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Automated Vacuum Switch (for Shop Vac) Recommendations?

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Forum topic by Lovegasoline posted 11-22-2021 08:50 PM 869 views 1 time favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Lovegasoline

213 posts in 1380 days


11-22-2021 08:50 PM

Can anyone please share an automatic switch that they recommend which is both robust and modestly priced?

The type of automatic switch device I’m referring to is for use with a power tool (for e. ROS sander) connected to a Shop Vac. Both vac and tool are plugged into the switch: when the tool is turned on the vac automatically turns on, and when he tool is turned off the vac keeps running for a few seconds – to continue residual dust pickup – and then it automatically shuts off.

I’ve been using an iVac Switch Box auto turn on/off unit on my 30+ year old 2-stage Shop Vac:
https://www.amazon.com/iVAC-10031-010-Automated-Vacuum-Switch/dp/B0035YGLZG

However, the iVac Switch Box is expensive (approx. $50) and many reviews report disappointment due to the device dying prematurely: a clear pattern in the reviews is high failure rate so I was hesitant to purchase one. 95% of my usage was with a ROS and it only ever saw casual use: I was disappointed when first one died after just a few weeks of modest use and I sent it back to the manufacture for replacement. The replacement unit lasted a couple years and died not long ago – again with only occasional modest usage. I should have heeded the pro feedback on Amazon and I advise people to avoid this product. It’s a wonderful concept and design with deplorable implementation and quality.

Thanks for any suggestions.

-- “It is the beginning of wisdom to recognize that most men are fools and knaves, but it is the end of wisdom to embrace that vision.” -Arthur Kleps


12 replies so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

23350 posts in 5018 days


#1 posted 11-22-2021 11:25 PM

Good luck. I just checked Grainger’s site. Current sensing relays are higher than that.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

6382 posts in 2564 days


#2 posted 11-22-2021 11:29 PM

I’ve used an iSocket model #110M on my ROS and shopvac for many years without any issues FWIW.

View Jimarco's profile

Jimarco

95 posts in 2449 days


#3 posted 11-23-2021 12:02 AM

Plus 1 on ISocket. I have had 3 for years and they are dependable. Like everything else they have gone up substantially If you can find the Model IS110M they are around $43 and they have their big brother which is the same except 2 tools can be used by the box. for $6 more.

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CaptainKlutz

5170 posts in 2836 days


#4 posted 11-23-2021 04:11 AM

+1 Good Luck. ‘Modestly priced’ and ‘motor control’ tend to be mutually exclusive to each other.

BTDTGTTS with iVac – Burned up a couple of iVac units myself looking for off shelf solution. The triac semiconductor used for switching is marginal for job, and does not have enough surge protection; hence they randomly release magic smoke and stop working.
iVac recommended solution for me was the more expensive S11520 20A box and Pro Tool Plus sensor on power line. It lasted about two years before it died same death in a 12A rated DC motor. Might last longer with less current? iVac current ‘most’ reliable solution is to use the control box to open/close a HP rated contactor; meaning you need 3 expensive boxes. :(

The fundamental issue with switching motors is start up current surge can be ~3-4x the motor rating. There is also an inductive induced voltage spike on motor turn off. Neither last long, but spike and surge are havoc on electronics switches. Rapid cycling of on/off switch guarantees a premature death, as electronics need time to cool down. In simplest terms: 120V 1.5HP vacuum requires a 75-80A rated electronic switch to have any hope of reliability. These are not cheap. A 30A 2Hp rated definite purpose relay can easily handle the same surge currents and is much cheaper.

There are also some electrical code certification challenges making a DC controller that connects to more than one power source. This limits boxes to 15-20A total power for tool and DC, or forces use of wireless control from a separate sensor on different tool power line. That is why most high current DC switches are remote based.

Agree with Bob, a current sensor (and a HP rated contactor) is best for inexpensive reliable motor control. Disagree with his quick cost survey. Can find the core parts for ~$40-$50. Once you add the enclosure, plugs, and wiring; will easily have parts cost of $80-$100 for a DIY control box. WWW has many threads on how to DIY a DC control box if you have the skills to make one.

Cheers!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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TopamaxSurvivor

23350 posts in 5018 days


#5 posted 11-23-2021 04:39 AM



+1 Good Luck. Modestly priced and motor control tend to be mutually exclusive to each other.

Agree with Bob, a current sensor (and a HP rated contactor) is best for inexpensive reliable motor control. Disagree with his quick cost survey. Can find the core parts for ~$40-$50. Once you add the enclosure, plugs, and wiring; will easily have parts cost of $80-$100 for a DIY control box. WWW has many threads on how to DIY a DC control box if you have the skills to make one.

Cheers!

- CaptainKlutz


That was just the current sensing relay. Still need a motor-rated contactor. I have never wasted a lot of time pricing jobs I’m not going to get ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View xedos's profile

xedos

473 posts in 642 days


#6 posted 11-24-2021 01:54 PM

Lots of good advice here though it’s really far afield.

