Quick cheap remote outlets

ir_plugs1

[jwad650] wanted a remote controlled power strip. These are fairly expensive, with a single outlet running roughly $15. He was able to build a 6 outlet version for about $50.  He is using an SIS-7c to decode signals from a universal remote. Each plug is individually controlled by a 3Amp relay. Be careful making this, there’s lots of nasty shock potential in that mess of wires. We recommend that you confine it in an enclosure as well. [jwad650] plans on adding an enclosure, as well as LED indicators and fuses. You can see a video of it in action after the break. If you want more information about working with relays, check out the working with relays writeup.

Comments

  1. xrazorwirex says:

    You can go to radioshack and get a remote single outlet and just plug it into a surge bar and just wire that to your wall, probably alot safer than having a bunch of loose high current wires lying around in your wall…

  2. nubie says:

    I am sure that this is scalable, but . . .

    This is only $10.90 and works 2 outlets (only $30 to work the same 6 outlets),

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5298

    I will keep this wireless IR reciever in mind (Oh wait, it is $20, nevermind.)

    I keep meaning to build an Atmega IR reciever, huh.

  3. Sparky says:

    Anyone foolish enough to use this kluge for actual daily use better hope their home insurer
    doesn’t cancel their policy for stupidity (after
    the house burns to the ground).

    The folks at the NEC, NFPA, and maybe UL would
    probably condemn this contraption as nothing but
    a vo-tech lab exercise. Not something you use in
    a home when your loved one’s lives could be put
    at risk.

  4. jesus in techicolour says:

    it’s a good job he doesn’t live in europe :)

  5. josh cabio says:

    @xrazorwirex

    wow that’s smart I cant believe i didn’t think of that

  6. nubie says:

    @ sparky:

    He just needs to put all the circuitry in a certified box, and the outlets as well.

    At the local store a box is $0.25 apiece, figure 3 for the sockets, and 3 more for the relays/chip, it is only $1.50.

    I didn’t have the audio turned on, I don’t know why he has it connected to the back of a power strip instead of using a gang-box ( $4 at home depot http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=100404086 ).

  7. jproach says:

    $15 is quite cheap, considering:
    – claimed range is 100ft
    – more importantly its RF NOT infrared (outlets are usually behind other things)
    – its rated 10A, so you could add a power bar, and plug quite a few things in
    – its rated for outdoor use (but not when its cold according to the comments :p)

  8. Sparky says:

    As long you keep the hot, common, and ground all separated and sealed away in a box with a cover plate on the outlets this looks great. I build similar setups using ceiling fan remotes that don’t get used in fixture installation at my workplace.

  9. Sparky says:

    in addition, please be sure of the polarity and voltage output before you plan on using these.

  10. wifigod says:

    Why not just buy an X10 remote outlet? These can be bought for around $10 on ebay, not to mention they have units that offer a serial input that can communicate with other X10 units and X10 software. It is MUCH safer, UL approved and everything. A few more bucks for a priceless amount more safety is good enough reason for me.

  11. Scotty says:

    This is a very nice exercise in technology, and rather well done, but nowhere near ready for use by anyone other than the educated builder. I could not trust the non-tech savvy in my home to use this. It needs a huge dose of idiot-proofing. But I do have to say I LOVE it as a tech exercise. x10 is what I use instead and building a strip using that technology would be one of the better ways to go.

  12. Great project, I solved a similar problem but I am too lazy to leave the computer to get the remote so I went the wired route. Also put in box which is probably not code, but at least don’t have the shock hazard

    http://www.cheapvegetablegardener.com/2008/12/control-two-120v-electrical-outlets.html

  13. Doug says:

    RF remotes to turn off Christmas lights are fairly cheap at Walmart. Any left over after Christmas are probably dirt cheap. I keep forgetting to run in to see if they have any on clearance.

  14. kord says:

    I hope he doesn’t plug in anything greater then a 60watt lamp into this thing. Electric code anyone?

  15. Sparky says:

    @kord
    the receptacles appear to be of the 15 amp residential variety and what wiring i can see looks to be at least 14 gauge (also rated for 15 amps) that’s quite a bit of draw that you can put on these.

  16. ciper says:

    Check this out http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.13147 universal learning IR controlled outlet for less than 15$

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