Introduction: Wireless Light Switch or Bust

I stumbled upon the website lightobject.com while looking for an affordable thermocouple for the immersion circulator I’m planning on building. I found the part I was looking for and I also came across a “Mult-function 1CH RF Remote Control Tx/Rx Set ” which is a small remote controlled relay switch that runs on a 12v power supply and will switch 120v 10A. This is one of those things that I knew I had to have but had no idea for what reason, it just seemed handy to have around. Then inspiration struck.

Batman, a constant source of inspiration.

In the original Batman TV show Bruce Wayne used a switch hidden within a bust of Shakespeare to open a hidden entrance to the Batcave. While I don’t have a hidden door to open I honestly can’t think of a cooler way to turn on and off the lights to my “Mancave”. So now that I had a goal in mind it was time to gather the required parts.

Parts list:

* Momentary push button
* Multi-function 1CH RF Remote Control Tx/Rx Set
* Various hinges/bits of metal
* An impressive bust (I went with Beethoven)
* 6 outlet plug strip
* 12v power supply
* Various lengths of wire
* Small piece for wood for switch mount
* Glue
* Wood stain

Step 1: Make One Beethoven Two.

Like all good projects this one started with cutting off someone’s head with a band saw. In this case Ludwig van Beethoven was the unfortunate soul to have his head separated from his body. From what I can tell, the hard outer shell was a fiberglass like material while the inside was a poured porous plaster. The plaster created a terrific mess but was pretty easy to chisel out to make room for electronics. After chiseling, I gave the plaster a nice coat of Elmer’s glue to reduce the amount of plaster dust leaking from Ludwig’s orifices. I also cut and stained a piece of plywood to act as a mount for the push button and hide the plaster.

Step 2: Fun With Soldering Irons

The next step was finding a cheap 12v power supply to drive the relay. I used an old power supply I had lying around, I also picked up a cheap 6 plug power strip and removed enough of the outer shield to cut into the positive (120v) line. This was extended and plugged into the relay board. Additionally I removed the wireless remote from it’s plastic casing and soldered the push button to the PCB. After mounting the push button on the plywood insert I added an extra bead of hot glue around all the connections for added support, including the battery on the remote.

Step 3: Putting It All Together

The last step was mounting the electronics inside the body and attaching the head on a hinge. There wasn’t too much to this part, I just drilled some holes and used old brackets, hinges, nuts and bolts to hold everything in place.

Step 4: Overview and Completed Video

This project was a lot of fun and required minimal effort. Since very little modification was required this is a great project for a beginner (like me). The relay board can switch up to 10 Amps so it can handle switching a lot more than the couple lights I’ve got it attached too. It’s also worth mentioning that you can buy additional relay boards that operate on the same frequency (allowing you to switch even more lights). The range on this remote is really impressive so in theory it could be used to turn on and off lights all over the house with the press of one button. This is one of those projects that is only limited by your creativity and imagination.



Comments

author
markgrecowork (author)2015-01-26

FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!

author
jonathan.mark.73 (author)2014-11-29

Where did you find the bust?

author
starwarsgeek1 (author)2014-08-01

this is so cool thanks for the idea

author
JP LeRoux (author)2014-02-21

Hello again, I've been making progress on my own secret bust. Had a little challenge with the remote, I was able to wire it, but I was really disappointed when it came to button selection. I really wanted a latching switch, I like the satisfying click you tend to get with those. The problem was that the button connected to the remote is a momentary switch. Does anyone have any knowhow on changing a latching switch so it operates like a momentary one? If I use a latching switch off the shelf it's just going to drain the battery.

author
JP LeRoux (author)2014-02-12

This is such a cool project! I might have gotten overly excited about trying this build for myself. I ordered some materials on Amazon, but I grabbed a different remote switch without thinking. It's a Woods 32555 (link at the bottom) the big difference seems to be that it has two buttons, one off, one on. I'm a complete novice when it comes to soldering, so I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on how to still convert the remote to use the red pushbutton? Thanks for the help and for the inspiration.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001Q9EFUK/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i09?ie=UTF8&psc=1

author
MOMO100 (author)2014-01-29

Cool

author
willnate (author)2013-03-25

hi

author
shizumadrive (author)2013-03-24

Makes me want to add a keypad to open a hidden bookcase.

