Electricity generated with water, salt and a three-atoms-thick membrane
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    SimpleLinkI get various adverts from people who think R-G is some sort of supplier or shop, and this one looks to be a nice solution for some circumstances. The email was also polite and not pushy which meant that it didn’t just get consigned to the trash bin. The basic idea is that the switch you press can be mounted anywhere (and doesn’t need batteries) and that the RF signal will control the device you want to switch, and that can be a reasonable distance away from the pushbutton. There’s a nice write-up at CNXsoft and the company’s website is at http://www.simplelink.cc/  (takes a little while to load).


    Update by Simon Derricutt

    I’ve just had an email from SimpleLink saying they’ve got CE certification for their device, and also now have a dimmable LED bulb using much the same techniques. I’m putting this up here since I think that these little innovations are useful, and it’s maybe nice to see a small Chinese company doing original design to solve a problem they see locally. It will likely be as useful in other countries where people in rented accommodation are not allowed to rewire and don’t want trailing wires across the floor.
    Of course, it may be a little harder to get hold of locally, but there’s always mail order.

    From the email:

    We got the CE certification on March. Expertise No. 16-210472, authorized by German PHOENIX TESTLAB GmbH.
    Currently we have a new product, would you please help to publish a article, let more people know it.

    Wireless Battery-free Dimmer switch and light bulb. one set include one switch and one bulb.
    The switch have four buttons, it can customized the function as per request.

    for example:
    1. Scenes (night light, daylight, full bright)2. ON/OFF
    3. Color temperature (3 stage)
    4. Brightness (3 stage)

    if you do not need change color temp. also can
    1. off
    2. on brightness 25%
    3. on brightness 25%
    4. on brightness 25%

    1. on
    2. off
    3. brightness +
    4. brightness –

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    We’re not advertising this as such and it’ll probably be hard anyway for you to get it, but it’s an example of a small company seeing a need and making something to fit it. There’s no UL certification as far as I can see, either. The need they see is that basically in China there are a lot of people living in high-rise flats who have an electric washing-line on the balcony (it’s the only outside space). This is electrically-extended, and so if it rains you’d want to pull it in. Nice if you can do that without having to go outside, really, and also without having to install wiring for the switch since it will be a rented apartment. The actual switching unit itself will be powered from the grid, and has two wires in and two out making it adaptable to nearly any situation, and the switch is powered either by the energy you put in to push the button or harvested RF as specified on the site. If they use double-insulation on the receiver and have used the right quality of components it should be both safe and reliable, but of course I can’t check on that so if you do get one you’ll need to run your own checks.

    That’s about it, really. It’s nothing astounding as regards technology, but is a neat application of it to solve a day-to-day problem that the company saw and wasn’t being addressed. You can buy a similar system here in Europe that needs batteries in the switches and costs around the same, but you’d need to replace the batteries when needed and you may end up with a battery leak if you forget (it seems even leakproof batteries always leak if you forget about them). They probably need a big importer to take them on and get the UL etc. listings and maybe add a bit of elegance to the design rather than the purely-functional design of the casings at the moment, but if they get that leg-up you may well see these for sale locally at some point. In the meantime, I’m sure they’ll sell pretty well in China.



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