I had originally planned to send my Relay Shield to the Fab shop this week, but I ran into a snag. Neither Mouser nor Digikey stock the relays I need, and theyre backordered with a 20 week lead time. =( So Im left redesigning my board to be able to take relays with any power requirement (specifically the 12V relays). What that entails is that the power requirements wont be on-board. There will be a shield (which it plugs into) that will convert the regulated 5V of the Arduino into 9, 12 or 24V depending on the power requirements of the relays used. Im designing the shield with my project in mind, but anyone with various power needs will be able to use this shield. I'll be sure to include a resettable fuse in there just in case (though I dont think you'll need it, because if something happens to break the fuse, your board is probably dead by then).
Once I get these two shields wrapped up and to the shop, I should have an operating power control unit that I can work with for switching lights on and off. You might be thinking, why bother with all of this work? Isnt there an existing board you can just buy to use? The answer is no. The relays I've found on SparkFun, and other places arent reliable to be switching your lights for your home on and off. If you want a fire, feel free to use them. I personally dont want to burn my house down experimenting with this project, so I'll build it the only way I know how: the safe way. Second, the relay boards I've found dont offer the features that I want. The board that does offer it is made by a company called NCD Relays. I have experience with their boards, and theyre pretty cool, but on the downside theyre expensive. I can afford a bank of these boards throughout my house. I'll go broke before I've finished wiring the house. So I needed a cheap way to give me the same features, but for use with an Arduino, thus I'm making these boards myself.
Nothing new for the other parts of the project. As usual, I'll post various links of projects, and hardware sites I think are relevant and useful to my project. Visit my blog, where I usually keep weekly updates of my progress posted at http://tae09.blogspot.com.
Arduino Dishwasher: http://www.neonsquirt.com/dishwasher.html