AC "Switch" Help

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  #1  
Old 10-24-12, 07:14 AM
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AC "Switch" Help

I am in the need of something I hope that exists or can be built easily.

Here are the specs:
Two AC inputs:
  • One Always On
  • One either On or Off
Two AC outputs:
  • One is one the other is off
  • They switch state based on the input that is either on or off


I need this for two things. First is for a Haunted House. So with one switch I can turn off the lighting in a room and turn on strobe lights. Right now I need to use two switches. It would be far better to only require one switch.

The other is for Christmas. I have a device to turn Christmas lights on and off, but I would like to use each channel twice by when one string is off another is on.

Anybody have any ideas?
 
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  #2  
Old 10-24-12, 07:22 AM
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That's a relay. They exist, I have no idea where to get an AC relay. I've always used relays in low voltage DC applications.
 
  #3  
Old 10-24-12, 07:41 AM
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I have a bunch of old power supply for devices so I could convert the on and off AC into DC using one of those.


Where can I find a relay that will take the 120 VAC as input, ? VDC as the controller and output two differen 120VAC paths?
 
  #4  
Old 10-24-12, 06:10 PM
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You could use a 3-way switch which is basically a SPDT switch. It allows one or the other output to be 'on'. Might this do what you need?
 
  #5  
Old 10-25-12, 04:20 AM
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Where can I find a relay that will take the 120 VAC as input, ? VDC as the controller and output two differen 120VAC paths?
Graybar is one brick & mortar that comes to mind. There are boatloads of online stores that carry them.

Make sure the 120VAC contacts are rated for the circuit they'll be controlling. Also, you don't need to use a DC coil voltage. Just buy a relay that's controlled by 120VAC.
 
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Old 10-25-12, 05:13 AM
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Thank you for the suggestions.

What I will be running is several strands of Christmas lights. I have a 4 channel display that I picked up for Lowes but there are times nothing is on, or half the house is dark.

I want to use this to have a light on all the time, but it would shift between the two sets of strands.

Sort of making 4 channels into 8 channels.

I do appreciate the part suggestions, can someone point me links to wehre I can buy the parts online?

Thank you
 
  #7  
Old 10-25-12, 12:19 PM
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You don't need relays to do this. As Zorfdt suggested,
Originally Posted by Zorfdt
You could use a 3-way switch which is basically a SPDT switch.
You can buy a 3-way switch at any home supply or hardware store.
 
  #8  
Old 10-26-12, 04:20 AM
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A 3-way switch could certainly work, but it doesn't automatically "switch state based on the input that is either on or off" as ogexam asked in the original post.

Here's one example of a relay: 120 VAC DPDT 10 AMP RELAY | AllElectronics.com
 
  #9  
Old 10-26-12, 12:28 PM
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OK, got it. That's why relays or contactors are needed.
 
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