Controlling mains-powered devices safely and easily allows all sorts of possibilties with regards to home automation, remote device control - and just having fun. One method of doing this is to harness wireless remote-control mains outlets which can be found at almost any hardware or electonics store.
From this point most users have wired the buttons from the included remote control to Arduino digital outputs via optocouplers, allowing control of the outlets. However, Instructables member liwenyip shows us how the rcswitch library for Arduino can be used to directly control the wireless receiver via inexpensive 433 MHz modules.
This makes things a lot easier, and removes the need to carefully hack into the small and delicate remote controls usually associated with these projects. This system in action can be seen int the following video:
If you're looking to work with your own RF wireless hardware, but don't want to make your own receiver circuit - check out our range of 315/433 MHz receiver shields:
Apart from being idea for working with the various low-cost data links on the market, the shield can also be used to capture wireless weather station data, as described in the book "Practical Arduino". For more information and ideas, check out the product page.