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DIY Computer controlled power strip

posted Mar 22, 2012 13:54:55 by Cmdr.Brandr
Good morning (at least right now in the US) my fellow Bridge Build Junkies,

I was perusing one of my favorite websites, Instructables, which allows people to post instructions for any how to project. As I was perusing it this morning I saw these two posts below which give a method for modifying a power strip to be USB controlled. I haven't tried these personally yet but on a quick perusal these look pretty good.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Computer-Controlled-Power-Strip/
http://www.instructables.com/id/A-USB-Power-Controled-Plug-Strip-With-Isolation/

Of course, we would have to generate some code that would control the strip from what ever interface Thom gives us to the Artemis. I know I can write code like that, since it's what I do everyday, so once Thom defines the interface I will happily share the code I generate.
[Last edited Mar 22, 2012 14:19:17]
Commander Brandr
Commanding Officer of the ship Calamitous Intent

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Check our crews adventures at http://nerdneerdowells.com
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1 reply
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GeorgeC.Bragg said Sep 06, 2012 13:47:33
FYI, the first link has been removed by the author - probably because it was a wee bit unsafe. :-)

The second link is interesting, but relies on the fact that, when a computer is on, the USB ports are sending power. As in, all the time the computer is on. This is how those silly USB peripherals (such as USB Christmas trees) work, by relying on the fact they'll get their power from the USB port.

The problem is that I'm not aware of an easy programmatic way to cut power to the USB port without turning off the computer, at least under Windows. That means you can't turn the power bar on or off without turning the computer on or off, limiting the usefulness of this for (for example) activating smoke machines to simulate damage.

You *can* control power on a serial or parallel port (although less than USB), but how many computers come with those ports these days?
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