Help me hack the Belkin Conserve

Howdy internets!

I love the idea of being able to safely switch ac power from a microcontroller. There are products like the powerSwitch tail from sparkfun that easily do this job, but I like to try to be as cheap as possible, so I’m trying to do it for half the price with the Belkin Conserve. This seems like it is just a relay built into a wall wart that is only activate for a pre-selected amount of time. Ideally it helps you reduce your energy use by only charging your phone for say, 3 hours, or by turning off your tv after you fall asleep.

I bought one thinking the relay was probably powered by a dc voltage, and then that I could activate it with a pin from the arduino. Maybe I would have to put in a mosfet or an opto isolator, but it wouldn’t be too hard. After opening it up, I realized that it was all AC and I’m at the limit of my knowledge. I don’t want to zap anyone or any thing, so I’m asking the internet as a whole: what can I do with this?

Here is a closeup of the front of the board,

Here is a closeup of the back of the board.

If anyone has any ideas on how to safely trip the relay from a microcontroller pin I would love to hear about it. If not, then maybe I’ll just let it do what it was intended to do. And then go buy the powerswitch tail.

3 Responses to Help me hack the Belkin Conserve

  1. well, with tax and shipping it’s almost the same price of the fully featured one from sparkfun, so I would probably go that route. It definitely is a good option, I’m just looking for the cheapest way possible. In my head I’ve got a project that may take a bunch of these, so the small difference adds up.