Shop-Built Wireless Dust Collector Remote
By Dominic Greco

About a month ago I posted a question on Woodnet's Power Tool Forum in regards to a Wireless DC (Dust Collector) Remote for my 3 HP Dust Collector. Since it's a 220V unit, you really can't use one of those shop vac remotes you see advertised. I got a couple of good recommendations for units ranging from $200 to $350. But one response really piqued my interest. Fred Hargis said that I could MAKE MY OWN for much less than the ones sold. Far be it from me to say no to a little DIY project! Especially when I could make it more robust than the ones sold.

So I started asking more questions about which components to purchase and assembled my own unit. But this kind of information is just too good not to share with the general public. So I decided to make us this document that would give the sources for the items and even help the average (non-electrically inclined) wood worker put their own together.

One thing about this design: Because I like "SIMPLE", I made it a drop-in-place unit. Other than assembling the unit itself, there is no wiring needed. You just plug one end of your DC's 220V plug in one socket, the other goes to your 220V outlet. Then you plug the wireless switch into the 125V line and in turn plug that into a 125V outlet. That's IT.

Some Caveats before we start:
All of the components that will see 220 volts are sized for 20 amps. That's the max my circuits are wired for. If you want to use this for a DC larger than 3 HP, I'd take care to read through the specs of each component and make sure that they can take the added load.

If you want to follow these instructions, awesome. But I am warning you now that you need to take special precautions when dealing with electricity. The author of this document (ME) claims no responsibility for injury sustained by yourself while you are attempting to replicate this project. Proper electrical safety protocols must be followed at all times and if you have any reservations please ask an electrician. I am not a professional electrician nor do I pretend to be. Before I put power to ANYTHING here I had it looked at by a qualified individual. My take is always, "Better safe than sorry".

OK now that's out of the way we can continue.

The heart of this unit is a magnetic contactor. It's really just a big 220V switch that in this case is powered (energized) by a separate 125V line. The wireless switch is nothing more than one of those used to control outdoor Christmas lights. Once you push the button on the remote the wireless switch engages which in turn, energizes the magnetic starter. And bingo!, your DC is on.

Along with the wireless switch you need an enclosure, or pull box for the contactor. Plus you need some wire, some 220V and 125V plugs, a couple of strain reliefs, some electrical terminals, and assorted mounting hardware.

So without further ado, here is the parts list:

(1) Remote Actuated Wireless Switch
Woods 32555 Outdoor Remote Control Outlet Converter Kit: Price $13.83

(1) Pull Box (Enclosure)
Adamax 664SCE 6x6x4 Electrical Enclosure: Price $16.61

(1) Magnetic Contactor
Packard C240B Packard Contactor 2 Pole 40 Amps 120 Coil Voltage: Price: $11.91 

(10 Ft) Power Cable
Source: Home Depot
Southwire Model # 55808799 Internet # 204633008 12-3 SJOOW Black 300V (By-the-Foot), 10 Ft @ $1.18 per foot = $11.18

Strain Reliefs
Source: Home Depot
Halex Model # 20570 3/8 in. Flexible Metal Conduit (FMC) Combination Clamp Connector (5-Pack) Price: $2.75/pack

Special note here: I've been informed that this particular model strain relief is for hard shell (romex) electrical line and really not suited for the rubber coated power cable I am using. It will function as a strain relief. But it will not seal out the dust. If you want the proper type, look for one plastic ones with a rubber seal. Or you can do like I did and wrap some neoprene around the cable. Your choice.

Female Electrical Connectors
Source: Home Depot
Tyco Electronics Model # CPGI-3-350820-2-10 Internet # 202204295 Store SKU # 300576, Female Disconnect Fully Insulated Nylon 16-14 AWG, .250 Series, 10/Clam, $2.99/pack

These connectors are the kind that are crimped around the wire. While this contactor has the ability to clamp the wire with some built in screws, the enclosure is too small to easily allow that.

220V Plug
Source: Home Depot
Pass & Seymour NEMA 6-20P 20 Amp 250 Volt Plug, Model#: PS5466XCCV4, Internet #:202664477, Store SKU #:571800, $9.99 each

220V Connector
Source: Home Depot
Pass & Seymour NEMA 6-20R Extra Hard Use Connector, 20 Amp 250 Volt, Model#: PS5469XCCV4, Internet #:100202254, Store SKU #:571865, $15.49 each

125V Plug (Male)
Source: Home Depot
Pass & Seymour Model # PS5965YCC15 Internet # 202664513 Store SKU # 589538, 15 Amp 125-Volt Yellow Grip Plug, Price: $4.98 each

Wiring Diagram
Once you've gotten all of the components purchased is shouldn't be that hard to wire the connections. To make it easy on myself I drew up a wiring diagram so that I could plan out where the wires were terminated

So it was pretty easy to go from the diagram to the assembly below.

If you notice, the grounds are all tied together with a lug nut. But to be "up to code" I really needed also to tie them to the chassis of the pull box. So I drilled a small hole and used a 8-32" x 1/2" long pan head machine screw, washer, lock washer and hex nut.

If you take a close look at the photo above you will see that the pull box has (4) mounting holes. I used these to bolt the completed assembly to a piece of 3/4" plywood and then fastened that to the wall near my dust collector.

Once it was in place I plugged the power cable from my DC into the female connector hanging off of of the DC Remote. Then I plugged the 220V male plug into the wall socket. With that done I connected the wireless switch to the end of the DC Remote's 125V line and plugged it into a nearby 125V outlet

And you can see the results here:

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