Remote for HF Dust Collector

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Forum topic by NedG posted 01-27-2014 06:54 PM 1676 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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56 posts in 2313 days

01-27-2014 06:54 PM

I have read all of the Lumberjock comments on remote controls for the Harbor Freight dust collector, and none seem to address this problem. The HF collector is 2hp and draws 20amps. The $10 remotes are intended of far less amperage and burn out quickly. I’ve burnt out three. The WoodRiver control that Woodcraft sells is meant for only 1 1/2hp motors. Granted, the HP probably draws less than the advertised 20amps, but I’m reluctant to buys something that states it’s for less horse power. Sooo, my question is: Is there a modest priced remote control out there that will work for an advertised 2hp/20a motor? Thank you. —- Ned

13 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2969 days

#1 posted 01-27-2014 07:17 PM

The key words here are, “modestly priced”.
Short reply, No.

To change the internal component that does the switching for one with more capacity would probably only cost $30. Bear in mind that if you had to purchase all the components of one of those $10 remotes it would probably set you back $60. But, that would be something that would have to be done by a person with a good knowledge of electronic controls and access to those specialized components.

The rube Goldberg approach would be to use the $10 remote to switch a relay or contactor with the capacity to start the motor. That would be easily done for about $50 with a solid state relay having a 25Amp capacity. Readily available from places like Grainger, McMaster Carr, or even Radio Shack. The SSR will require a heat sink to operate at this power level but you can make your own from a piece of aluminum.

View Woodknack's profile


11626 posts in 2378 days

#2 posted 01-27-2014 07:17 PM

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10479 posts in 3427 days

#3 posted 01-27-2014 07:20 PM

If you’ve read all the posts re remotes for the HF DC, then you’ve seen mine where I said that my DC pulls around 15-19 amps at startup and 14 or less while running. It’s vented directly outside, which may make a difference.
My remote system is for outdoor lighting. It’s capable of controlling 4 outlets. I found it in HD’s, nursery dept. It’s about 4 years old and works every day.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Todd's profile


398 posts in 1675 days

#4 posted 01-27-2014 07:25 PM

I have the remote rated for 1.5HP. It works fine with my HF DC.

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4986 posts in 2492 days

#5 posted 01-27-2014 07:30 PM

Actually, I just built one of those relay setups for my sprayer turbine, and did it for less than $25. The relay itself was about $10, the box to hold it about $6, and the powercord and other odds and ends another $10 or so, then you still need the remote. That said, the HF motor isn’t 2 HP and almost certainly draws less amps than that. You can get 15 amp remotes off e-bay for $15, and one of those may well serve you better than the those that are rated at 10-13 amps. I bought one of these to use in place of the relay setup I mentioned above. That DC motor is closer to 1.5HP or so, and probably actually draws in the 10-12 amp range, but you could always measure to be sure.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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11626 posts in 2378 days

#6 posted 01-27-2014 08:23 PM

Fred your link doesn’t work, over 90 days old.

-- Rick M,

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Fred Hargis

4986 posts in 2492 days

#7 posted 01-27-2014 08:48 PM

Sorry, I just bought one about 10 days ago. Try this.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Wildwood's profile


2305 posts in 2133 days

#8 posted 01-27-2014 08:51 PM

When switch on my 2 HP, HF DC went out, drove myself nuts trying to find a new one here in town. Yes was hung up on HP rating and amp draw. So ordered one from HF, shipping cost more than the switch. I could have used a toggle switch available locally!

While do not know if my DC actually draws 20 amps, do not think that motor actually 2 HP.

Learned about using xmas light remote for my DC over at many years ago. Bought one from Lowes and could turn my DC on from outside the shop with doors closed. That remote worked well for more than couple years until remote died.

Now use a $20 foot switch to operate my DC.

If cannot find a remote switch to meet your needs try a foot switch!

-- Bill

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2109 days

#9 posted 01-27-2014 09:00 PM

I have the PSI unit Rick posted and it will work well with anything that can plug into a standard 120V outlet. It’s a pretty beefy unit, with high quality construction. When I upgraded to a 220v cyclone, I repurposed the 120v remote to use with my Fuji HVLP.

I have a few cheapie remotes that we use with Christmas lights, my shed lights, etc… They do work, but make me a tad nervous thinking of running them with a heavy duty load. They would probably be fine, but the thought of a small fire in an area with dust and chips bothers me and they don’t have any UL-type ratings on them.

I think I would also unplug a cheapie if I wasn’t in the shop, as we’ve had our lights come on randomly a few times. I’d hate to come back to a running DC after a weekend or vacation.

View squid's profile


5 posts in 2827 days

#10 posted 01-27-2014 09:08 PM

I have been using a christmas light remote for several years with no problems. Purchased at HD.

View toolie's profile


2122 posts in 2627 days

#11 posted 01-28-2014 12:02 AM

Try a remote powered contractor. The remote would activate the contractor, which would activate the collector. Even low voltage could be used to for the control circuit.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View Volund's profile


36 posts in 1953 days

#12 posted 01-28-2014 01:07 AM

I went a different route this time. I used waste gates with a relay on each that turns on the DC.

System works great, and there’s no remote to keep track of.


View NedG's profile


56 posts in 2313 days

#13 posted 01-29-2014 10:57 PM

Thanks for all of the replies to my inquiry about a low cost remote control switch for a HF, 2hp, 20a dust collector.

I can’t find one that will work with 20 amps. Granted the HF collector isn’t likely pulling 20a, but I’ve burnt up three cheap “Christmas tree remotes” already. So I give up, and I’m gong to simply put together a switched outlet and a wall switch in a utility box and plug the DC into that. I’ll put the outlet and switch in a utility box and put the box on the side of the saw, and be done with it. Thanks again. —- Ned

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