Green Steam

As I have mentioned, the dust extractor is now in the other shed, and because of the no-volt release switch, I can’t easily switch it on and off from the main shed just by switching the power on and off, either directly or with a remote control powerpoint switch.  There is a remote control unit available for the dust extractor…..for $300.

Thinking about the different ways to remotely start and stop the unit (other than using something as crude as a broom handle through the wall!) and I decided to use a toggle, rotating around a central point, and use solenoid actuator to operate it.

Went to the first electronics shop – a “One stop shop for all your electronic needs” with a name like “All Electronics” but they didn’t have small motors, or solenoids.  Apparently I had to go to another electronics shop!

Jaycar had a couple of actuators – for about $40 each, and although that would have worked, $80 + switches etc was more than I could be bothered spending for a jury-rig.

But they had another solution – central locking solenoids for car doors.  12V, push and pull.  Perfect.  And a massive $14.

Car Central-Locking Actuator

With a bit of a test run using a breadboard, and a 240V – 12V, 2A transformer I repurposed and a 2-way momentary switch, the actuator worked exactly as I would want.

Breadboard Circuit Test

Next step is to convert the linear motion of the actuator into a toggle that can trigger both start and stop buttons of the dust extractor (and replace the basic switch I got to test the setup with a couple of nicer, non latching, illuminated, momentary push switches.  Jaycar didn’t have any suitable, so I guess I’m off to another electronics store!

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