author
Anime and The Beatles (author)2013-03-24

THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!

author
enagel3 (author)2013-03-23

Well done

author
vincent7520 (author)2013-03-23

???…
Two important things are missing on this inst' :
Where is the secret door to the safe ?
You failed to give your address !…

The again I like the idea of Beethoven's brain getting extra wiring. Linus would be happy.
Plus the visible hinge on the back of his head gives a a Frankenstein flair which is quite amusing !

All in all : excellent project. Well done. And very informative. Like it a lot.

Thanks for posting.

PS. Please do not forget to add a picture of the secret door and safe + address : this would make you Inst' the most valuable !… ;))))

author
gablet (author)2012-05-31

author
lime3D (author)2012-05-25

Excellent project.

However, I find no pleasure in messing around with circuits, relays and power supplies, so I am going to cheat, and just go with something like this.

I'll just mill a pocket in the neck to hold the remote, and I'm done!

author
justinhyp (author)2012-04-26

Nice job!

author
Vantage9 (author)2012-03-16

In the middle of my own build now and I found a great resource thought I'd share:

http://www.plastercraft.com/web_store.cgi?page=themes-busts-001.html&cart_id=3510474_18004

All the Busts on their site that are 12" or less are solid plaster, but the 13" and larger are all hollow. I'm going with Einstein.

Also, I think a lot of people who'd be interested in doing this might be as novice as I am with electric work, so I thought I'd share something the author left out regarding the relay: If you want the button to turn the light on / off (i.e. turn the power to the power strip on/off), then you need to change the jumper mode on the relay to "Toggle" instead of "Momentary". In its default Momentary setting the button just causes the light to turn on (or power to go) while the button is pressed down.

To set it to Toggle Mode you need to cap the 1st and 2nd jumper, while leaving the 3rd open. Mine had the cap on just the 1st jumper by default. If you need help on identifying which jumpers are which or mode settings see the manual here:
http://www.lightobject.info/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=7

author
Vantage9 (author)Vantage92012-03-16

Oh, and don't touch the little round button on the relay unless you know what you're doing, its a program-learning function that can mess with the modes and cause it not to work right.

If you do press the button some and mess your modes up, you can press and hold it for 10-15 seconds and it should reset everything.

author
gravitystorm (author)2011-06-08

I'm trying to recreate this project!
The problem is, I can't tell from your pictures where exactly all the wiring goes. Could you do a quick drawing or explanation of the circuit? For example, I need to know where the 12v wires, + and - go, which wires from the 120v go where, and if you used the plug for both the power strip and the 12v power supply....
I'm new to this stuff! Thanks

author
Vantage9 (author)gravitystorm2012-03-16

Looking at the inputs from Left to Right:

1. 120V+ In (this should be the Positive 120V line feeding juice from the wall)
2. 120V+ Out (same as above, going out to the power strip)
3. empty
4. 12V+
5. 12V-

If you're not sure which one of the 12V is + or -, try it both ways and plug the power source in the wall. If the red light turns on you got it right. You cannot hurt the relay by doing it wrong, it just won't work.

author
im3733 (author)2011-11-07

Alternatively, attach one or both of his eyes to momentary push buttons, then poke him in the eye to turn on the lights.

author
jresqyr (author)2011-11-06

Super cool,way to go

author
tinker234 (author)2011-05-21

be cool to put a bookshelf door with a hinge on it and the way you lock it is by the sheer fact of the bust

author
Foaly7 (author)2011-04-29

Now, personally I would put the hinge on the inside, and make it a lot more hush-hush secret.

author
liquid_chalk (author)2011-04-07

awsome build but when i read wireless light switch i thought you meant the lights on the ceiling.

author
martzsam (author)2011-03-25

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSS!!! YEsyEsyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes yesyesyes

