Remote Power Control for Dust Collectors

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Forum topic by Kelly posted 05-06-2014 06:11 PM 2859 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2189 posts in 3185 days

05-06-2014 06:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: remote switch remote switch dust collector chip collector

As many know, turning a dust collector(s) off and on can be a nuisance. The fact it’s across the room is bad enough. Then there is that, no mater how you position it, either the ports are in the wrong position, or you have to reach over or around hoses or the collector to get to the switch. Even if the switch is on the right side, you have to reach down to the motor to get to it.

To solve the problem, I removed the switch from the motor housing and installed it in a box at the end of twelve gauge power cords.

The box for my large collector is on the end of ten foot cords, so it can be relocated to tools near it. The smaller collector has enough cord to allow me to position anywhere on the metal can.

To secure the switch box to my saw, or in a convenient place on the collector, I use rare earth magnets that come center-drilled and counter sunk, allowing use of flat head screws to secure them.

On my big collector, I used three small magnets (K&J Magnetics part number B884DCS). They work, but I do need the three and the box can still move, if I get a bit too aggressive pressing buttons.

When I ordered the smaller magnets, I also ordered two larger magnets that have nearly one hundred pounds pull (K&J Magnets, items number MMS-A-X8). I used that one on the smaller collector and it stays put – very put.


All the foregoing aside, others have pointed out another very inexpensive way of powering smaller units – remote switches like those available for Christmas lights. Ones I was looking at could take thirteen amps, which is ample for my little 1-1/2 hp collector. Well worth considering and even cheaper than the cord means of modification. Of course, they will not work on the 220 systems.

The reason for two cords is, 240 volt equipment must have both legs broken/connected, when turning the equipment off and on. My big collector is running 220, so had to be done that way. The little one is running 120, but I plan on adding another 220 line for it and I’d have to add the other cord, so I did it now, rather than have to redo everything later.

It’s nice to be able to, for example, just reach to the left of my band saw to turn the collector off and on

12 replies so far

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3826 days

#1 posted 05-06-2014 07:20 PM

On the front of my big sliding table saw(sixteen inch blade and weighing in at three quarters of a ton)saw, I also fitted a switch dedicated to start without physically having to go to the dust collectors each time to start and then again to stop.I by-passed the no volt release switches that came with the machines and re routed them as said to the front of my saw. I have two dust colectors for this one saw one at the rear dust collection outlet and one on an overhead guard both are fitted with blast gates also as The dust collector near the front with twin outlet is set up also for my radial arm saw when I use it I simply operate the blast gates to choose the appropriate one for the job.It is a great timesaver.Have safe fun Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2189 days

#2 posted 05-06-2014 07:41 PM

just an FYI If you get a 240V contact relay you can use the throw away remotes on anything. My remote has 3 buttons, it runs my 3hp DC, 1hp DC, and my 10hp RPC (rotary phase converter) . The remote trips the contactor, and the contractor handles juice. The remote only see 1-3 amps. In the whole setup I have like $40, and it works from every where in the shop
(26×30) .

View bonesbr549's profile


1579 posts in 3307 days

#3 posted 05-06-2014 08:06 PM

I used the 240 unit from woodcraft with a wireless key fob and attached it to my belt so i could power it from anywhere on the floor.

I’ve upgraded now to grgates, automatic blast gates. You turn your tool on and it opens the gate and turns on the dc. Cut it off and it goes off and closes the gate.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2189 days

#4 posted 05-06-2014 09:18 PM

I think the grates are awesome, but ouch the price.

View Kelly's profile


2189 posts in 3185 days

#5 posted 05-06-2014 10:57 PM

I guess a solenoid/relay would make for a cleaner set up, since you could leave it on the unit and activate it with just two wires and a ground. On the other hand, this only required a box and two cords. For the other, you’d have to modify the existing box to hold the solenoid, or add a box for the solenoid, then add another for the supply to the switch using, I presume, 120 volts. No?

Though significantly more expensive than mine jury rigged unit, I like the remote (until I lose it or people I invite over do).

