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Making an alarm to remind drivers to unplug anderson plug

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by tc2233, Apr 11, 2012.

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  1. tc2233


    Apr 11, 2012
    Hi all.

    At work I have several concrete trucks and a forklift which has an anderson plug to recharge the battery. The current problem is that some of the drivers forget to unplug the anderson plug and rip the battery charger out of the wall so far costing me $1200 in damage :mad: (even the sign on the steering wheel doesnt remind them!!!)

    I had a look around to see if there was an alarm system i could wire into these vehicles which sounds an alarm when the engine is turned on and when the anderson plug remains plugged in, but i was unable to find anything on the market.

    Im not an expert when it comes to electronics but could someone help me out with some possible design ideas/solutions.

    This might seem seem common sense to you guys but the battery is 12 volts.
  2. CocaCola


    Apr 7, 2012
    Simple solution make the people liable for the damage they cause, I'll bet after the next guy gets his paycheck docked for damage everyone will be much more aware...

    Without hands on or more knowledge of the charging systems a fancy alarm solution is hard or impossible to design...

    May I suggest a magnetic break away on the charging cord, and if you want to get fancy wire a third wire across the break away point hooked up to a LOUD siren... The next dolt that drives off plugged in simply breaks the magnetic break-away that causes no damage...

    A magnetic break away like this

    You can re-purpose this kind of magnetic break away plug from most cheap deep fryers that are made for home use...
  3. timothy48342


    Nov 28, 2011
    I think CocaCola has a great Idea.

    It makes me think of the Breakaway Hose Disconnects at gas stations. You can't trust every driver to remember to take the nozzle out of their gas take and hang it back up. It is going to happen that someone forgets and drives off.

    In the case of the fuel pump Disconnects, they automatically close both exposed hose ends, so that fuel doesn't spill all over the place. You may want to consider something similar. You don't want exposed contacts lying on the floor, not even 12V.

    If the male end of the Magnetic Breakaway, for instance, has exposed live contacts that should be the end that stays firmly fixed to the charger or wall. If the female end has recessed contacts, that would be the end that is dragging along behind the absent minded forklift driver. Or possible it could disconnect at the forklift end instead of at the wall/charger. Or possibly mount it high enough that it doesn't reach the floor on disconnect.

    I don't know. Either way, I'm just saying think about that aspect too.

  4. tc2233


    Apr 11, 2012
    Thanks for the replies.

    I ended up visiting the auto electrician 2 hours ago and he has come up with a simple idea of sticking some reed switches onto the anderson plug and the terminal on the side of the vehicle, then just using a simple circuit (which has buzzers and lights) which connects to the key ignition. Very cheap solution must i add

    Problem solved :)

    I do like your idea Cocacola. Might give that idea ago if i have some free time.
  5. jackorocko


    Apr 4, 2010
    Yep, I will agree with coke man. Make the personnel responsible for the damages. It will put a halt to the idiocy real quick. It has worked in the past and it will work far into the future.

    People never seem to care until it is their money being ripped out of their wallet. Grown men ffs, are they smoking weed and that is why they have short memory, have you drug tested them :D
  6. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    It may not be legal to dock your employees pay for this.

    If there is a cover on the charging port you might be able to fit a microswitch so that power to the forklift is disabled unless the cover is closed.

    Aside from problems with the cover popping open (it would halt the forklift) it would certainly ensure that you couldn't drive away with the charger attached.

    Presumably there is some sort of key that needs to be used to "turn on" the forklift, and presumably this doesn't carry a current that can't be switched using a relay

    You could also do a similar trick using a reed relay and a magnet attached to the charging plug.

    There may be safety issues with modifications like these, and you would need to check that there are no BAAAAD implications. If you have the option of just disabling the starter that may be better (but that may not be an option if your forklift is electric)
  7. tc2233


    Apr 11, 2012
    haha, i wish i could charge my employee's for the repair bill but i guess it was an accident.

    Out of curiosity, instead of using a buzzer/alarm to remind the driver, does anyone know where i could buy something that i can record a message (" You f****g idiot!!! you forgot to unplug the battery charger!!!") that will get played when the driver forgets to unplug the battery recharger?

    I cant find anything at electronic shops in Australia.
  8. tweaker


    Apr 11, 2012
    Haha you will have to open it up and see what kind of button that is and wire what was on the buzzer to the button so when the buzzer was supposed to go off it triggers the push button on this thing.
  9. tc2233


    Apr 11, 2012
    Thanks Tweaker, that is what im looking for. Placing an order right now, fairly cheap too.
  10. CocaCola


    Apr 7, 2012
    That little voice recorder is poor quality audio and has nil volume, there might not be enough to even hear it in a running vehicle...

    If you want a custom made voice playback module that has some boom level audio to it I can help you with that...
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