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remote control *3 WAY* switch

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Dan Durachko, Dec 9, 2004.

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  1. Dan Durachko

    Dan Durachko Guest

    Sears/Craftsman used to market a 3 way switch for controlling a 120VAC load
    that was triggered by a garage door opener. Mine failed and attempts to
    debug/repair it have been less than fruitful. It appears as though there
    are multiple problems with the original unit. I used it to control a 500W
    spotlight for my driveway/parking area. I cannot seem to locate anything on
    the market today other than a plug-in, 1 way switch that operates from a
    common garage door opener signal. I miss the convenience and would like to
    make one on my own. Basically, the Sears unit utilized a couple of
    internally triggered triacs switched by a 4013 and an Rx module to change
    the state of the flip-flop. Other ancillary items on the board merely
    stepped down the mains voltage to power the Rx module and logic and there
    are also a half dozen or so small transistors and an inductive coil that my
    lack of knowledge prevents me from understanding. Question: Any web
    reference(s) out there that would get me started designing and assembling
    such a device and perhaps take me right through to completion? I'm sure
    thousands of people out there could draw just what I need on a napkin in
    less than a minute. TIA.
     
  2. I'd just use x10 switches. At list prices, $20 for a 3-way master
    switch and one companion (aka slave) switch. Or if you want the
    "decorator" style, about $30. Special offers can considerably reduce
    those prices. To interface to the garage door, you can either hook into
    the GDO light socket as if it were a slave switch, or modify any of
    various X10 controllers using your choice of connection to the GDO, or
    use a "powerflash" module ($20) which accepts either a contact closure
    or low-voltage to trigger.

    Notes: Your 500w load is at the max rating for the cheapest x10
    switches. You can get the best deals if you watch for specials at
    x10.com, but for less annoying marketing, a wider variety of switches,
    and a nice switch comparison table, see http://www.smarthome.com .

    Oh, and currently my garage lighting has two 100w bulbs in ceiling boxes
    which are turned on by either the GDO or by a motion detector. I have
    several fluorescents controlled by wall switches if I don't want to
    chance the motion detector and/or GDO timeout or need more light. This
    means instead of depending on one little bulb on the front of the GDO, I
    get more light, better bulb life even using normal (not ruggedized)
    bulbs, and have multiple bulbs (so one burning out doesn't leave me in
    the dark). Works great. X10 would have been overkill (but I do use
    X10 in many places).

    sdb
     
  3. Dan Durachko

    Dan Durachko Guest

    Thanks for the tip. I never *really* looked into X10 but your post spurred
    me to look into it. I'll likely just go this route.
     
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