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Remotely triggering a single button

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by groovybluedog, Sep 24, 2016.

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  1. groovybluedog


    Sep 24, 2016
    Hello everyone!

    I'm a noob/newbie here so don't go too detailed on me!

    Effectively, I have a car horn gadget on my bicycle, which allows me to honk away like a car - realistic two tones and 125db - on two wheels. The horn is triggered by a button that straps around the handlebar, on about a 0.5m cable.

    I am looking for a way to be able to trigger the horn remotely. By remotely I mean within visible distance, just like a TV remote or drone. However outside of computer hardware, I have absolutely no experience with this kind of thing... but I am VERY KEEN to find a way to trigger the horn without physically pressing a wired button.

    One trouble I have already ran in to is when trying to google this, I only get results for remote controls/triggers for dSLR cameras or some other thing I don't want, so finding out how to do this without coming to a community seems impossible for someone like me. Willing to pay for someone to do it too but don't know anyone nearby (London, UK) with electronics experience that could work such magic.

    Any help, ideas or other pointers to setting up a remotely operated trigger would be fantastic.

    Thank you!
  2. Gryd3


    Jun 25, 2014
    Well.. why wouldn't a remote control for a DSLR work?

    Your requirements are:
    - Transmitter
    - Receiver with some kind of output
    - Something to adapt the Receiver output to control your horn.

    Hold off on throwing money at someone to help and let's get you enough to tackle this yourself comfortably.

    Honestly, you should probably make a visit to a local Radio-Shack or Best-buy type of store... you know, electronics stores that sell various things. Try to find a VERY cheap RC car. Something suited for a 2-3 Year Old.
    These RC cars typically have one or two big buttons to go forward and backward.
    The plan here is to rip the thing apart. Keep the remote, keep all the electronics out of the car itself. Replace the motor with a simple rely. You now have a remote control relay that can control just about anything.
    You should be able to get something suitable locally. Of course... shop around. If you want something small, look for those tiny pocket RC cars. The steps are still the same. Gut something that give you the basic function and simply add a relay.

    If in doubt, or before buying something share it with us and we can all make sure we are on the same page.
    groovybluedog likes this.
  3. groovybluedog


    Sep 24, 2016
    Thank you for your reply!

    To be honest now I think of it, a dSLR remote would work... it's the same setup isn't it?

    I would rather tackle it myself: I prefer learning things and don't want to be spoon fed all my life!

    I'm in the UK so we don't have stores like that, but I'll find one similar.

    So my questions from what you said would be:

    1) What kind of relay would be suitable? (

    2) How would I tie this in to the existing button?

    3) Would I have to stick with the controller itself? A simple one button would be fine so would I be able to simply use the existing trigger button and wire it up?
  4. 73's de Edd

    73's de Edd

    Aug 21, 2015

    Sir groovybluedog . . . . .

    and I don't think I have ever met one . . . .until just now . . . .

    Am I correct, that this enhanced functionality must just be for warning someone . . ."messin' with your . . . .maybe . . . . . € 2500 bike " . . .parked on the street.

    Or r r r r r just STARTLING someone walking near it as a prank.

    " OHMIGOSH its got a proximity alarm ! " . . . . . I definitely better not mess with this one.

    73's de Edd .
  5. Gryd3


    Jun 25, 2014
    Well. That depends on the remote camera control. If it's a simple remote that simply powers or toggles the state of a pin then great. If it's a high-end focus/exposure/etc. smart control everything type of remote, it's most likely sending digital signals via parallel or serial data between the camera and remote which won't be suitable for your project.
    Look for simple, and older remotes if you want to take the DSLR route. Additionally, if you find something google the 'pinout' for the camera it belongs to give you the details you need about which wire you need to tap into.

    As far as the relay is concerned, you have a TON of options.
    This one (linked from the page you supplied) has a 5V coil, and can switch up to 10Amps.

    Split the relay into two halves and look at your project to find the right one.
    The first half is the 'coil' which is considered the input of the relay. The coil will be connected to one or two pins on the DSLR remote, or connected to the wires that used to power the motor from a little RC car. The point is that you provide a little power to the coil and the relay will activate triggering something much bigger connected to it's other half. If your DSLR remote operates with 5V or 6V, you would want a relay with a 5V or 6V coil. An automotive relay will have a 12V coil and won't trigger properly. So, ideally you want to match the coil voltage to the same voltage your 'remote' will deal with.
    The second half is the switched output, and is for all intensive purposes no different than a push-button. If you can make the horn go off with a push button, simply connect the 'Common' and 'NO' pin of the relay the same way you connected your button. The rating for the relay here must be higher than what you are dealing with. If the horn draws 3Amps, you should be looking at a relay that can handle 5Amps or more. Luckily the voltage rating for this half of the relay is often much higher than what you may work with, and that is fine.

    Remember, coil must be matched to your remote's output, and the switching side must be 'higher' than what you want to control. (Amps must be higher, voltage can be higher or matched.)
    The relay I linked has a 5V coil, and can actually control voltages as high as mains. (light bulbs for example)
    It should be more than capable of switching your horn unless you have a REALLY big horn that draws more than 10 Amps.
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