The 220 remote says it’s good for up to 3 horse collectors, but doesn’t give an amp rating. I wonder how many amps it can handle. I put my amp meter to my monster and, though it claims to be a 3 horse, it draws 16 amps (the plate says twenty-five).

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2189 days

#6 posted 05-07-2014 03:08 AM

Kelly that is the perfect question 3hp, but how many amps. Mine draws 18 amps. So I am right there in the same boat.

View Kelly's profile


2189 posts in 3185 days

#7 posted 02-09-2018 04:53 PM

One more thing to consider, when contemplating a remote switch, is, which tool is the collector connected to?

Unless your set up is like mine and you have separate lines to each tool, so all the switching [of gates] between equipment is done at the collector, rather than at each machine, and if you don’t have remote controlled blast gates, you’ll have to go to the tool you last used and to the gate for the tool you are going to use.

My modification of the switch started out to allow me to avoid reaching over the collector and to allow me to avoid bending over. The idea grew and I added several feet of cord so the switch can be mounted on tools near the collector, or near where I swapped connections.

Remember, if altering the position of a 120 volt switch, you can make the mod using a single cord with two wires and ground. On the other hand, a 220 volt system needs both sides opened and closed, so needs four wires and a ground.

View Rayne's profile


1126 posts in 1780 days

#8 posted 02-09-2018 10:26 PM

I have a remote controlled 20 amp outlet. Just use the remote the turn the outlet on. It’s been fantastic for me.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5242 posts in 2734 days

#9 posted 02-10-2018 12:10 PM

Shawn’s idea (using a contact relay) can be used on 120V as well as 240V units. I built one for 120V to power my HVLP, which was a little too big for those box store remotes. My DC is 5 HP, and i have one on it. The best thing is that if the remote goes out (I tend to be pretty rough on the fobs, what with dropping them all the time) I switch it out with a spare that I keep on hand, for $10 it’s cheap insurance. there is a very good article posted explaining how to build one if anyone is interested.

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

View Kelly's profile


2189 posts in 3185 days

#10 posted 02-10-2018 04:54 PM

Good info, Fred (and Shawn).

Just for reference and as I mentioned, all my switching is done at the collector, because each tool has its own line. As such, the only gain with a remote would be when I was using the same tool over and over again.

My system started out with Y’s and gates, but I noticed they dropped the pull, significantly. After that, I just added lines for each tool and swapped between them. Collection picked back up.

Since the lines all terminate at the cyclone, it takes no more time to disconnect one hose and connect another than it did to shut one gate and open another. Too, since all the line ends are at shoulder level, I don’t have to stoop to swap hoses.

These things aside, the relay idea is simple. I’ll look into it for some applications, so, again, thanks guys.

Years ago, I cannibalized an old reel to reel VCR and used the diodes and relays to make a remote gate release [and the rectifier] for REI (their Wenatchee, Wash., plant), so I know they can be handy playthings and tools. Just wish automakers would can the crap of downsizing wires and using relays that cost hundreds of dollars.

View Planeman40's profile


1332 posts in 3001 days

#11 posted 02-10-2018 05:09 PM

For the past 2 1/2 years I have been using a $10 remote switch from Amazon ( that works like a charm on my Delta 50-760 Portable Dust Collector ( I glued the pocket-sized on-off remote to a 60 lb pull Harbor Freight magnet and attached it next to my on-off button on my Hammer sliding table saw. Quick to use. I would highly recommend this unit, cheap to buy but very robustly made!

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Kelly's profile


2189 posts in 3185 days

#12 posted 02-10-2018 06:11 PM

I should take this opportunity to mention, for those not familiar with them, the automatic switches that turn the collector on when a tool starts.

These are great for vacuums tied to sanders and such. Too, if you have a collector tied to a specific machine, they are really nice. They start when the machine comes on and run for a moment after they shut off, to clear the line.

I have two large collectors and a small HF collector. The HF stays tied to my miter (when it’s not working as a lawn vacuum, along with a Super Dust Deputy) and it’s nice not to have to bother turning the collector on an off.

The 120 volt units can be found, on sale, for around $30.00. Of course, the 240 volt units aren’t given away.

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