Mains Slave Switcher

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

There are many situations where two or more pieces of equipment are used together and to avoid having to switch each item on separately or risk the possibility of leaving one of them on when switching the rest off, a slave switch is often used. Applications which spring to mind are a computer/printer/scanner etc or audio amplifier/record deck/tune

Mains Slave Switcher
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r combinations or perhaps closest to every electronics enthusiast`s heart, the work bench where a bench power supply/oscilloscope/soldering iron etc are often required simultaneously. The last is perhaps a particularly good example as the soldering iron, often having no power indicator, is invariably left on after all the other items have been switched off. Obviously the simplest solution is to plug all of the items into one extension socket and switch this on and off at the mains socket but this is not always very convenient as the switch may be difficult to reach often being behind or under the work bench. Slave switches normally sense the current drawn from the mains supply when the master unit is switched on by detecting the resulting voltage across a series resistor and switching on a relay to power the slave unit(s). This means that the Live or Neutral feed must be broken to allow the resistor to be inserted. This circuit, which is intended for switching power to a work bench when the bench light is switched on, avoids resistors or any modifications to the lamp or slave appliances by sensing the electric field around the lamp cable when this is switched on. The lamp then also functions as a power on` indicator (albeit a very large one that cannot be ignored) that shows when all of the equipment on the bench is switched on. The field, which appears around the lamp cable when the mains is connected, can be sensed by a...

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