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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    8x10 Format

    Remote power supply control


    Has anyone used a remote controlled AC power supply unit? One controlled by cell phone would be best for my application. Internet control would be good as a backup, but it needs cell phone control for sure.

    The idea is to have one in a remote building that houses a d\r. Before leaving work, I could call a cell #. It would use caller id to recognize my phone number, reject the call and then turn on the power strip. It could also use some other process, just so long as I could call the number and the power would come on to the d\r.

    This in turn would turn on the heater\air conditioner, JOBO, coffee pot or whatever. When I got home, I could go right into the d\r and get to work immediately.

    Yes, time is that much of an issue. Not evernone is unemployed, believe it or not<g>. I work long hours and can't wait for a room temp to stabilize.

    Links to products you might have used would help. Most of what I've seen so far are kits or high-end units for IT departments.



  2. #2
    ic-racer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Midwest USA
    Multi Format
    Quote Originally Posted by reggie View Post
    Not evernone is unemployed, believe it or not<g>. I work long hours and can't wait for a room temp to stabilize.
    Same issue. I installed a thermostatic water panel. Now I leave the Jobo always empty. I fill it with 24C water from the water panel and mix the chemicals with the 24C water as I go. As soon as it is full it is ready to go.

  3. #3
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Misissauaga Canada
    Multi Format
    I have a 'cooler' that I place in my d/r sink to house a water bath, mostly for c-41 and e-6 processing.

    If I plan on processing that evening, I load the right 1L glass bottles into the cooler (it is a mid sized one, holds about 14L of water when empty.) then I add water to the tops of the bottles, and drop in a glass tube aquarium heater set to 100F, and a aquarium circualtion pump (though for all day heating this is not necessary)

    Then I put the lid mostly on ( there is a space needed to get the power rleads out, and by the way a GFI/RCD receptacle is a must for safety for this kind of rig) and plug the heater and pump in.

    This usually happens around 7am.

    When I get home , have dinner, get kid organized, etc, all is ready. Actually the temps are good after 2 hours or less with a 300w heater. The cooler's insulation means that heat loss is minimized is I leave it on a few hours longer than is needed.
    my real name, imagine that.

  4. #4
    Ralph Javins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Latte Land, Washington
    Multi Format
    Good morning, Reggie;

    Your request really is not that difficult, but I admit that I do not know of anything specifically designed to perform this task. However, . . .

    One possible way to do it is with an old telephone answering machine. Many of those systems used a three or four digit code that was sent from the calling telephone to begin a telephone message playback process to retrieve messages from your machine while you were not at home. It should be possible to modify one of those old machines that accepts that code, and instead of starting the tape recorder in playback mode, have that same internal signal sent to a latching relay that would control a 120 VAC power or Mains power relay, contactor, triac, or similar device that would turn on the circuit for the power to your darkroom. A latching relay does not require a constant application of electrical power to hold it in the contacted or "set" position. There should also be a manual push button switch on the other side of the control coils for the latching relay to move it from the "set" position back to the "reset" position to be ready to receive the next telephone call.

    Contact me if you would like to discuss this. And, I agree that not everyone is "unemployed." Some of us are retired. Work as long as you can. You will not really appreciate a job with its predictability, familiarity, and stability in your life, until you no longer have it. Life in "retirement" can be wild. I am busier now than I ever was when I was "gainfully employed" and still had a useful purpose in life. And I really do miss holidays, weekends, and vacations.

    Ralph Javins, Latte Land, Washington

    When they ask you; "How many Mega Pixels you got in your camera?"
    just tell them; "I use activated silver bromide crystals tor my image storage media."

  5. #5
    L Gebhardt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    NH - Live Free or Die
    Large Format
    Blog Entries
    Look at X10 components. You could use a telephone module (http://www.x10.com/products/x10_tr551.htm) to turn on one of the appliance modules.

    edit: sorry, I misread things. This would work with a landline, not a cell phone. I don't know of any cell phone enabled devices for this.

  6. #6
    jp498's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Owls Head ME
    Multi Format
    pager operated is the simplest; I know of a business that uses these and is probably cheaper to own than a cellular service based one:


    I'd go for IP controlled such as:


    This one has a temp sensor, but the downside is you need to use SNMP to operate it, which isn't for beginners. With a linux server (or virtual server) you could display and graph temperature of your darkroom as well as control relays powering things.


  7. #7
    MattKing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Delta, British Columbia, Canada
    Multi Format
    Would anything on the "Smarthome" site help?


    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2



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