Air Conditioner Controlled via PC or Internet - Attempt 1
I got a ton of movies right as I started this project, so I kept getting sidetracked. Here's my ultra-slow timeline.
To avoid making any new holes in the wall, my first attempt was to bend a wire hanger to hold the solenoid over the air conditioner's power button. My theory was that if the solenoid pushed too hard on the button, the hanger would flex rather than damaging the button. I wrapped the hanger around the air conditioner frame. It was a lot more difficult to put the hanger into a good position than I thought it would be.
The solenoid driver board is from an old project I had to do in college.
I taped the aluminum foil to the vent slots of the air conditioner.
These pictures are from before I connected the leads to the breadboard.
If this had worked, I would have definitely cleaned this up. Ultimately, the solenoid never managed to push the button. The hanger had way too much flex, especially when mounted on a frame that has a bit of flex itself.
The aluminum foil didn't fall back into place when the air conditioner was shut back off. I used a piece of electrical tape to attach a penny to the top foil strip. Although this made the switch work properly, it cause the switch to flap a bit more wildly. It made a lot of noise. After about half an hour, the top piece of foil ripped in two, breaking the switch.
What I Learned for the Next Attempt
The hanger was a total failure. I needed something more rigid. Also, it takes a lot more force to push the membrane button than I originally anticipated.
I determined that the switch itself wasn't a bad idea; I just had to adjust it.