Author Topic: FLEX Vacuum  (Read 6986 times)

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Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4727
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #60 on: January 30, 2020, 11:09 AM »
Thanks again @Banana   this is very interesting.

I knew that turning down the speed control would reduce current draw but I also knew that blocking the airflow would increase it. I guess that idea was based on simple shop vacs that burn out if air flow is blocked for very long.

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Offline bleomycin

  • Posts: 1
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #61 on: January 30, 2020, 09:37 PM »
Does anybody know which adapter is compatible with the festool compact cleaning set? The universal hose adapter fitting that came with the vacuum definitely doesn't work with it.

Offline Banana

  • Posts: 24
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #62 on: January 30, 2020, 09:42 PM »
Thanks again @Banana   this is very interesting.

I knew that turning down the speed control would reduce current draw but I also knew that blocking the airflow would increase it. I guess that idea was based on simple shop vacs that burn out if air flow is blocked for very long.


Perhaps I should have said "fan type" instead of "motor' type.

My limited understanding is that fan design will determine if amps increase or decrease.  If the amount of air the fan has to move decreases because the resistance to airflow increases then the fan blades can spin easier. This allows the motor RPM to increase and the motor amp draw to decrease.

Offline Bohdan

  • Posts: 961
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #63 on: January 30, 2020, 09:51 PM »
Thanks again @Banana   this is very interesting.

I knew that turning down the speed control would reduce current draw but I also knew that blocking the airflow would increase it. I guess that idea was based on simple shop vacs that burn out if air flow is blocked for very long.

Simple shop vacs use the air flowing thru them to cool the motor. If you block the air flow the motor draws less current, spins faster and overheats.

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 693
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #64 on: February 07, 2020, 10:57 AM »
@Banana Can we get some more details on how you situated and wired in the relay? As well as a link to the relay/remote you ordered?
Instagram @matts.garage

Offline Banana

  • Posts: 24
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #65 on: February 07, 2020, 03:14 PM »
*edited - Working on a new solution.  Will update post in the near future.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 12:32 PM by Banana »

Offline Banana

  • Posts: 24
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #66 on: May 18, 2020, 12:28 PM »
Hi guys -  I have an update for anyone following my FLEX vacuum remote control build. I have made tremendous progress. I really went down the rabbit hole on this one and with all the recent downtime I was able to focus all my attention and meet the challenges.

I now have a finished working design that I am very proud of. The only steps to complete before I can offer them is the fabrication of the elastic hose sleeve that holds the remote, figuring out payment methods if there is any demand, and then gauging that demand for better parts pricing or to know if I go ahead at all.

Below is some ‘draft’ boilerplate that I’m working on that should also explain function and capabilities. I’m currently deciding on whether to supply 1 or 2 remotes (leaning towards two remotes so that one stays permanently on 32mm hose end and the other could be used either as a spare or with a chop saw or on another hose).

The unit, a very small module, is installed inside the FLEX VCE 33/44 LAC vacuum and plugs straight onto the circuit board. Because I have only vetted function on the FLEX VCE 33/44 LAC vacuums I can only offer it for this particular brand and model(s) at this time. Perhaps more Nilfisk rebrands in the future, we’ll see.

If this is of any interest to you let me know.



Rough Draft:


Vacuum Smart Remote for Flex VCE 33/44 LAC vacuums.


Smart Module is different:

It does not use mains power or rely on mains power switching relays.
Aftermarket line voltage remote relays (wall plug dongles) have wattage/amperage limitations, arcing on break-contact longevity issues, as well as temperature considerations (when run for long periods). Essentially these relays are asking high amperage motor current to flow through a single arcing contact point on a relay. As relay contacts wear they tend to build resistance and degrade the connection.

Instead the Smart Module works in harmony & passively with how the vacuums own internal microprocessor already controls the vacuum. This allows the Smart Module to give you additional features & benefits beyond the basic on/off functionality that exterior dongles are limited to.

