Quick cheap remote outlets

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[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.

16 thoughts on “Quick cheap remote outlets

  1. 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. 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.

  3. $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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. @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.

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