Invent Me

(yes, I’m stealing the title from nate. it’s highly appropriate though)

In talking with Tim today about the rewiring effort he was doing in his new condo, I had an idea for a new product. It would just be a remote control circuit breaker. It would let you press a button to kill power to the circuit that it was plugged into, and press another button to reset it.

This would allow an electrician to safely test newly wired circuits without going all the way to the fusebox each time. Seems mildly useful. More useful than a lot of the single use sorts of gadgets that you see on the aisle caps at Home Despot, at least.

Actually, while I was writing this, another idea occurred to me. I would like to have circuit monitoring circuit breakers that are web aware. In other words, circuit breakers with built in web servers and built in oscilliscopes, so that I can view the health of any given circuit in my house. All the relevant stats would be available at each circuit breaker: power used, a list of anomylous waveforms, etc.

Just a thought.

  1. They’re called feeder relays and cost about 2 grand.

    But they are a lot of fun.

  2. You can guarantee that the kind of company that would make that wouldn’t secure it, and what a fun target those puppies would be 😉

  3. heh, true. It would be pretty important to protect those devices, but too much fun to hijack them. (:

  4. Completely unrelated, but the thought of someone hijacking it totally reminds me of the time Sandor and crew set up their room to be controlled via X10 and a web interface…. >;-)

  5. Only problem is that they probably wouldn’t be up to house electrical code, especially if they were wireless. And to be honest, I wouldn’t touch a wire that I didn’t know was physically disconnected from power and couldn’t be turned back on without someone going to the breaker and enabling it. In fact I’d prefer there to be a lock on the circuit breaker door, so that you KNOW that power’s not coming on, unless someone else has a key. And after all that…you still have to test the wires before touching them because you might have the wrong circuit.

    Walking down to the breaker box seems pretty painless compared to being electrocuted when an electrician next door happens to have the same security code on his remote and turns on the circuit I’m plugged into.

    P.S. Good idea to wear an insulated glove on at least one hand whenever possible.

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