Sunday, 29 December 2013

Cheap Remote Controlled Consumer Products for Hacking

As the picture below shows, I just bought an AuraGlow RGB LED bulb (left in the picture) and a set of remote-controlled power socket switches (right). Obviously, as you can see, I've started thinking about how to hack the controllers..

They're pretty cheap: the bulb was £20 from Maplin, but there's a cheaper GU10 one for £15; the power switches were three for a tenner from Clas Ohlson. So this makes them appealing for the home hacker.

The bulb is driven by an IR signal, the switches by radio. I'm thinking I can just short the controller button pads with transistors driven by GPIO pins. Or if I can capture the bulb's IR protocol, it may be possible to send that directly. Hopefully there'll be separate R, G and B values sent, not just the preset colours on the controller.

Both controllers are powered by a 3V battery, which makes it possible to power them from the Pi.

I'll let you know of any developments..

Meanwhile, here's what my Christmas Pi looks like now it's been assembled with the slot cut in the top:


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