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Sunday 29 October 2017

Homebrew smart sockets

Don't worry, what I plan to do is perfectly safe and involves radio, specifically LPD433 (which as you will no doubt be aware is in the 70cm band), and off the shelf remote control sockets.

What is probably not well known is that I am saving up some money to buy 2 radios that I really would like to have, a Yaesu FT2D and a Yaesu FT991A (as I want brand new and the standard 991 is no longer sold), and to do that I am looking to make cost savings where I can.

The first thing I have done is fit an electricity usage monitor (also an LPD433 device), so I have an idea how much electricity I am using at any given time, I hope to have this replaced with a smart meter later on, this means a lower bill and more money towards things I am saving for, specifically the two radios mentioned above.

The next stage in this is automation, most of the ways I have seen this done, by the foolish, is hard wiring mains leads onto relay boards, which is extremely dangerous for obvious reasons, so I thought let's see if someone has done this wirelessly before I have to start from scratch down that route, and happily someone has done.

This would involve using off the shelf remote control sockets, most places sell these, and though these sockets would draw a very small amount of current themselves to run their radio receiver (probably in the range of a couple of milliamperes), they would assist in saving money on the electricity bill, it also involves use of the Raspberry Pi (a Pi 3 would work but in my opinion this is overkill so a Zero would be a better option), and the TX module of a LPD433 TX/RX pair, also a bit of sniffing of the remote control with a receiver so the RX module can be used for this or at least according to several sets of instructions I have seen.

When implemented I can control what I don't need running from elsewhere in the house, or outside if I put up password protection onto a web interface, thus allowing me to save money when I can.

Another LPD433 project I'd like to do is somehow reverse engineer the codes sent out of the transmitter of my energy monitor and put that up onto a web page as well, not sure if anyone has done that and I'll need to sniff around in the LPD433 band on 433.92MHz where all this traffic sits.

73 de 2E0EIJ

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