Time savers - life on automation

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
wrongfunds
Posts: 1908
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: Time savers - life on automation

Post by wrongfunds » Wed May 10, 2017 9:18 am

I am really perplexed. If you have the ability to use the relays, why would you build something with the suicide plug? Are you aware that if something bad were to happen, the insurance company would deny the coverage.

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dratkinson
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:23 pm
Location: Centennial CO

Re: Time savers - life on automation

Post by dratkinson » Wed May 10, 2017 6:39 pm

wrongfunds wrote:I am really perplexed. If you have the ability to use the relays, why would you build something with the suicide plug? Are you aware that if something bad were to happen, the insurance company would deny the coverage.
I may have caused unnecessary confusion/concern by using the "suicide plug" term incorrectly. Why? They look like suicide plugs, but they are NOT used that way. Why? Because the plug ends are separated by the relay, so can not go "hot" until (1) after the relay is plugged into its socket, (2) and the relay's coil is active. Maybe I should have said something less ominous like "quick connect power plugs".

I did think about the home safety/insurance angle before starting. That's why I ensured everything is on one circuit breaker and wired using polarized connections. If it works correctly once, then it should work correctly forever. The only new failure point is the relay, in which case it just stops working correctly (garage lights controlled from garage door opener either remain on/off, depending upon failure mode) until relay is replaced.


The garage lights and garage door opener are plugged into outlets. So I used what was existing/available. (Inexpensive small power inlets are not available, and would have been a worse solution because they would be hot, when exposed, if/after components removed.)


I could have wired a permanent connection instead of the "quick connect power plugs". It would have taken me longer. But in either case, the same rule applies, the circuit must be cold to make the connects.

In use the quick connect power plugs are a "permanent" connection, as they are never unplugged except to remove everything. Then if/when the components are removed, everything remaining is as it was---no extraneous wires remaining abandoned in place, no exposed power inlets on a hot circuit,....


It was absolutely the easiest cleanest solution I could think of. And I avoided the expense of a whole-house automation system for one small itch that was easily scratched by one relay. :)
Last edited by dratkinson on Thu May 11, 2017 1:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
d.r.a, not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.

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dratkinson
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Location: Centennial CO

Re: Time savers - life on automation

Post by dratkinson » Wed May 10, 2017 6:49 pm

ljb1234 wrote:I designed and built my own garage door closer.
How?
d.r.a, not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.

renue74
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Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:24 pm

Re: Time savers - life on automation

Post by renue74 » Wed May 10, 2017 8:20 pm

I didn't realize I needed a rice cooker until I read this thread. Just bought one on Amazon.

Lacrocious
Posts: 322
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:45 pm
Location: Wisconsin

Re: Time savers - life on automation

Post by Lacrocious » Wed May 10, 2017 8:34 pm

We did a similar garage light thing, with a slight twist. We purchased a light timer from Home Depot that replaces a switch. The front outside garage and porch lights were on this circuit with switches in the garage and inside the front door. The timer handles the dual-pole switching. You can set multiple (4?) different timed actions over multiple days and times. Start and end time can be dusk and dawn with it automatically adjusting as dusk and dawn changes for your time zone.

This means that I can come home to a house with the driveway/porch lights turned on when it is dark outside. They turn off at a reasonable time. I could have them come on again in the morning and go off at dawn - but we don't.

The twist we did when we went LED is that I added added a new light in the garage to the same circuit. This way, when the exterior lights are on, the light in the garage is on. If I want to take something out to the garage in the evening, the inside is lite. This is just a single bulb by the entry door - but enough for basic lighting. If I want more - you have to manually turn on the remaining lights - but usually this and the garage door opener lights are enough. It was easy enough to tie into the outdoor wall sconces from the garage.
- L

ljb1234
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:59 am

Re: Time savers - life on automation

Post by ljb1234 » Wed May 10, 2017 8:59 pm

dratkinson wrote:
ljb1234 wrote:I designed and built my own garage door closer.
How?
I used an Arduino microcontroller with a limit switch to indicate when the door was open. A relay was used to close the contacts typically wired to a button near the door to the house. A little software and that was it.

SrGrumpy
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Re: Time savers - life on automation

Post by SrGrumpy » Wed May 10, 2017 9:17 pm

I wash the dishes, rinse the salad while taking a shower.

2015
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Re: Time savers - life on automation

Post by 2015 » Thu May 11, 2017 11:18 am

1) (Only brief) texts to arrange hang time with, ask questions of, or provide information to friends (eliminates the volleyball of missed calls, left messages, more missed calls, more left messages as well as the final 20 minute calls to arrange a simple outing).
2) Talking on the phone virtually eliminated (except for SO or long distance family members).
3) Email is so 1990's, completely eliminated.
4) No Facebook (aka Timesuck) = actual more times spent with friends (as opposed to staring at a screen).
5) Conducting all transactions and tracking everything online. When some vendor screws up (as TIAA did when failing to send a confirmation) resulting in a forced phone call, beginning all "customer service" calls with "I want to complete this call as quickly and efficiently as possible. What identifying information do you need?" (works brilliantly in completing the transaction quickly).
6) Automating all bill paying and other financial transactions.
7) Evaluating and delegating, eliminating, outsourcing, or deemphasizing all low value activities.
8) Concentrating on the 20% of high value activities that add most to my emotional, psychological, financial, and material life.
9) Ever so often rereading the outstanding book by Cal Newport, "Deep Work", and remembering to concentrate my energies on "leading indicator" activities as much as possible.

The above have been life changing resulting in markedly increased levels of satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment.

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