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A few more detailed notes on the Mercury set of 3 Sockets & remote
on 13 January 2015
Having used these kind of remote controlled sockets for what must be 15+ years I'm leaving a few notes to assist others.
Previously I've used both "self learning" sockets (like these) and ones set with dip switches on the socket and the remote. Self learning switches require you to hold a button on the socket down to sync to a button on the remote and can lose settings thru a power outage. Dip switches are set for good regardless of power but can be more tricky to set up initially.
I ordered two sets of 3 sockets rather than 1 set of 5. The picture (at this date 15th Jan 2015) still shows a remote with 5 pairs of buttons but the remote bundled is different to that shown and has only 3 pairs of buttons. As it is common to buy sets of 1,2 or 3 with a remote with more buttons this is not an unfair expectation.The same remote is shown with both 3 and 5 sets of sockets.
My plan was actually to have 2 sets - to use some sockets in tandem (turn say 2 lamps on in 2 places) and still have 4 left over for individual sockets elsewhere. And to have one spare remote for if one is broken or lost. The fact that the set of 3 currently DOES NOT come with the 10 button switch meant I had to resort to using both remotes - not a terrible idea if one set is only lights but the other is power to your tv/blu ray player etc (as long as you label em).
The sockets arrive preset (to each of the three button pairs) and have stickers on the reverse numbered 1,2,3. The sockets themselves ARE interchangable from pack to pack and can be used with other remotes (once synced). The two remotes (I tried) send different signals so one remote can control all six sockets (as long as several sockets are synced to the same button). So button 1 on remote 1 isn't the same signal as button 1 on remote 2. The plugs and remotes in each pack appear to be numbered differently (eg 1056,1061) but with matching codes.
Programming the sockets is simple if initially confusing. Sockets I have used before will sync to only 1 button on the remote at a time. Programming another simply cancels the first. These sockets will sync to all 3 buttons even though each button is emitting a discrete signal.
To reset or program a socket to respond to a given button (assuming the socket is plugged in) the user holds the yellow button on the side down for 3 or more seconds (it doesnt matter if it is off or on). Once the button on the socket is released the next "on" button pressed on the remote is received and stored by the socket. Pressing the same on button once more will then power on the switch.
The instructions provide a poor explanation as to how to un-sync a socket (or button) as they fail to explain how the set up is working.
It appears that each socket can hold 3 distinct signal codes and these are written in a rotating sequence. Therefore if you take socket 1 when it arrives it will (should) respond only to button 1. You may then play around see if you can operate it from button 2. The socket will now respond to both button 1 and 2. If you now also learn from button 3 it will respond to all 3!
How to get it only to respond just to button 1 again? Just make it learn button 1 again another 3 times. This fills the memory with 3 codes all the same.
Size wise they are small enough to fit in most multi-sockets side by side which is important (if you've ever had to sling an extra four way in just to have two of these side by side...).
Build looks cheap n cheerful about as inexpensive as you could make. Remote is clicky with bright LED and does the job. Note - uses the small (half size) 12v batteries which hopefully will last forever (like my old remotes).
Range appears good and will easily respond from a neighbouring room or remote pointed in the opposite direction to the sockets.