If there’s one thing we “do” it’s Windows Mobile phone reviews. Every now and then though we love to review other cool stuff. One such product is Bye Bye Standby.
It comes in two parts, although the first part will work on its own. Put simply
it’s a way to automate your home by remotely powering on and off electrical
To start we have these standby sockets. They’ll plug into your wall socket – you then plug your electrical appliance or appliances into the standby socket and you get to control it via a remote control. This isn’t a normal remote control, this one will go through walls and works more on radio frequencies than infra red. You can turn devices on or off around your home simply by pressing the green (on) or red (off buttons). You can also group devices together and, if other people in your neighbourhood have similar kit, you can set the frequency so you don’t end up turning other stuff on or off by mistake.
Here you can see the socket plugged together..
The end result is an energy saving each month which should cut down on your bills and help the environment. Instead of putting your TV on standby, turn it off at the switch and save some cash, all without getting up. You can then turn on the lamp in your bedroom so you can see your way up the stairs. Cool.
Here’s the remote control..
Using this Energy Saving Kit
we get three sockets and a remote control. This will control any appliance, even heavy duty stuff or 4-way extension leads – great for turning off your PC, monitor, printer and router all in one go. It’s expandable too – just add more sockets, allocate them a number using the control wheel on the socket and you can control it with the remote.
Zap things on and off without moving from the comfort of your armchair.
The guys at www.byebyestandby.com
sell other stuff too. You can get
like this – lamp dimmers, motion sensors and wall switches to name just a few.
We wanted the cool bit – the online controller..
This is the Bye Bye Standby Online which you can buy
separately. It hooks into an ethernet connection and then communicates back with a central server. The box, shown below, acts like
the remote control.
Here I’ve plugged it in. It’s not as complicated as you may
think, especially if you’ve got a router. Plug the blue ethernet cable into your
router or switch, then power it up with the black cable. It’s fairly straight
forward – you log into the online registration system, stick your
details in from the inclusive form along with the serial number on the box and you’re away.
Above you can see both ends of that ethernet cable. I’ve plugged
it into a crappy little hub because my main broadband router is in the garage
and I’ve got a huge long ethernet cable leading into the office upstairs. The
activity LEDs show you whether a successful connection has been made to the
central ByeByeStandby server. What this magic box will basically do is let you press those remote-control buttons anywhere in the world, plus you can set automated tasks such as turning TV’s off at night and turning them back on in the morning. This really opens things up, and lets you turn lights on before you get home and reboot stuff remotely. You can also monitor your appliances – if you’ve left your lights on then just turn them off. You can also add cameras and motion detectors too.
The online panel gives you stacks of options. You can check your energy profile, schedule actions, check your cameras, alerts, add or change controllers, rename them (to friendly names like “TV”), add scenes (setting multiple devices to be set a certain way at once) and more. This last option is good for setting your home to “evening mode” when you come home and “morning mode” when you get up. You can get your bedside lamp to come on in the morning, then have the radio turn on in the kitchen a few minutes later. In the evening you could have your garage light come on for when you get home, then turn your hall light on too.
When you buy the online kit you’ll get a voucher to let you subscribe to the service for a year. It’ll also get you SMS credit so you can control your devices from your mobile phone.
I found this a little tricky to sort out, especially as the web control panel
decided to spit this message at me when I tried to download the mobile java
application. I ended up going to
http://live.domia.com/nossl/mobileapp/ByeByeStandbyMidlet.jad to get it.
OK, so now I’ve got my Java application installed on my Windows
Mobile phone. Here’s a shot of me using it. It’s all fairly straightforward with
a list of options to choose from…
Above you can choose to see the status of your electrical
devices, check your cameras (which can be added to if you have any), change the
configuration or – perhaps the most useful – control your home from anywhere in
the world. Here’s me turning the lights on and off…
Now, this is all well and good, but I wanted to show you this
whole thing in video. Photos are great but I wanted to show you the whole setup
in video, so I’ve bundled together a few videos showing you the various stages
of the install.
First up, let’s go through the setup of the online controller. Here’s the
contents of the box first of all…
Then we get it plugged into the network to get onto the
Now, the registration process. You put the details in from the
leaflet in the box. This is again a fairly simple process – it basically grabs
the serial number from your box so, when you login online, it knows where to
send your requested commands..
Now we’ll get our sockets ready and log into the web control
Now for the meaty stuff. Let’s see it all in action – everything
we’ve talked about above running. Here’s a longer video showing me using the
remote and also using the phone via the ByeByeStandby system to operate my
electrical devices on the web..
Overall, the Byebyestandby
system is excellent. I loved the ease that you can set the whole thing up. I
hate having to go through huge manuals or putting stuff together. This just
works out of the box. Even the Energy Saving Kit is already setup with each
socket having the correct settings to get you zapping away on your remote
control quickly. The online controller is also fantastic, just plug it in,
register, grab the serial number from under the box and bang – you’re away. Just
log onto the control panel and give each socket a name, set yourself a scene and
you’re done. Brilliant stuff.