In this DIY tutorial, I show you how to automate dust collection system with voice commands.
Tools I Used
IntroductionIn workshops, dust collection systems are very important.
Also, they keep the shop clean and maintain healthy air quality.
Essentially, it is a good idea to equip woodworking workshops with an adequate dust collection system or air purification/filter system.
At present, I have a decent dust collection system in my shop with a manual on/off method.
It is wall mounted, large enough to handle multiple tools, and has PVC pipe with 4 outlets & blast gates.
Ultimately, I needed a way to automate dust collection with voice commands.
Dust Collection Automation Options
As with everything, there are many options to automate dust collection in a workshop.
Furthermore, the most popular method is with a remote control. In addition, dust collection systems can also be activated when a power tool uses electricity.
Regardless, dust collection automation is widely adopted and used in one form or another in most systems.
Mainly, I used home automation for lighting control, home surveillance triggering, motion detection, & climate control.
Recently, I didn’t think about using home automation technologies to automate dust collection in my workshop.
I also decided it would be more convenient to incorporate voice activation as well.
Configuration Procedure Overview
- Install SmartThings Hub
- Wall Oulet Installation
- Pair outlet with SmartThings Hub
- Install & Configure Amazon Echo Dot
- Link Amazon Dot with SmartThings Hub
Home Automation Controllers
Most importantly, the brains of a home automation system is the home controller.
Currently, I have 2 home controllers (Mi Casa Vera 3 and Samsung SmartThings) in two different locations.
Also, I prefer the Samsung SmartThings because it is a bit more widely adopted among consumer manufacturers and user friendly.
For example, the SmartThings Hub integrates with Amazon Echo (Alexa) very easily as you can see in my video.
Ultimately, I encourage you to do your own research on which home controller is best for you.
Home Controller Language
First, the home controller communicates with end devices via wireless protocols (i.e. languages) such as z-wave, zigbee, or insteon.
There are a few others, but they are beyond the scope of this blog post.
Keep in mind, these are not ‘WiFi’ protocols like 802.11. They are wireless protocols that operate at a certain frequency.
Do you remember the days when the DVD industry wasn’t sure if BlueRay or HD DVDs would be the standard?
If so, this is sort of similar to the current state with the aforementioned protocols.
However, maybe a bit further along but you get the point.
Z-wave vs Zigbee vs Insteon
Z-wave & zigbee are standardized protocols. In turn, this facilitates compatible endpoints from different manufacturers.
Also, Insteon is proprietary and best used for very large networks.
Ultimately, these protocols as languages. If an endpoint (wall outlet, light, etc.) is a z-wave compatible device, it cannot speak to a zigbee or Insteon endpoint.
Additionally, this applies to zignee & Insteon.
Luckily, most home controllers speak the language of at least 2 protocols.
So, what does this mean? It means you can have a SmartThings home controller with a z-wave wall outlet and Zigbee thermostat..
Essentially, I prefer to use one protocol for my endpoints in order to take advantage of the mesh capability.
First, Z-Wave and ZigBee both use mesh networking to extend the distance they can be from the home controller.
Normally, the z-wave or zigbee device can be no more than 150 feet from the controller.
Essentially, mesh networking allows a Z-Wave or ZigBee signal to “hop” through other Z-Wave or ZigBee devices (respectively) to reach the home controller.
Additionally, certain powered Z-Wave or ZigBee devices can act as wireless repeaters to increase the range and strength of the mesh network.
In summary, I hope you learned how to automate a dust collection system with voice commands.
Also, be sure to visit my other workshop projects.
Lastly, this project expands easily to control other parts of my workshop such as climate, lighting, fans, and much more.
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Monday 1st of April 2019
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