Potentiometer vs Dimmer

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Baldwij7, May 19, 2014.

  1. Baldwij7

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 19, 2014
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    I build lamps as a hobby/side business. I make them out of cigar boxes using a dimmer switch to control the bulb(s). I am using a Lutron Rotary 5-Amp Preset Dimmer, purchased from Lowes, Model D-600PH-DK. This runs to a Pass & Seymour 660W Rubb Lampholder. Everything works fine, but the problem is that the center post on the dimmer switch is generally not long enough to go through the box and into the knob, while still allowing the push on/off function. My workaround so far has been to drill a hole that is slightly larger that the knob. I want to be able to drill a hole just large enough for the dimmer post.

    That all being said, I can not find a dimmer switch with a a longer post. What I have found are that potentiometer's have a long enough post for my purposes. My question is, is there a type of potentiometer I can use that will act as a light dimmer safely?

    Please see an example of my lamps below.
     
  2. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    Just order a same value linear pot with a plastic shaft, they often come with a longer shaft to allow a custom length.
    Max.
     
  3. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
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    Just to be clear, you can't use a pot by itself as a light dimmer, you would need to replace the pot that's in the dimmer you have.
     
  4. Baldwij7

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 19, 2014
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    Where would be best to look for one?
     
  5. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    I concur, I may have misunderstood, I meant the pot as a replacement part in the dimmer, not a solution, in my post.;)
    Check DigiKey.
    http://www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en/1623760-2/A105766-ND/2363076
    Max.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
  6. Baldwij7

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 19, 2014
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    I am a bit of a novice when it comes to this stuff. To be clear, I would have the dimmer switch still, but buy the pot separately to replace the pot installed within the dimmer switch? If that is the case, you mention getting a pot with the same value, are you referring to the amps/voltage/watts?
     
  7. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
    12,145
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    Since the pot is also a press switch, it may not be so easy to replace. I'd look for a shaft extender, or maybe this one.

    And then I'd switch to using a touch-based dimmer. No knob.
     
  8. Baldwij7

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 19, 2014
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    A shaft extender is exactly what I had been looking for. The second link seems ideal, but it is way longer than needed, more than 8 inches. This gives me some good info to look into further.
     
  9. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,322
    6,818
    One of the peculiar things about electronics is that, as soon as you decide to build anything besides an open board, you become a metal worker. :D

    Everybody cuts down potentiometer shafts. Delay if you must, but it's in your future.
     
    THE_RB likes this.
  10. AnalogKid

    Distinguished Member

    Aug 1, 2013
    4,542
    1,251
    Coupler: Keystone 1453, $3.20 at Digi-Key. Also at Allied and Mouser.

    Cut your own shaft from nylon or brass stock.

    ak
     
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