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Need advice on relay for disabled child's puff switch

  1. Aug 13, 2010 #1

    I do not know what I am looking for other than a relay, but what I need is a way to have this puff switch

    http://www.mansionathletics.com/puff-switch-physical-education-recreation-children-special-needs-ability-switches-action-37294.html?channelid=Yahoo%20Shopping [Broken]

    turn on a grounded 110v device that plugs into a regular grounded wall outlet.

    The puff switch is for disabled people who can only turn things on/off with their breath. They blow to activate the switch, which turns an item on. So by blowing into this puff switch would activate a (relay) that allows a grounded 110v device plugged into a wall outlet to turn on. Is there a term for the type of relay or item Im looking for?

    I could handle a soldering iron if I know what to get at radio shack and how it goes together, but if an item is already out there that someone can point me to, that is even better.

    thank you so much,
    geeky granny
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 13, 2010 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF!

    Is the disabled person in a bed so that there is a wired connection from this puff switch to the power relay? Or does it need to work with the disabled person in a wheelchair?

    What kind of AC powered device will be plugged into the switched outlet? I would think that things like a light or radio would be fine, but a heater might have some serious safety issues if any part of the puff switch to power switch arrangement had a problem...

    One possibility might be some kind of BlueTooth controller something something. Some RF control widgets that most likely exist, like a BlueTooth remote control to a BlueTooth AC outlet control switch...
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Aug 13, 2010 #3
    What you want is perhaps called a "Latching Relay". You need something that will turn ON with one "puff" and then (I presume) turn OFF with the next puff. I don't know of a simple relay that will do that -- they tend to only go one way, although there are timed relays that turn on for some set of minutes. A bit of logic-circuit-foo, perhaps with a flip-flop, would do the trick to run the relay both ways.

    As berkeman said, there may be safety issues, but searching for latching and flip-flop might give you some pointers. If you have no electronic experience it's probably a bit more than you can handle, perhaps you know someone who knows someone who can give you a bit of hands-on guidance?
  5. Aug 13, 2010 #4
    wow, thank you for the fast responses. I apologize if I don't know what Im talking about, but I dont lol.

    We can use a sip/puff switch, which works it so that air goes one way turns the device on, and the air going the other way turns it off.
    But these are very low voltage devices and are designed to do only computers, audio, toys etc. I think the one I pasted to you has a mono-jack (?). Some come with USB port jacks, but there wont be a computer available.

    We need to have this low-voltage puff or sip/puff switch with a mono jack, be able to plug into or hook into a relay. If puff switch is activated, then that will turn on any ungrounded or grounded 110v device that's needed at the time... Toaster, oxygen machine, heater, lamps, etc. We would set these up wherever ahead of time.
    The person is wheelchair bound and manages the wheelchair with a sip/puff switch as well.

    Does anyone know if there is any ready-made relay that can accept a low-voltage switch with a mono-jack like this, that will plug into the wall and have a regular appliance plugged into it? Or its sounding like Id need an expert to wire something?
  6. Aug 14, 2010 #5
    Oh, I see...you need an Off-The-Shelf solution...

    I just searched for "remote control switch" and found
    SmartHome: http://www.smarthome.com/2473SWH/OutletLinc-INSTEON-Remote-Control-Outlet-White/p.aspx
    and Lamson: https://www.amazon.com/Lamson-HW1190-Outdoor-Remote-Control/dp/B0000TI5JY

    But both are truly "remote" controlled, rather than just taking a low voltage control input and switching some nice AC output. Maybe if you find suppliers for these things they will know of something more appropriate to your needs. Lighting and alarm companies might also be able to point you someplace, or maybe even have some hacker on the payroll who could wire up a solution from scratch.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
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