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Thread: Low-voltage switch circuit.

  1. #1
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    Default Low-voltage switch circuit.

    I've seen one or two homes that had wall switches without any line voltage in them. I'm not sure what history would lead to someone having a rack of relays in the basement utility room sending power to ceiling lamps.

    One set of switches I recall involved something more practical, and that's why I'm posting this. These switches were controlling lights in and around a swimming pool, but with all the power coming from the pump room in the pool cabana. I remember these switches weren't controlling relays, but were closing a secondary circuit in some sort of transformer arrangement that I can't recall. I'm pretty sure the closed switch in the secondary circuit made for an increased magnetic field that was used to close contacts, so the function was like a relay, only there was no specific coil with a voltage rating needed to operate it.

    Any of this ring a bell? I rather liked the simplicity of the concept. I saw a data sheet for these low-voltage (or nearly "no-voltage") switching devices, but I just can't remember enough to locate them again.

  2. #2
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Low voltage switching of lights was a big thing years ago. What I have dealt with had a master control located in the master bedroom that controlled all lights.

    What you seem to be describing at the pool is X10 switches.
    http://x10pro-usa.com/

  3. #3
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    Definitely not X10. Much more low-tech. Strictly transformer wiring and magnetism. The control circuit wasn't labeled as having any particular voltage or current. It was a UL-listed device, and not a home-brew circuit.

    I should add that this particular device could have predated the transistor - it was that low-tech
    Last edited by Wet_Boots; 10-03-2013 at 01:39 PM.

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Default Must be FM

    Quote Originally Posted by Wet_Boots View Post
    Definitely not X10. Much more low-tech. Strictly transformer wiring and magnetism. The control circuit wasn't labeled as having any particular voltage or current. It was a UL-listed device, and not a home-brew circuit.

    Was it Magnetism or Hypnotism ?


    Name:  Hypnotism.jpg
Views: 95
Size:  4.9 KB


    http://www.astrologynspiritualism.co..._hypnosis.html



    The only system that I have seen like that used SCR's and Flux capacitors.
    Last edited by DonL; 10-03-2013 at 01:51 PM.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    I think the circuit diagram would look a bit like two transformers in a series connection, with the low-voltage switch interrupting the interconnection between transformers. I'm sure it's something more subtle, though. There might be a parallel winding involved.

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wet_Boots View Post
    I think the circuit diagram would look a bit like two transformers in a series connection, with the low-voltage switch interrupting the interconnection between transformers. I'm sure it's something more subtle, though. There might be a parallel winding involved.


    It may have been like these,

    http://www.douglaslightingcontrol.com/specifications

    Would be great for a Smart Home.


    Have Fun.
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    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    It must be something that was always obscure. I don't even remember how I located a diagram of its inner workings, in pre-internet days. I don't think it used anything but wires and magnetism to accomplish the task, and it did so without step-down transformers and relays.

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    DIY Senior Member bluebinky's Avatar
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    It sounds like some kind of magnetic amplifier.

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    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wet_Boots View Post
    I think the circuit diagram would look a bit like two transformers in a series connection, with the low-voltage switch interrupting the interconnection between transformers.....
    Quote Originally Posted by Wet_Boots View Post
    .....I don't think it used anything but wires and magnetism to accomplish the task, and it did so without step-down transformers and relays.
    So which is it?

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ActionDave View Post
    So which is it?


    This has to be one of those 0 phase systems.


    Sounds like FM.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  11. #11
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    My memories just can't quite connect the dots. Since there was supposedly very little power/voltage in the control wires, I think that probably rules out a circuit where you can see a turns ratio on a magnetic core. And yet, closing the circuit represented by the control wires would alter a magnetic field enough to open and close power contacts.

    You see the circuit diagram, and you get it, is about all I can add. And that even goes for my grudgingly obtained schooling in magnetics, where a weber is a charcoal grill, and a henry is the home run king.

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    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Sounds like an old R-7 relay system. 24V to switch boxes and remote latching relays to control the lights. Great system. Rugged, reliable, and flexible.

  13. #13
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Some of the newer systems are pretty neat.

    If you run DC you can go off grid without the need of inverters.

    With all of the Smart Meters used now a days, Remote controlling over the internet is getting popular.


    Have Fun.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wet_Boots View Post
    a weber is a charcoal grill,
    Here we are in agreement and one of the best on the market. I own two of them, one charcoal the other gas

    Quote Originally Posted by Wet_Boots View Post
    and a henry is the home run king.
    Now I must give a little rebuttal on this as Henry is the best darn rifle ever made

  15. #15
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    A google search is not much use. Too much product out there accomplishing the same task with modern electronics. I might someday find an invoice that gives me the location where these switching units are probably still in place, and I might request a peek at them.

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