorous testing protocol.

Their design must be capable of containing an explosion or to prevent the spread of a flame to the surrounding area. UL844 test method specifies several testing protocols for these types of luminaries. One of them refers to the temperature of the coils during normal service conditions.

The objective of this project was to design and build a prototype of test stand capable of measuring the internal coil temperature of an H.I.D. ballast utilizing the change of resistance method per UL844 standard.


Our team (Colin on the left, Jacob on the right)


completed the project requirements during the Winter and Spring quarters of the 2012-2013 school year. During the first phase of the project a concept for the relay box and data acquisition system was developed, a proof-of-concept experiment was conducted as a feasibility analysis and a detailed design was presented to the customer (along with the experimental results, a bill of materials and a testing plan). The concept development step of the design process consisted of the creation of a relay circuit and product research for the proof-of-concept experiment. The experiment was setup and data was collected using 4-wire resistance measurements taken with a borrowed multimeter. The detailed design process was completed and the selection of a final bill of materials allowed the team to progress to the second phase of the project: building and testing.

The final assembly consisted of three main components: a Dell laptop for user interfacing, a relay interface box for ballast wire connections and circuit switching, and a National Instruments PXI chassis for data acquisition and resistance measurement switching. The Dell laptop allows the user to control the circuit switching, the resistance wire switching and the various test programs via a LabView front panel (graphical user interface). The relay box allows the power circuit and measurement circuit to operate at different times. The power circuit supplies power to the ballast when activated and the measurement circuit connects the resistance wires of the ballast to the NI PXI chassis when activated. The NI PXI chassis contains one digital multimeter and is the test stand's hub for resistance wire switching with its two 16-channel switches. These switches also allow the user to activate and deactivate the power and measurement circuits. The multimeter is 4-wire capable as per the UL844 standard.

The following is our final design:


On the left is the relay circuit box and on the right is the PXI Chassis.

Note: *Having upload issues with this image.

Project Name
Prototype Change of Resistance Test Stand
Project Number
Project Family
Sustainable Systems (?)
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Dr. Benjamin Varela, mailto:bxveme@rit.edu
Primary Customer
Joe Manahan, (315)-477-5768
Sponsor (Financial Support)
Cooper Crouse-Hinds, Contact: Joe Manahan

Team Members

Member Role Contact
Dr. Benjamin Varela Guide/Mentor mailto:bxveme@rit.edu
Jacob Lenox Student mailto:jml1563@rit.edu
Colin Payne-Rogers Student mailto:cmr6599@rit.edu

Table of Contents

Planning Design Reviews Diagrams Proof-of-Concept Experiment LabView Code Operation Manual Purchasing Documentation SolidWorks
Meeting Notes

Functional Decomposition

Customer Needs

Design Reviews


Photo Gallery

Experimentation - MSD I

LabView Code

Operation Manual




We would like to thank the Senior Design Office for their continued support throughout the purchasing process for this project. It could not have been done without them. We would also like to thank our guide Dr. Benjamin Varela whose continued support was always welcome, the lab techs at Cooper Crouse-Hinds for their insights into the existing technology and the engineers at Cooper Crouse-Hinds for giving us the opportunity to work on this project.