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2004 IEEE International Symposium on

Computer Aided Control Systems Design
Taipi, Taiwan, September 24,2004

A Remote Control System for Home Appliances
Using the Internet and Radio Connection
John Yanhao Chen, Jen-Tsan Kuan, Fuh-Liang Wen’, Shi-jie Lin

St. John’s & St. Mary’s Institute of Technology, Dept. of Electrical Engineering
1
St. John’s & St. Mary’s Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

ABSTRACT
This system offers a new approach to tooth devices are not adopted in this system.
control home appliances from a remote At present, the annual electricity usage
terminal, with an option from a local server, in Taiwan is approximately 131.7 billion
using the intemet and radio connection. This Kw-hr. Given a conservative estimate that
system is accomplished by personal only 5% of the total consumed electric
computers, interface cards, radio power mentioned is to be saved with said
transmitters and receivers, microprocessors, system, around 6.5 billion-Kw-hr electric
ac phase control circuits, along with power resonrce can he conserved annually in
window-type software and microprocessor Taiwan alone if this system is widely
control software. The system is designed to implemented at home and in factory In the
control home appliances’ o d o f f ,to regulate long run, the economic benefit accumulated
their output power, and to set their usage by this system can be remarkable.
timing. The prototype of this system was
tested and responded successfully, which The Major Contributions
verifies the feasibility of this system’s theory 1. This system can fulfill our dream of
and concept. being able to remotely control ow home
appliances from a remote terminal so that
1. INTRODUCTION we can conserve electricity or prevent a fire
During the daily life, many electric at home at any time and from anywhere. For
appliances and equipment, such as electric example, upon arriving the U.S. continent, a
lights, fans, air conditioners, and so on, are user of this system can use a local personal
often not tumed off when they actually computer to log on the internet to remotely
should be; hence the electric power is control his home appliances at his Taipei
wasted. The problem occnrs in various home.
houses, buildings, supermarkets, shopping 2. This system can also tum on or turn off
malls, apartments, and the like. To any local home appliance, e.g. one located in
effectively control electric appliances and the same building, and, if necessary, the
equipment to conserve energy, to save appliance’s output power and its usage
human labor in doing such control and to timing on real-time basis via a local personal
increase the controllability on home computerlserver.
convenience of a touch screen, provides a 3. This system’s receiving boxes, hooked
feasible solution for the remote control of up to regular electric outlets at any regular
home appliances. To cut down costs, blue house, will receive the control signals from

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the local server in wireless mode so that the appliance’s receiving box. Each load is
complex interior wiring for said control hooked up to an individual box in theory. If
signals is not required. Nor is the existing more than one load are connected to the
internal electric wiring adopted by some same box, provided the box offers more than
proposed smart houses needs to be bothered. one outlet, which is possible, the loads will
share the same control.
11. THE DESIGN THEORY Each home appliance’s receiving
AND PRINCIPLES box uses a radio receiver and a single-chip
The block diagram of the proposed microprocessor. The radio receiver will
system is depicted in Fig. 1. We hereby deliver the received control signals to the
describe its design theory as follows: microprocessor inside the box. The
microprocessor then converts the control
khe OveraU Svstem signals into o d o f f signals and phase angle
First, a user at a remote computer control signals. With these signals, we will
terminal enters control signals for home fulfill each home appliance’s usage control
appliances directing to a local computer or and power output regulation.
server. Next, the signals are transmitted to _.---
and arrive at the local server via the internet. IC 8255:
After the local server receives these The combinations of different A I and
signals, it immediately decodes and converts A0 address the four registers inside IC8255.
them into odoff and output power control Before uskg IC8255, we must set up the
signals for each home appliance. The local mode we want to select and write the control
server, using wireless technique, transmits bits to the address of the Control Word
(CWD).
. . . . . ....- . .. .
Radio Receiving/ Transmitting Module:
The receiving/ transmitting module
comprises a transmitter and a receiver and
holds the following characteristics and
functions:
1. Equipped with UHF transmitting/
receiving circuits, the module can be used
for radio transmission, control, and the like.
2. Equipped with encoderidecoder ICs, the
module does not easily get interfered by
external noises. 3. With a DIP switch used,
+
AC liOV
the password can be changed at will. 4.
Frequency ranges from 300MHz to
434MHz.
, ~

Fig.1 The System Structure Diagram The Phase Controc
The voltage of an output pin at the
these control signals to each home microprocessor is taken as the triggering

