|Forum topic by JBrow||posted 07-09-2016 09:45 PM||677 views||2 times favorited||6 replies|
07-09-2016 09:45 PM
I really appreciate the CV1800 cyclone dust collector setting in my shop. However, I really do not like dancing through the shop opening and closing blast gates. I know there are automated blast gate systems, but I am too cheap and lazy to install these, so I will keep dancing.
The problem I seem to have is that I sometimes leave one or more unused blast gates open. This diminishes the dust collection that would otherwise be available if those unused blast gates were closed. So the problem was how to quickly and easily identify those open blast gates. In a two car garage it is easy enough to simply walk around the shop to the nine dust collection drops and look at the blast gates. Unfortunately, not being the brightest bulb on the tree, I can look right at blast gate and not even realize that it is open. I thought I could benefit from a more reliable system for identifying all open blast gates at one time.
My solution was to install a shop made low voltage Blast Gate Sensor System. It consists of an Information Panel Box, low voltage components and wiring, and Blast Gate Switches. A quick look at the Information Panel Box reveals those open blast gates. This is done with a column of lights, numbered to correspond to various blast gates throughout the shop. Only those lights corresponding to open blast gates are illuminated; otherwise the lights are off. It works really well, but only when I look at the Information Panel Box before starting the dust collector (which I sometimes fail to do).
The total cost was under $100 and all components were purchased from the home center. For anyone who shares my problem and is interested in my solution, here is what I did…
This is a low voltage fused system. Obviously building a system using line voltage would be really dangerous and a super bad idea! Also, in my view, incorporating an electronics fuse is an added margin of safety. All components are electrically isolated from piping and other electrically conductive materials.
The Information Panel Box is a simple two compartment shallow box with a series of holes drilled in a column and numbered. The holes are sized to allow Lighted Door Bell Buttons to seat with a friction fit. The holes are numbered.
Information Panel Box…
I used a 120V/12V plug-in transformer (which I had laying around), but a low voltage doorbell transformer would probably also have worked. For added safety I figured an electronics fuse would be a good idea. The fuse was spliced into one low voltage leg from the transformer. The other low voltage leg from the transformer remained un-spliced. The fuse was housed in a separate add-on compartment attached to the side of the Information Panel Box. The transformer line voltage side is switched so that the system can be shut down when not in use.
The two low voltage transformer leads ran from the fuse box into the splice compartment of the Information Panel Box. One lead was connected to a Terminal Grounding Bar while the other was spliced to several low voltage telephone conductors. Each of these pigtailed conductors was then attached to separate terminals of a Multi-Terminal Connecting Block.
Lighted Door Bell Buttons, each with a pair of low voltage telephone wires, were pressed into holes drilled in a column in the front of the Information Panel Box. One lead was connected from the Lighted Door Bell Button to the Terminal Grounding Bar. The other lead was connected to a terminal on the Multi-Terminal Connecting Block. As a result of these two connections, each Lighted Door Bell Button had continuity to the transformer once the circuit was closed. Each Lighted Door Bell Button operates as a separate circuit.
Low voltage single pair telephone cable was run from the Information Panel Box to each blast gate. One conductor in the telephone cable was connected to the Terminal Grounding Bar. The other conductor was connected to a terminal in the Multi-Terminal Terminal Block. These were made in the Information Panel Box. At the blast gate, the pair of the conductors in the telephone cable was connected to each side of the Blast Gate Switch.
Information Panel Box Connections…
The Blast Gate Switch is a two part switch. One side of the switch is mounted to a small piece of ½” plywood. The plywood is screwed to the dust collection pipe. Then two ¾” wide pieces of Galvanized Pipe Hanging Strap were mounted parallel to the Blast Gate sliding door on the ½” plywood and spaced apart. The screws that secured the Pipe Hanging Strap are separate from the plywood mounting screws. A terminal screw was added to each piece of Pipe Hanging Strap. The only screws that contact the dust collection piping are those holding the ½” plywood in place. There is no electrical continuity between the Pipe Hanging Straps and the duct work. Each conductor from the telephone cable was secured to to each of the parallel Pipe Hanging Straps’ terminal screws.
The second part of the Blast Gate Switch mounts to the open-side of the blast gate tab. A piece of ¼” plywood mounts to the open-side tab of the blast gate. A mounting block is attached to this ¼” plywood. The pair of Side Tension Springs for Window Screens is attached to the mounting block parallel to one another and in alignment with the pair of Pipe Hanging Straps mounted on the dust collection pipe. A piece of Pipe Hanging Strap is used to hold the Window Side Tension Springs in place and establish electrical continuity between the two Window Side Tension Springs. When the blast gate is open, the Window Side Tension Springs ride up onto the Pipe Hanging Straps at the dust collection pipe. Since the Window Side Tension Springs are electrically connected via a Pipe Hanging Strap, when the blast gate is open, the circuit to the Information Panel Box is closed.
Blast Gate Switch…
System Wiring Diagram…