Internet Controlled Mains Switcher

This is a very low cost and basic from of home automation allowing you to turn on and off lights and other devices using your computer or mobile phone.

Internet Controlled Mains Switcher

It has been built and tested use using UK power plugs, but the same protocol is used on many budget remote power switchers from around the world.

You will need…

  1. A Spark Core wi-fi development kit
  2. A remote controlled mains sockets set *
  3. A 433MHz Transmitter Module **
  4. A short length of wire (>9cm)
  5. 3 Jumper wires
  6. A 5V PSU and USB cable ***
  7. A web server with PHP installed (optional)

…and the following tools…

  1. A soldering iron (and some solder)
  2. Wire cutters and strippers
  3. A computer with Internet access

…and if you want to build the red box (totally optional) you will also require…

  1. A laser cutter or laser cutting service
  2. Contact glue
  3. Feet / pads (even more optional than the rest)

* As a rule of thumb if the pack contains 3 sockets and is the cheapest in the shop, if the remote control can be set to 1 of 4 “groups” or “channels”, and and if the remote control has on and off buttons for 3 or 4 devices, then the odds are it will be compatible. Unfortunately the protocol used does not have a global name and you will not find anything printed on the packaging to say the sockets are compatible. I have use sockets purchased from Clas Ohlson (now replaced by a new set that I have not tested) and friends have used sockets for clearance shops and from Maplin (although this is the more costly option).

** The transmitter module is normally available thought ebay for under £1 sterling and under $1 US, or slightly more if you want a quick delivery.

*** The Spark Core comes with a very short power cable and you may be able to power it from another device such as a network router.

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