Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Cheap Vac Remote for the Holidays

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,076

    Cheap Vac Remote for the Holidays

    Well, my dad may just be a genius. He called me about these 'seasonal' items at Home Depot.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Remote-001.jpg 
Views:	53 
Size:	106.9 KB 
ID:	25200

    They come in eight different preset channels. At less than $10 each, I bought two of one channel. Unlike other whimpy ones I have passed on, these are good to a full 15 amps and are ruggedized for use outdoors. I'm not outdoors but my Gara . . . er, shop . . . is uninsulated on two walls.

    I used to use a foot switch over by the DP to turn the vac on and off while hooked to the DP's DC hose. I swing this same vac hose over to my smaller BS for use over there. However . . . S.O.P. is for me to not move the foot switch and realize this only once I am in full position, holding my material on the small DP table ready to begin cutting and have no way to turn on the vac .

    I still have to swing the hose but now have one remote at the DP:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Remotes-003.jpg 
Views:	31 
Size:	106.9 KB 
ID:	25202

    And one at the BS (No, I'm not that lazy. The tarnished post to the left of the BS is a sanding-only DP, not the one with the other remote):

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Remotes-002.jpg 
Views:	26 
Size:	106.9 KB 
ID:	25201

    And I have a spare power unit in a drawer in case one dies after warranty . At this price I went ahead and grabbed one on a different channel for my shop made ambient cleaner. Now I can finally move it up where it should be instead of down where I can reach the power for it.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 10-31-2008 at 02:19 AM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,260
    Hi Glenn

    I am not trying to be picky but you need to note the specs on the package. They say it is 15amp rated and that it is 120V but in the next text I see 1000Watts. Well that says it wont take a full 15Amp load. So at 1000watts if your voltage does reach a full 120v then you are looking at a current rating of the contact at around 8.3 amps but that also depends on what the load is because it gets a bit technical here with aspects such as power factor (really only relevant in high motor or inductive type loads)
    Regardless the contact might take a burst of 15amp but cannot run at that continuously if the unit has been rated at 1000watts.

    Just to put things in perspective for some of the guys that are not electrically inclined. The biggest single cost component in this unit will be the relay they use to switch the load. This relay will have ratings on its contactors. This is where the money is because it implies expensive raw materials like copper etc and not just a piece of cheap steel. The higher the current rating the bettter the quality of the contacts otherwise one gets high contact resistance and it will eventually burn out the contact. This is the dilema with a lot of the DC remote controllers getting used to switch on the DC motor when in actual fact one should use a contactor and use the low load relay in the remote to switch the contator that will start the DC motor.

    As a matter of interest guessing these were made in the usual China, are they UL rated or do they have any other safety markings??

    This is the time of the year when we start to hear the horror stories of the Xmas light wiring going up in flames etc all because of quality and cutting corners. I wish the safety guys on the import side would clamp down on these products. I am sure the fire marshals would agree with me.

    Otherwise looks like a great buy if used appropriately. Switching on a unit like a shop vac would in my mind be fine if it is a medium size shop vac.
    cheers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,076
    Right you are; the thing is made for Christmas lights fer cryin out loud. I probably should have stated a bit of a warning for folks who take a couple numbers and run with them . For $10 I wouldn't expect to it to take continuous draw but of course, motor start up is not continuous. Now, something demanding like my multi-horsepower ( insert canned laugh track here ) Shop-Vac (peak draw at startup might be 7 amps), I think it'll do OK for a while. Even on the small vac I assume it will die eventually.

    For folks who want a more long term solution, it isn't really all that much relative to the convenience. My $50 one on my DC has been used many times a day, nearly every day for the last 4 years and the remote is sized more like a key-fob than a large candy bar.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 10-31-2008 at 04:02 AM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    DSM, IA
    Posts
    5,719
    Glenn, what kind of range do these have? I think I will get one to turn my "air cleaner" (OK really its a box fan with 4 furnace filters) off about 20 minutes after I leave the garage....might cut down on the dust?
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,451
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Bower View Post
    Glenn, what kind of range do these have? I think I will get one to turn my "air cleaner" (OK really its a box fan with 4 furnace filters) off about 20 minutes after I leave the garage....might cut down on the dust?
    Might consider a motion sensor switch to do this, so long as you don't have a garage doggy or kitty.

    I've used one of these remotes in the past with my DC, I think it had a surge rating of 15 amps and dropped to about 10 amps for continuous use. My DC had about the same ratings, so it worked fine.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,076
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Bower View Post
    Glenn, what kind of range do these have? I think I will get one to turn my "air cleaner" (OK really its a box fan with 4 furnace filters) off about 20 minutes after I leave the garage....might cut down on the dust?
    I just truned the vac on and off from my kitchen which is at the opposite corner of my 4 bedroom house from the gara . .. er, shop. That's through 5 walls, shouldn't be a problem and it's cheaper than a "wind past here" timer switch BUT, you have to remember to turn it off ;-)
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    583
    To all you nay sayers, i've been using this exact unit on my 1hp dust collector for the past year. It replaced the "long ranger" which died on me about a week after the warranty ran out. The long ranger was made to be a DC remote switch, and was a bit spendy. The $10 remote switch from the local big box cost a fifth as much and has already outlasted the old one.
    I initially figured it was worth a try for the money - it's worked great.
    paulh

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    1,367
    Glenn - thanks for the tip!

    I picked one of these up yesterday for turning on my shop vac which sits in my utility closet. My HD had two varieties and subconciously i picked the same one you picture (because it was black and had a smaller fob - the other was creamy white with blue and a big fob).

    When I got it home, I put it where it will live and walked around the shop to test the range. Weird thing - just about anywhere I went in the shop, it would turn ON. But the daggum thing wouldn't shut off unless I was really close to it - sometimes even right inside the closet with the fob 6" away from the dang thing.

    I was a little concerned, but I noticed a sticker on both the fob and the box that said "Chan A". So I figured there might be a chance they have some dip switches in these things to change the channel. I cracked open the fob and there was nothing, so I thought well maybe the controller is just switching it on the fob somehow.

    I opened up the main box and saw NO switches, but i did see a nice 14-16" long wire coiled around the case. On the chance that the antenna just didn't have enough hope to sense my fob's requests for action, I filed a little notch in the plastic to let the antenna come out of the box.

    I went around the shop again and tested things. It was better, but not quite good enough yet. My air compressor's drying rack is on the same wall as the outlet i'm using so I kinda snugged the antenna wire into a bracket that holds the drying rack to the wall - this basically made the antenna closer to horizontal. Walked around the shop and tested some more and Poof! I'm in business. Just about everywhere I went I could start/stop the vac without much dancing.

    If that hadn't worked, I was prepared to strip a little insulation off the end of the antenna wire and duct tape it TO the drying rack (all black pipe, btw) to make a nice big array for catching those signals, but thankfully that wasn't needed.
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

Similar Threads

  1. Keep the Holidays in order
    By Charles Hans in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 11-22-2013, 06:11 AM
  2. Happy Holidays
    By Wayne Bower in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 12-18-2009, 11:31 PM
  3. OT- Remote PC Access...???
    By Stuart Ablett in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 05-08-2008, 01:16 AM
  4. Remote assistance
    By Bart Leetch in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-26-2008, 12:12 PM
  5. 220V remote?
    By ken werner in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 11-28-2006, 01:28 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •