I recently discovered that someone has created a useful looking Home Easy Hacking Wiki to pull together what information there currently is about hacking a range or related home automation hardware. Unfortunately it doesn’t yet answer Jerd’s question about the automatic protocol, so if you’ve got something working, it would be fantastic if you could add a few more details to the wiki.
Since Graham posted about the Home Easy range I’ve been wondering whether to give it a try. Well, okay, it was always more like a question of when not if, so when we were in the vicinity of the Home Easy shelf in B&Q (just the next aisle or so over… the other side of the store) I had a quick look. To have a better look, I bought a pack to take home!
My first purchase wasn’t all that successful. I had been seduced by the wiz-bang timer remote control pack, which comes with two dimable sockets. Unfortunately, while the pack says you can switch on and off as well as dim, it lies; the sockets are not dimable, they only dim. Fortunately one of the great things about B&Q is their customer service, so I took my first attempt back and got a refund.
I played it safe with my second attempt and got the simple controller and three socket pack from the on-off part of the range. It’s probably better value, even though I currently only need two of the three sockets. Pairing the remote and sockets is pleasingly simple and the group function is very nice; you get the everything off function even without buying the switch that Graham did. (Not that I’ve ruled out extra bits in the future of course!)
Jo and I discovered an extra use for the remote control yesterday when she wasn’t feeling well: instead of yelling downstairs to ask me to do anything, she could just flash the lamp on and off! I might regret suggesting that idea!
Definitely very happy with my delayed impulse buy but there are one or two niggles…
Very easy to use
The basic pack is pretty good value
Really very easy to use
Doesn’t do exactly what it says on the tin (box); check what you’re buying will do what you want it to
There’s no way to switch a socket on or off without using the remote. I guess the excuse is to keep costs down, but slightly bigger button could easily do press on/off and hold to pair
The dimable sockets can’t do simple on/off as well. Actually the dimming is fairly naff all round: press on, wait until it dims to the right level and press on again