here are the parts I used to build the system:
USB interface board (I used a K8055 experiment interface board)
4 channel remote socket set
box to put it in
single core wire
Step 2: I am now making my primary insision into the circuit cavity
the first thing to do is open up the remote control that came with the socket. to my surprise I found it contained 8 push switches, 2 for each button on the remote
Step 3: Soldering time
you will want to check what configuration works with your remote and USB board, I soldered in the leads so that the output of the board and the ground for the board are either side of the switch (the grounds are linked together to neaten it all up).
you will now want to connect the wires from the remote to the USB board and then connect the USB board to the computer. my board came with some demo software that gives me tick boxes for the digital outputs.
Step 5: Testing, testing
I plugged the board into my computer and one of the sockets into a small lamp. when I sent a command from the computer, the lamp lit up. IT'S ALIVE.
Step 6: To be coninued....
for my first major project this was a good start. I am now going to look at automating my bedrooms lights, and that will be the topic of a future Instructable.
well let me know what you think, helpful suggestions welcome