What specific equipment/s will I use to control multiple switches using fewer number of control wires?

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Try some single throw double/triple throw switches.

    Source(s): I'm an Electrician
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  • 1 decade ago

    (really depends on what TYPE of signal you're wanting to control.)

    You need to do perform some kind of encoding to "compress" the input signals, and then decode it at the business end. This is called multiplexing

    A fairly simple (frequency division) multiplexing circuit could take your control signals, and use them to control the tone outputted from a single tone encoder integrated circuit (which produces signals like phone tones). This single signal is then "piped" to where it is needed and then a Tone decoder IC, figures out what signals produced the tone. The low voltage output can control transistors, or (with diode protection) relays/solenoids. With this simple frequency division multiplexing you should be able to get at least 8 signals though each control line.

    Try an electrical hobby store for the tone encoders/decoder chips.

    Are the switches being used to block/allow signals, or is it simply to turn power on/off? If it's just power that being controlled it might be feasible to use a variant of the above, and "add" the controlling signals into the power lines, Then all the control signals are carried by the power lines which you need anyway.


    Another way of compressing the input signals can be done if you only need to CHANGE the setting on one switch at a time. If not told what to do the switch stays at the setting it was.

    This crops up a fair bit In a factory type situations, where you need to control lots of switches, at widely separated locations.

    To implement a solution here I'd take some PIC microprocessors (fairly cheep) and program them so they can communicate with each other over some kind of serial bus protocol (perhaps something like the I2C bus which has 2 control wires). You can place commands onto the bus from one (or many?) master controllers (which would have your main control wires as an input) , and the slave controllers will remember what they've been told to do. Depending on the number of IO lines the particular PIC has, you can control up to (about) 16 electrical switches per PIC.

    The following details a far simpler PIC powered muxer.



    It's not that difficult to program PIC micro-controllers, there's even some programs to create the required logic/code from flow-charts. While it IS overkill, and doesn't utilise the PIC to anywhere near it's full capacity, it's often cheaper and far easier to use a PIC as a direct replaced for several ICs (such as those from the 74 logic device family). You can also change the logic without redesigning the circuit board (sometimes even without needing to remove the chip from the circuit).

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It sounds like you are switching power. For this, you will need either a multi-pole relay/contactor or a PLC.

    For small low power jobs, I've used this rather cheap PLC. See the links below.

    Also, the plural of the word "equipment" is "equipment" (without the letter "s").

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  • med
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Relay..depends on the number of output u wnt to control..


    double pole, double throw

    double pole, triple throw

    much more..

    recommended brand:


    Source(s): i'm a trainee engineer
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  • 1 decade ago

    you need de-coder and rellays

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