3-part 3-way Switch Circuit Design

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Hi All
I am getting ready to update my largish family room and am considering how to approach the lighting. I'd like to install flush mounted fluorescents, halogen task lights, wall sconces and a switched outlet in three separate lighting zones so that the room can be lit according to its use.
In my switch box, I'd also like to have one master switch that turns all three zones on or off regardless of the state of any of the other zones. For example, if zones 1 and 2 are off and 3 is on, flipping the master would turn on all 3. Flipping the master again would turn off all three. Then flipping zone 3 once more would turn it back on. It's a 3-part 3-way if you will.
Can this be done? I'm having a hard time wrapping my puny non- electrician brain around it. If this is done, what's it called so I can search for the wiring diagram?
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If you don't have any luck with the way you want to do it you can always go with X10.
Here's the link:
http://x10.com/homepage.htm
It has the ability to turn all lights on and off or in any combination you want.
And it's pretty simple to hook up.
Hope this helps.
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Sometimes these schemes become more complicated than practical. Check into Lutron "Graphik Eye" scene lighting controls

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You can't do it with regular over the counter switches. You can use X-10 or a low voltage relay system.
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wrote:

X10 can be highly unreliable at times. The relays are OK.
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Mark Lloyd
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That would be a 3PDT (3 pole double throw) switch. I don't know what else to call it.
That switch is 3 electrically isolated but mechanically connected 3way switches. Electrically you have 3 separate 3way circuits.
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Kind of like a relay? :)
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One way he could do it would be to use 3 latching relays and 4 on/off momentary contact low voltage switches. (one for the master)
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wrote:

I seem to remember that relays work best with DC control voltage (AC can be switched). I suppose you need a rectifier and diodes (to isolate the buttons so they don't ALL become master).
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On Sun, 11 Mar 2007 20:37:22 -0500, Mark Lloyd

The first sketch I did had AC in mind. Having DC would make things simpler. With DC, you could use the same type master as you have for the single switches. You could use diodes instead of a triple throw switch.
I think most of the relays for the home are 24V AC/DC. How about this one?
http://i15.tinypic.com/2rq1xk9.gif
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wrote:

Assuming you want to be able to control the lights individually, that circuit will NOT work. The problem should be obvious, the coils for one light are in parallel with the coils for the other one. The correct function of the diodes is to keep them separate (which those can't do).
The 4 individual (not master) buttons can be connected directly to the coils, but you'll need a diode between each master button and each coil (total 4 diodes). This prevents current from one of the non-master buttons from operating the other light's relay. Your circuit does not have this protection.
Diodes are needed for any button that controls more than 1 relay. The number of diodes is equal to he number of relays controlled (here 2 + 2 = 4).
BTW, diodes don't cost much, and are easy to experiment with. I always have a few 1N4001 diodes (50V 1A).
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wrote:

The relays are still shorted together, so ANY switch will operate all relays.
Note that if a diode is connected to a button (as you have done), it will perform no useful function unless at least 2 diodes are so connected.
The shorts between coils should be obvious. They're the vertical lines in the diagram.
If you do it right, you'll need 4 diodes (for 2 lights). They'll be in the vertical lines, not the horizontal ones.
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On Sun, 11 Mar 2007 23:23:07 -0500, Mark Lloyd

How about this?
http://i16.tinypic.com/484hr1h.gif
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wrote:

That's the way I'd do it. If you add a third relay, you need 2 more diodes connected to the nodes that come just after the master buttons.
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Yes. A very small electric current in a nerve cell causes a chemical reaction which leads to the contraction of a muscle in your finger, operating the switch.
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You mean, turn only the one that was on when all this started, 4 lines ago, right? Below, I do almost everything you want with just two extra On/Off switches.

You could do this with x-10 or relays, but if all of the switches will be in the same location, it would be far far easier to either forget it, or two have two additioinal switches in addition to the three ones for each zone.
Even if they are not all in the same location, one master switch could be run in parallel and turn everything ON no matter the position of the 3 zone switches, and the other could be run in series and turn everything OFF no matter what the position of the zone switches.
You would have to decide which should have priority, the master ON switch or the master OFF switch. If you planned carefully, you might be able to wire it so that changing the priority later was not a lot of work.
And if you wanted the master switch without priority to win on a particular day, you might have to flip the other master switch also. Not a lot of work, and those two switches could almost certainly be put next to each other.
If this is acceptable and you need more details, post back.
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Are you planning this with line carrier switches like x-10 or standard switches?
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On Sun, 11 Mar 2007 18:15:02 -0400, "RBM" <rbm2(remove

I just meant standard switches. The op didn't say anything about the current demands are for 3 "zones", and I admit I didn't consider that.

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No problem, I could have sworn I made a similar circuit a while back with three way switches, but nothings working now and I'm getting a headache. I think I feel better now that I'm not alone
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wrote:

Think this might work?
http://i16.tinypic.com/33vondk.gif
The masters would have to be triple throw.
I had to cut off the last set of switches to be able to see the labels.
You get the idea.
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