iVAC Pro Wireless Dust Control System - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

Ideal for both small one-person shops and larger commercial outfits.

iVAC Pro Wireless Dust Control System

iVAC Pro Wireless Dust Control System



Power control switches for remotely turning dust collectors on and off have been available for some time. Essentially, a control switch is connected in between the dust collector and its electrical outlet. You then use a remote battery powered transmitter to turn the dust collector on and off. It's a simple and effective system that I used for quite a few years. The thing to remember is that these systems still require the user to physically switch the dust collector on and off - albeit remotely - as well as turning the machine they are using on or off.
 
The iVAC Pro Wireless Dust Control System is a wireless dust control system that simplifies the process of controlling your dust collector. Once installed, you simply turn on the machine you intend to use - the iVAC Pro system will automatically turn the dust collector on. Turn the machine off, and the iVAC Pro will automatically turn the dust collector off. It effectively eliminates the need for a remote transmitter.
 
An iVAC Pro system consists of two basic components - a Switch unit that activates the dust collector, and a Tool unit that transmits a signal from a shop machine to the Switch. The dust collector is plugged into the Switch, which is then plugged into an electrical outlet. Each shop machine that is connected to your dust collection system is plugged into its own Tool unit, which is in turn plugged into an electrical outlet. You can use up to eight Tool units with one Switch.
 
Both the Tool and Switch boxes come in four models - either 115 volt 15 Amp or 20 Amp models, and 240 volt 15 Amp or 20 Amp models.


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T11520NA Tool unit
04
S11515NA Switch unit
All the units measure about 2" by 4-1/2", and have an AC receptacle at the top of the box, with a three-mode power switch (Auto, On, Off) and reset button at the bottom. The power cords are approximately 30" long.
 
It's easy to tell the different units apart as the volt and amp combinations have different blade configurations.


plugs
Electrical plugs for volt and amp configurations
          
At the back of each iVAC Tool unit you'll find a program switch that enables you to assign an independent address for each Tool unit. You'll only need to change these settings if you are using more than one Tool unit.
 
There is also a program switch at the back of the iVAC Switch unit that enables you to change the length of time the dust collector will continue to run after a machine is turned off. This enables the dust collector to clear any remaining debris from the ducting. The default turn-off time is 5 seconds - it can also be set to 0, 15 or 45 seconds. There is a 1.5 second delay between the start up of the machine and the dust collector - which prevents overloading the electrical circuit.
 
Reasonably clear instructions for changing the program switches are contained in the user guide that comes with each iVAC unit.


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Program switch cover
22
Program switch on iVAC Tool unit
When you have several machines connected to the Switch unit, the first machine that is turned on will activate the dust collector. The final machine that you switch off will turn the dust collector off. In large shops with multiple dust collectors, you can have multiple Switch units, and assign specific Tool units to work only with a specific Switch unit.

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iVAC Tool units installed
     
The iVAC system I installed consisted of a 115 volt 15 Amp Switch (for a 115 volt 1-1/2 HP dust collector), one 240 volt 20 Amp Tool unit (for a table saw) and one 115 volt 20 Amp Tool unit (for a jointer). The planer is connected to a separate dust collection source. I also installed a 115 volt Contactor.
 
Installing the two Tool units and the Switch took all of 15 minutes. It was a simple matter of unplugging the machinery, mounting the iVAC units close to the electrical receptacles, and then plugging the machinery into the iVAC units, and plugging the iVAC units into the electrical receptacles. There are two mounting tabs at the top of each box for screwing them to walls or other support structures.


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iVAC Contactor installed adjacent to electrical panel and iVAC Switch
      
For 115 volt dust collectors over 1 HP and 240 volt collectors over 1-1/2 HP, the manufacturer recommends that you also install a Contactor - a heavy duty 3-pole relay. The reason is that some dust collectors have a start-up current demand that can be as high as 60 Amps, and a running current of 16 Amps, which can overload and trip the circuit breaker in the iVAC units, which are designed to operate at 115 volts.
 
I chose to have an electrician install the Contactor, as it needs to be wired into the main electrical panel. This took just under half an hour.


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3-pole heavy duty relay 
    
The iVAC Pro has been in operation for about a month, and I'm exceptionally pleased with its performance. There are up to five people using the shop at any one time, and it's considerably more convenient to have a wireless system than one that uses a battery operated remote transmitter. There is no searching around for the remote, or having someone turn the dust collector off prematurely. The price for our 4 component system is $265.85, and additional Tool units can be added at any time for under $60.
 
The iVAC Pro is a super accessory that is ideal for both small one-person shops and larger commercial outfits.

KEY FEATURES:


  • Four power variations that cover all shop machinery
  • Wireless (RF) communication of up to 40 feet
  • Circuit breaker protection on all units
  • Three modes of operation - Auto, On, Off
  • Up to 8 Tools controlled by one Switch
  • 1 year warranty

MANUFACTURER:Ivac Switch
AVAILABLE FROM:Locate a Retailer;
Buy Online
RETAIL PRICE:$57.95 (Tool unit)
$67.95 (Switch unit)
$89.95 (Contactor)
MODEL #:As tested:
T11515NA (115V, 15A Tool)
T24020NA (240V, 20A Tool)
S11515NA (115V, 15A Switch)
C115NA (Contactor)
MADE IN:China

Author: 
Carl Duguay
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