Give the Clapper a Hand

While “The Clapper” probably first conjures images of low-budget commercials, it was still a useful way to remotely switch lights and other things around the house. But if the lights you want to switch weren’t plugged into the wall, like a ceiling fan, for example, The Clapper was not going to help you. To add some functionality to this infamous device, [Robin] built one from scratch that has all the extra features built in that you could ever want.

First, the new Clapper attaches to the light switch directly, favoring mechanical action of the switch itself rather than an electromechanical relay which requires wiring. With this setup, it would be easy to install even if you rent an apartment and can’t do things like rewire outlets and it has the advantage of being able to switch any device, even if it doesn’t plug into the wall. There’s also a built-in microphone to listen for claps, but since it’s open-source you could program it to actuate the switch when it hears any sound. It also includes the ability to be wired in to a home automation system as well.

If the reason you’ve stayed out of the home automation game is that you live in a rental and can’t make the necessary modifications to your home, [Robin]’s Clapper might be just the thing you need to finally automate your living space. All the files are available on the project site, including the 3D printing plans and the project code. Once you get started in home automation, though, there’s a lot more you can do with it.

8 thoughts on “Give the Clapper a Hand

  1. Well no, not here, The Clapper immediately conjures up the phrases ‘going like the clappers’ meaning going fast. Or possibly a venereal disease. The Clapper light switch is something uniquely American.

      1. Hey thanks for the comment – this is actually my project and you’re quite right, the 9V battery is not the best for power optimisation, especially as a voltage regulator is burning off a lot of the energy to get down to 5V.

        With a 3.3V Arduino, 3.7V LiPo battery and a low-drop out voltage regulator, it might be possible to have a couple of weeks of battery life.

        However, the battery is plugged in via a DC barrel jack which I could just plug a normal power supply into if I were to use it regularly. To be honest though, it’s just a bit of fun – not meant to be an especially serious attempt at home automation (it’s quite annoying if you leave it on your light switch!).

        1. Drunkenly enters room wakes up the next morning hand covered in blood and holes red/brown handprints on the wall,
          but it was supposed to be a bit of fun you think.

          Up next Automated Gas stoves with temperamental ignitors

          HAHAAHA. Jokes

  2. A childhood friend used the turning wind up key of an old alarm clock to connect 2 wires connected to a 220v siren which was supposed to wake him. In his half asleep state he grabbed the clock to stop the alarm and accidently touched the live wires. I dont think he went back to snooze after that lol.

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