Wireless power outlet control

I'm seriously hoping someone can shed some light on this for me, because it's a project I've been wanting to do for some time now but have always put off.

Remote Control Switch

Does anyone have any info about those devices, or at least what company produces them? "GA" doesn't really tell me much, and some info on the devices would be a great help.

Also, how would I go about sniffing data from the remote? The one I have is a fair bit simpler than the one on the link with one circuit board consisting of a micro controller, 4 pairs of on/off switches and "all on"/"all off" switches. Attached to this by three pins is a secondary, much smaller circuit board which seems to be the RF-transmitter. Am I right in assuming that the three lines are VCC, Gnd and "data"? That the micro controller simply turns the "data"-line on to generate an RF-signal and off to generate a pause?

If so, how would I go about sniffing that pin? I don't have a logic analyzer or an oscilloscope capable of recording. The remote is powered by a 3.3V battery, would it perhaps be so simple as to power the remote from the Arduino 3.3V out, connecting the "data"-pin to an Arduino-input and writing a sketch that uses interrupts and timers to record the signal?

Thanks a whole bunch for any help! I might post some pictures of the controls internals later today, and if I get this working I promise to post a writeup on the whole thing, code (for web interface, TCP-IP/serial-bridge and Arduino sketch) and all!

You need to get yourself one of the PC based o-scopes, basically a high speed A/D chip with USB interface to your PC, can do a lot with them and they are not much money. I put together this one, works pretty nice.

http://www.pdamusician.com/dpscope/

I have a device that puts out a byte of data every 5 mS at 4800 baud (same 5 bytes are repeated in idle mode), I was able to use the DPScope with one-shot triggering to randomly catch the bytes and solve the riddle of why the arduino UART wasn't seeing the data I expected (it was not RS232 at 5V/0 levels like I thought, but rather TTL logic - sitting at 0 for spaces and going high for the start bit - at least the byte being sent wasn't swapped end to end - so just a simple inverter going into the arduino solved my problem).

If you can determine the baud rate with scope like above, you can capture the data going to the transmitter with the arduino serial port and have the arduino send it to the PC for you.

Looks a bit like something I made some time ago too…

http://bld.is-a-geek.com/2010/07/04/lightswitch/

I did this with a Vellemann K8055 board, but an arduino can easily do the same.

What is your goal ?

To control the switches with Arduino ?

If that is the case then you could just control the switches on the remote with optocouplers from arduino digital pins. Then you would not need to know anything about the signal beeing transmitted.

Thanks for your quick replies! My goal is to figure out the protocol in use, because I know more advanced, but compatible, controls have more than 4 channels and also support dimmer modules. I want to use the arduino in place of the mcu in the original controller.

Could I power the controller off of the arduinos 3,3V rail and connect the output pin of the controllers mcu to an input on the arduino?