Cell phone operated switch

First post!

I've put together a simple 60w panel with a 12v marine battery in my newly purchased Northern California off-grid hangar primarily to provide light. I miss my previous rented hangar that had grid power, primarily due to the refrigerator.

I want to be able to power a 12vdc 5amp cooler remotely from a prepaid cell phone. The ideal switch would accept a cell phone ring tone, vibration or light (from the display in a closed box) and keep the circuit going for about 2-3 hours before shutting off.

I would prefer to avoid buying a soldering kit, and of course trying to keep it is inexpensive as possible. Any idea?

As a side note, I have to say just getting into solar is addictive...once I'm done with this project I think our house is next :)

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,980 admin
    Re: Cell phone operated switch

    What do you want the cooler to do?

    Typical solid state 12 volt coolers are fairly inefficient and do not cool very fast.

    Are you trying to pre-chill beverages?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Cell phone operated switch

    Hi Bill. Thank you for your response.

    Yes, my purpose/goal is pretty simple, just pre-chill a few beers and a bottle of water in my hangar prior to my arrival from another airport. More importantly to be honest, I think this is a pretty cool project to work on and I want to prove my wife wrong that I can actually do this :)

    The 5amp cooler I have seem to do a pretty good job so far.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,569 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Cell phone operated switch

    I hear IED's use cell phone switches :-)
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • RCinFLARCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,280 ✭✭✭
    Re: Cell phone operated switch

    Problem is every device put on the cellular network needs to register. This means it looks like another phone to the service operator and they want money for service to active service.

    You might be able to get another prepaid card and put it in the switch device. The card should have SMS messaging option for some of the control boxes.(text messaging). There are devices that use voice channel via DTMF touch tone control. You call the device and enter number on keypad that you have setup to switch control.

    A full GSM phone module with SMS control is about $150. There are cheapo's that use just a DTMF control board that plugs into earphone jack of phone you supply. They are about $20.

    http://www.vansairforce.com/community/showthread.php?t=38729
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Cell phone operated switch
    mike90045 wrote: »
    I hear IED's use cell phone switches :-)

    Some minds think alike:p
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Cell phone operated switch
    RCinFLA wrote: »
    Problem is every device put on the cellular network needs to register. This means it looks like another phone to the service operator and they want money for service to active service.

    You might be able to get another prepaid card and put it in the switch device. The card should have SMS messaging option for some of the control boxes.(text messaging). There are devices that use voice channel via DTMF touch tone control. You call the device and enter number on keypad that you have setup to switch control.

    A full GSM phone module with SMS control is about $150. There are cheapo's that use just a DTMF control board that plugs into earphone jack of phone you supply. They are about $20.

    http://www.vansairforce.com/community/showthread.php?t=38729

    Hi there!

    Yes, the cell phone cost is certainly painful, but the show must go on. I got a cheap prepaid T-Mobile with a $100 card which qualifies for subsequent $10 minimum annual re-fill payments. Expensive beers they will be.

    Thanks for the link, the engine heater threads actually got me going on this. I looked at the kit, but it looks like it is 3amp max. I wonder if it will actually do 5 amps..
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Cell phone operated switch
    mike90045 wrote: »
    I hear IED's use cell phone switches :-)

    I've actually been somewhat nervous with my recent google searches. Half joke.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Cell phone operated switch
    18Right wrote: »
    I've actually been somewhat nervous with my recent google searches. Half joke.

    You could well get a visit from The Man. haha. Re the 3 amp switch, you could always use that to power a relay capable of handling the required current to light off the - - oops, I mean start the fridge :p:p
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: Cell phone operated switch

    Try a search for "GSM remote control", e.g.:
    http://www.rfsolutions.co.uk/acatalog/Protext_Industrial_remote_control.html

    I ended up using an arduino + gsm shield so that I could start my generator remotely: http://www.casanogaldelasbrujas.com/blog/2010/07/20/sms-generator-control-with-arduino/
    but you'd have to be comfortable writing some code to go that route.

    The readymade solutions look more professional of course and are easier to work with.
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