Lovegas asked about tool activation for a Shop Vac , not controlling a dust collector run by a 3-5 h.p. Induction motor.

LG – if your primary use is a ROS , why not just get a better dedicated vac/ dust extractor for that sole purpose ? That will already have a proven , reliable built in tool trigger as well as offer better filtration, less noise, and in some cases variable suction. Most will come with a more suitable hose for sanding too.

Sure they cost a lot more , but at the end of the day they are a fair value. Festool , of course, leads the pack; but they aren’t the only game in town. This little gem isn’t much more than the cost of a shop vac and iVac controller :

https://www.amazon.com/Karcher-Multi-Purpose-Semi-Automatic-Cleaning-Space-Saving/dp/B01BL7J5M4/ref=asc_df_B01BL7J5M4/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=198070022856&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=8656569023867953984&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9010847&hvtargid=pla-382428562547&th=1

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Lovegasoline

213 posts in 1380 days


#7 posted 11-27-2021 12:59 AM

Thanks for the replies and the the iSocket recommendation.

A couple of other products I just viewed are by Etoolcity, uncertain of the quality and longevity.

This one has adjustable permitters for the startup and shutdown delay ($36):

https://www.amazon.com/Generation-Automatic-Etoolcity-Technology-Eliminating/dp/B085NH2LC9/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

This one ($27.99) has fixed delays, but people complain that the delay for the vac to start is too long (for example a cut with miters is completed before the vac turns on) and the delay for turn off is too long (like 8 seconds).

https://www.amazon.com/Automatic-Etoolcity-Technology-Overload-Eliminating/dp/B07YK9VBQK/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=Etoolcity&qid=1637962554&qsid=147-8042816-7524463&sr=8-5&sres=B07YK9VBQK%2CB085NH2LC9%2CB07HC83XDT%2CB09FJ8M4FS%2CB089PTVXKM%2CB08C9JXX3L%2CB078GJDV72%2CB08F7QD63C%2CB07NXRHRLH%2CB08SHKLWRL%2CB086VRC7ZF%2CB000VERBCU%2CB001I9UNWC%2CB07GNGG625%2CB001CWX26Y%2CB0035YGLZG%2CB07WTTTGCH%2CB07GND322D%2CB07PQQ1DDG

(^ that’s a long URL!)

xedos, yes a unit designed for a high amp dust collector is overkill, but so is buying another vacuum! I’m quite happy with my unit’s 2 stage motor performance even at 30 years old (stainless steel tank, metal wand and attachments) and have never wanted for more power no matter the task, it works flawlessly with my Bosch ROS for which I have a dedicated Bosch hose (there again I’d prefer just one hose in the name of efficiency and reduced equipment but I acquired the Bosch hose for an insane sale price like $13 … it has a very particular female fitting to mate with the ROS dust port). My only complaints are I’d prefer if it was quieter (but most shop vacs are pretty loud) and that it had a better front swivel caster. I’ve never needed or wanted two vac units as it would diminish my productivity as I have absolutely no space for another vacuum … I’d have to juggle two vacs instead of one … not to mention the added costs, maintenance, clutter, etc. If anything, my ideal these days is to streamline things, get rid of excess and redundancy, simplify.

-- “It is the beginning of wisdom to recognize that most men are fools and knaves, but it is the end of wisdom to embrace that vision.” -Arthur Kleps

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

5170 posts in 2836 days


#8 posted 11-27-2021 02:25 AM

https://www.amazon.com/Automatic-Etoolcity-Technology-Overload-Eliminating/dp/B07YK9VBQK
(^ that’s a long URL!)
Hmm, Link looks short to me?

When pasting Amadud links into forums, you don’t need long links.
You only need the link to show ’/shopping category/dp/XXXXXXXXXX product code’. Can also paste the magic 10 digit product into an Amadud search window to show the product. Occasionally the product codes are used by more than one product, hence the reason for needing to know shopping category.

Cheers!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

23350 posts in 5018 days


#9 posted 11-27-2021 03:09 AM

Wonder if they will meet the requirement of durability?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Knockonit's profile

Knockonit

1073 posts in 1544 days


#10 posted 11-27-2021 11:50 AM

https://www.amazon.com/Automatic-Etoolcity-Technology-Overload-Eliminating/dp/B07YK9VBQK

i have this on my hitachi and vaccume, works well, 12’’ sliding compound and 16 gal rigid, seems to work fine, especially during long runs on saw.
rj in az

-- Living the dream

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7363 posts in 3835 days


#11 posted 11-27-2021 01:44 PM

I doubt this fits the “modestly priced” part of your question, but I’ll bet it’s as robust as any out there. Linky.

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

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

6382 posts in 2564 days


#12 posted 11-27-2021 03:37 PM

My iSocket has an instant start for the vacuum and a few seconds delay for power off. I often find myself racing to flip the board I’m sanding and restart the ROS before the vacuum shuts off. Just my OCD kicking in 8^)

Plenty of projects here on LJs to isolate a shop vac and cut down on the noise.

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