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how do I push a button remotely?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by James Hanley, Dec 6, 2004.

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  1. James Hanley

    James Hanley Guest

    I have a device with a button, but the device must remain downstairs
    and i'm upstairs and remain there for long periods of time. I don't
    want to come down stairs every time I want to push the button. So i'm
    thinking maybe an electrician can open up the device, remove the push
    button, put in 2 long wires that go all the way upstairs, and those
    wires will have a switch on the end.

    Is it possible to replace a push button system like that?

    Is it right to ask an electrician to do that?

    (as you can see I do not have a clue!)
     
  2. Well if the 'device' (would be handy to know what it is, when you post) is
    amenable to 'opening' you could have the afore mentioned wires connected to
    a socket that would bridge the contacts of a radio remote operation device
    which you could then plug into it.
     
  3. It should be easy enough to do yourself. But more information is
    needed about the device and its button. It's possible that the button
    has multiple contacts. It may even connect one or more pairs, and
    *disconnect* one or more other pairs of terminals. It could even
    activate a relay. Is it a momentary action or a 'toggle' button? And
    is it carrying mains or low voltage current?

    Taking the simplest scenario of just a low voltage, momentary action,
    normally open button, then, yes, a long pair of wires as you've
    described to a similar in parallel button upstairs would do the job.
    And I suppose your local electrician will quickly recover from the
    surprise of being asked, and charge exorbitantly!

    If it were my project, I'd design a solution using a wireless
    door-bell, as I've done for several other similar requirements.
     
  4. Rileyesi

    Rileyesi Guest

    I have a device with a button, but the device must remain downstairs

    Would a wireless doorbell work??
     
  5. CFoley1064

    CFoley1064 Guest

    Subject: how do I push a button remotely?
    Hi, James. If I could be a bit of a contrarian, since everyone else is
    extolling the virtues of remote radio-controlled doorbells...

    First, if the pushbutton is switching line voltage (110 or 220 VAC), you'll
    have to get an electrician (or at least someone you know is competent) to snake
    the wiring through the walls or through existing conduit to get to an upstairs
    pushbutton he would install. That's very doable. This will allow you to have
    your pushbutton upstairs -- at pretty significant cost.

    If your pushbutton has two wires going to it, it's normally open (probably,
    makes contact between the two wires to let electricity flow only when you push
    the button) or normally closed (less likely, pushbutton is set up so that
    depressing the button interrupts the flow of current). If it's one of these,
    you're probably in luck. You can use a low voltage transformer, low voltage
    wiring and a control relay, and avoid a lot of the expense.

    A relay is like an electrical switch, which will energize when power is applied
    to the coil. The good thing is, you can switch a lot of current at a high
    voltage with a relay that only needs a low voltage at a low current. Not only
    that, but you can control the low voltage with switches and other things, which
    saves cost in wiring. So, you could install a low voltage current limited wall
    wart or bell transformer next to a relay where the pushbutton is, and then just
    snake low voltage wiring upstairs to where you want it. I believe code on both
    sides of the pond permits you to wire this like telephone, doorbell or
    thermostat wiring (no conduit or BX cable required), because it's energy
    limited with no chance of starting a fire.

    Since you're a newbie, you obviously shouldn't do this yourself. You'll also
    need an electrical box to hold and secure the relay, and you may have to
    install a small amount of conduit to get you from the junction box to where the
    current switch is.

    Since you're a newbie, make sure you enlist the aid of someone who knows what
    they're doing. Frequently, you can find a retired electrician down the block
    who will give you advice (first house call) and check your work before you turn
    it on (second house call) for the cost of a few sixes of his favorite
    libation. At least on this side of the pond. I understand you have an
    inspection setup over there, where any major changes in wiring have to be
    inspected. If so, the friendly retired electrician may be able to give you
    some advice on that, too. On this side of the pond, something like what you're
    talking about would be perfectly acceptable for a "do-it-yourself-poorly"
    weekend warrior to try.

    Either way (direct wiring or through low voltage relay), you won't have to
    worry about interference or mystery radio signals turning things on and off,
    and you won't have to worry about batteries. Either way will get you what you
    want, which is the ability to turn something on and off with the pushbutton
    upstairs.

    Good luck
    Chris
     
  6. Dbowey

    Dbowey Guest

    James Hanley posted:

    << I have a device with a button, but the device must remain downstairs
    and i'm upstairs and remain there for long periods of time. I don't
    want to come down stairs every time I want to push the button. So i'm
    thinking maybe an electrician can open up the device, remove the push
    button, put in 2 long wires that go all the way upstairs, and those
    wires will have a switch on the end.

    Is it possible to replace a push button system like that?

    Is it right to ask an electrician to do that?
    It would help to know what is the device.

    Having an electrician do it is safe, quick and expensive.

    You could buy a X-10 transmitter and a X-10 receiver that is built to provide a
    contact closure (like a switch) when it operates. There are other receiver
    types, but you probably need this one.

    This X-10 equipment uses the house power wiring to connect the transmitter
    signal to the receiver.
    They also have wireless units. X-10 equipment is not very expensive; you can
    buy the pair for $32 US. They are probably available in the UK. If you do
    this, you or an electrician will need to connect the button wires of your
    device to the X-10 receiver.

    To see them go to http://www.x10.com and look at the mini-controller
    (transmitter - $12.99) and the UM506 Universal module (receiver - $19.99).

    I use many X-10 devices around my house and they are generally quite good. The
    "tranceiver I use is a bit quirky though, but you don't need one of them.

    Good luck

    Don
     
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