Instructables
Picture of Remote Control Power Strip
Ever wanted to instantly turn off any light or appliance from afar? Tired of bending over to unplug cool x-mas lights in your dorm room? Me too! This instructable will show you how to make a remote control power strip so you can control any socket, from across a room with the touch of a button!

 
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Step 1: What you'll need...

This project can take many different forms but here are the parts which I used for mine.

-3 wall outlet sockets (about a buck each)
-1 normal power strip ($10)
- 6 3A 120VAC relays (at DigiKey here $1.8 each)
NOTE: 3A at 120VAC is 360 Watts per socket. If you are interested in remotely controlling a microwave or hair-dryer think about investing a few extra bucks in bigger relays.
- 1 SIS-7C chip from the nice people at Simerec ($19.95)
- 1 IR receiver from Simerec. ($2.99)
- 1 universal remote. I used this one (2$)
- Solid 18AWG hookup wire.
- Perf-board
- Any kind of small AWG signal wire.
- 12 ft of insulated wrapping wire.
- Some sort of housing big enough to fit all your stuff. I used a generic Radio Shack one.
- 1 120VAC to DC 5-6 volt converter that outputs at least 400mA.
--OR--
- if you are adventurous you can build your own power supply! See step 4 for parts and schematic.

My total: $40-50 depending on what you can scrounge.

Tools:

- Soldering iron and solder
- Protective eye wear!
- Wire cutter/stripper
- Plyers
- Multi-meter
- Electric tape

Optional but HIGHLY recommended:

- "Third hand" to help with soldering
- Some sort of digital logic board or similar proto-board/breadboard

Please see the last step for additional ideas before starting on your project too!
globrite1 year ago
A nice and safe alternative is to use a Wattstopper power unit which is UL approved, has zero voltage switching and as a bonus has DC output at about 150 mA to power your controller. One such unit (B-120 EP) is available from Amazon for about $15. - Enjoy.
Gabse1 year ago
My Version: http://www.instructables.com/id/Selfmade-Standby-Killer/
rahib3 years ago
Cant I use any other IR reciever other than SIMEREC IR reciever
one more thing is there any alternative for this superb IC
Simerec states the chip can provide up to 25mA per output pin. The relay coil current is 40 mA. Are you not exceeding the Simerec chip's specifications? 
Yes. Either way, relays should never be connected directly to the output of an IC, unless is it is designed to. The standard practice is to use a transistor and flyback diode as protection.
fluxor3 years ago
I took your example here and simplified down to two outlets. Check out the finished product. I went with snubberless sensitive gate triacs for the power switching. I think safely each outlet can handle at least 500watts in the current config. The triacs are isolated from the "Simerec chip" (Really a PIC with some ok code on it) by MOC3010's The effect is that the PIC only sees the load of an LED on it's pins.

-John
IMGP0989.jpgIMGP0990.jpgIMGP0992.jpgIMGP0994.jpg
Nice looking project. You might consider non-conductive components for this as well as a ground-fault receptacle for the first outlet in the chain. I always try to minimize the number of conductive paths when I make up a box like this. My thinking is along the line that it may be always raining, and I have to use this outside in the rain in the worst case. That way I don't get caught "short" when I pick it up :)
I appreciate the comments. There's alot of room for improvement. I don't think it'll ever make it out in to the elements. But the grounds are good and solid in the device. I'll try to post something with more complete pictures to show the internal construction.
Wazzupdoc3 years ago
Is that Ozone I smell?
shadow_24mk3 years ago
Hi is there a replacement for the SIS-7C ?
efletch5 years ago
Nice gadget.

Re: step 4
If you are electrocuted, you will have no need to worry about tomorrow. When one receives a *lethal* dose of electric shock, it is termed an electrocution -- death.
==============================================
e·lec·tro·cute (ĭ-lěk'trə-kyōōt') Pronunciation Key
tr.v. e·lec·tro·cut·ed, e·lec·tro·cut·ing, e·lec·tro·cutes
1. To kill with electricity: a worker who was electrocuted by a high-tension wire.
2. To execute (a condemned prisoner) by means of electricity.

Re: #1

Does it help if you loosen off the tension?

*waiting for the slap while I'm LMAO*
rkr4 years ago
I'd like to do this to control the lights in my room, but 20 bucks for one chip? I don't think so.
ewertz rkr4 years ago
If you're into microcontrollers you could probably get by with an MCU and IR receiver for ~$5.
rkr4 years ago
Schematic on a black board... I like it.
chipmonger5 years ago
I recommend eliminating the exposure to potentially lethal line (120 vac) voltages by using this "plug and play" wiring device. See www.powerswitchtail.com
B2Pi5 years ago
Is it just a matter of replacing the relays to beef up the amperage? I want to use something like this on a 12.5-amp/120V Dust collector, and I think the replacement relay would be the 15amp variant of this one (@digikey)

