Turn A Cheap Router Into A Home Automation Server

Turn A Cheap Router Into A Home Automation Server

We love to automate things in our home here at Lifehacker, and it turns out that with just a router, an Arduino and an RF switched outlet, you can control pretty much any electrical device you want from your smartphone or computer.

This tutorial is courtesy of Instructable user mrx23, who turned an OpenWRT-compatible router into its own little web server that sends serial commands to an Arduino, which then controls switched RF outlets via a remote control. You can access the switch with any browser and use it to turn on and off pretty much any electrical device you want — lights, music, video games systems or anything else lying around your house. Check out the video to see it in action, and hit the link for more detailed instructions on how to set it all up.

Home Automation Server with Router [Instructables]


  • Nice Idea, but the switching system they are using (insteon) is not available in Australia. You would have to rework the interface from the Arduino to the switching system to make this work.

  • The two most common systems in use in Australia are Clipsal’s C-Bus, and Philips Dynalite. Each of these requires a product-specific gateway to interface to their native signalling protocol. Clipsal provides both ethernet and RS-232 serial gateways, with ethernet TCP/IP probably being the more tractable connectivity approach. Unfortunately both C-Bus and Dynalite can usually only be installed during building construction, or an extensive (=expensive) re-wiring project. The US-based systems are often premised on the assumption that the controllers are fitted to existing power outlets as RF (radio-frequency) ‘wall-warts’, with appliances and lighting connected into these devices. These types of devices can be purchased here in Australia (although their compliance status is uncertain), and the reliability of their RF range across an entire house is not always 100%.

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