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IR Remote Power Strip

Waste not, Watt not
  [vote for,

Most stereo or home theater equipment can be completely controlled using remotes. Occasionally, though, there’s an odd component that simply plugs in and requires no remote. For instance, I just added a device to my rack that auto-selects video signals for me, and it requires no interaction.

Being a stingy bastard, I always make sure to turn off the devices in my rack that I’m not using, lest I waste costly electricity. It bothers me that this auto-switcher device is turned on 24 hours a day, even when I’m not using the rack. Sure, it only draws 10 watts, but I still have to pay for that at the end of the month. It doesn’t even have a power button on the box, so if I really wanted to turn it off I have to reach around behind and unplug it.

There’s a power strip behind my rack into which everything plugs. What I’d like is a slightly smarter one that could accept infrared (IR) signals from a conventional remote. (Yes, I realize things like this can be done with X10, but I’d like something that would integrate with the universal remote I already use, not a whole new control panel).

The sensor to receive these signals would be on a 1 or 2 meter wire so it could be mounted up on the stereo shelf in plain sight, since the strip hidden back on the floor.

This would allow any standard “universal remote” to be programmed to turn on and off the individual outlets on the strip, to power-down devices not in use. Of course, this could be used in other situations around the house where you need to turn on and off devices from across the room.

krelnik, Sep 20 2003

Stereo Receiver Power Outlets http://www.halfbake...r_20Power_20Outlets
related idea by [willatlguy] [krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Similar problem, different take... http://www.halfbake...S2_20relay_20socket
second link by drew is worth checking out... [yamahito, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Mains Switcher http://www.electron...witcher/index.shtml
Maybe the broken link that was on the page that [yamahito] linked to. [bristolz, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

15 Amp Switch (PDF) http://www.xantech..../i_folder/i_ac1.pdf
RonO's first link: a device that can turn power on and off to an outlet, based on a DC input. [krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Power supply http://www.allelect...m=PS-513&type=store
RonO's second link: basically a wall wart that you would plug into the switched power supply on the amp, with the output going to the device above. [krelnik, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       I have a power strip with a motion detector that turns off all the power to the outlets after a time when there is no motion detected. Can that be called an IR power strip, too?
bristolz, Sep 20 2003

       krel, nice idea, solves the power off issue for appliances that don't have a power off switch, like my cable TV box. + from me. incidently, notice you work in Atlanta ... for a soft drink company maybe?
jonthegeologist, Sep 20 2003

       No, I work for a software company.   

       Oh, thanks for the fixed link, [bris]. Looking at that, I don't think that solution would solve my problem here. The reason is that most stereo rack equipment is never truly off. They are still on in a low-power mode, waiting for you to press buttons on the remote. So that power strip might never sense the shutdown. (There are also other limitations to that solution that are described in the link).
krelnik, Sep 20 2003

       Damn. The link described a product, and gave enough circuit diagrams etc to be able to make one. It incorporated a switch which monitored power going through an 'alpha' socket. when there was less than a certain amount of current being pulled through, it cut the power to the 'beta' sockets.   

       Unfortunately, I don't think I still have a copy of the circuit diagrams on the hard-drive.   

       <edit - yes, bris has got it on her link />
yamahito, Sep 20 2003

       Problem solved with a DC controlled switched AC outlet http://www.xantech.com/products/i_folder/i_ac1.pdf   

       you could wire your amp/receiver switched power directly into the control inputs. I'd rather run low voltage from my receiver with something like this: http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bin/category.cgi?category=480&item=PS-513&type=store   

RonO, Mar 27 2004

       Funny you should mention that. After posting this idea, I tried plugging the offending device in my rack into the switched power outlet on the back of my amp. It worked fine.   

       But then one night when I had some audiophiles over and we were listening to some really hi-fidelity recordings, we noticed that the crappy wall-wart supplied with the device was bleeding a 60 Hz buzz into the amplifier.   

       Any idea if the device in your second link would do the same?   

       (Oh BTW, when posting URLs you should use the [link] function below the idea. I did yours for you).
krelnik, Mar 27 2004


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