Apologies, this has surely been answered but not in language I can understand. I have a cooling fan, connected to a Niles AC3 (a voltage triggered power strip), which is connected to the 12V turn on lead of an audio receiver. When the receiver is powered on, the power strip is active and powers the fan, a DC fan that runs off of a mobile phone type transformer to USB. It is in a closet with my computer. Usually that stays cool enough, but using for extended periods creates a lot of heat. Is there a switch I can buy so that if my receiver is off, I can manually switch on the fan? I've been looking at some solutions, usually for generators or nautical applications. Saw the thread below on using a three way switch, but do not know if that would work for this.

My ideal solution would just be a switch I can flip when the receiver is off but I want the fan on.

Any suggestions or links very welcome. https://www.garagejournal.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-248408.html

  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, we don't provide recommendations for specific products, such as "a switch I can buy". \$\endgroup\$ Apr 14, 2020 at 20:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is hard to imagine your setup from your words alone. Could you provide a picture of your setup and possibly a wiring diagram, because it is hard to understand what exactly do you have, where and how. You keep losing me in your description. (By the way, hello to Sacramento! I have been there for some time.) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 14, 2020 at 20:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ElliotAlderson, the question actually is asking about the existence of a product and has a yes/no answer ... the OP did not ask where to buy \$\endgroup\$
    – jsotola
    Apr 14, 2020 at 21:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ElliotAldersonI Thank you for your reply, am not looking for a specific brand/model, just something to get the job done without having to build something. \$\endgroup\$
    – johnsuhr
    Apr 14, 2020 at 21:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @EdinFifić Thank you for your reply, please see the following links drive.google.com/file/d/1ixW-hJMW5DUG20tg7XOY4lWJEGya3Dze/…, drive.google.com/file/d/10Aj7Be8VlVpsA4__rd4am-EgwvBVH1n_/… \$\endgroup\$
    – johnsuhr
    Apr 14, 2020 at 22:06

2 Answers 2


Thanks to your drawings and an image I have found elsewhere of the insides of your controlled outlet, I got a very simple solution for you.
Here is the image with my suggestion:
enter image description here

Basically, all you have to do is bring out 2 wires (in a single cable, for safety, reliability and convenience) and connect them to a plain 120V switch (get whichever one you like in a store).
If you don't want to go inside the box and mess with it, you could use two 120V power cords with plugs on one end, strip them on the other end, and connect their live (hot wire, black color) wires to the switch. One plug has to be plugged into the non-switched outlet and the other one in any of the remaining 2.
This second method would leave you with only one, switched, outlet and you would need 2 cables/cords instead of one, but you wouldn't need to go inside the box.


Oh I had to post an answer (not a comment) to show inline photos. Doh. proposed solution

6 pole, 3way toggle

  • \$\begingroup\$ Great drawing skills! :) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 16, 2020 at 18:12
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @EdinFifić Thank you, only took me about 13 tries to not mess up! Getting hot in Sacramento, good thing I'm starting this now. \$\endgroup\$
    – johnsuhr
    Apr 17, 2020 at 0:33

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