Canadian Woodworking

Long Ranger dust collector switch


The Long Ranger III is as easy to use remote control for your dust collector.

Author: Carl Duguay

For years I did the “dust walk” a couple of dozen times each day: walk over to the dust collector, turn it on, walk back to the table saw, make a few cuts, walk back to the dust collector, turn it off, walk back to the … you get the picture. Now, thanks to Mark Schwartz at Penn State Industries, I let my fingers do the walking.

It consists of a “receiver module” that you plug into an AC outlet (both 110V and 220V systems are available). Then plug your dust collector into the receiver module. That’s it! Now take the “transmitter module”, and clip it onto your belt or work apron. Whenever you want to turn your dust collector on, from anywhere in your shop, simply press the transmitter’s “on” button.

I’ve been using the Long Ranger III™ daily for a little over three months, and it works wonderfully. You don’t even have to point the transmitter at the receiver module. I leave mine on my belt and just reach down to quickly turn it on or off. It will even work through concrete walls. The Long Ranger III uses a RF (radio frequency) signal that doesn’t interfere with any transformers or other electrical or electronic equipment in your shop.

The transmitter body and the receiver are made of a hard, durable plastic material. The receiver module has a circuit breaker reset button on the bottom, and a programming button on the side. There is a 9-volt battery in the transmitter that is easily changed. The Long Ranger III™ is not recommended for use with a shop vac, or any other tool that runs on a “universal motor”. It will operate, however, with a universal motor if certain constraints are made in the initial set-up. Best of all, if there are several people working in the same shop, you can purchase additional transmitters that will run the same receiver.

The Long Ranger III™ is a valuable shop accessory, and certainly saves a lot of time.

Last modified: September 29, 2023

Carl Duguay - [email protected]

Carl is a Victoria-based furniture maker and the web editor at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement.

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