1. Post #1
    sangara's Avatar
    November 2011
    41 Posts
    Hey guys my name's sangara and this is going to be a thread chronicling my biggest project to date. I know none of you know me but looking at all these DIY threads makes me want to do something, this is what I came up with. For my birthday I got a nice little electric kettle because I'm a pretty big tea enthusiast, but the problem is I don't have anywhere to really put it. Right now it, along with my tea, sits on a wall in my room and I feel like that isn't the best place for it. I got this idea of making a little bar with an electrical outlet (because the cord is about 2ft long :/ ) so I can keep everything nice and tidy off the floor. Then I got to thinking "Wait, I'm a god damn electrician, lets go over the top" so this is what I've come up with:

    The Idea:

    To make a multi-functional area for making tea, drawing, or what ever other table needs I may have. So the main focal point of this is going to be turning on a kettle in an absolutely ridiculous way. I want to push a button that turns on my kettle, but also turns on a red light. Once my kettle has reached boiling I want the red light to turn off and a green light to come on. Once I have poured myself a nice cup of hot water I will then push the off button and everything will shut down, seems pretty good and ridiculous. The other part will be that this entire project I will use as an art project, so I'm planning on carving things into the wood and painting it with original art work and what not. I figure this project will last 4-5 months depending on my work schedule, who knows I may be sitting at home for a week and do a month's worth of work in that time. I've spent a lot of time thinking about this so I've gone ahead and started doing some drawings, I hope to start by next week as I'm using this week to prepare everything. Also more drawings need to be done.

    The other thing I hope to do with this is kind of make a video series to go along with it. I think you guys may enjoy that, maybe I can teach you a thing or two about electricity.

    The Space:


    Right now it's home to all my art and of course the said tea, so all of that will have to be moved.

    The Rough Outline:


    I still have detail work to do along with both side views and the back view but this is what it will look like from the front, ideally.

    The Electrical Detail:


    How this will work, in line one I have my pushbuttons, they are wired in series, with the stop button (normally closed) first and the start button (normally open) after it. Once you press the start button it allows current to flow through the coil in contact 'R'. In line 2 there is a normally open contact from 'R' that will close once 'R' is energized, this is known as a standard Start/Stop station, it is the very basic start to motor controls. With this contact closed it by passes my start button and allows current to continue to flow through the coil in 'R'. In line 3 we see another normally open contact from 'R', like the first one this will also close allowing the coil in 'T' to energize. 'T' is an on delay timer, so once the coil is energized it will wait a certain amount of time until it engages it's contacts. Line 4 has a normally closed, time opened contact wired in series with my receptacle, since it is normally closed, once power is introduced into the circuit the receptacle will be energized, turning on my kettle. Line 5 is the same as line 4, just with my red light. Line 6 is the opposite, it has a normally open, time closed contact, which means once the timer engages it's contacts the contact will close turning on the green light.

    I hope you guys are able to understand that better, once I build it I plan on walking through it as well.

    The Electrical Rough:


    So the big box on the right is going to be a housing for my relays, the push buttons are the long box with circles, the receptacle is below that, and above that are my two lights.

    Material:

    Electrical
    1x 11-pin 120v Contact Relay
    1x 11-pin 120v Timer Relay
    1x Book of Wire Markers
    10ft 1/2 in EMT
    8ft 12-2 S/O Cord w/Ground
    1x 1/2 in 2 Screw Connector
    3x 4sq Boxes
    2x Lamp Bases
    8x 1/2 in EMT Connectors
    8x 1/2 in 1 Hole Straps
    1x Cord Endcap
    1x 8x8x4 in Pull Can
    ? #16 AWG Stranded Wire
    1x N.C. Pushbotton
    1x N.O. Pushbutton
    1x Black 15A Receptacle
    1x Green Light Bulb
    1x Red Light Bulb


    I have some more drawings to do, but for now I'll take a break. Hope you guys will enjoy this.
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  2. Post #2
    Gold Member
    ewitwins's Avatar
    December 2009
    14,108 Posts
    Wow, looks like you've got everything planned out really well, best of luck!

  3. Post #3
    I survived Camp FP 2010
    metallics's Avatar
    September 2005
    4,940 Posts
    You use some pretty weird symbols for your circuitry!
    You've obviously put some thought into it. If I were making it my only concern would be the efficiency of running it all off the mains. If you've got a 2kw kettle you're powering I guess you're going to potentially pull a fair few amps, make sure your relays can handle it, and also that you aren't going to overload your wall socket.

    As I said earlier I'm not familiar with your circuit symbols, but have you considered that the relays need a minimum current to turn on and act reliably, so you may need a resistive element in series to ensure you get the current flow through the coil and since your mains is presumably AC you don't want the inductive effects of the relay to dominate circuit performance.

    I'm really interested to follow this, tea is incredible. Best of luck!

  4. Post #4
    Gold Member
    HiddenMyst's Avatar
    June 2006
    6,614 Posts
    I love the idea and I love tea. I'm gonna keep a close eye on this over the next few months.
    Best of luck to you.

    Edited:

    How will you check whether the kettle's boiled? Going to use a thermostat or something?

  5. Post #5
    sangara's Avatar
    November 2011
    41 Posts
    You use some pretty weird symbols for your circuitry!
    You've obviously put some thought into it. If I were making it my only concern would be the efficiency of running it all off the mains. If you've got a 2kw kettle you're powering I guess you're going to potentially pull a fair few amps, make sure your relays can handle it, and also that you aren't going to overload your wall socket.

    As I said earlier I'm not familiar with your circuit symbols, but have you considered that the relays need a minimum current to turn on and act reliably, so you may need a resistive element in series to ensure you get the current flow through the coil and since your mains is presumably AC you don't want the inductive effects of the relay to dominate circuit performance.

    I'm really interested to follow this, tea is incredible. Best of luck!
    I was planning on testing the amps of my kettle (though the nameplate states it's 1500W so I should read around 12.5 amps) plan is to just pull power from an existing outlet that I've already been using so it should be fine. From what I can tell there are at least 2 circuits in this room, I'm not really too worried.

    I have a fair amount of experience with the relays I'm planning on using and I am confident that just the amperage that the coil pulls will be enough to function properly. I've not come across having to use a resistor or anything in the field, although these have been much larger relays for use in AC systems. Still a good thing to point out though. The hard part is going to be finding a 120v 20 amp contact relay...

    Thank you for your comments!


    I love the idea and I love tea. I'm gonna keep a close eye on this over the next few months.
    Best of luck to you.

    Edited:

    How will you check whether the kettle's boiled? Going to use a thermostat or something?
    I plan on just timing it out so I can set my timer relay up just right. I'll get my desired amount of water and then time it to when it reaches the boil I want. I'll use that time to set up the delay on my timer.

    Glad to see I have some support here, I wasn't able to finish up the drawings tonight, but I did update the thread with an explanation on my electrical diagram.

    I can't wait to get started.

  6. Post #6
    Gold Member
    HiddenMyst's Avatar
    June 2006
    6,614 Posts
    There's only one fault I can see with timing it and that's just because a warm kettle has a shorter heat cycle than a cold kettle.