Many-to-one RF remotes

Thread Starter


Joined Feb 9, 2022
Hi ladies and gentlement,

For my home I'm looking to place buttons/remote in certain areas to control certain aspects of my smarthome setup. I've previously bought a batch of Zigbee smart switches (by Sonoff), but it's all a little suboptimal, inconvenient, expensive, and inflexible.

What I'm looking to do is basically "roll my own remotes". First thought was to go with what I'm comfortable with, which would be a microcontroller (Raspberry Pico W / ESP32) that connects to my smart home over Wi-Fi and be done with it. And although that comes with the upside of being extremely flexible, it has the downside of being very power hungry and it's gonna get inconvenient soon having to either hook it up to permanent power, or replace/charge batteries often.

So my next thought was, what if I could use basic RF transmissions? I started looking into it and it appears the most common/easy/cheap way to do that is a basic 433MHz transmitter and receiver pair, combined with HT12E/HT12D encoders and decoders. I am ordering a couple of those to tinker with, but I feel like I'm going to run into a limitation, which is that they need to be 'paired' (i.e. their address bits synced), but I don't really want to match them 1-to-1 (transmitter-to-receiver), but I want to be able to put any number (say 50) of remotes throughout my home and have a single receiver listen to all of them. Now I could set all of them to the same address and use the four data bits for distinguishing them, but that takes away all flexibility with regards to sending actual data in those bits (let's say for a volume control, or a sensor, or whatever).

So, in essence, my question is:
Is there a way to create a single receiver that listens to multiple remotes and that has a (little) bit of bandwidth to send actual data in the transmission (just 4 or 8 bits will probably suffice). The receiver will contain a microcontroller to forward the transmissions to my server, so if that requires some logic to decode data that's fine. I'm reasonably comfortable programming these things, but not very much in the low level decoding of RF-signals/inputs, so if there's dedicated hardware for it (like the HT12D, but without the preset address), that'd be great. The HT12E would actually be perfect for the transmitter.

Thanks in advance for your time and effort!