Low-Voltage Remote Mains Switch

This circuit allows a 240V mains appliance to be controlled remotely via low-voltage cabling and a pushbutton switch. The mains appliance (in this case, a light bulb) is switched with a suitably-rated relay. All of the electronics is housed in an ABS box located in proximity to the appliance. The pushbutton switch and plugpack are located remotely and can be wired up with 3-core alarm cable or similar. Cable lengths of 20m or more are feasible with this arrangement. When the switch (S1) is pressed, the input (pin 8) of IC1c is briefly pulled low via the 10mF capacitor, which is initially discharged.

Circuit diagram:
Low-voltage remote mains switch circuit schematic
Low-Voltage Remote Mains Switch Circuit Diagram

The output (pin 10) immediately goes high and this is inverted and fed back to the second input (pin 9) via another gate in the quad NAND package (IC1d). In conjunction with the 1MW resistor and 470nF capacitor, IC1d eliminates the effects of contact "bounce" by ensuring that IC1c’s output remains high for a predetermined period. The output from IC1c drives the clock input of a 4013 D-type flip-flop (IC2). The flipflop is wired for a "toggle" function by virtue of the Q-bar connection back to the D input. A 2.2MW resistor and 100nF capacitor improve circuit noise immunity. Each time the switch is pressed, the flipflop output (pin 13) toggles, switching the transistor (Q1) and relay on or off. Note that all mains wiring must be properly installed and completely insulated so that there is no possibility of it contacting the low-voltage side of the circuit.
Author: Bob Hammond - Copyright: Silicon Chip Elecronics