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Thread: Remote control dust collector unit

  1. #1
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    Remote control dust collector unit

    Both Rockler and Woodcraft sell the same unit (different lables) of dust collector remote controls. They are available in either 110 or 220 volt.

    I am on my second, 110 volt, Rockler unit rated for use up to 1 1/2 hp (no amps listed). I own a Delta 1/1/2 hp dust collector.

    The female end of the plug in the remote units melt, and so far, have shorted out one of the two I have owned. I am expecting the second unit to also short out.

    Is there a better unit on the market with a higher amp rating?

  2. #2
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    I'm presuming it's the socket sending power to the dust collector that's overheating Bob. I guess there's two options - either your dust collector is pulling more amps than it should which doesn't sound all that likely, or there's a problem in the unit.

    I'm no expert, but i'd rather have some idea of what was happening before going for a higher rated unit. A check with an ammeter would sort out the first, and at least make sure the collector is OK. It's maybe possible that if it's running against a very free flowing system (e.g short and or large duct/hoses) that it might bump the current up - enough to make a marginal unit struggle, but not quite enough to trip anything. A very inefficient motor could also add a few amps.

    A loose connection in the circuit or a badly seated blade are fairly common causes of overheating in sockets. 1.5 HP at full load in single phase/110V sounds like about 20A, which is quite a decent current. I don't know what amps your domestic sockets normally go to in the US, but over here 13A is the max and even at that a duff socket or a bad connection in the circuit can cause problems.

    If you haven't already i'd throw the problem at Rockler - it sounds like it should be working OK. if nothing else they should be able to say what the max amps rating for the unit is. Chances are too there's a number in the paperwork that came with the unit too.

    if you are drawing more current than the unit is rated for and your blower is not drawing more than it's rated amps then as you say you need a higher rated remote. Maybe somebody else can help with that. The workshop circuit supplying it would need to be rated accordingly.

    ian
    Last edited by ian maybury; 01-18-2012 at 9:51 PM.

  3. #3
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    Bob, i have a 'Long Ranger' by PSI (Penn State) http://www.pennstateind.com/store/LR220-3.html and it runs my Delta 50-760 (1 1/2 hp) dust collector with no problems. Available in either 115 or 230V. Lots of feedback on this forum wrt to it if you search.

  4. #4
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    i still don't know why anyone bothers with remotes when these guys are out there:

    http://www.ivacswitch.com/index.action

    the Pro series will handle 20A 220V,amd there is a contactor available for up to 10hp 3phase units. nothing like having the DC go on when the tool is activated. i use the ivac switch and am in the proces of daisy chaining them so a shop vac will automatically activate along with the DC for things like router tables, RASs and TSs with blade guard dust collection.

  5. #5
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    Bob,
    I just put in a cyclone dust collector I bought off CL that was a 2 hp/220. The seller had a relay or contactor - I think I have that right. Anyway it allows me to start the DC with a 110 remote ($10) from HD. It is really a nice way to go. I don't know why more people don't use them.
    Dan

  6. #6
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    Based on a Wood magazine article from 20+ years ago I put together a simple relay and 24vdc transformer which works great for my 2hp D/C. Had a 3hp Oneida connected to it for a number of years...
    Parts are still available if you do a search online.
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    "Your beliefs don't make you a better person...your behavior does."

  7. #7
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    Bob, there are two things you need to do;

    - as others have indicated check the current draw on your dust collector to verify that it's within nameplate rating on the motor

    - if it is within spec, you need to inform the CPSC (hopefully I got the agency correct) as this is a potential fire hazard/recall issue.

    Regards, Rod.

  8. #8
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    Thanks guys for all the suggestions. I am somewhat surprised I didn't read about additional complaints on these units.

    My newest remote has now welded itself (the male lead plug to the socket in the remote control box).

    It is obviously not up to amp output of my motor which is rated 15 amp 120 volt. The remote control unit only indicates 110 volt up to 1 1/2 hp rating. Again no amp rating.

    I am looking for a simple solution.

    I'm not going to change the motor on my dust collector. The actual amp output is, what it is.

    Maybe I should call the Penn State people and get a spec on their Ranger unit.

    Does anybody know of a beefier remote unit available on the market for 120 volt?
    Last edited by Bob Landel; 01-19-2012 at 5:01 PM.

  9. #9
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    The suggestion that you check the amps drawn is just in case there could be a fault or operating situation causing your dust collector to pull more than it's plated amps....

    ian

  10. #10
    I built a DIY unit using the following:

    Packard C240B 2 Pole 40 Amps 120 volt Coil Contactor = $11.17 shipped from Ebay
    #8-#12 Power Wire (for whatever lengths you use) = $10-$20, You can use THHN wire in conduit.
    GE Landscape Remote Control Lighting Switch = $10 during holidays
    Hoffman Painted Steel Junction Box (Or Steel Load Center enclosure from Box Store) = $10-$50 depending on how fancy you want it.
    MISC plugs and hubs for tie-in.

