Had one of the funniest/most rewarding geeky evenings last night figuring out how to automate my Tempurpedic Ergo Adjustable electric bed with my good ole automation buddy Andrew. Since getting this whole Quadomated home automation stuff together one of my biggest wish list items was to get my electric bed integrated into the system so that I could control it with my cell phone and voice.
I started thinking about automating my electric bed way back before the house was built, and even prewired a bunch of 18 gauge wires from my media room to the bed, but didn’t really start digging into things until a few weeks ago. I knew it could be automated with the loud clicks of the relays that fired the linear actuators, it was just figuring out how to hack into the circuitry and jumper in the appropriate voltage at the right place that was the challenge. We could open up the main controller and start poking around there, but I was scared to heck of screwing up and voiding the warranty of my very expensive electric bed. It wasn’t until we started taking apart the wireless controller that the solution instantly became obvious.
This is what we saw when we took off the front cover of the wireless controller:
Notice the copper traces that are underneath each button. If you look closely enough, you’ll see that each copper trace is actually two separate copper paths that are narrowly separated by the red PCB board. When the corresponding button is pushed down the black piece of conductive material underneath the button completes the circuit and sends the corresponding wireless single to bed.
If you look even closer you’ll notice each of these conductive paths goes to a nearby solderable hole. We started messing around with jumpering these solderable holes and quickly realized that we could operate each button of the bed by finding the appropriate holes and jumpering them together like shown in the picture below.
Now that we knew how the wireless control worked we started mapping out the terminals to the functions I wanted. We wanted to keep the wireless remote control so that it was still operable and modular, so I limited myself to only the functions that would fit on a standard 8 conductor RJ45 ended cable. After testing a number of different combinations we found that we could control 7 buttons with the 8 conductors. The buttons I chose are: head up/down, foot up/down, bed flat, memory 4, massage 2, and massage stop.
The wire mapping and terminals turned out as below:
We then got to work stripping the outer insulation of a flat 8 conductor 26 gauge telephone wire.
Once in place, the wire would extend out approximately 1 inch from the wireless remote control.
The next step was to superglue the telephone wire to the PCB board so that it would stay in place while we made the connections. We decided to start with one button to prove that it would work, and soldered the white and black wires to the appropriate solderable holes.
A closer view of the board, solderable holes, and connections.
Last step of the night was to prove that our little “button hack” would really interface into my control system. Here you see the white/black wires connected into the NORMALLY OPEN and COMMON terminals of a relay. Using the HAI PC Access software I fired output 5, and presto my bed started sitting up! Below, notice the red light above the relay showing that it’s activated, and the blue lights on the electric bed remote control showing it’s lit up, and the red light at the bottom meaning its sending a wireless signal to my bed.
SO FREAKING AWESOME! Might look like only one button in a hacked remote control, but to me it’s everything… showing that yeah, this most certainly will work, and with a few more hours and a little scripting I’ll easily be able to control my bed with my smart phone and voice. YIPPEE! Probably the first voice automated Tempurpedic bed on earth!
Look forward to the rest of this project when we hopefully finish it up sometime next week!