Like others here, I have been impressed with the various Arduino + maker skills exhibited on YouTube that show off home made dust collection systems where the system activates with the tool and opens dust ports etc and then runs for a few seconds after the tool stops.
I wanted one but lack the low level technical chops to make one. So I looked at the iVac which is basically a power bar with a current sensor that turns on the vaccum port if the power tool port draws power. The problem with that is, beyond the CNC, I wanted dust collection to activate from various power tools in the shop. In my case, workbench (track saw), jigsaw table, chop saw.
I had some WIFI enabled power outlets from Amazon and I thought… I wonder if…
A bit of playing around in the smart app and viola, I have my shop vac linked to various outlets for on and off actions. Turn on the chop saw and the vaccum fires up. Turn off the chopsaw outlet (I have a powerbar vertically at eye height and the smart outlet inline there) and the off command on the chop saw tells the shop vac to run for 5 seconds more to clear the line. Step over to the workbench and run the track saw (or whatever else I plug in to the bench outlet) and it goes on and off with that outlet too. I only need to move the hose. Same 5 second delay.
Likewise, when cleaning I can use any of the non-latched power switches (e.g. chop saw or track saw, but no the jigsaw table) and turn the vac on and off from various places around the shop.
It was a very cheap and flexible solution and it will move with me if I move house. I recently moved in to a new house, six months ago, and haven’t really experienced winter in this garage yet. But I can see the garage doors have air leaks and are not insulated. That won’t do. Due to an eye brow raising boiler room design, it gets very hot in there. And the previous owner vented the room via a simple 6" conduit in to the garage (they share a wall). He had an old mechanical timer driving a bathroom fan to push air.
The thought occured to me “I wonder if I can get a WIFI enabled temperature sensor that can drive the power outlet instead of a timer… it would be nice if it came on and off automatically and maintained a comfortable temperature in the shop.” A bit research, another amazon order and I’ve now got a nice temperature feedback loop running from across the shop that calls for heat when it is needed but doesn’t roast me out or require intervention.
The temperature sensor was price, about $70 but it also has hot and cold triggered outlets (that I don’t need or use yet). However the 15A WIFI outlets are more like $10-$15 a piece. So you can set up one device and a shopvac for about $30 and add other devices for a song after that. Obviously once the Longmill arrives I’ll add a WIFI enabled power port for the Makita router and when it fires I’ll also activate the vac.
If anyone wants any other details, let me know. I set it all up from the app on my phone in a few minutes once I figured out how the app worked and thought through the logic etc.