turn on electronics via cell phone...

 I'm looking for a way to do simple "on" command for an electronic device. The idea being if I'm on my way home from work and want to use my cell phone to let's say send a text message or email that will go to my computer (probably via a different site) and tell my computer, that I assume will be connected (via usb) to some sort of a relay, to turn on my electric device (say a space heater). I know you can use those timers but I come home at different times each day and would like to a) do it safely, when I'm only 10 mins away as opposed to being locked into the time on a timer) and b) use less energy than I would if say the heater turned on and I was running an hour late.

Any thoughts?

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CrLz7 years ago
The recent February 2010 issue of Nuts & Volts has a project that will do this for you.  No CPU needed- you basically create an "answering machine" that interprets touch-tone input to turn on/off devices.

I've also heard, but can't confirm, that there is an iPhone app that will remotely turn on/off lights @ your home.
Phone Controller.jpg
Buzzsushi7 years ago
You know that one iphone commercial with the punchline "theres an app for that?" well........ theres an app for that. Featured in the Makezine issue "ReMake America"
This isn't quite exactly what you want, but ubuntu has this neat little app all ready to install called BlueProximity - turns your phone (or other bluetooth device) into a remote that can trigger all kinds of different actions when a certain distance from the computer.
Kiteman7 years ago
You can use an old mobile to control the device almost directly - hack into it to get at the wires that supply power to the vibration motor.

Redirect them to a relay or transistor-switching circuit.

Set the phone to vibrate, call the phone, and the device will switch on.

You could also set it to vibrate for the alarms, and control things on the timer.
if you have a go phone remove the vibration motor and use those contacts as a switch so when you call it it will turn on what ever is connected to it instead of vibrating
caitlinsdad7 years ago

You could look into things like the x10 or search on home automation products.  Maybe hack an answering machine to relays and turn on something.  Good luck.