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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am a software engineer by trade and also a rather skilled and well rounded (residential) builder with a special interest in wiring. I have rewired my entire two-unit house, panels included and seen it all.

In the course of home remodelling, I was wishing to be able to control every single electric control on every circuit in my house remotely using an Android app. To make that possible, I would need every single switch/thermostat to be upgraded into a relay and have cat5 cable run alongside every Romex cable to each control on one side and into a PC (or some other cheaper form of a CPU hosting device with a modem) on the other side, which has a static IP online.


Of course, that is a huge project, whose biggest parts would be making relays that can be controlled from a PC and writing software to control it all, web services, mobile app etc. So the first step in R&D would be to actually make something like that -- unless, of course, it exists already.


Is it possible to buy a relay that, on one side controls a regular 110V residential circuit, and on the other can be flipped using a PC?


A residential feature like this could be used to, e.g. report and control temperature at home remotely, turn the heat on 30 min before arriving home etc. You could even mount a web cam and watch your pets remotely.
 

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Lic Electrical Inspector
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Check out Honeywell also.
 

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as far as the relay, that is the exact purpose of one; to switch a high load/voltage line with a lower voltage/control signal. i am sure you could find one that has contactors for 5v which would be compatible with a pc/arduino.
 

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You can do whatever you like on the PC/Arduino control side, but you probably don't want to home-make your relays. They need comply with the National Electrical Code, fire code, and universal building codes, which generally means they must be UL-listed -- which is unlikely to happen with homebrew devices.

X10 is ok for a few devices but I don't think it scales well. Check out some Home Automation discussion forums to see what commercial product others are using.
 

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I do it with z-wave and a micasaverde vera as the controller. With a little software knowledge you can extend it just about any way you want and if you pick up an insteon PLM you can interface it with X10 and Insteon to fill in the gaps where z-wave isn't quite there yet (such as fan control). It can also interface with many alarm panels via plugin for cheap sensors too.
 
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