The "Feel Like a Queen Coffee Machine"




About: After a career in industrial electronics I went back to college and now do DNA research.

This is actually a remote controlled coffee maker, but my wife, Semone, calls it her "Feel Like A Queen Coffee Machine" because she can start it without getting out of bed in in the mornings.




Step 1: How This Project Came About

Like a lot of people, my wife cannot function until she has her morning coffee. Awhile back her coffee maker quit working. I wanted to do something nice for her so I offered to get her a new coffee maker with a built in timer. She quickly let me know that a timer just wouldn't do since she likes her coffee freshly brewed and rarely gets up at the same time every morning.  She suggested a remote controlled coffee maker she could turn on without getting out of bed. Needless to say you can't go out and buy one of those babies at the local department store. A quick internet search brought up a couple of remote controlled coffee makers people had made. They all involved smart phones, computers or expensive appliance control modules. Expecting her to operate one of those complicated devices before her morning caffeine hit would be too much to ask, so instead I designed and built her the "Feel Like a Queen Coffee Machine". Even with her eyes still closed she can now have freshly brewed coffee in minutes no matter what time she wakes up. We were thrilled to find out this project won second place in the Coffee Challenge. Ironically we won a really nice timer controlled coffee maker. Just what my wife didn't want. LOL Our prize will soon find its way onto Ebay.

Step 2: How the Circuit Works.

This design leaves the original function of the coffee maker intact. You can still operate it with the front panel switch and the green light still works as it did right out of the box.

For remote controlled operation I added a 12 volt DC power supply power supply, remote control receiver, chime (to let her know it activated), power relay and a LED power on indicator. When you press the button on the remote control transmitter a small relay in the remote control receiver operates (RCR1). When the relay's normally open contacts close, the voltage from the power supply turns on the chime (CHM1) and the power relay (RLY1). One set of normally open contacts in the power relay turns on the main power to the coffee maker and a second set of normally open contacts act as a relay latch by bypassing the radio receiver relay contacts so the power relay will stay on even after you remove your finger from the transmitter button. There is a diode (D5) between the receiver relay (RCR1) and the power relay (RLY1)  to prevent this bypass voltage from activating the chime when you take your finger off the transmitter button. Without this diode the chime will continue to sound the entire time the coffee maker is on. Believe me when I say that is not a pleasant experience. The kick-back diode (D6) prevents the relay coil's (RLY1) induced voltage spike from frying the LED (LED1) when the relay turns off. In order to turn the coffee maker off you simply press the normally closed push button (PB1). This interrupts the relay latching voltage coming from the bypass contacts in the power relay (RLY1) and the coffee maker turns off. 


Step 3: The Parts List

To get started you will needed a coffee maker without any of the fancy clocks, timers, and electronics that some have. You need one with nothing but a simple on/off switch. The Mr. Coffee Model CG12 worked great and is the one shown in this Instructable. To make things even better it was the cheapest coffee maker in the store. A quick search on E-Bay got me a single channel radio remote control for a few dollars more than the coffee maker. I either bought or had these additional items in my spare parts stash.

1 - Single Channel 12 volt DC Remote Control Receiver and Transmitter (RCR1)
1 - Miniature 120 to 12 volt transformer (T1)
6 - 1N4007 general purpose diodes. (D1-6)
1 - 1000 mf 25 volt electrolytic capacitor (C1)
1 - LED (any color) (a mount is optional) (LED1)
1 - 470 Ohm 1/4 watt resistor or a resistor close to this value (R1)
1 - 120 VAC 15 amp DPDT relay with a 12 volt DC coil. [A socket is optional] (RLY1)
1 - NC (normally closed) push button switch (PB1)
1 - One electronic doorbell chime from Radio Shack - one with 3 wires coming out of it. (CHM1)
2 - Small perforated boards
1 - plastic project box ( the largest Radio Shack sells)

Assorted screws and nuts for mounting
Small gauge hookup wire (various colors)
Large gauge electrical wire (a lamp cord will work)
Nylon Wire Ties
A few inches of small heat shrink tubing.

Step 4: Getting Started

Begin by removing the bottom cover from the coffee maker. There are 6 screws you will need to remove. Two screws are under the two rubber feet. Pry the feet out of the holes with a small screwdriver to get access to the screws.



Step 5: Wiring Up the Coffee Maker.

All of the wires in these steps need to be about 14 to 16 inches long in order to reach from the front of the coffee maker to the project box mounted on the rear.

Solder one wire of the lamp cord to each of the two terminals on the original power switch as shown in the picture. The other terminal on the switch is for the power light built into the switch and is not needed for the remote control.

Drill a hole and mount the normally closed push button switch beside the main power switch. Solder a pair of wires to the terminal.

Solder the 470 ohm resistor to one lead of the LED. Solder a wire to the other end of the resistor and a second wire the the other LED lead. Use heat shrink tubing to insulate the bare wire and resistor. Drill a hole on the other side of the original power switch and mount the LED in the hole. I used a small amount of hot glue to secure the LED.

Cut the coffee makers power cord in two and use wire nuts to add an additional set of leads to feed the electronics in the project box.

Carefully route all 8 wires to the project box and secure them with wire ties so that they do not get close to the heating element.


Step 6: Assemble and Mount the Power Supply Board.

Perform these steps before mounting the project box on the coffee maker.

Mount the miniture transformer, 4 - 1N4007 diodes, and the 1000 mf electrolytic capacitor to one of the perf boards per the schematic.

Mount the power supply board inside of the project box.

Solder the two wires that you spliced onto the power cord with wire nuts in the previous step to the primary (120 vac) terminals of the transformer.  

Step 7: Mount Components to the Project Box.

Perform these steps before mounting the project box to the coffee maker.

Drill holes and mount the door bell chime to one of the long sides of the project box and feed the wires inside the box.

Mount the remote control receiver to the other long side of the project box and drill a hole to run wires from it to the inside of the project box.

Drill a hole on one of the short sides of the project to run wires into the base of the coffee maker.

Step 8: Mount the Project Box to the Coffee Maker

Mount the project box on the rear of the coffee maker using two bolts and nuts..

CAUTION - The top rear of the coffee maker is also the wall of the water tank. If you drill into it, the coffee maker will leak water and be ruined. Do not drill any holes in the coffee maker above the seam between the bottom of the water tank and the top of the base. Since there is very little pressure or weight on the project box, two holes drilled into the base will be be more than enough to secure the project box.

Step 9: Wire Up the Relay.

Solder leads to the relay according to the schematic.

Step 10: Begin Hooking Up the Wires.

Start hooking up the wires according to the schematic. 

Step 11: Finishing Up and Testing

Double check all of your connections. 

Use electrical tape to insulate the power relay and perf boards.

Install the cover on the project box and radio receiver.

Plug in the coffee maker and look for smoke or fire.

If you don't see any then press the button on the radio transmitter.

You should see the LED come on and hear the chime ring twice.

Press the NC pushbutton to make sure the LED turns off.

Get ready to become a hero.


Step 12: Operating the Coffee Maker.

For manual operation just turn the original switch on. The green light in the switch lets you know the coffee maker is on. Turn the switch off and the light goes off indicating the coffee maker is off.   

For remote control operation you will need to set the coffee maker up the night before with water, a filter and coffee. In the morning you simply press the button on the transmitter. The chime will sound and the LED on the front panel of the coffee maker will turn on to indicate the coffee maker has turned on. When you are finished with the coffee press the push button you added to the front panel of the coffee maker and the LED and coffee maker turn off.

The LED does not turn on when the coffee maker is turned on manually and the green light in the switch does not turn on when the coffee maker is turned on using the remote control. This allows you to quickly tell whether the coffee maker was started using the manual switch (the green light is on) or it was started using the remote control (the LED in on). This is necessary in order to know how to turn off the coffee maker.  

Step 13: Listen to Her Brag.

All that's left is hearing daily praises from my coffee loving wife. She starts every day happy and energized because her  "Feel Like a Queen Coffee Machine" does just that.....makes her feel like royalty.

Many thanks to my lovely wife, Semone, for all her ideas, help and encouragement. I love ya girl!  


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Second Prize in the
Coffee Challenge



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    17 Discussions

    Hi there!
    I'm having trouble understanding the electrical diagram, will you mind uploading more pictures of the relay and the perf board?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea! I just threw out our old "Signature Classics" coffee maker, but I saved the clock module and the relay board. I was looking for something to do with the clock module and I came upon this great idea. Outstanding! Way to go!

    That was really sweet of you to do it for her! And a big part of making something is the fact you are making it for someone you love!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea. And I too love fresh coffee first thing in the morning, but as I live in the UK I would be risking jail time if I copied your instructable. unless I'd had it passed by a qualified electrician and have a safety certificate issued costing around £100.

    I am qualified but because I am retired, and am not up to speed on the latest regs (which change monthly) and am not registered to issue certificates, don't have the latest test equipment, which itself has to be certified annually.

    The same applies to gas equipment including portable units.

    If I made your unit and it caught fire or caused an explosion, PC Plod would be feeling my collar.

    Glad to get that rant off my chest, I spent my working life and spare time repairing stuff and I'm now not allowed to keep some civil servant in a job.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I don't get it. $25 you can get a remote power switch with remote that controls 3 different items. Around xmass time, these are a dime a dozen. I got a kit last xmass that has 2 outdoor rated plugs, 3 indoor plugs, 3 remotes to control them all from a very long distance - it was like $20 on clearance.

    3 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction


    I am sorry you "don't get it". Maybe it will help if I tell you why I built this instead of buying it. Even a casual look around the world in general and the Instructables web site in particular should make it obvious that something is happening. People everywhere are beginning to do it themselves and thankfully Instructables is letting them share what they do with the rest of the world. We are in the middle of a DIY renaissance - a revival. Not long ago most people bought what they wanted and needed. That is quickly changing. People are now designing, creating, building and improving all sorts of things from cupcakes to computers. You are right. I could buy a remote control that would do the same thing mine does and spend much less money and time than I put into this project. I could have done that, but I didn't. This is not about saving money and time. For me, and a lot of other do-it-yourselfers this is about something much deeper. It is about challenging myself to use my creativity, knowledge, and experience to solve problems and improve life. It is about imagining something in my mind and then building it with my hands. It is about sharing knowledge and ideas with others and working together to adapt and improve them. It is about developing new skills and learning new things. It is about the personal satisfaction and pride of looking at and using something I made myself. An added benefit is all of the really great friends I have made through Instructables. I have collaborated on projects with people from all over the world. People that I will never meet. We all share something special. We build things. If nothing else this makes it worth it.

    I see that you enjoy making bread and are quite good at it. Me making this remote controlled coffee maker is a lot like you making bread. I am sure you could buy bread and save both money and time. However, you choose to make your bread yourself just like I choose to make my coffee maker myself and probably for the same reasons. I get it and I hope you do too.


    Very well said. I see the comment about you could buy that all the time and your explaintion was perfect. Kind sprited and perfectly stated. Cheers


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I apologize, I didn't mean the offense. I merely meant, I didn't get what this did that was different than the off-the-shelf solution. After reading through your instructible a little more closely, I see it has many unique features I had previously missed.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    very cool idea.....iam too lazy on the cold mornings to go for the now i will prep everything form the past evening and the morning i will enjoy my hot coffee on my bed!!!
    Lol....why i was expecting this instructable while in market i could find the same industrialized product?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    That's such a sweet thing to make for your wife! aw! You have my vote! :)


    I got that same coffee maker but the black edition. Since you are hacking the coffee maker already i would have moved the on off switch or bought a replacement. Its a little too close to the front edge to not get accidentally mashed and turned on. A pot on the counter gets brushed against it and it comes on. Ive done it like 3 times. :-(

    Its a great hack. How far away does the transmitter have to be in order for it to still work?

    I bought mine on E-bay for around $30.00. I just looked and there are several posted now for less than $15.00. Just look for one that operates on 12 vdc. Search using "1 channel remote control module".

    This may make your racing mind worse, but you can also purchase 2 and 4 channel remote modules. That should really expand your project ideas.