New in the Maker Shed: PowerSwitch Tail II

PowerSwitch Tail II
The freshly updated PowerSwitch Tail II is now available in the Maker Shed. For those that are not familiar with it, the PowerSwitch Tail allows you to switch 120v AC loads on and off from a microcontroller, without worrying about the hazards that can result from improperly hooked up household current like death or frizzy hair. The new version allows you to control up to 15 amps of current (50% more than the original) using a 3-12 vdc (3-30ma) input meaning you can control it as easy as you would an LED. An opto-isolator ensures that no stray voltage will get into your microcontroller or computer.


  • AC input: NEMA 5-15P Plug, standard 120VAC with ground.
  • AC output: NEMA 5-15R Receptacle, standard 120VAC with ground.
  • Switching capacity: 15A @ 125VAC
  • Life expectancy: 100,000 operations @ 15A, 125VAC, resistive
  • DC input: 3-12vdc, 3-30ma; terminal block accepts #14-30 AWG wire.
  • Operate times: 15 ms max actuate, 10 ms max release.
  • DC to ac circuit isolation: 5300Vrms
  • Protection: AC side procected with 150vac MOV. DC is transient free
  • Indicator: LED indicates when dc side is energized.
  • Mounting: Two #6 screws or free standing

4 thoughts on “New in the Maker Shed: PowerSwitch Tail II

  1. I have one of the PowerTail v1’s, and I like it quite a bit.

    The key change I wanted was for the box to move from “cords” to “receptacles”.

    That is: An IEC C13 for the AC power inlet, and an IEC C14 for the outlet.

    This eliminates one of the issues with most anything corded: That being a cord that isn’t appropriate for the exact task at hand.

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I am the Evangelist for the Maker Shed. It seems that there is no limit to my making interests. I'm a tinkerer at heart and have a passion for solving problems and figuring out how things work. When not working for Make I can be found falling off my unicycle, running in adverse weather conditions, skiing down the nearest hill, restoring vintage motorcycles, or working on my car.

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