Big Splitter Remote Control

I built the big splitter so as not to have to manhandle larger stock. The work envelope is large enough to load blocks with the Prentice loader, but I didn’t have a way to trip the ram, and I didn’t want to rely on outside help.

I knew I needed a remote control, but wasn’t sure how to proceed. At first I thought of using a electric over hydraulic control, but that was far too costly.

Then I though of using piloted hydraulic controls, but again, too much money, too much hose, and too cumbersome.

Then I thought of using a closed loop with slave and master actuator cylinders to operate a standard detent valve. That would be low pressure, and I could use plastic air brake lines. Bleeding the lines would be a problem though, and again, lots of ‘hose’ dragging around.

Then maybe two air cylinders configured as slave and master? Too much air loss, and piston creep.

How about mounting an air brake compressor to the motor, and using that as an air source?  That required a compressor, bracket configuration, and air valves. Again, too much investment prior to proof of concept.

This thinking took place over quite a few months.

Then one day I had this total forehead slap moment, as the solution rose out of the mist.

Actually, from behind the seat of my Dodge truck, where I recalled the 12v tire inflator pump.

Here’s the parts.


A second compressor.

Two flow control valves scavenged from scrap.

Two Saab fuel pump relays and two fuse holders.

Male and female plugs

50ft extension cord.

A few feet of air brake line and push lock fittings.

And a surplus air cylinder from another project. Also a single-pole, double-throw toggle switch.


Configured for proof of concept. The flow controls allow air to bleed off the cylinders, which permits the spool valve to kick-out the hold detent. The compressors have enough volume to overcome the flow control bleed. One compressor controls ram extend, the other controls ram retract.


Switch control and pigtail. I will make a bracket to secure this inside the loader cab.

The switch controls the relay ground loop through a three strand extension cord.


The stalk broke off this new switch after only a few hours of use. Replaced it with a modified power window pot from a Saab 900.  Should have used one of those to start. Duh.

Out on the first job.


I’m using the loader to suspend the log for blocking, and the loading the blocks to the splitter.

It will be easy enough to eliminate the extension cord with a wireless control, but it works so well as is that it’s not a priority.

Concept test:

First work test:

Second test, big wood: