Use the Switcheroo to Turn on Lights With Your Smartphone

Introduction: Use the Switcheroo to Turn on Lights With Your Smartphone

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The Switcheroo is meant to control small current, low power DC voltages like those commonly used in small devices. Switching on a lamp is a high current, high power AC voltage application. The easiest and safest way to switch these types of things with your smartphone and Switcheroo is to modify another device already meant for switching this type of power.

For this project you'll need a Switcheroo board from here

You'll also need a remote control power socket system like the Etekcity ZAP. You can easily and safely interface the Switcheroo with the Zap's handheld remote control.

Finally, you will need a CR2032 coin cell battery.

Step 1: Prepare Your Tools and Materials

Aside from your Switcheroo and the remote control AC power switch, you will need the following tools;

- flat headed needle nose pliers

- hobby knife

- double-back sticky tape

- wire cutters

- soldering iron & solder

- two-color connecting wire

- you will not need a Philips screwdriver, that tool was just lonely and photo-bombed the other tools

The first thing you will want to do is cut yourself 4 pairs of connecting wire. They should be at least 6 inches (15cm) long. You'll cut them down to size later but you want enough to allow you to work comfortably with the wire pairs while soldering.

Step 2: Prep the Control Circuit Board

The Etekcity ZAP AC power control system allows the handheld remote unit to switch on and off 5 different outlet modules. The remote has 10 buttons on it, with each module ID having a separate on and off button. That means you can use the 4 outputs of the Switcheroo to control a total of 4 buttons on the remote unit. So, if you want to control both on and off functions of outlet modules from your smartphone, you can control 2 outlets completely (the ON and OFF button for each outlet) or you can control one function of 4 outlets (be able to turn on 3 outlets and turn off a 4th outlet, or turn on 2 outlets and turn 2 other outlets off, etc.)

Now we'll get into the remote unit and start the upgrade process. First remove the battery door from the back of the remote unit and remove the battery. Now you should be able to carefully use the hobby knife to separate the top and bottom pieces of the remote casing, exposing the circuit board. Once open, take the control circuit board and set the plastic case parts aside.

You will want to take the 4 pairs of connecting wire and solder one end of each wire the either side of your chosen buttons you want the Switcheroo to control. Be sure to mark your pairs of wire so you know which button each pair is soldered to. For example, you could label the other ends with tape and a small piece of paper, or use a wire label if you're fancy. I used 1-ON for the pair connects to the ON button for module ID 1, etc.

Once you have all of your wires soldered, carefully flatten them down to the PCB so they don't stick up. It will be important that they are flat against the PCB when you go to put the remote control unit's plastic housing back together.

With the wires flat against the PCB, gather them together and place the PCB into the lower housing so you can choose a spot you will want to route them to the outside of the plastic housing. Mark this area on the lower housing and get your hobby knife ready.

Step 3: Prep the Remote Case for Wire Egress

There isn't enough room inside the plastic casing of the remote unit for the Switcheroo, so we will need to cut a notch in the lower casing and run the wiring from the control circuit board to the outside of the remote control unit.

Use the hobby knife to make two small cuts into the side wall of the lower housing. They should be deep enough that the bundle of connecting wire can easily fit inside the depth of the cut. The space between the cuts should be enough that 8 of the connecting wires can sit between the two cuts.

Once you have made the cuts, grab the tab of plastic between the cuts with a flat headed needled nose pliers. Grab it in such a way that the end of the flat head pliers goes only as deeps as the cuts you've made. Then with the plastic tab firmly gripped, bend the tab inward toward the opposite wall of the lower housing. Then bend back toward the other direction. This should make a mostly clean break which you can trim and clean up with the hobby knife.

Step 4: Solder Control Wires to the Switcheroo

The remote control unit uses a small 12v battery, which is enough voltage to use the 3.3v regulator with your Switcheroo, however the current available is very small. For this project, the Switcheroo should use its own 3v CR2032 battery for power. Be sure to solder the battery clip to the back of the Switcheroo before continuing.

With your Switcheroo ready to go, trim the control wires to length and solder the pairs of wires to the output pairs of the Switcheroo. Be sure to take notes which pair of wire is connected to which Switcheroo output.

With everything connected, insert the CM2032 coin battery. Then grab some double back tape and cut a square to around the size of the battery clip.

Now clap your hands because you're done!

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