YES!YES!YES!YES!YES!YES!YES!YES!YES!YES!

author
Kanellos (author)2011-02-28

I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little confused. Where did you get the relay? The power adapter I found, is just an adapter and I am confused with you relay.

http://www.mini-box.com/60w-12v-5A-AC-DC-Power-Adapter

The adapter I found ^.

author
TheNewHobbyist (author)Kanellos2011-02-28

Here's the relay.wireless switch I bought:

Mult-function 1CH RF Remote Control Tx/Rx Set ” 

Hope this helps.

author
Barrettkg (author)TheNewHobbyist2011-03-22

Got the part in. Excited to get to work. I'm thinking about placing the button inside a globe and hinging it at the base. Hopefully post a pic soon enough

author
Barrettkg (author)TheNewHobbyist2011-03-15

The site is a tad confusing, does it come with the remote control or do you have to buy that seperately?

author
TheNewHobbyist (author)Barrettkg2011-03-15

The remote and relay came together. It even included the battery for the remote!

author
Kanellos (author)TheNewHobbyist2011-03-01

OH! I got it now. I didn't realize that it came with switch. I'm a little new to all this.

author
ehudwill (author)2011-03-12

Nice instructable. I used to have a knight's helmet ice bucket that this would have worked great with. Wish I still had it.

author
Mullet1215 (author)2011-03-07

This is amazing...I want to make one. But where would I find a bust like this???

author

When I decided to work on this project I started asking friends and family if anyone had a bust they they no longer wanted. Thankfully a friend of mine had one they won in a raffle and didn't want. They seem to be pretty expensive online. I'd recommend checking Goodwill, Salvation Army or other second hand stores for a deal.

author

nice replica of the batman statue. Once I saw the thumbnail, i was like.... BATMAN!!!.... good job. I hope you win

author
swilus (author)2011-02-22

Very nice job! I love randomness like this (as you can see with my instructables lol)!

author
christpher (author)2011-02-22

well sory $$$$$

author
DeusXMachina (author)2011-02-17

In Operation Weather Disaster, there was a switch in a bust that opened the door to The Weatherman's secret lab.

Oh....I miss that game...

author

Hah! I didn't think anyone else had ever heard of this game. I believe I got my copy through the Scholastic book order forms while I was in grade school. Awesome game! Though the sequel "Operation: Eco Nightmare" wasn't so great.

author

Yup, same, though mine came bundled with Discovery Channel Invention Studio. I never played Eco Nightmare.

author
rbbiggs (author)2011-02-17

What are the dimensions of your Ludwig. I found a 30" tall Shakespeare.

Great Job ! I always loved that part of the Batman show

author
TheNewHobbyist (author)rbbiggs2011-02-20

My Beethoven is 15.5 inches tall, 30 inches tall sounds pretty huge!

author
rbbiggs (author)TheNewHobbyist2011-02-21

Ok, I'll look for a smaller size. I'm going to try and build a rotating book case where there is a bar on the other side. This would be the perfect switch for it.

Thanks for posting this instructable !

author
trebory6 (author)2011-02-20

Where did you buy the bust? I'm scouring the internet for "Hollow" busts like that. All that I can find are either cast in solid metal, resin, or plaster.

author
TheNewHobbyist (author)trebory62011-02-20

I actually got it from a friend, I just put my feelers out and started asking around for one. They can be pretty pricey online!

I'd recommend checking Goodwill, Salvation Army or other second hand stores if you don't want to spend an arm and a leg

As for the material my Beethoven bust was some kind of resin filled with plaster. Not sure how common that is but it was pretty nice to work with.

author
soundinnovation (author)2011-02-18

Nice music for your video. =D

author
christpher (author)2011-02-17

isint that dangris

author
amoliski (author)christpher2011-02-17

If you don't know what you're doing.

author
christpher (author)amoliski2011-02-18

it is still dangris

author
slayerofgoliath (author)2011-02-18

Zoink , Pow, only Alfred will know.

author
jmonty (author)2011-02-17

your instructables is hilarious!

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