Oh no, I forgot to turn on the fan!

Sitting in a rig is hot! Not only do I get warm because of the physical activity, but sitting 50cm from 3 screens, a PC and a wheel base all trying to cool down, does raise the temperature of the room a few degrees.

Because of this, I get very warm when I race in my rig. To counter this, I have bought a tower fan that stands approximately 2-3 meters from my rig and circulates the air in the room. This works great but i often forget to turn it on before I start the races that i join. If you do get one of these, make sure to get one with a remote control and make sure you have it at hand, when you start the race.

I didn’t, but i found a brilliant way to work around that! I can now turn my fan on, using my stream deck and a smart plug! This is what I did

The idea

Basically, what we will be doing, is turn the fan on, using a button, that will trigger a wifi enabled plug. I am sure that you could solve this in many other ways, including, pulling a wire and adding a physical button to your rig, but this solution seemed best for me, because I could even use my google home, or my stream deck to turn the fan on and off.

You will need a Wifi Enabled plug. There are many different versions of this, and for some of them, you even have to pay a yearly fee to use their apps. So make sure to research before you buy. I managed to find these plugs that work with the free “smart life” app, are IFTTT compatible AND work with google assistant and alexa.

You can buy them using this referral link and support me while doing so, without having to pay extra!

These simply connect to your Wi-Fi, and let you turn the power of the connected device on or off, using an app called, available for Android and Apple phones. This is very practical in everyday life and I have found great uses for the other 3 plugs that came in the package. I can even turn on the coffee machine on my way back home from work, and program to turn the lamp on 20 minutes before sunset!

You simply connect the plugs to your WiFi and set a name to each of them. It can be anything, like numbers, names, or just the appliance that you connect to them. Numbers would not work for me because I am really bad at remembering what numbers would correspond to each appliance. I considered names, but “Hey google turn Marry on” might not go well with my girlfriend. So i simply named each plug the appliance that is connected to it.

Optionally you can extend the functionality by allowing access to the app for Google Assistant. I can now simply call out, and say “Hey google, tun on the fan”. This works very well if you have a Google home assistant or an Alexa! Alternatively, you can add a smart IFTTT functionality to it all, and use your stream deck to map a button for turning the fan on and off

IFTTT is short for if this then that. It allows supported apps, webpages, APIs etc to work together and to trigger automated actions and events. It sounds complicated but most often it is very straight forward to set up. IFTTT supports the Smart Life app and lets you do some really clever things like turn the lights on when you get home by registering when your phone connects to your WiFi, or turn the coffee machine on, when your alarm goes off in the morning. Stream Deck does not directly support IFTTT but using webhooks, it is pretty straight forward to use a button press to register a button press from that.

Step by Step

  • On your stream deck, click on “more actions…” on the lower right area of the software.
  • Search for IFTTT and install it. This adds a new IFTTT type of button for your stream deck
  • Create a new button using the new IFTTT option. Besides the optional title, this button needs two important pieces of information (Maker Key & Event Name) that we will work on next
  • Head over to IFTTT and create an account or log in
  • Go to the Webhook service site and connect your account by selecting “Connect”
  • Click on Documentation and copy the Maker Key
  • Paste it into the Maker Key field on Stream Deck
  • Go back to IFTTT and create a new applet by clicking on “+”
  • Click on “if this” and search for webhooks
  • After sellecting it, click the “Recieve a Webrequest” option and add a name with no spaces (use _ if you need spaces).
  • Copy the name before pressing “Create Trigger”
  • Paste the name into the “event name” field
  • Click on “Then that” to define what should happen when you press on the button
  • Search for Smart Life

From here, it might become a bit blurry depending on how you have set up your Smart Life. You will need to link the accounts but this is straight forward. Once done, you will be able to select what plug or device or groups should turn on or off. I have defined a button to turn my fan on, and one to turn it off. There are tons of possible actions for this though, and i am sure that you could come up with other brilliant ways of using this in very cool ways! Let me know in the comments if you did!

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