Battery powered wireless button - (Workshop Vacuum Control)

Hi all,

I'm having some ideas about a wireless control for a Festool CTL 26e vacuum cleaner.
Bend down to the technical clue, this would mean no more than shortening a 0v and 'remote' pin on the vacuumcleaner itself.
This can be done with a simple relay, and as there is mains power as well as 5VDC power available, this shouldn't be an issue to make.

But, to control this relay (hence turning the vacuum on or off), i'd like to use a wireless remote.
I'm not sure yet which kind of 'activation' i'd like to use, but i'm thinking about running a rope around the workbench (which is free on all sides, like an island), and then having a pull-switch to transfer this into the 'remote-control-board'.
Now, this remote control-board should be running on batteries, and therefore, i'm wondering what the best solution would be?
Typical, this switch will be used around 5 to 30 times a day, with an average of 10 i'd say.

So in short, some rope-switch is attached to a remote-board (Board-A) (on batteries), which should (wirelessly) send a signal to a stationary-board (Board-B). This board-B is powered from mains, and has the job to switch a relay.

Additionally, it may be very possible that this system (on short term) will be extended to use multiple remote boards (Board-A), to control the same Board-B. Also, line-of-sight or not shouldn't be an issue to keep it simple to use.

My questions:

  1. Which wireless data-transfer protocol should I use (Bluetooth, RF4.33, etc?) ?
  2. How should I design the electronics for the battery-powered board (Board-A) for optimal battery life?
  3. How should I design the coding/software for the battery-powered board (Board-A) for optimal battery life?
  4. Any other helpfull tips to get going?

Thanks in advance!

Probably would not need an Arduino for this (unless you want the project) as you can get cheap off the shelf systems to do this sort of thing.

@Riva, that’s true, but as i’d like to use a ‘special’ way of triggering (i.e. with the mentioned cord-switch), this wouldn’t be a solution. Offcourse i could hack one of those kits to use a different-than-default trigger, but as we’re doing some tinkering then anyway, i’d rather built it from scratch…

Edit: What might be interesting though, is to use such a kit as the receiver-side without any tinkering (instead of making the board-B from scratch), and only make the transmitting side(s) (board-A) myself… Any clues about this approach?

the simple solution would be to get an ESP8266 relay module and an Wemos (also 8266) board a button, resistor and a cell charger

esp relay board

youtube vid

the relay module would be plugged in to be the relay.

the wemos D1 mini would need to be put into an enclosure
connect the battery and connect switches and buttons as you like.

not sure why the second unit has to be battery, but you have your reasons. and the cheap phone charger battery gives you power.

a note is that some battery packs have a low power drop out circuit.
the beauty of the wemos is that you can plug in with a phone charger.

Well, the sake of it being completely wireless, with a long-lasting battery (rather months than a week), is because this is going to be used in a production environment, on a workbench without power-supply to it, it's standing like, in the middle of a room, like an island.

Wouldn't these Wifi modules consume a lot of energy actually?

There's a board called Moteino from LowPowerLab. They make an 8MHz version designed to operate from batteries.

From the Moteino website:

These types of Moteinos are ideal for ultra low power coin cell and other micro power powered nodes – power them from 3.6V or less.

If there will only be one of these in the production environment, then Adafruit have a 4-button keyfob remote control that's already packaged up ready to go. You can't use 2 of them in the same workshop as there isn't any form of unique addressing on the fobs.

The Adafruit device works on 315MHz and they claim 25ft range.

I'm not an RF expert so I don't know how prone their 315MHz system is to interference.

Get an off the shelf clicker and receiver - hook that to a small Arduino and use the Arduino to start/stop your equipment then add whatever extra functions to the Arduino

Reinventing the wheel for the clicker and receiver while being a nice exercise is I think a waste of time

fietstasss:
@Riva, that’s true, but as i’d like to use a ‘special’ way of triggering (i.e. with the mentioned cord-switch), this wouldn’t be a solution. Offcourse i could hack one of those kits to use a different-than-default trigger, but as we’re doing some tinkering then anyway, i’d rather built it from scratch…

Hack the transmitter button so it is can be operated via your cord. The easy way would be to replace (or parallel) the switch with the chord pull.

What we as an industry are missing is an ultra low power RF module with a programmable logic and a few GPIO pins.

What want is dodooable with an RF module and as many batteries as needed.

Logic would tell us you have a vacuum that is used at the bench.
If it is fixed in posistion, then there is a path for doorbell wires
If the vacuum is on a snorkel then it has a handle.
If is like a range hood then pull cords.

Your reasons for wireless are your own. We just point out the obvious.

You can:
Make a wireless module with a low battery indicator.
Use a rechargeable drill battery..

Low battery voltage indicator would give you days of operation to allow swapping the battery or overnight charging

dave-in-nj:
What we as an industry are missing is an ultra low power RF module with a programmable logic and a few GPIO pins.

This is headed there...

Automatic power management that claims 5uA in idle mode and 24uA [while running the ULP coprocessor] at 1% duty cycle