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#20: The $6 universal home automation button

The “Flic” Bluetooth button inspired me to create something similar for my home automation system. But instead of using BLE, I just connected a $6 remote control and matching receiver module to an Arduino-compatible board, so that whenever I press the button it publishes to MQTT.

That’s incredibly handy, because it means you can just stick a button anywhere you like and have it trigger arbitrary events in your home automation system. Make it turn off every light in the house, or order you a pizza, or whatever you like.

In this project, I combined it with the ambient tile display that I showed back in Episode #14 so that I would never forget to take out the rubbish bins.

Each week, the home automation system turns on one of the LEDs so that it reminds me to take out one of the bins. A red LED says it’s time to take out the bin with the red lid, and a blue LED means the bin with the blue lid.

Then, when I take out the bin, I just push the button attached to the bin and it tells the home automation system that I’ve done my job. The notification is cleared until next week, when it comes on again.

3 thoughts on “#20: The $6 universal home automation button

  1. I have tried to find your video explaining why you do not like to use the sonoff phone app because you have to give up your wifi password. Am I dreaming or just crazy?
    All I want to do is turn on/off a 4 ft flourescent tubes by wifi. If I load my own program will I have to upgrade the sonoff memory?

  2. great presentation. you have me thinking. btw the third jumper position is most likely for a 2 button remote.

  3. Ok, so not quite the same but I have already done something similar with a hacked Dash button.
    It is pressed every time an event occurs. We need to see how regular we are,Vis the best way to put it.
    This was with raspberry pi and it logs (ha ha) to a spreadsheet but, having seen this I may revisit. Battery life looks very good for this method.
    As a back up we use ifftt on the phone to replicate when away from home.
    Great channel, thanks.

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