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We have officially declared August GSM month! Why? Because we can, and because we want to share with you some of the cool things that you can do with a GSM module, that you probably never even thought was possible! We’re generous like that.

Just in case there’s any doubt as to how absolutely, positively fantastic this technology is, let’s take a moment to reflect on the fact that all of the things mentioned in this article can be done using your phone! Yes, you heard that right, it turns out it’s good for more than playing Angry Birds on while pretending to be hard at work.

1.       Open your gate

Okay, we cheated a little with this first one since most of you probably knew that you can use a GSM module for this. But still, no more bulky remotes that can be lost or stolen you say? Count us in!

2.       Switch on a fridge

Fridges are notoriously heavy on electricity and, if it’s one that you only use occasionally – say, a fridge aboard your boat or in your “man cave” – it’s probably rather impractical (not to mention expensive) to keep the thing running year-round until it has run up a utility bill that looks like a teenager’s phone bill. So what do you do? Just hook that puppy up to a GSM module, missed call or SMS the unit an hour or two before the big game – and enjoy your ice cold brewskies right on cue. Now that’s a bro move.

3.       Arm an alarm

Allow us to posit the following bone-chilling scenario: You’re on your way to the dam armed with your rods and your cooler box, the sun has just started to creep over the horizon painting the sky in majestic shades of ochre. Today, you fish. And nothing is going to stop you. Suddenly you realise, much to your chagrin, that you forgot to arm the house alarm and there has been a spate of burglaries in your neighbourhood. Do you turn the car around and miss out on the opportunity to show the bass who’s boss (see what we did there?)? Not if you have a GSM module installed!

4.       Warm up your bed

It’s an icy July evening, you’re working late, and the only thing you want right now is to go home and get into bed with Volume III of A Game of Thrones. If only there was some way of switching your electric blanket on remotely and letting it warm up your bed (which is presently as cold as Dracula’s sarcophagus) while you’re driving home. Oh wait, that’s right, there is. GSM!

5.       Irrigation

The MyGSM onlineuser portal allows you to set up your module to perform automatic activations, for example activating your sprinkler system at 4 o’ clock every afternoon. Even when you forget, your GSM module won’t – this is automation working for you.

6.       Keep tabs

Up until this point we’ve mostly been focussing on our GSM products’ switching capabilities, but did you know that you can use them for monitoring as well? Receive SMS notifications on your phone when your alarm is activated, mains power has failed or even when someone is blocking the infrared gate safety beams in front of your gate!

7.       Time and attendance

If you have people working for you, whether it be a single domestic worker or you head up a slightly larger undertaking, CENTURION’s GSM modules and accompanying web interfaces allow you to keep tabs on when they report for work and when they knock off. Both G-WEB and MyGSM.co.za store transaction logs containing the date and time of the transaction, the access number used, the name of the person assigned to that number, and the output triggered. These can then be viewed at the administrator or employer’s leisure and used for tallying the hours worked, calculating salaries and overtime, etc.

8.       Control the aircon

“But Charl,” I hear you saying, “air conditioners have remotes! Why would you want to control them with your phone?” That’s a fair point, but what if you’re not in the physical vicinity of the aircon unit? Say, for example, that you’re the proprietor of a bed and breakfast and you’d like guests to be greeted by a nice, cool room upon arrival but you don’t necessarily have the time and resources to go to each and every room and switch on the aircon (or to switch it off once the ambient temperature has been sufficiently cooled down). Then, kemo sabe, you simply whip out your cell phone and issue the command, as it were.

9.       Lock down your entrance electronically

So the fishing trip you went on in point number 3 didn’t work out exactly as planned, and you ended up catching no more than a bad cold. You have now set your sites on going down to the coast, but that means leaving your home unattended for at least a week and you worry that your domestic staff, all of whom have remotes to your property, will use this opportunity to help themselves to your stuff. Well, you probably already know where this is going…

All CENTURIONoperators offer a unique little feature known as Holiday Lockout that, when activated, causes your gate motor to ignore inputs from all devices except the one that invoked it. Connect the GSM module to your gate motor’s Holiday Lockout input and ensure that “there ain’t no one gettin’ in ‘cept you”.

10.   Monitor fluid level

Whether you want to know when your Koi pond is full, or you’d like to be notified when a diesel generator needs refilling, you can’t go wrong with a GSM module acting as sentry. Since the module will notify you via text alert once the fluid reaches a certain level, there’s no need to check on it manually and thus you’ll have time for life’s more important things (read: fishing and watching rugby).

In what creative way have you used your GSM module? Let us know in the comments!