I had a problem: I keep losing control

By Manu, Software DeveloperMar 28, 2019 • Read time 2 min

We all encounter a range of everyday problems in our lives, both large and small. At Wunderdog we’re no different, but we do have the advantage of being excellent problem solvers with some pretty advanced technical skills — helping us to find innovative answers to some of life’s tricky problems.

A remote problem

Imagine having power outlets at home that you can turn on and off by remote control. Cool, right? I’ve had some for several years now — they come in a pack of three with a simple remote for controlling them.

Manu wrote another episode for our blog series "I had a problem".

In general, they worked just as you’d expect them to work, but over time I noticed a recurring problem: I had the outlets in two different rooms and it seemed that the remote control was always either lost or in a different room from me. Not so cool anymore..

As this was clearly unpractical, I started to think of a solution. The more I thought, the more I was convinced that the remote control was pointless. What if the outlets could be controlled by phone, tablet, or computer instead, so long as I was connected to my home network?

A powerful solution

As it turned out, someone had already experienced the exact same problem and crafted a solution for it! All I needed to do was invest a small amount of money in the necessary equipment and dedicate a few nights to modifying the code for my particular needs.

After a couple of long evenings investigating and programming, I had a web application running on Raspberry Pi that enabled me to control the power outlets with any device as long as it is on my home network. And I always have at least one device in the same room as I am!

Problem solved

Thanks to a few rows of code, I got rid of a useless gadget that always got lost. I’m back in control and everything’s cool again.

Check out my code on Github.

And if you can relate to my problem, here’s how to make your own solution.

Not enough for you? If your inner engineer is like mine and always thinking of improvements, take a look at how I further developed the system to include temperature and humidity monitoring.