is there a way to create a simple infrared on off switch?

For years i have been looking for a way to control my home appliances without the need for an X10 or home automation kit which is unjustly expensive and doesnt do everything i want it to do. I have voice recognition on my computer and ultimately id like to use a Bluetooth headset or handheld mic to control everything in my room. The way i see this working is to create an infrared transmitter and reciever for my computer, record the IR signals onto my pc and play them back to whatever device i see fit (tv, dvd, lights, etc) using the voice commands to run macros that send the IR signals. Also with this (and here comes the bit pertaining to the question) i would require a simple On/off IR switch, which i could wire into lights, power sockets, anything which doesnt have infrared to control its function already. Anybody got any ideas? On this note, i have programmed my computer to be able to do any command with voice, so that is sorted, and have also found some software that will record and play back the IR signal (but not the hardware) The IR switch i found schematics to online didnt work, and included a few IR led's, a 9v battery, and a rs232 cable (now all buggered)

maxx2337 years ago
I'm building something like this.. my plans are for an in-wall light switch that also includes an IR receiver that I can 'pair' bluetooth-esque to a given button on my remote that  I never use.  That way the universal remote can also turn the ceiling-light on and off when we're watching a movie.  I'm doing it with an IR receiver, a PIC microcontroller, and a relay basically.  I suck at RC electronics, but I'd imagine you could do something simpler with an IR photoresistor from radioshack, and a relay (which I got from sparkfun, fyi - best one I've found, and they have a tutorial on using it in wall-power circuit.)  The simpler RC version wouldn't allow a certain button to be synced though, it'd basically just trip the relay if a certain thresh-hold of IR is detected.  Pretty much - if a remote is pointed right at it it'll turn on/off regardless of which button is pressed.  To do anything more complicated like what you've proposed, where you plan to have different units that you want 'addressed' individually (so when you say "lamp on" the computer sends a signal out that's picked up by the unit controlling the lamp), I'm pretty sure you're going to have to build intelligence into the units with a microcontroller.  Or do funky RC magic that's way beyond me and my analogue creativity.  Chances are unless you know how to program a PIC or AVR microcontroller - or want the motivation to start learning - you're probably going to be better off paying the price for the X10 units.  They really don't cost that much honestly, I'll be spending at least that much on parts for my wall-switch unit I think (let alone the cost of learning.)  For me it was just that I can't find anything else that does what I want, and I'm already a programmer.