AC accessory control box

On Thursday, May 14, 2015 Inventables stated that they would be releasing accessories for the new X-Controller. Link it was stated that "We plan to also offer accessories for the X-Controller. The first one will be an AC accessory control box. This will allow you to control your AC spindle, vacuums and coolant systems.
Which in the press release looked like this

I would like to ask if this is ever going to be released and if so possibly when. If not then what would it take to get the plans for one so that I can try to make one myself.

I already know that I can have other solutions. like the IOT relay etc etc. but I wanted to get one that matches the look and feel of the X-Controller that would bolt next to it on the side-board. I also know that I could design one from scratch “which I will do if they do not release this product” but I just wanted to check if this is being worked on and if so when is the expected release date “how close are we”.

As always I support Inventables first for all that they do for us. @Zach_Kaplan thanks.


Just gut an IoT Relay and build a box to put it in that looks like the XC. :wink: It looks/acts like the IoT is the exact same thing.

I know as I have asked. But It has been awhile and sometimes it pays to be persistent. High hopes that someone at Inventables has an answer.

IOT is hard to get now and would need to make a box with the connectors like the X-Controller to make it look right. I really don’t want something that looks thrown together.

I built my own relay to control my dust collector for less than $20 in parts.

Using all appropriate precautions for running housing electrical:

Run your signal wire into the electrical box through a Nm/Se connector. These connect back to the X-Carve to the same wires you would use to control the IOT relay.

Chop off the PC plug, strip the wires, and run them into the electrical box through a Nm/Se connector.

Wire the PC plug ground to the outlet, switch, SSR, and box.

Connect the neutral wire to the neutral side of the wall outlet.

Branch the live wire and run one end to the Load-in on the Solid State Relay, run the other to the switch.

From the relay Load out, run the line to the hot side of the outlet.

From the switch, run the line to the hot side of the outlet.

Screw down the relay inside of the electrical box, behind where the switch will be installed. You’ll most likely need to drill your own mounting holes. Connect the ground to one of these mounting screws.

Mount the switch over the relay. Mount the plug. Put on the cover.

The switch provides an alternate mechanism to power the outlet. You can turn on whatever is plugged into it on demand without needing to engage the relay. For example, if I am using my dust collector with another tool, I can just flip the switch without having to mess with the plugs.

If there is interest in this, let me know and I’ll write up a proper tutorial with pictures.

I built this when I built my enclosure its really handy I haven’t had any trouble with it , it has lighting control as well.

thanks guys but I already knew that I could do this. as I was asking in the original post, this was a call out to INVENTABLES to see if I could get an answer to “when and if” they are going to release that slick nice and matching AC relay control that matches the X-Controller.

@BartDring anything you can share about this?

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We completed a design, but the BOM cost was high. The sell price would have been over $100. We felt this would not compete well with things on the market already and DIY solutions. It is hard to drive the cost down when we only expect to sell around a 1,000 pieces.

We used mechanical relays for better compatibility and safety. We also added circuitry to prevent someone trying to PWM a mechanical relay :grinning:

Do you think $100-$120 is a viable price point?

I would order two for the classroom at that price.

If nothing else can you release the BOM so that we can order and piece these together ourselves. Thanks.

P.S. I know I have an unfair opinion on this as I also have a budget to work with that I can use to purchase these things for a classroom.

To me, yes, assuming the following:

  • It has a nice mountable enclosure
  • It comes with a cable to connect to the Xcontroller directly
  • It includes dual relays so that each outlet (or outlet pair) is controlled by a separate relay and maybe even separate A/C inputs for each relay (i.e. 1 for M3, 1 for M7/M8)
  • It can support the current of a shop vac and Dewalt

I have 2 IOT relays at $20 each (and currently they are hard to find, if you can find them at all). The enclosures don’t support mounting so I’ve had to improvise. Personally, I’d pay an extra $60-80 for it if it supports everything that I need.


How about an X-controller II with these things built-in?


The enclosure was the same as an X-Controller only not as long. It was bigger than needed, but it looks good with the X-Controller and we already had tooling for it.

The X-Controller does not have the space to fit any relays. Running AC around the box is not something we want to do.

We typically only release the source of stuff we sell. It adds to the Customer Service workload.

BTW: The Power Switch Tail is a nice alternative. Just make sure you don’t PWM it.

I think a larger enclosure that would integrate the relay controlled outlets as a potential upsale could be marketable.

As @KennethConnell pointed out, for institutions or businesses, it’s much easier to present a single purchase for the system as opposed to having to explain why you need to buy product B from site A in addition to the machine, at least in my experience.

this is exactly what I am talking about. that way it looks like, feels like, and works with the X-Controller. It would also bolt to the side board with the X-Controller and that is the clean and professional look that I would like to present in the classroom.

what would you charge for the “BOX” that we could mount this stuff in and make our own.

You probably don’t use PWM with your IoT relay. Don’t you just use on/off (S0 or Smax)?

Not pulsing the relay.

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@PhilJohnson I probably could have been clearer about the PWM (Pulse Width Modulation).

You use the PWM output pins but make sure You always use max speed. The most robust way to do this is to set the max speed to 1 ($30=1). This will set the speed to full for any speed value above 0 you set.

If you don’t do this and accidentally set the value below max speed, the PWM will pulse and could destroy your relay very quickly. It is easy to make a mistake when CAM programs are setting the speed.

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I use this

I cant look at anything until I sign up for an account.