    The 2-pole Contactor I bought is a simple device that has 2 switches. Both switches turn ON when the contactor is given 110V power. Then both switches turn OFF when the unit is given no power at all. The contactor functions as an electro magnet that snaps open and shut the switches when it sees the 110V power.

    So basically you use the landscape lighting remote control to turn on 110V power. THis activates the switch that turns on the contactor and therefore your DC will receive power from whatever source you connected it to.

    Since I used a 40A contactor, it will function well with my 30Amp 220V dust collector, or work the same connected to a 15amp 110V dust collector.

    I've had absolutely no issues at all with the contactor and the remote is very handy. If you don't want to build your own, I think clearvue sells one similar to what I described premade for like $150 or so.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Landel View Post
    ... Does anybody know of a beefier remote unit available on the market for 120 volt?
    I guess it depends on your definition of remote. The iVac switches that Joseph mentioned above are essentially remotes. The systems require two or more modules. One or more modules for your wood working tools and one module for the DC or vac. The modules are like the modules on your remote - essentially an outlet that plugs into your existing outlets. The power tool/tools that you wish to control are plugged into the "tool" module. When the tool module senses current, it sends a signal to the DC or vac module which in turn powers up the DC. You can configure the vac module to shut off as soon as power to the tools is cut, or to run for 15 seconds, or 45 seconds after power to the tool is cut. The modules must have a line of sight path in order to operate.

    I've used a pair of 20 amp modules and have been extremely pleased with them. It looks like Rockler has the 20 amp versions on backorder right now, but this place MBright Online appears to have them.

    The tool module also has a switch where you can fire up the DC simply by flipping a switch. I use this feature when using some of the tools that are not fed off of the "Tool" module or when I know that I will be turning my Tablesaw on and off but do not want to cycle the DC.

    If you go this route, pay close attention to what you are ordering, as they do make 15 amp versions, as well as a 20 amp 240 volt versions. I believe you can purchase 15 amp Tool modules to get them to work with a 20 amp vac module. This may not be the most economical route, but the system is easy to implement. Good luck!

  12. #12
    Why have a remote ? If you have panel box in shop, and machines are on circuits independent of lights, just put current sensor and relay in panel box. Turn on machine, DC starts up, cut off and DC cuts off. I added a cube timer so my DC would run for 10 sec after machine cuts off to clear duct work. Total outlay (2001) less than $100. Idea originally came from FWW, Aug. 2000.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe A Faulkner View Post
    I guess it depends on your definition of remote. The iVac switches that Joseph mentioned above are essentially remotes. The systems require two or more modules. One or more modules for your wood working tools and one module for the DC or vac. The modules are like the modules on your remote - essentially an outlet that plugs into your existing outlets. The power tool/tools that you wish to control are plugged into the "tool" module. When the tool module senses current, it sends a signal to the DC or vac module which in turn powers up the DC. You can configure the vac module to shut off as soon as power to the tools is cut, or to run for 15 seconds, or 45 seconds after power to the tool is cut. The modules must have a line of sight path in order to operate.

    I've used a pair of 20 amp modules and have been extremely pleased with them. It looks like Rockler has the 20 amp versions on backorder right now, but this place MBright Online appears to have them.

    The tool module also has a switch where you can fire up the DC simply by flipping a switch. I use this feature when using some of the tools that are not fed off of the "Tool" module or when I know that I will be turning my Tablesaw on and off but do not want to cycle the DC.

    If you go this route, pay close attention to what you are ordering, as they do make 15 amp versions, as well as a 20 amp 240 volt versions. I believe you can purchase 15 amp Tool modules to get them to work with a 20 amp vac module. This may not be the most economical route, but the system is easy to implement. Good luck!

    The problem I have with this idea is the fact my dust collector is 120 volt and my tools are both 120 volt and 220 volt - 30 amp.

    What is available that is rated to handle 15 amps 120 volt minimum?

  14. #14
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    I'm going to ask the electricians or electrical engineerings in the group to chime in, but I do not believe that there is an appreciable difference between 110, 115, or 120 volt ratings. In otherwords an outlet that is rated at 115v 20 amp, is for intents and purposes perfectly safe for 120v 20 amp devices or even 110v 20 amp devices. On the other hand, it would be a bad idea to use wires, outlets or switches rated at 120v 15 amps on an appliance requiring 110v 20 amp service.

    In otherwords, I think it is perfectly safe and within accepted practices to use switches, outlets, etc that are rated for 115v 20 amps with appliances that are spec'd for 120v 20 amps.
    Last edited by Joe A Faulkner; 01-20-2012 at 7:54 PM.

  15. #15
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    Joe, you are correct, 110, 115 and 120 volts are used to describe the same thing, a nominal 120 volt system..............Regards, Rod.

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