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Start ball mills remotely using WIFI controlled power outlet


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#1 NtzPrinter

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 01:14 PM

If you are still messing around with 100' extension cords to start your ball mill from a remote distance you may find this helpful.

 

You can buy a WIFI power receptacle on Amazon for around $27 that will allow you to start your mill via your smart phone or iPad.

 

It's rated at 3000 watts so it should be fine for any motors used in mills:

 

Broadlink SP3 CC 3500W 16A,WiFi Switch US Remote Control Electrical Smart Plug Socket,Wireless Control Home Automation For Iphone/Android Broadlink.jpg

#2 starxplor

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 09:30 PM

I like the extension cord as a reminder not to set up my mill next to the generator that is powering it... but I am in a slightly different situation of milling in the middle of nowhere 10+hours away from home.

 

As for the actual device, I wonder how hard it would be to break into it with a rogue signal...



#3 OldMarine

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 08:16 PM

What are they going to do? It's not like they can ignite it.

Good idea but my milling site is in the sticks so no WiFi.


Come on! Name one other hobby in which you cheer as your money and hard work go up in smoke!

#4 starxplor

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 10:20 PM

I was working on the premise that this wifi controller is needed because the user does not want to be next to the mill when it starts/stops. Given that, I would not want to be next to the mill when someone else starts/stops the mill.

 

I just generally do not trust these devices, too many are thrown on the market to capitalize on the 'smart item' craze and leave security to the background, if at all. If this one is better than that, awesome and I hope people support good security in such devices.



#5 Arthur

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 11:59 AM

What is the problem with turning the mill on or off at the socket outlet then you are a long extension lead away from it.



#6 OldMarine

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 06:29 PM

I time my mill by the amount of fuel I put in my generator! One gallon is 3 hours on my small generator and 2½ on the larger one. I'll have power up on the hill by the end of summer (I hope) and will have a throw box in the shed to turn it off and on. I have a bunker of railroad ties with a tractor shed type roof over it. I have the wire and outlet installed and just need some juice to work it. 

My brother refinanced the house after Daddy died and inspectors condemned the wiring from the house to the barn so I'm saving for a new service with a separate meter. Sucks. 


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#7 starxplor

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 09:23 PM

What is the problem with turning the mill on or off at the socket outlet then you are a long extension lead away from it.

 

For most, this is how it is done. For some though, the risk of surge during the connect/disconnect process could be worrisome, specifically with cheap motors some people have used.



#8 OldMarine

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 09:38 PM

So many risks you have to balance in this hobby. Starting and stopping my mill with a 100' extension cord is way down the list of worries. Diapering 30 grams of flash is exponentially higher on my threat assessment and there are all the other fears such as pressing whistle in between the two. Lloyd had a pics of a ballmill explosion but he actually ignited the jar for demonstration purposes. I have yet to find an example of a properly configured mill exploding and the accidents I did find were fully due to unsafe practices.

Now I wouldn't run a ballmill in my bedroom but I'm not sweating using an extension cord to start and stop it.

If your motor is going to explode upon starting? Get a new motor or go buy some BP. Half-ass is all dead.


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#9 NtzPrinter

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Posted 25 August 2017 - 11:51 PM

Well, I thought maybe someone might find this useful, I certainly do. As for someone "hacking" the WIFI, I use a Netgear router with WPA security as well as having a very strong password to access the LAN. I don't live in the woods using a portable generator although I do have a whole home generator for power failures. Anyway, for those of you who do have a WIFI setup, you can buy the remote controlled power outlet for less than the cost of a good outdoor 100' extension cord. The App controlling the outlet is only accessible from your phone or iPad and one would hope you have it/them password protected. I do and certainly don't worry that some hacker is going to suddenly activate my outlet....geez.


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#10 starxplor

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 01:17 AM

... As for someone "hacking" the WIFI, I use a Netgear router with WPA security as well as having a very strong password to access the LAN....

 

I wasn't referring to breaking into the wifi network, I was talking about the device its self. Anything from bad protocol implementation to back doors left open, on purpose or by accident. All three of these issues have happened to various home devices that claimed to be secure and are entirely likely to happen again. This device may be fine, but most home users are not equipped to make an educated choice about these types of devices.