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signal for the TRIAC. By changing the time With the retrieval o f . the four-bit
length between the zero-crossing point and triggering code, this system proceeds to
said triggering signal, i.e. the fuing angle, control the o d 0 5 switch, an SSR, and adjust
we can adjust the TRIAC‘s trigg&hg/ the output power of the controlled home
conduction angle and, consequently, the appliance, e.g. a heater’s temperature or a
output power of the load. light’s brightness. Using Bit 3 for load
differentiation and the remaining Bit 0 to Bit
III THE HARDWARE DESIGN 3 for power control and turn-offcommand,
First, we create an IC8255 interface we make each transmitter control two
card and a pair of transmitter and receiver. receivers.
Then, we insert the IC8255 interface card i
. . .. .
into the computer slot and execute a VB IC8255 Transmitting M o d u s
program we design in directing the IC8255 Using DIP switch to set the password,
interface card to transmit radio control A7-AO, to be transmitted, we send out
signals, as depicted in Fig. 1. four-bit data along with a “0” at PA4 via
IC8255 to facilitate the encoder to start
encoding and, subsequently, transmitting the
eight bits of said DIP switch combined with
data PA& PA4 in series. The radio
transmitter amplifies the encoded signals,
converts them into radio waves and then
Fig. 2 An Intelligent Receiving Box, transmits them into the air.
including an outlet or more , .... ..
The Receiving Module:
We next use the intelligent receiving With a DIP switch set for the coming
box to control any home appliance password, A7-AO. this module receives the
connected to it, as shown in Fig. 2. After that, radio waves fiom the mentioned
we execute a Visual Basic program designed transmitting module. The receiver inside the
by us to send out the control signals via a module amplifies the received radio waves
touch-type panel. After the program is and converts them into series signals. A
executed, the control picture and chart for decoder decodes each received signal and
home appliances is displayed on the examines its password. If the decoded
touch-type panel; at one glance without a password matches the one preset in this
doubt, the user, using his finger to touch the module, this module passes on the four-bit
panel, or using a mouse or a keyboard at his data.
will, then ensues his control on all the home ~-.
... ~ .
appliances exhibited to him. In test The EncodindDecoding IC:
operation, this system is convenient and Taking the HT-12DE for example, we
user-friendly. adopt an 8-bit DIP switch to set AO-A7 for
The receiver we adopt currently allows the needed password as HT-12D goes with
four bits for input and four hits for output, HT-12E in use. When the two passwords are
i.e. the triggering code, which shall be in agreement, the four-bit data transmitted
expandable in the future. by HT-12E appears on Pins DO-D3 at

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HT-12D. We first use the following design system’s software structure is depicted in
as the control principle for this system’s Fig. 3. From this figure, we can see that this
preliminary prototype: system supports a local server and any
13 12 11 10 remote personal computer connected to this
BIT 3 represents the code for load selection. system via the intemet; it is hence applicable
BIT 2- BIT 0 represent the load’s output to an extensive range.
power regulation and its odoff control, as This system is suitable for any family
illustrated in Table 1 and Table 1-A. member or any building’s management
_l_--_
personnel.
Table 1 The Triggering Codes of
Bit3-Bit0 at Address 35O(PORT A)? The VB Control Interface
The VB system is a channel connected
between the computer and the IC8255 card.
Through the pushbutton on the picture of the
I(Code) I(Load1) I touch-control VB system, the user sends
control data into IC8255 card, where said
data is then transmitted into Microprocessor
89C5 1, via the transmittingheceiving
module, to control the loads’ o d o f fand their
output power.
This system utilizes the WINSOCK
control elements inside VB to connect to the
1 - remote computer and proceeds data
Slightest 1 exchange via the user’s transmission control
protocol (TCP). Prior to the data
transmission, the user must first establish the
line connection, on which there will be
_____ error-check mechanisms to prevent the data
Table 1-A. The Tri~oering Codes-‘of
Bit3-BiG at Address 351 (P0RT-B); from being scattered during transmission,
Ditto, except Load 1 and 2 replaced resulting in data transmission errors.
with Load 3 and 4. Meanwhile, prior to the remote line
connection, we shall connect the local server
The triggering code goes through Port 1 first. Afterwards, the remote computer may
to enter the microprocessor. The intemal cany on line connection through the
program we designed and burned inside the intemet.
microprocessor then converts the triggering Following the connection, we use
code into a corresponding CY angle in finger touches to select the control buttons
terms of time and with the zero-crossing on the VB system to implement the control
point as time zero reference to trigger the from the remote terminal. When the local
gate of the TFUAC. server receives the data fed to the remote
computer, the server carries on judgment
lV. THE SOFTWARE DESIGN then sends the decided triggering code to the
The block diagram of the proposed microprocessor to further implement the

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),,,(
Apply Home

Y Wait to
Internet Connect

N Y
Remotely
Connecting?
Select Load to The Load
Control
N
Wait for
+ Control the
Load
Connection

N
Log off
Log ON Svstem ?
Svstem ?

Y
Y
End
End

Fig. 3 This System's Software Structure

control over the selected home appliance without any problem; we can randomly
select at will. The status of the load correctly
V. EXPERIMENTALRESULTS changes accordingly, which is also observed
The major experimental results are from the bar chart at the upper-right comer
stated as follows: of the control screen for the condition of the
1. We first select "Main Server Control" output power.
from the main screen. Then, With a touch on When the maximum or the minimum of
the touch panel, select a load from the the output power is reached, the screen
screen at the local server; the system emerges the message "Maximum
immediately displays the control screen for reached" or "Minimum reached." When we
the load's output power. When we touch and touch the "stop" button, the SSR connected
select "start" and "higher," the output power in series with the TRIAC and the load
increases. On the contrary, the output power receives a high voltage from Pin 22 at
decreases as we touch "lower." The above Microprocessor 89C51 and gets tumed off.
touch selection may be done in succession Consequently, the load is shut off.

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2. When we select remote control on the and responded successfnlly.
main screen, via the internet, from a remote Further investigation on improving the
terminal, the message “Remote Control effective distance and the stability for the
System” is displayed on the screen. Again, transmitter-receiver pair, which mainly
we use a finger to touch the load to be involves the E M interference problem, is
controlled, and at the same screen touch and also suggested.
select other functions, such as “Start,”
“Strong,” “Weak,” and “StopiOff,” the status REFERENCES
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controllability on home appliances’ output
power, this system, combining the
expandability of the U 0 IC interface card,
the outward connectability of the internet
and the ease in wireless control setup,
confrms the feasibility for remotely
controlling onr home appliances so that we
can conserve electric power and prevent a
fire at home at any time and from anyplace.
The prototype of this system was tested

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