Wandering about my local B&Q today - looking for a 2 gang to 3 gang socket
converter (which I later found at TLC for 60% less) I came across;
Byron Remote Control Sockets.
Basically three adaptors that plug into socket outlets and a remote control.
You plug your appliance into the adaptor. Then you can turn those
appliances (up to 3000w) on/off via remote!
We have two table lamps and a floor lamp in our lounge, all of which are a
PITA to switch on/off. No I can sit there & pretend I'm Ernst Starvro
Blofeld! Great fun & useful for £20!
Yes, they are useful- but they've been about for quite a while.
I bought a set of 4 adapters plus remote (different make, and a bit more
expensive) from Maplins several years ago. We use 3 of them regularly - and
the fourth seasonally for the Christmas tree lights. One controls an outside
light which illuminates the pond and is powered from an upstairs bedroom,
but can operated from the lounge.
One off the four was a dimmer last time.
I use them to turnoff all the stuff that uses the little power bricks as
that saves a little bit of electricity.
They are also good for garden lights.. just put a socket strip in a water
proof box, plug in the remote switches and plug in the lamps.
Meets all the legal requirements and you never need to touch a wet switch
with mains behind it again.
Also currently on special offer (as a single) in Maplin, for £5.99.
"Turn off your Christmas tree lights without leaving your sofa"
There's nothing like laziness carried out well!
I often see people frantically looking for remotes for their telly, isn't
this just another thing to get lost?
Sounds interesting: Andy, do you have any pointers for this stuff? Have
had a nose around but can't find anything. Just that SWMBO has recently
been Blackberry-enabled and am interested to find out what it can
Typing PDA remote and control as Google keywords will bring up a selection.
Home automation some more.
I have had a Windows CE PDA (an HP One) for some time. This was
running the 2003 CE version and was reasonably OK - it has phone,
bluetooth, WiFi,IrDA... However, like other WM 2003 devices it
doesn't tolerate well having a lot of applications installed and tended
to need rebooting about once a day. To put it in perspective, I had
TomTom navigator installed on it (to keep taxi drivers honest), "push"
email and various other stuff. It was certainly usable although I
really wanted to have something that had an integrated keyboard for
messaging and email. I also wanted something with 3G capability that
could be used as a modem for when WiFi isn't available - e.g. trains
I did look quite carefully at Blackberry. As a business tool, they
have become ubiquitous and the email service is pretty reliable as long
as one chooses operator carefully. For what it is intended to do, I
think it does a good job. The two drawbacks that I noticed was that
it is a relatively closed device and there is not as much other
software around for it in comparison with WM and Palm; and that quite a
lot of people seem to carry a phone and a Blackberry. I wanted one
device. I couldn't find any Blackberry remote control software.
So it looked as though WM or Palm would be the choices. WM 2005 had
come out and was getting good reviews in terms of stability, so this
seemed to become a viable option. I spent some time researching
different "push" email solutions and found a reliable one. A
discussion about customer retention with my mobile operator brought
forth a Qtek 9000 (WM2005 PDA with all required features).
The older PDA is now being relegated to various purposes around the
house for control purposes.
Well in my case, the Xmas tree lights are plugged in the only available
socket which is in the corner behind the TV and tree... over the festive
season, every night it is the bane of my life to have to crawl behind
the telly, reaching under the tree which either impales me with pine
needles or drops them down my neck, as I stretch for the socket to turn
the bloody lights off before bed. Every year I swear I'll sort out a
better solution, but every year the lights go back in the box for
another 11 months without anything being done.
So I'll definitely be first in the queue for one of these things... wWho
knows, I might even actually enjoy Xmas as a result!
Yep, that's the sort of 'better solution' I have had in mind for the
past n years but have never got around to actioning... and I know, I
could buy that kit from B&Q just as easily as this remote jobbie...
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