PC USB Switching Device? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-17-2012, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I have 4 PCs (each have there own functions i.e. one is VMWare server,
one is running appache, etc..) that I plan to rack mount in a closet.
I bought USB extender cables for the mice and keyboards. I bought
extender cables for audio line out and mic and have a switchbox for
them. I also have KVM switches (3 monitors) and I bought RGB and DVI
cables (2 have DVI video cards). The only items that will be on my
desk are the mouse, keyboard and monitors. I may add another USB
extender cable and run it to an external DVD burner that will be on my
desk. I was thinking of mounting the power switches at my desk also and running a wire pair to each PC. But then I was thinking it might be possible to use 12 volt car lock solendoids and 12 volt power adapters to remotely push the power buttons to on (of course this probably will not work for powering down or resetting but I can do that from the keyboard). Then I was thinking
that I have 5th PC that is on practically 24/7 (it's a 5 year old laptop with a dead screen that I use as a Plex media and file server). It would be awesome if I could find some USB controlled switches to switch the 12 volt solenoids and then I could use LogMeIn and I could turn on my PCs even from my phone. The problem is, when I search the Internet for computer controlled switches, USB controlled switches, etc... I don't find anything like what I want. I am a pretty good C# and VB.Net developer and I'll bet I could write a driver for such a device if I could find a company that sold them. Years ago I made an 8 switch paralell port controller with optoisolators that could switch
8 different items on and off and I wrote the program for it in QBasic.
My laptop does not have a paralell port (I'm sure they are quite
obsolete) and I'd like to buy something that is fairly read-made.
Does anyone know of a PC controller circuit/interface that could
handle switching 4 12 volt DC circuits on and off?
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-17-2012, 09:32 PM
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Can you not just enable wake-on-USB activity and have the machines in standby?

Or more roundabout, use iRule to issue Wake-on-LAN to each one...

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post #3 of 6 Old 05-18-2012, 04:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Because, I wanted to get into some of the basic home/PC controlled automation and if I have a short to medium length power outage and I was away, once power is restored my laptop will come back on due to it's extended battery, and unless I buy an UPS for the other PCs they will not. Then I could use the laptop to turn each PC back on and even do this from my smartphone. And by having the solenoids controlled by the laptop, I have more control of the other PCs. I know these control interfaces exist, it is just I don't know what search term to use to find them on Amazon or any other site that might carry them.

Thank you
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-18-2012, 06:34 AM
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http://www.controlanything.com/

Here's a start.
Please don't use a solenoid to push a switch, that's rube goldberg-esque.
Use a relay or optoisolator to short the switch contacts.
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-18-2012, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zunebuggy View Post

If I have a short to medium length power outage and I was away, once power is restored my laptop will come back on due to it's extended battery, and unless I buy an UPS for the other PCs they will not.

Check the PC's power switch settings (BIOS setup), there may be an option to tell the machine to power itself up after power loss. Might be called something like "restore last power state". Commonly used feature for ensuring machines come on after UPS is exhausted...

Jeff

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post #6 of 6 Old 06-01-2012, 06:47 PM
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Yeah, setting up Wake on LAN on each of the machine sounds like a neater solution.

Extremely helpful for me to able to be on any computer in the world, login to my router at home and power up my desktop to RDP into it to grab files I've forgot.

This may be some help:
http ://lifehacker.com/348197/access-your-computer-anytime-and-save-energy-with-wake+on+lan
(gap in URL due to my low post count...)
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