Timer-based power strip/system? - AVS Forum
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking for a power strip or other multi-outlet system that can turn my components on/off on a schedule. We are out of the house most of the day and I'd like to cut the power consumption of some of the'vampire' devices. I have a Blue-ray player, Direct TV HD receiver, PS3 and a Sony Bravia TV.

I've searched for timer-based power strips but most seem to be targeted at the aquarium market and look cheap and unreliable.
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:32 AM
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How much do these "vampire" devices draw?
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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That it's actually part of the experiment. Forgot to mention I have our wireless DSL router on the same strip right now and those are notorious for being vampires. I'm trying to figure out where to cut power usage throughout the house. Quick amp/voltage meter tests show our chest freezer and the A/V might gain the biggest savings when not in use.
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:02 PM
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I use a power strip from Digital Logger - it has a timer function and can be controlled by local IP and/or over the web. It has great power outage recovery capabilities. I can control it via my iPad using the Roomie app. No idea about its "at rest" current draw though.

http://www.digital-loggers.com/lpc.html

Edit: Just found out - it draws <3W at rest.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew_W View Post

How much do these "vampire" devices draw?

All together, around five cents a day if you have a lot.  If very little, maybe a penny.

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Old 03-09-2014, 08:07 PM
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This one is more like what you are looking for.  http://www.amazon.com/Home-NetWerks-43601-BX-HN-Enabled-Power/dp/B00CAO2IFE  You would need to sign up for a free account at my.cloudbeam.com

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Old 03-09-2014, 10:18 PM
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A "green" power strip would be a less expensive option for your AV equipment. They usually have a main power outlet that controls the other outlets. When you turn off the device plugged into the main outlet all the other outlets shutdown completely. This would not work for your wireless router. Most new TVs use VERY little electricity in "standby" mode. And the TV is usually the device plugged into the main outlet on these units. Your bluray player also has a "quick start" or similar mode on it. If you turn this off it will use very little electricity while not in use. Your DirectTV box is definitely the worst of these devices when it comes to "vampire" energy drain.


Just remember that by powering down your DirecTV box means you'll have to wait for it to power back up. Most DirecTV boxes take quite a while to boot up.
Also, if your Internet goes down you won't have access to any IP controlled devices. And if your "power strip" is timeclock sensitive and is dependent on an internet connection for this feature it will not work with your wireless router/modem not powered up.

Just a few things to keep in mind.

They also make devices like TED that can monitor your energy usage. If you use this device I believe you can unplug and plug in a device to see what the difference in energy usage is for that device.

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Old 03-10-2014, 10:37 AM
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Usually things like cableboxes aren't pleased with being turned off. The TV guide gets all wonky and takes forever to turn on. I know, I know, first world problems.

To the OP, I'd get a Kill-a-watt meter and actually see how much power they're drawing. Nothing like spending 100's of dollars to solve a 20 cents problem wink.gif

http://www.amazon.com/Arbor-Scientific-P4400-Kill-Meter/dp/B001JHGY2Q Or equivalent
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by NickTheGreat View Post

Usually things like cableboxes aren't pleased with being turned off. The TV guide gets all wonky and takes forever to turn on. I know, I know, first world problems.

To the OP, I'd get a Kill-a-watt meter and actually see how much power they're drawing. Nothing like spending 100's of dollars to solve a 20 cents problem wink.gif

http://www.amazon.com/Arbor-Scientific-P4400-Kill-Meter/dp/B001JHGY2Q Or equivalent

I had exactly the same reaction when I read the post about a worse case of wasting 5 cents a day - 18 bucks over the course of the year! I can only assume that the motivation is more eco-centric (and I can definitely relate to that).

The Kill-a-Watt is a good recommendation - but at approx. $25 each, even if the OP eradicates all unnecessary consumption, we're still looking at a 500 day payback period....biggrin.gif

I also agree with the cable box sensitivity issue - that's one of the reasons I like the Digital Logger power strip - you can configure each of the eight outlets independently to allow for always on, timer control, and/or remote control. The timer itself is all digital and powered by a in-built battery, making it immune to outages. (I have no connection with the company other than being a satisfied customer.)
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe277 View PostThey also make devices like TED that can monitor your energy usage. If you use this device I believe you can unplug and plug in a device to see what the difference in energy usage is for that device.

The Energy Detective has now come out with the Octopus.  It allows on the Pro version, to have up to three sets.  That way you are covering 24 single Branch circuits, or 12 Multi-Wire Branch Circuits, or 240vAC appliances.

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Old 03-10-2014, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mjmarsh View Post

That it's actually part of the experiment. Forgot to mention I have our wireless DSL router on the same strip right now and those are notorious for being vampires. I'm trying to figure out where to cut power usage throughout the house. Quick amp/voltage meter tests show our chest freezer and the A/V might gain the biggest savings when not in use.

The problem is, that you do not want to go and start unplugging the Refrigerator and stand-up or reach in freezer at night, just to save five to ten cents an hour, depending on how expensive your electricity is.

 

I just looked at my TED5000 history for last night.  From 1am when I went to bed, until 7 am when the wife turned on the Plasma tv, and the son had the bath exhaust running, our use went up six cents for that one hour.  Then it went down to five cents for a couple of hours, until I got up.

 

My projected bill is around $91 this month.  The cable boxes, satellite dvr's, cable modems, and other network gear have gotten more green.   As for your AVRS, you can set it to go into a complete shut down, but then you loose the ability of having it pass through your hdmi signal from your dvr or Set Top Box, to the tv.

 

The worse Vampires, are when we had the deep freeze for the past couple of months.  Everyone was running supplemental heat (ie portable radiant electric baseboard heaters, forced air heaters, turning up the heat higher, to compensate for heat loss, due to bad windows & doors).  Then we go into Spring & Summer, when people start cranking up the fans and A/C.

 

It is a loose/loose situation.  The best thing to do if  you can.  Shop for a better electric supplier, or use Solar to help compensate for high electric use from the grid during the daytime hours.

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