Automatic Dust Collector Switch #4: The Mother of all ADCS Solutions

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Blog entry by DaveTPilot posted 12-03-2012 06:59 PM 3435 reads 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Parts, Information and Usage Instructions Part 4 of Automatic Dust Collector Switch series Part 5: The Evolution of My Automatic Dust Collector Switch System »

Hello fellow Jocks,

As you may know by viewing my projects and blogs, I like to create solutions that are effective but are not cost prohibitive. My shop made Automatic Dust Collector Switch fit that bill nicely but the electrical work involved was outside the confines of many woodworkers’ comfort level.

I have a new solution, though it is a bit more costly, using an Ultramate Elk-9100 Heavy Duty Switch. (I researched the cost so I could post a link but, much to my dismay, the Ultramate has been discontinued. You can find them on eBay, however.)

I was using this in my old house to control my pool pump. I had a fountain in my pool that was driven by the pump so I wanted a remote way to turn it on and off. I was able to program, via my computer, start and stop times that were automatically varied by the time of year. I found the Ultramate to be a fantastic product.

When we moved this past summer, we moved into a home without a pool. So I decided to use the Ultramate for my dust collector. I still use the same homemade current detector in the CB panel connected to a X10 Powerflash Module. The current detector transforms current to a small AC voltage. The Powerflash Module detects the voltage and sends a X10 signal to the Ultramate which then turns on the DC. I can use a hand held remote to activate or a push button on the Ultramate as well.

-- How valuable is time to a person who spends his disparaging the beliefs of others? --David Berthelette

4 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3742 days

#1 posted 12-03-2012 07:38 PM

That is ultra-cool, but you may well have gone over my head in the electronics field. I’ve gotten use to my remote start, so I may just be lazy and not hurt my brain trying to think this one out. Thanks for the post.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View hunter71's profile


3562 posts in 4636 days

#2 posted 12-03-2012 09:25 PM

I would never give a negative comment on LJ’s but as a master electrician of 30+ years I will only say ” BE CAREFUL”

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5502 days

#3 posted 12-03-2012 09:26 PM

COOL idea…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View DaveTPilot's profile


282 posts in 4748 days

#4 posted 12-05-2012 11:55 AM

@hunter71…Thank you, I do appreciate what you are saying. The only “unconventional” part of the system is the current sensor in the panel. That is not my own idea or design. I got the plans from an article written by an electrical engineer and master electrician. I am not saying that it is code compliant nor am I saying you should do this. I made that disclaimer many times in past posts. But I have had many electricians tell me that just because something is not “code” does not mean it is dangerous.

I used the older system for 2 years in my old house with nary a problem. (I never even took it out of the prototype phase so I took precautions such as shutting off all shop breakers before leaving the shop.) But I do believe I said in past posts that I have been working with electricity since I was a kid so if someone is uncomfortable, please do not attempt any electrical work. It is dangerous and can kill you. (But then again, so is a table saw.) :)

Having said that, there is another way to do this. The ELK-9100 works with X10 remotes, as stated above. An electrician can install that easily while complying with all codes. You can just use an X10 remote to turn on and off your DC. It still is a good alternative for those of us with 220 volt Dust Collectors.

Also, you could setup Powerflash Modules at each tool that you wanted to come on automatically and stay out of the electrical panel altogether.

I really, really love the automatic feature, especially for the table saw. I cut a lot of sheet goods and often times would get all set up for the cut only to realize that the remote was out of reach. Anyone that has cut full sheets of plywood on the T/S should be able to appreciate what I’m saying.

Thanks for the input everyone and be safe!

-- How valuable is time to a person who spends his disparaging the beliefs of others? --David Berthelette

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