DIY SmartThings "Relay Touchscreen Controller"

I’m thinking about building something like the sleek Wink Relay. I like the idea and look of the device, but I have issues with the platform ;). So I’m going to make my own for ST. I don’t know if I want to commit to mounting an entire tablet and I like the separate physical switch as well.

I’m starting with an old iPod Touch (2nd generation) and the ActiON Dashboard. I’ve set up a dashboard specifically for the room this switch will be in as well as the smaller screen it’ll be on. I’ve also set up the iPod so it will not auto-lock or send any other sort of notification. (This puppy is on iOS 4 dot something so not really worried about too much going on with it)

Doing a bit of digging for hardware, I could probably, very cheaply pickup one of these Leviton “mobile device station” covers and call it a day, but I’m looking for something a bit more attractive. I find this pretty ugly. Want something more like the pretty Wink Relay.

I’d really like to hide the cord in some way. I figure I’ll need to pick up a 90 degree 30 pin connector cable for the iPod. I’d also like to tilt it up slightly like the Wink Relay.

Current plan is to buy the Leviton mobile device station faceplate and hack it so I can attach some sort of tilted mount to the faceplate instead of the one provided. Also thinking I’d drill a hole in the middle of it to hide the power cord as much as possible, but I don’t quite know how I’d hide a USB outlet behind the actual face plate. Perhaps tilting it up slightly would give me the clearance I need?

Does anyone have any thoughts on how you’d achieve this? Perhaps something I’m not thinking of. If I knew how to 3D model, I’d print the pieces I want to make this look as finished as possible, but I’m not that talented.

Here’s the switch I’ll be replacing. Faux steer skull optional…


Several community members have already built some really nice dashboard smartapps for deployment in tablets.

See @florianz ’ Dashboard or the very popular SmartTiles by @625alex


Thanks @JDRoberts . That part I got. I’m looking to build the hardware piece now.

actION has a topic where people discuss framing, cord hiding, etc. might give you some ideas:

Thanks JDRoberts. Looks interesting. I’ll dig through.

Was doing a bit more research and found a few interesting items.

There’s this really nice wall mount for the 4th generation, but it’s $100 and I can’t find one for my 2nd generation iPod touch.

There’s also this plug in docking station which satisfies my no cord and tilt requirements. It’s also cheap. But I was hoping for something a little more… finished.

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Thingcharger is probably more practical for your setup. I’m going through some of the same issues right now.

I don’t have an outlet high enough on the wall to use and I prefer the look of hidden cords. I’ll probably eventually model a wall mount for an Android tablet so I can mount it flush with the power adapter hidden behind the wall mount face plate. Luckily I know how to 3D model and I’ll just outsource the printing.

Do a Forum Search :mag: and you’ll find several Topics like this.

I used a bunch of old Galaxy S3s lying around to setup as mobile control stations with the linked docking station. With Google Now and Tasker/Voice integration, I simply speak my commands. Bunch of threads here on how to do it. The nice thing is that it puts my old phones to use.


:wink: I’m going to 3D print a custom case for my 100$ Amazon Fire HD6 that I created:

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@akoziol99 @NoMoreClaymores I’m jealous of you guys with your 3D printing skills. I have a great idea for a cradle for an iPhone that would mimic the Wink Relay, But stuck at the modeling phase. Reaching out to 2 people who might be able to help, but unlikely. I downloaded Sketchup… Or should I learn Blender?

Also, I’m debating whether or not I should find an old Android phone and use that instead. Android is obviously more open than iPhone and allows me to do a bit more.

Here are some of the things I’d like it to do…

  1. Display the dashboard - cross platform (#1 priority obviously)
  2. Wake on Motion - possible with Android
  3. Be a security camera with Manything - iOS only right now, Android later this year.
  4. Sonos-like DLNA Media Renderer - possible with Android
  5. Be an iBeacon for future occupancy/micro-location uses - possible on iOS, still researching feasibility on Android.

Bit of a toss up right now. Am I missing anything cool?

you should really pick a device before starting a project as your 3D drawing need to fit the device snug. I think an old iphone or android device will be too small if your using ActiON, I know my old Ipod touch was…

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That’s good advice on the 3D printing. I may try to do something that works across many devices though. We’ll see what happens.

As for screen size, I’ve been testing it out on an old iPod touch. I don’t mind the size. Remember, I’m looking to create a DIY Wink Relay. I’m planning for this to be sort of a control station for a specific set of rooms, not the main command center for the house. I’ve created a smaller dashboard with only the bare essentials for this particular room.


So I downloaded sketchup and it’s surprisingly easy to use. I think i’m fairly close to a 3D model of my custom Relay mount.

Do you guys have any advice on where I would go to print this thing out? Or other pitfalls I should be concerned about? I’m seeing UPS store and Staples but nothing seems local to me. And prices are nowhere to be found. It’s a great mystery.


I found this site to be the cheapest:

I am actually going to purchase a 3D printer, they’re pretty cheap these days

thank you! great website. I’ve already reached out to someone local.

I went with the plug-in dock solution. The US version sits too high, so I got the EU version.
Here’s what it looks like running ActiON:

My biggest gripe is that the iPod isn’t vertically centered with the light switches. If your 3D model looks a lot better, I might try that instead.

(Btw, I got into ADB on Wink Relay. Maybe it’s possible to side-load SmartThings.)


Wow, if this could be rooted to do our bidding, that would be AWESOME!

Hey that doesn’t look too bad! Would you mind sharing a shot of it straight on?

I hear you on the alignment, that has so far been my biggest challenge. (That and learning how to 3D model. ;)) But I’m pleased so far. I’ll definitely share my findings soon.

For the Wink Relay… maybe you just get a browser on there and run ActiON?

The vertical alignment looks even worse straight on, but you’ll never stand at this angle. To get the horizontal alignment correct, I used a USB outlet with slightly off-centered ports.

The tricky part is connecting it to a computer. I took the whole thing apart and didn’t see any obvious USB pins. The AOSP browser is probably still installed — we just don’t have a way to launch it.

@akoziol99 did you root the Fire, or how are you implementing a “screen always on” or “motion activated” screen setup? I’ve been trying to bring Tasker into the Fire along with a Camera Motion activator, but would love to avoid re-creating the wheel so to speak.