Bluetooth Switch Control

Joined
Feb 17, 2018
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857
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Seattle, WA
Inspired by the success of my WiFi backup camera, I’m going to tryout Bluetooth switching. I looked at the solid state options, and was uninspired by the price ($100 and way up) and didn’t want to deal with finding a mounting location. I didn’t want to deal with aftermarket switches ( not enough blanks in my lx anyway) pulling cable to the dash, or any of that.

So the odyssey begins. I ordered a basic 4 relay 12v Bluetooth board. It will slave the higher power relays for the stuff (lights, arb twin, fridge etc). It’s easy to add more boards ( they are tiny). For now control will be via free iOS app. I might mount a dedicated tablet or phone later on, if this all works out.

Board:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GFH5J96/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

$18.


Edit: changed to this board to leverage an already built IOS phone app:

DIYmall 4 Channel Relay Module Bluetooth 4.0 BLE Android Apple iOS iPhone IOT | eBay
$30
 
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Joined
May 5, 2014
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Utah
Switchpro and spod do this. But significantly more expensive and limited expandability.
 
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CA
Let us know how it turns out. I am interested to see how you like this set up. Also what other BT devices are you planning to manage aside from the wireless camera? Are you adding more cams?
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
857
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Seattle, WA
I looked into WiFi for the switch control; I think it would have better signal strength. However the demo apps I looked at were a bit more complex to build, dealing with the sockets and tcp stack. Not an area I wanted to get involved with. Bluetooth is 30 feet, even thru the firewall / cabin I think it'll go 10 feet. We'll see.

The demo bluetooth apps are super simple to compile and if you're not picky on labeling, already exist.

I doubt it is going to be 100% reliable, for my use cases I can have hard switches for backup (example - onboard air compressor, easy to put a toggle switch under the hood too).

Right now my use case is:
Compressor

I plan to add:
Fridge
Several different lights

Stretch use case:
Lockers

My main goal is to avoid spaghetti wiring everywhere, and the associated tear down and rebuild. Basically looking to do what a SPOD etc would do, without the investment and physical switching.

For anyone who has a smarthome; it would function a lot like that, but just be really limited and local.
 

Markuson

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Joined
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San Diego via all over-
Or... Skip wireless transmissions & phones/tablet reliance altogether and just install a wired camera and screen. This means you can have it on 100% of the time if you like, or use the included remote to switch to a second camera...or turn the screen off.

$109 (it went up since I bought mine)...

Heavy Duty Vehicle Truck Bus Backup Camera System,Waterproof Night Vision Rear View Camera with 7 inch Monitor+66ft 4 PIN Camera Cable for Bus Truck Van Trailer RV Campers Motor Home(12V 24V) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072M58X9N/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_YbhOBbQPGA529
 
Joined
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Messages
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Seattle, WA
That’s a good option too @Markuson . China produces something for everyone. And if it has circuits I loves it.

The WiFi camera works full time as well, it also has a recording mode. Only difference is no wires into the dash and no dedicated display. I use it infrequently, but it’s there if I need it. One Siri command away.

I am actually surprised how many viable wireless switching options there are. I spent some time reading up on a 15 relay rf setup. $60 and 2 remotes. Range in 100s of feet. Remotes had like 30 buttons. It’s way more capacity than I need, but for someone with many different lights would be perfect.
 

Markuson

SILVER Star
 
Joined
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That’s a good option too @Markuson . China produces something for everyone. And if it has circuits I loves it.

The WiFi camera works full time as well, it also has a recording mode. Only difference is no wires into the dash and no dedicated display. I use it infrequently, but it’s there if I need it. One Siri command away.

I am actually surprised how many viable wireless switching options there are. I spent some time reading up on a 15 relay rf setup. $60 and 2 remotes. Range in 100s of feet. Remotes had like 30 buttons. It’s way more capacity than I need, but for someone with many different lights would be perfect.
China makes everything. :)
From paper clips to iPhones...

But anyway... their cheapo camera & screen work a charm. It’s on 100% when wheeling. Helpful.
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
857
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Seattle, WA
I built out my power solution and tested the Bluetooth relays tonight. Unfortunately I can’t take video and turn on the relay with the Bluetooth app at the same time. It works perfectly though.

I used the app lightblue le for testing. I am sure I’ll try several and I’ll report which one is the winner.

From relay power on to having the app installed paired and switched is less than five min. After setup it is like any Bluetooth device. Auto pair and then use it.

Goodbye hard switches :bounce:
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
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After trying several (all?) the apps in the store, I’ve ordered an identical, but better supported 4 relay ble module. It was $30.
This one has an already written switch app, which allows relabeling. The app is simple, but on studying the Swift ble tutorial I decided my coding days really are behind me.
It would take time I’d rather spend on fitting the air tank.
 

KLF

Frame waxer
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Joined
Apr 5, 2003
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7,814
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Southern NH
So... With these things, is there any way to put an old fashioned real switch on it to turn something on? I'm all about new tech, but I see a high nuisance factor here...

"Oh I want to turn on my driving lights... Hang on, just gotta pull over, unlock my phone, get into the app... Oh darn, it needs an update, hang on... Ok oh wait, oh the app crashed. Guess I'll have to reboot my phone..."

(10 minutes later)

"Ok my phone is back and Bluetooth is reconnected, now I can... Wait, what was I going to do again? I forgot!"

Maybe I'm missing something. But I'm the guy that still writes my grocery list on a scrap of real paper.
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
857
Location
Seattle, WA
Sure. You could wire a physical switch in as well.

I plan to have an override under the hood for my compressor, which is my primary use case for this.

I just didn’t want to deal with adding a physical switch in the dash, and didn’t want to have to open the hood in normal use, only in exception use. Aside from sourcing the relay and app, it has to be the least effort to add additional control.

Time will tell if it’s all reliable enough, as you indicate, but my experience is so far very positive.

Hey Siri open blue switch. Push the on button.
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
857
Location
Seattle, WA

It’s $3 more to block the ads, and yep I’m going to pay. :bang:
That’s $15 total to have the app written or me. Not bad.
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
857
Location
Seattle, WA
I've got the bluetooth module installed and controlling my air compressor. It's got four relays on it, so I have 3 more accessories I can run.

I did wire a physical switch at the relay, so I can turn the compressor on under the hood if necessary. I also ordered a five pack of three way switches from China to use in an Auto/Off/On fashion, which is a touch more elegant.

To wire the bypass (two-way), put one leg on hot (into relay) and one leg on switched (out of relay). I choose to use a diode on the switched leg out (before the bypass joins in), but I'm sure this isn't necessary. I just didn't want any voltage coming back into the relay when bypassed.

Here's the final product as I built it for use in the car. Everything is waterproof except the relay, I did get a small box to put the relay in, but decided it all looked and fit better in the larger hobby box.

Cold connection takes around 5 seconds (if you BT is off). Otherwise it's within a second to get response (on/off).

Total investment:
Relay $30
App $3
On/Off switch (parts bin) $3
diode (parts bin) $0.10

IMG_3720.JPG


IMG_8044.JPG


IMG_21DCF5DE6DB4-1.jpeg
 
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