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Remote controllable mains switches

OP
prpr

prpr

Well-Known Member
Crap software. But as companies who produce such stuff never engage with anybody let alone admit the fault or make the source available, it's impossible to do anything about.
Like with most stuff, you just have to put up with it and accept it.
 
OP
prpr

prpr

Well-Known Member
What a dreadful web-site. No real information on what the various devices are or do or the differences between them.
 

sceptic

Forum Supporter
Damned right. It crashed my browser. :mad: Couldn't view anything.
Works fine for me on Chrome. prpr Looks like the differences between the various plugs are covered HERE. I thought the web site was ok, in fact the API documentation is pretty good compared to some I have seen...! (see HERE)
 
OP
prpr

prpr

Well-Known Member
Looks like the differences between the various plugs are covered HERE.
Thanks, but why couldn't they say that on the original site I wonder? Anyway, it doesn't help hugely when they rattle on about things called Groups and Scenes, as though everybody is supposed to know what they are without being defined.
And the Troubleshooting tips are just laughable and don't inspire any confidence whatsoever that these things are in any way reliable.
the API documentation is pretty good compared to some I have seen...!
The phrase "Damning with faint praise" springs to mind. Most API documentation is non-existent. This is better, but in absolute terms, well...
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I have a project on the back burner which will provide three or four controllable mains sockets capable of automation and/or network access.

It's based on a cheap four-way IR RF-controlled socket strip available from Screwfix, and a Raspberry Pi. The RPi takes control of the socket strip by emulating the original handset, via an optocoupler replacing the socket strip's IR RF receiver - the socket strip's electronics are not mains-isolated, so it is useful to include an optical link for safety.

With a control link established, it is possible to program the RPi to operate the sockets of the socket strip in any way you wish - eg dusk to dawn lighting that tracks the time of sunrise/sunset through the year. The RPi can be connected to the home network by Ethernet or WiFi, so browser control is possible from within the network or across the Internet.

With a specific interest in the HDR-FOX: the RPi could be programmed to ping the 'fox across the network periodically, and if there was no response give it a hard reset on the assumption it has crashed (and maybe give it a hard reset once a day whether it needs one or not).

The number of sockets available depends on how the RPi is powered. The socket strip has four sockets, and if one is used for a power brick for the RPi that leaves three (this is the most convenient arrangement). This "master" socket will have control disabled so that the RPi itself can't be accidentally powered off.

One thing it can't do (without a lot more work) is provide positive confirmation of the socket state (although I might think about it). That's something which bothers me about home automation systems such as X10 - you can send commands, but unless you are there in the room you can't tell whether the command has been acted on or got lost in a burst of interference. The local coupling for this RPi/strip combo should make the system reliable, but feedback is always preferable.

I can provide the hardware, but I don't have the skills to program the RPi. My testing will settle for switching the sockets by simple program control - hopefully I will find an implementation of Forth for the RPi.

I must move this onto the front burner (putting this out in public may provide the necessary pressure).
 
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OP
prpr

prpr

Well-Known Member
You are at the whim of the people running the server who can change the protocol, shutdown the server, make it pay only etc. and who's to know how long company X running the server is going to stay in business anyway.
As predicted, it seems like Energenie are out of business if their web server (http://www.energenie.com) is anything to go by.
Good job the particular device I got doesn't require their server as it would now be totally unusable. I never registered mine for remote control via the WAN as it was all desperately insecure. That doesn't stop the stupid device trying to call home constantly (but I've always blocked it on the router's firewall anyway).
 
OP
prpr

prpr

Well-Known Member
It was generating a "you don't have access to the directory" type error when I looked last night, but I agree it is working again now.
 

mihaid

Active Member
Bh :With a specific interest in the HDR-FOX: the RPi could be programmed to ping the 'fox across the network periodically, and if there was no response give it a hard reset on the assumption it has crashed (and maybe give it a hard reset once a day whether it needs one or not).


I managed to achieve that for a few years now by using one of these https://www.johnlewis.com/timeguard-ts800n-24-hour-compact-plug-in-time-controller/p183562?sku=231079068&s_kwcid=2dx92700037195595584&tmad=c&tmcampid=2&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzbaNmq2I3gIVi7TtCh2MFQ6qEAQYASABEgIC6PD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds when I go away on holiday. Set socket off at something like 3am and socket on at 3.15 am. Bingo, the t2 works again and minimal lost recordings.
 
...
It's based on a cheap four-way IR RF-controlled socket strip available from Screwfix, and a Raspberry Pi. The RPi takes control of the socket strip by emulating the original handset, via an optocoupler replacing the socket strip's IR RF receiver -
...
Do you have a catalogue number for this strip? I tried looking for "remote controlled socket strip" at screwfix, and came up with a pack of three energenie individual sockets that have a remote control, but not a socket strip like you describe.

I have thought of using an RPi in a similar manner for a while, using the 'ping the humax, cycle power on no reply' idea, but BH's scheme seems to go another step.

I don't like using a clockwork timer as they get time shifted if the power goes off for a period - but it may be worth gutting one and fitting an SSR inside driven from a RPi to do the neccessary, using the body as a piggyback socket and plug to hold the live bits as a possible 'simpler' version of BH's scheme.
 
Then use an 'electronic' one?
Yeah, i tried doing that, but for soem reason it didn't work very well, I suspect the contacts are such light weight things they cannot handle the inrush current of the switch mode power supply. Most of these type of devices seem to warn against using with CFL or LED bulbs, I suspect for the same reason.

In reply to BH, I did find this one at Screwfix, which sounds very similar to the one you mentioned.
 
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