dust collector remote controll - cheap, and you can't lose it

Hey folks... as part of the "new shop" I scored an oneida 3HP commercial dust collector (VROOOM - drive by #1)... The problem is, the shop is 40X50 feet (thats number 2), and its a real drag walking all the way over to the DC every time I need to turn it on or off.
Here's my solutution: buy: 1) relay of the right size for your DC (Get one rated for low voltage DC for the coil size - I'm using 24VDC) 2) one transformer to provide the DC current 3) one "micro switch" for each of your blasst gates (there should be a blast gate at each tool) The micro switch is just a small switch with a long spring loaded arm. When the arm is pushed, the switch closes. 4) enough thermostat wire to run from the DC to all of your blast gates
set up the transformer, and wire your DC power supply through the relay. hook one of the legs of the transformer to one of the legs of the relay coil, and the other to the red side of the thermostat wire. Hook the white side of the thermostat wire to the other leg of the relay coil. run the thermostat wire to the closest blast gate. Leave a couple feet of wire, and run another length to the next blast gate. Continue until you've got a wire going to all of the blast gates.
Now you need some way to mount the switch to the blast gate. First of all, figure out the best way to mount it to make it work. it should be set up so that when the gate is opened, it pushes on the switch arm, and closes the switch. If you've got plastic blast gates, you can drill holes to mount the switch (be carefull not to do something that prevents the gate from opening...). If you've got metal gates, you can drill them as well, or if you've got metal gates that can be disasembled, you can use the bolts that hold them together as mount points (this is what I did).
I made brackets to hold the switches out of cheap hardware store bar stock metal (I think it was 1/2 by 1/8). Cut it to length (in my case about 3"), and drill holes to match the mounting holes in the switches and whatever method you're going o use to hold the switch to the blast gate. Go bolt all the switches to the blast gates, and make sure that the gate closes the switch when the gate is open (a continuity tester is usefull here).
attach the wires to the switches, testing each one as you complete it.
If its working right, every tim eyou open a blast gate, the DC will turn on. When you close the blast gate the DC turns off.
My total system (10 gates) cost about $50 US, and took about 3 hours to install.....
--JD
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Maybe I missed it and if so I apologise for being redundant. You should make clear that all the micro switchs should be wired in parallel. That is the hot wire from the transformer should go to one side of ALL the switches. Another wire from the relay coil should go to the other side of ALL the switches. Than way when any one gate is opened the DC powers up.
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the problem with this is changing from one machine to another turns the dc on and off way too much. you want 6 or less starts per hour for good motor wear. more generated way to much heat.
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Hmmm... in addition to wooddorking, I also mess around with electronic junk... I especially love microcontrollers... I bet I could build a small uC board that takes switches from each gate like that, and keeps the dc on for awhile after the gate closes, so if you open another gate it never shuts off... probably could do it with a 555 also, but the uC would let me add features (if I could think of any)
Also like to figure out some fancy solenoid system for each gate, so that all gates are locked closed unless the machine in question is turned on... We have over a dozen gates, and a lot of them are in inconvenient places, and we have three DCs. I *really* want a more automated system :P
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    Greetings and Salutations.

    Got to love technology...it allows the most WONDERFUl toys.     How about this:     1) Grizzly Industrial has automatic blast gates for sale - http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/pages/121.cfm?     2) Create a small current sensor that would attach to each machine and automatically open the appropriate blast gate when the machine turns on.     3) A common line back to a DC control unit that would kick the power on if any of the blast gates open.     4) a timed relay on the DC that would keep it on for a period of time after all the blast gates close...say...5 minutes. Note that you REALLY need to add a bypass gate that will open on excess vacuum here, to keep air in the system and keep the DC motor from overspeeding from lack of load. I would suggest that this duct go up near the ceiling, so it will act to suck any floating dust out of the air.
    While the Grizzly gates are pretty slick, they are a tad pricy. I suspect that a person with some mechanical and electronic experience could fabricate alternatives for a bit more time but a lot less money.     The time delay relays are a stock item...I picked up several at a recent hamfest (over in Shelby, NC) for a couple of bucks apiece for the relays and a buck apiece for the socket bases.     A common wire going through all the blast gates will "or" all the inputs together automatically, and, be dirt simple. Actually, it occurs to me that if one has all metal tubing on the DC system, one COULD inject a HF signal onto the pipe surface - eliminating the need for extra wiring.     Having the current sensor on the machine would simplify things too, as it would ensure that the gate would open up with the machine coming on, and, automatically close when the machine went off. one could also add a little time delay here, too, say, 3 minutes, to eliminate wear on the mechanism. I could see that being useful on the tablesaw. I will often be in a situation where I make several cuts, then turn the saw off for a few minutes while I get a different jig or set of stock.     Regards     Dave Mundt
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could be a problem if you did a lot of short cycling. I tend to work at no more than one machine in any given hour or so...... I can't think of any situation where I'd be turning the DC on/off 6 times in an hour...it shouldbe pretty simple to rig up a delay so it would stay on for a minute or two after the gate is closed..... I don't know what that would do to the load on the motor - the oneida system came with dire warnings about Bad Things hapening if the DC was run without at least a 4" gate open.....
--JD
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but getting a good remote is far easier (G) Most dc's it does not matter if all of the gates are shut. I do it all the time. it actually takes less juice to run the dc that way.
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Well, I don't think your idea is revolutionary as I have had the same setup for more than 2 years. I made my "microswitches" and had the relay in my junk pile so the cost was just in the wire. I don't think you will need a delay as there is a human delay between finishing a cut and closing the blast gate, plenty of time to clear the duct. if not count to 3 then close the gate.
BRuce
jduprie wrote:

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cool. In the old days I would have had most of the parts flating around, but after my dad died, I had to clean out his basement, and just didn't have space for all the random scrap...... sold off pretty near a truck load of electronic parts to an electronics salvage shop. Last time I was there, the 2" nixie tubes were still on display (its been about 5 years since my dad died...)
Didn't think my idea was anything novel, but figured it might spark some interesting discussion.. thansk --JD
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yep, certainly a lot of traffic on this one. another point on not wanting to short cycle the DC is that if I know I am going directly to another process that will use the DC I just leave it on, open the next gate and close the first. my shop isn't that big and I an not worried about an extra minute, this is a hobby after all. at least for now.
BRuce
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