Am I about to kill myself?
Jim59755 years ago
are there any other components other than the SIS-7C that i can use because i live in the Philippines and my parents doesn't like buying online and i can't find it here. Thanks i don't mind if they are circuit boards
twocvbloke5 years ago
Nice idea, I've seen those remote-controlled sockets you can buy and thought that they were pretty limited (one socket per socket!!!), so having them as a single strip is useful... :) One thought though (and although I'm British, I'm learning about US electrics through experimentation of my own), you only need to break off the tabs on one side of the sockets, usually the Live (or Hot as you call it) tab, the Neutral (Cold I guess!!!) side can be left joined together, reducing the need for lots of wire, as its only the Live side that needs to be switched on and off, the Neutral can just go straight back to the input... :) Also, don't be fooled by the idea that the "Cold" wire is safe to touch, it is not, AC current goes back and forth, so touch the cold wire and ground and you still end up receiving a shock, and I should know cos I have done it thinking the same thing!!! :Z
The Neutral wire is connected to the ground at the service panel, but if anything is using power coming on the same cable, it will have some voltage with respect of ground. You only have to break the tab on the Neutral (Wider blade) side of the plug if there are two completely separate circuits coming to each half of the outlet. This is often used for lamps, where the top, (or bottom) half is switched by the light switch, while the other half is not switched. I personally have never come across any outlet that needed the Neutral tab broken off.
Ya great project. I always wanted to make something that could kill me. You should really think about putting it in a box and re-wiring it.
jwad650 (author)  American Eagle5 years ago
Haha, yeah it looks like a torture device in all my pictures. Right now it sits in a black Radio Shack project box, with no cover, under my desk, waiting for me to make all of the changes described in the last step. I'm working out of my own dorm room with "borrowed" equipment so I don't have access to drills or saws or even a car making these otherwise simple construction tasks impossible. I'll definitely post pictures and a new video once the project is fully complete though.
Oh, ok. Ya keep up the good work.
Hey cool project. I was wondering if you could provide some info on whats involved in programming the chip. Im a little new at this, so i just wanted a little more info b4 i drop $20 for the chip. Thanks, Jason
jwad650 (author)  straightexhaust5 years ago
Jason,

Programming the chip is super easy and is outlined on the second page of the SIS-7C's datasheet here.

You will definitely need a multimeter or other way of figuring out when the "Program Status" (pin 3) pin goes "high." Setup a voltmeter to watch pin 3. Ground pin 12 and you should see about 5VDC come up on pin 3 very soon. If this happens, you're golden and you should continue to follow the instructions on the datasheet. If pin 3 does not go high, it's debugging time.

Happy building and if you have any more questions, I'd be happy to help.

P.S. in honor of your question I'm adding this as a step
Hey thanks a lot. This is a really cool project. Im gonna order me a chip tonight or tomorrow, then let u know how it turns out. I made a simple one outlet one a while back but it never really works right so im excited to see how this goes. Thanks again, Jason
russ_hensel5 years ago
Instead of this special chip you can use a microcontroller. There are a bunch of postings on the web. For one see: http://www.opencircuits.com/Experimenting_with_IR_Remotes_using_a_PIC_running_BoostC_Project
jwad650 (author)  russ_hensel5 years ago
A microcontroller would definitely be cheaper and more versatile but you would have to program and debug the IR interface. The SIS-7C, while quite a bit pricier than the average PIC is definitely worth the extra dollars because of the time you will save and its ease of use. Thanks for the link!
jeff-o5 years ago
Actually, diodes would be a good idea on each of the relays to protect the (relatively expensive) controller chip from voltage spikes produced by the relays (unless, of course, the chip has diodes built in).
jwad650 (author)  jeff-o5 years ago
I just contacted SIMEREC and they do suggest protecting the chip with diodes. I doubt that they intended the chip to directly drive inductive loads but as long is its current output is sufficient... why not!
jeff-o jwad6505 years ago
Well sure, as long as the specs match up then you're fine.
kelseymh5 years ago
This is a very nice project, and a good prototype/proof-of-principle.

Since you're dealing with "high voltage" (from a consumer perspective :-) you should really consider enclosing the outlets, and adding a fuse inline with the "hot" lead. Take a look at Vintage Voltage for an example of covering the safety bases.

A simple solution would be a set of duplex enclosure boxes with covers. The aluminum kind have side screw holes so they can be bolted together easily, while still having the covers in place.

The side knockout at one end provides a place for the power cord to enter (and be anchored with a clamp/strain-relief. Using one extra aluminum enclosure with a blank cover would provide a place to put the circuitry.
static kelseymh5 years ago
Glad I scrolled up to read the other comments. I was about to send a comment, that was darn near identical. Ask for recep boxes that can be "ganged". For those that four individual receps would serve their needs their are boxes that can hold 2 duplex receps and may be deep enough to mount the electronics behind the receps. While one can't predict how a project they build today, will be used and by who, it's always wise to enable things as grounds in the initial construction. IR is OK, but I'm a RF kind of person, and most likely loo for a RF solution. Hey I never thought about using a black board to create an easily photographed schematic
jeff-o5 years ago
Very neat and surprisingly inexpensive! The only suggestion I'd make is to use beefier relays. 3A is a little small, and is really only enough for a single light and other small electronics.
Nifty!