PowerSwitch Tail II
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PowerSwitch Tail II
An isolated 5VDC actuated switch for controlling power to 120VAC devices with microcontrollers and other low-voltage circuits.
More output with less input; same "plug and play" installation. PowerSwitchTail has released the second version of the popular PowerSwitch Tail. New improvements include the capability of switching 15 amps over the previous version's 10 amps, the input circuit to the PST II is now an opto-isolator thus reducing the input power required to switch the AC circuit, and the power cord is of a heavier gauge (14AWG) to accommodate the 15 amp service.
No exposed 120VAC voltages and no dangerous 120VAC wiring required.
Plugs into standard 12VAC 3-prong household outlets, power strips, and extension cords.
Eliminates the exposure of hazardous voltages in classrooms, in laboratories, and on industrial and DIY development workbenches.
No special 120VAC wiring when deploying new products and custom solutions.
Can be installed by non-technical users: Instruction sheet.
Easily inserts between power source and corded electrical devices.
Switches up to 15 amps with a control signal as low as 3VDC at 3mA. Ideal for use with battery operated controllers.
Connects directly to MCU output pin without the need for driver transistor or buffer circuit.
Two-wire control signal connects to terminal block (30-14 AWG) and 5300Vrms isolation from the 120VAC circuit.
LED indicator shows status of control signal.
Units are "stackable" and easily mount on a 2" x 2.5" grid with two screws.
Connect input plug to wall outlet or when using multiple units, to a power strip.
Connect output receptacle to a single powered device or to a power strip to control multiple loads.
Output devices may be 3-prong or 2-prong appliances or lights.
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The only downside is these units can get kind of expensive!!
I used a spare USB charger "wall wart" (5VDC output) plugged into a low current switched AC outlet on the appliance with a controlling on/off switch to signal the PowerSwitch Tail to turn the high current load on/off in sync with the controlling switch.
I gave it a four stars instead of five because I would have preferred a slightly different configuration for the overall function. One "block" with one corded power plug for AC input and two clearly marked power receptacle dongles, or better yet two fixed receptacles in the PowerSwitch block, for outputs. One output marked for the high current AC load attached to the PowerSwitch and the other outlet marked for the lower current AC load controller. The idea is to provide power to both the high and low current loads through the PowerSwitch. The system would operated by sensing current flow to the low current load. When the low current load is switched "off" (drawing no power) the PowerSwitch would block current to flow to the high current AC load but when the low current load is switched "on" (drawing current through the PowerSwitch) the PowerSwitch would allow power to flow to the high current load. This preferred "one block" configuration would remove the need the "two block" configuration that I had to use: one PowerSwitch plus one external DC supply. It would also have eliminated the need to cut a perfectly good USB charging cable to allow access the 5VDC and Ground wires.