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Remote Controlled Outlet Strip

Each outlet can be turned on or off remotely.
  (+2, -1)
(+2, -1)
  [vote for,

This Idea probably belongs in a different place, but since I didn't see a better candidate place, and this place has the appropriate key words in it....

I have some electronic devices that are remote- controlled. So, they are "on" all the time, if most of the time in a sort of "idle" state, waiting for a signal to turn them fully on, for actual use.

Every now and then one of those devices, when being used, will exhibit a glitch of some sort (there is a huge amount of sophisticated electronics in, say, a DVD player), and the only way that seems to work to fix the glitch is to unplug the device's power cord for a minute or so. This forces a full "reset" of the electronics, when the cord is plugged in again.

So, all these devices are plugged into a power strip. If the power strip was remotely-controlled, I wouldn't need to fumble to trace the proper cord to the proper power outlet in the strip; I would have marked the remote control with which outlet powers which device, and then remotely turn off the power to that outlet.

Another possible advantage is, you could leave most of the outlets Off all the time, and only turn them on when you actually use them. This would save a bit on the electric bill, because only one device in the whole group, the remote-controlled power strip, would be on all the time. Of course, this has the disadvantage of needing to remotely turn on two things, the power outlet and the desired device, in order to use that device, but, hey, that's why we have Universal Remotes, right?

Finally, since this device would have very simple electronics, at least when compared to the others, it might never glitch the way the others do.

Vernon, Mar 17 2014

IP Managed Remote Power Switch/Strip http://www.amazon.c...works/dp/B0039OZKPE
[MisterQED, Mar 17 2014]

exists, cheap http://www.amazon.c...eywords=remote+plug
many like this on amazon [sophocles, Mar 19 2014]


       This is definitely Baked but possibly not WKTE.   

       By wiring 10 Byron Home Easy RS61 switch modules onto a 10-way outlet strip, they can be individually controlled by an RS14 multichannel RF remote.   

       [suggested-for-deletion], not a new/original idea.
8th of 7, Mar 17 2014

       Baked as I used one to reboot servers at a past position, but the idea calls for an IR version which would be nearly worthless unless you like to look at your power strips. Substitute a minor interface in a smartphone and the linked item will work.
MisterQED, Mar 17 2014

       While remotely controllable switches are baked, having one that will integrated well with existing IR remotes, is not. Assuming that one power strip is used with one cluster of equipment that is close together, a single remote IR receiver/ transmitter (wire connected) can be placed next to the other equipment so that it can receive the IR signals a well.   

       While this could have a USB cable to allow full advanced programming for those who want to be able to provide a phased power on sequence for their A/V rack using a single button in a universal remote, the standard programming method should be very simple.   

       1) Press the "On" button on the power strip IR received to manually turn on all outlets. 2) Turn on all the devices plugged into the strip. 3) Press the program button. 3) Stand back and use the IR remote to turn off one device. The smart power strip captures the power off IR sequence and notes the current drop in one of the outlets. 4) Continue turning off devices until they are all programmed. 5) Press program button again to stop programming.   

       To turn the devices on, press the device power button on the remote as usual. The device see that code and turns on the power switch for that device, but of course it is still "off". Since pressing the power button again would tell the power strip to turn that outlet back off, the power strip automatically retransmits the power on signal 1 second after turning the power on. This is a slightly more powerful IR signal than from most battery operated remotes and easily bounces off a mirror on the back wall or any other shiny object in the room to power on the selected device. (Aternately, the cheap version of the device is simply configured to ignore repeated signals for 10 seconds so you just have teo press the power button on the remote twice.) When the power button is pressed to turn off the device, the power strip waits a few seconds for the current to drop, indicating that the device shut down, then turns off the outlet. If the current doesn't drop withing 5 seconds, it powers it down anyway, assuming it needs a hard reset.   

       If there are devices that normally need to be left powered on, they can be programmed using a different button combination so that the switch is not normally turned off, but if the power on/off IR signal is received more than once in 10 seconds and there isn't an increase or decrease in current on that outlet, then a power cycle is performed.
scad mientist, Mar 17 2014

       <Slightly off topic> When I (finally) build my house, I plan to have parallel wiring to 2 sets of power sockets. with 1 set for things that don't need to stay on (idle) all the time (TV, gadget chargers, lights, etc) and the other set for things that do need to stay on (fridge, freezer, alarm-clock, etc). The 1st set will have a "master switch" (probably 2 in series - 1 by the front door, 1 in the master bedroom) to shut those things down easily.
</sot> (This idea made me think about it again...)
neutrinos_shadow, Mar 17 2014

       ^ also Baked but probably not WKTE.   

       Description of an actual domestic system; 3 sets of distribution cabling, one for "sheddable" load, one for "required" load, one run in Pyrotenax (mineral insulated) cable for critical systems, backed by a 1kVA SPS with 30mins sustain plus a 2.5 kVA generator capable of driving all critical and required load.   

       Sophisticated distributed SCADA for monitoring and alarming, plus control of the load/unload and supply changeover contactors.   

       Colour-coded outlet faceplates to indicate circuit allocation.
8th of 7, Mar 17 2014

       [MisterQED], the visibility problem that you described doesn't have to be so bad as you imply. A power strip has one end with a power cord coming out of it (plus, usually, an on/off switch and an indicator light), a row of outlets occupying the main strip, and a "far end" that could contain the IR detector and other electronics. So, only that end of the strip needs to be visible, such that the signal from the remote-control can reach it.
Vernon, Mar 17 2014

       The Borg buy their electronics from Byron? Who knew?
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 17 2014

       Naaah, we got them off a couple of cheapskate Ferengi at a car boot sale as props for a humorous sketch of the "they- peel-them-with -their-metal-knives" variety, mocking your primitive Earth technology.
8th of 7, Mar 17 2014

       Thanks, [8th of 7]. It's good to know that there are other people out there who are as crazy as I am...
neutrinos_shadow, Mar 18 2014

       Outlet, schmoutlet. I say go to the source. Remote control your fusebox and turn off big groups of outlets at once.
bungston, Mar 18 2014


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