Newbie here, I want to activate buttons on a remote control when my alarm clock goes off.

Hey everyone! 

I'm pretty new to all of this stuff, but I'm interested in connecting my alarm clock to my Arduino Uno, and connecting my Arduino Uno to various buttons on the remote for a remote-controlled, color-changing, screw-in LED light bulb, so that when the alarm goes off, the Arduino activates a series of buttons, turning the light on in various colors.

My initial questions are the following, I'm most likely gonna need follow-up help later.
1. How exactly should I connect my alarm clock to the Arduino? I assume that there is a current produced somewhere when the alarm goes off, how do I "tap into" that, and how do I get my Arduino to sense the current?
2. I'm thinking (correct me if I'm wrong) that I need to connect each remote button to a pin on my Arduino and then turn on whatever pin I want to change the light bulb color. Do I just connect them using wires, or do I need something else, like resistors or another component? If I do need something else, how do I figure out what specs I need to have in said component?

If it helps, below are links to the light bulb I'm planning to get and the alarm clock I have.
Light Bulb
Alarm Clock

If there's any other info that it would be helpful for me to provide, let me know.

Thank you so much.

1. You can build a clap circuit and connect it directly to the speaker on the clock. Make sure the clap circuit is designed to output 5V so the Arduino can read that as high on a single pin. Also be sure the clap circuit and Arduino share the same ground connection.

2. It would be easier and cheaper to get an IR transmitter and receiver connected to the Arduino. Then you can use the arduino to read the commands from the remote and store them. The Arduino can then transmit those commands to control the lights. Otherwise you would need to wire up a bunch of relays to the arduino to trigger the button presses on the remote. The output pins on the arduino either send out 0V or 5V. Some pins doe PWM but that doesn't help here either. The remote needs to have a simple short across it's button contacts. So the arduino needs to send 5V to activate a relay which will then act as the button shorting the contacts on the remote. Depending on the relay used you may have to have a transistor between it and the Arduino. If the relay requires more than 200mA to power the coil and activate it than the transistor is needed. The arduino will trigger the transistor allowing the voltage directly from your power source to power the relay.

So start looking into using an IR transmitter and receiver with the arduino. As well as a good clap circuit that can provide a 5V output when it detects sound.

giantmidget31 (author)  mpilchfamily3 years ago

Thank you thank you thank you!!

Just a few questions on what you said:
1. Why do I need an IR receiver if I'm just transmitting? What data do I need to receive?

2. Why can't I not use IR and instead use not a relay but a transistor for each button?

You need to receive the code from the remote itself. Point the remote at the receiver and record the button presses you want to use. Then you can use that data in your final code to produce the lighting effects your looking for.

You will want to keep the remote's power source and the arduino's isolated from each other. To make it work you'd have to have the remote and the arduino also sharing a ground contact. Further complicating things. A transistor could allow additional current to flow through the remotes contacts thus messing up the signal the remote's micro controller is looking for and possibly burning out the controller.