 

... The App controlling the outlet is only accessible from your phone or iPad and one would hope you have it/them password protected. ...

 

And how do you know this? Has anyone tried gaining access? Internal provider testing or external third parties? In general, it is not a safe assumption that only your device can communicate with something. That may be the design of the device, but without anything more than a company's sales literature, I wouldn't trust the claims when all kinds of devices have been found to be lacking from fridges and washing machines to security cameras (which you would think would have focused on security in their design and testing).

 

All that said, my point is not to say that no one should use such a device. I just want people to know what they are getting in to.



#11 OldMarine

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 01:10 PM

Ned Gorski has a timer on his ball mill. It's a simple clockwork type timer and he swears by his mill. 


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#12 PeteyPyro

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 02:04 PM

I just go simple, with a lamp timer, where my 100' extension cord plugs in to the receptacle. No worries about Wi-Fi hacking or miscommunication, and I set it for exactly 6 hours, which is what works for my ERC BP mix. The mill, in its tire barricaded pit runs exactly that long, and I don't have to worry about forgetting to turn it off either.
Pyrotechnician. It's not an ocupation. It's a diagnosis. Please WEAR YOUR PPE!!!

#13 OldMarine

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Posted 26 August 2017 - 02:12 PM

I like that little bunker! Ground is so rocky here I had to build mine above ground. I drilled through the 3 railroad tie height and then used a rock drill to go 18" into the stone and drove rebar through the whole shebang. I then hauled in some dirt to bank up the sides and put a ribbed awning over it all. I made it wide enough I can add mills if desired and still have room to walk between them. Heckuva PITA but I like it! As I said before I already have conduit and wire with outlets placed out there but no juice to power them.  :(


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#14 NtzPrinter

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 10:15 PM

Oh well. I find this device very useful and safe for my applications. I load my mill, when I get safely back to the house, I pull up the app, tell it how long to run and then start the power. It works great.

But please continue to do whatever works best for you.



#15 NtzPrinter

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 11:43 PM

 

I wasn't referring to breaking into the wifi network, I was talking about the device its self. Anything from bad protocol implementation to back doors left open, on purpose or by accident. All three of these issues have happened to various home devices that claimed to be secure and are entirely likely to happen again. This device may be fine, but most home users are not equipped to make an educated choice about these types of devices.

 

 

And how do you know this? Has anyone tried gaining access? Internal provider testing or external third parties? In general, it is not a safe assumption that only your device can communicate with something. That may be the design of the device, but without anything more than a company's sales literature, I wouldn't trust the claims when all kinds of devices have been found to be lacking from fridges and washing machines to security cameras (which you would think would have focused on security in their design and testing).

 

All that said, my point is not to say that no one should use such a device. I just want people to know what they are getting in to.

Geez Bro... I'm not talking about putting WIFI locks on your house. All I'm saying is this is a convenient way to start and stop your ball mill from a safe distance. Without having to resort to extension cords. I'm not a fan of "the internet everything" where everyone has their homes, refrigerators, toilets and every other device in the house connected to the internet. I assume you are probably a computer genius but chill out a bit!


Edited by NtzPrinter, 10 September 2017 - 11:49 PM.

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#16 starxplor

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 10:35 PM

Sorry, I just get a bit... passionate... when people say things like "I use a good password", or "it is secure". Even if the things under a user's control are secured properly, we have seen so many devices fail in other ways that I don't want people burned (literally or figuratively) because of a misplaced trust. And that is on top of the issue of many modern devices/apps requiring some central authorization server or software update source that could go down in the future. See Pebble being bought out and closed as an example.

 

The bottom line is, security is HARD. Electronic security on its own is even harder. The best situation is usually electronic security on top of physical security (unplug the device when it is done running, using the timer function that sounds great but not eliminating the physical barrier to a running mill).



#17 Steva555

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 01:47 AM

Hi, If anyone is interested to set up an Wifi switch to the Ball mill, I've found this video on the YouTube: https://www.youtube....h?v=_UxMJCFdh3I.

If you don't feel safe then don't do it :)



#18 justvisiting

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 01:29 PM

I like to see the jars start turning. Occasionally a jar may slip, or a shaft may stick. There's no danger of it blowing up at the start of the milling cycle.





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