Control Electrical Stuff With Your Computer





Introduction: Control Electrical Stuff With Your Computer

Control lights (or any thing electrical appliance) with your keyboards lights. with no irritating micro controller!!!!

First I want to say that this is my first instructable and I didn't take many photos.
also I got the idea from: USB controlled mini lava lamps by jamesh

this is a device that turns lights (or what ever) on with the push of the caps num or scroll lock
if you want you can use an xbox DVD remote with your computer and turn on your lights with that. so you can walk in to the room and push a button on the remote and the lights turn on

Waning. this instructable involves working with high voltage mains power, I take no responsibility if things go wrong.

Step 1: Get the Parts


3 transistor BD140
3 capacitors 10-60uf
3 resistors (so the LEDs don't burn out. unfortunately I forgot there value)
3 relays (the ones with 5 legs)
3 switches (single pole double throw) 240v (120 in the US)
1 (single pole single throw) switch 240v (120 in the US)
a box
4 grommets
A keyboard with num caps and scroll lock lights
3 LEDs
7 (or more) meter extension lead
2 power sockets (see picture)

xbox dvd remote
USB cable
small blank circuit board

Step 2: Opening (and Modding) the Keyboard

Crack open your keyboard and remove the circuit board (mine had a zillion screws holding it in)
then locate the lights and solder the wires to the legs of the LEDs (see picture)

when done put the keyboard back together. you may need to cut a hole for the new wire to get out

important note: not all keyboards work with this

Step 3: Prepare the Cord and Box

cut the extension lead into 4 equal parts
drill 4 holes into the side of the box
shove the grommets in to the holes
tread the cords trough the grommets (spit helps)
strip the wires (the end thats in the box)

Step 4: Put the Socets On

the extension lead should now be cut into 4 pieces and treaded trough the box

now its time to put the sockets on the cords that don't have any.

the sockets should have instructions on how to wire them

Step 5: Electronic Bits

now this is the most fiddley bit, putting the circuitry together.

I was too lazy to make a PCB so i soldered wires to the components

Step 6: Put Every Thing in the Box

you need to cut some holes for the switches, wires and lights

make sure all the wires in the box a insulated

Step 7: Plug It In

Once you have put every thing in the box and it looks like the picture above than you can now start to test it.
plug a lamp (or something) into one of the sockets and plug the keyboard into the computer
then plug the power in and turn on your computer if nothing explodes, good.

now the lamp should flash as the computer boot (this is normal)
when the computer is done push the caps num and scroll lock buttons, an led should light up for each button.

if it doesn't than open it (unplug it first) and check all connections.
if all the lights turn on when you only press one button, than check the connections if that doesn't help than it may be the keyboard, not all keyboards work with this

Step 8: Optinal Stuff

if you want you can use your xbox DVD remote, you will need a USB cable and a piece of circuit board and etch it (theres lots of instructables on how to do this) , then cut so it fits into the plug on the DVD remote sensor

its hard to explain so just look at the pics

Step 9: Software for the DVD Remote

you need software to run the xbox DVD remote:


once you have installed the software, plug the sensor into the USB port, it should say it found new hardware. if it says "USB device not recognizing" than try moving the connection.

once the hardware is installed run XBCDRC (should be in start menu)

then choose what buttons control num caps and scrol locks

(this picture was taken on an XP computer)

Step 10: How to Use It

if every thing works than you have completed it successfully

the switches on the front are wired in a double switch so you can manually turn on or off the lights

the single pole single throw switch is to disable the lights.



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    The USB keyboard gives 5v, and standard relays needs 6v, im using a bc558 transistor but it doesn´t haves enought power to switch the relay. any idea?


    can any one plzzz tell me the value of resistance?

    Okay the answer to your question is not a simple one but here goes. The resistor is to prevent too much power going through the LED.
    Therefore, the value of the resistance is dependent on the wattage of your LED.
    Example - 1/4W LED. 5V - 330ohms 9V - 680ohms 12V - 1kohm 24V - 2k2ohm
    Look up Ohm's Law on Google if your voltage/wattage combination isn't listed.

    m realy new n fresh in des works . . .bt hopin fr d best . . .takin dis project as my first work . . .really hv no clue abt hw to go on . . .so plz leave ur comments fr help . . .peace . . .

    translated version: I'm really new and fresh in this sort of work, but i am hoping for the best as i take this on as my first project.I have no idea how to start, if anyone would be kind enough to lend a hand, please leave a comment, your help will be greatly appreciated.

    I cnt udrstnd ur tpng cuz its msing 2 mny lters.

    you left the "E" in in "lters", taking out the vouls only works if you do it right K-NiigT (i like the monty python reference) ;) and yeah shivangi_nig, your not making sense, sorry...

    What happens if you plug two keyboards? I mean, are two keyboards individually addressable on Linux? Can you keep keyboard#1 configured and working "normally" and then connect a "secondary" USB keyboard for this purpose?

     Well, the builtin keyboard on my lenovo x61 tablet doesn't turn on the caps light when I plug in my usb keyboard and hit caps, so I think you could. This instructable shows you how you could eliminate a lot more space.


    Another option for activating the caps lock, num lock, etc. if you are using a windows machine is to click start -> run -> then enter "osk" (without the quotations).  This opens an On Screen Keyboard where you can just use the mouse to click on the buttons you want.  This will activate the num lock, caps lock, etc. LED's without using the actual keyboard and turn on your remote accessories.  FYI..