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I don't know much electronics (I'm a software engineer). I want to build or buy a remote power control, controlling over SMS or IP. I don't care if I need to implement my own API or do my own electronics.

Where can I find some resources for that? I found:

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X10 is a good, reasonably inexpensive choice, whose standard has been around for a while, and thus has significant documentation and hobbyist examples available on the Internet.

For X10 projects/tutorials, you may want to start with this Instructable as well as this one.

Also, to learn more options, you may consider reading the book Smart Homes For Dummies, which provides background on a variety of options including X10, although this book is short on details for practical implementation.

That said, if you want to step the DIY aspect up a notch, you may want to invest your time learning to use an inexpensive hobbyist microcontroller board such as Arduino, and supplement it with some basic experiments with AC Relays. Then your options will really open up, including allowing wireless control networks, as well as power-on/offs triggered by sensor readings, status indicators, etc., limited by your creativity/requirements.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you give a link to concrete AC Relay to use with Arduino? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 15:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ I suggest you start with this, safe, pre-assembled, and very easy to use. There are also a number of tutorials on that device, for example this one. IIRC, the creator of PowerSwitchTail also included a circuit diagram, along with parts list, on its datasheet available on their website -- So you could conceivably use that if you want to build one yourself for cheaper. \$\endgroup\$
    – boardbite
    Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 15:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, last question - all devices that i see are 110V in my country we work with 220V, should i also buy a converter or there are also 220V available? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 15:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ The website of that device clearly lists that they have a 200-240 VAC option. \$\endgroup\$
    – boardbite
    Commented Aug 23, 2012 at 16:03
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I have an interface that works with any of the sms enabled devices. I have tested the Arduino and I'm currently running a three phase 220v switch in production solution. Have a look at the demo.

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