By taking the exterior dongle out of the picture you now have one less item to carry, misplace, worry about, or impede motor power - all while gaining added automation & benefits.


Plug n Play:

The Smart Module plugs into existing contacts. No splicing wires. No soldering. No modifications. Simply push connectors together.
Should you ever decide to remove module there are no permanent alterations, just unplug conncetions and no one can tell anything was ever installed.


To operate: (Normal Mode)

Switch vacuum dial clockwise to either ‘suction’ or ‘suction+Auto-Clean’. The vacuum will start. Next, press remote fob once to initiate and the vacuum is now in your control.


Intelligent monitoring: (Tool Mode)

Knows when vacuums main dial is set to either ‘tool socket’ or ‘tool socket+Auto-Clean’ and locks out remote so that only the power tool can turn vacuum on/off. This avoids any switching confusion and respects safety for relying on the power tool to run the show to automatically turn vacuum on and off as intended.


Smart Auto-Clean:

When using the extractor in ‘tool mode’ with ‘Automatic Filter Cleaning (Auto-Clean)’ the Smart Module gives you control over Auto-Clean activation or de-activation. You decided when filter cleaning runs - Always on / Remote on & off / Always off.   Just by pressing the remote button once.

Now you can stay with the tool instead of having to go back to the vacuum to select filter cleaning function.  Automatic Filter Cleaning is a great feature but depending on the project you may not want or need it running constantly in the background.

Example: Turn main dial counter-clockwise to ‘tool activation’ (Tool Auto-On/Off) + ‘drill symbol’(Auto-Clean). Plug a tool into vacuum tool socket and run tool to start vacuum and begin work. Press the remote button to toggle between turning Auto-Clean on or off without interrupting suction. You determine the function and duration of filter cleaning by simply listening if Auto-Clean is active or not.


Dual Mode:

When you need both tool socket (Tool Auto-On/Off) functionality and the remote key fob to not ‘lock out’, say for the purpose of quick work area clean up after stopping a power tool, you can activate vacuum suction using the remote fob by following these steps.

> Turn main dial clockwise, to ‘suction only’. Vacuum will start.
> Next, Press remote fob once to stop vacuum.
> Plug a tool into extractor tool socket and run the tool to start vacuum and begin work. (Smart Module will recognize power tool even though main dial is not turned counter-clockwise) (It’s fine if power tool was already plugged in to tool socket before steps 1 & 2, there is no need to unplug and plug back in).
> When done for the moment using the power tool (vac turns itself off as usual in 10 seconds) you can now disconnect the hose from the power tool and then press the remote fob once to start vacuum for clean up. After clean up, press remote button again to turn off vacuum. Reconnect hose to tool, and run power tool to turn vacuum back on (i.e. do not press remote to turn on). Vacuum will automatically slave back to tool for on / off control.


Default Mode:

Should the battery in the remote need replacing, the Smart Module returns control back to the vacuum until a new battery can be installed.
If for any reason the Smart Module itself ever stops working, control is also returned back to the vacuum.
There is no downtime. Simply continue using vacuum with front control dials as before.

If you ever wish to bypass the Smart Module & Remote during daily use simply reset main control dial back to its off position for a full second and continue using front control dials to operate vacuum. As long as you don’t activate the remote button the vacuum functions as original.

*Only the external remote key fob requires a battery (included).

*Comes with two remotes (batteries included).

Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 693
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #67 on: May 18, 2020, 01:22 PM »
@Banana I'm interested in one
Instagram @matts.garage

Offline Banana

  • Posts: 24
Re: FLEX Vacuum
« Reply #68 on: May 19, 2020, 12:55 PM »
@DynaGlide  ... Looks like it's just you and me Matt - lol.  (You'll love being able to control the FLEX extractor this way).
I'll be back in touch soon with photos etc. as I finish up details.   Your interest is appreciated, Thank you.