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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok I have a great HTPC, it has a sweet picture, I love it

but...


I have to get outa the chair to turn it on!!


How do people solve this little problem?

I don't want my htpc to go into standby as theres issues with some hardware recovering correctly from standby. So I don't just want to plug in a IR keyboard and hit the standby button or however that works.


I would prefer to be able to turn it on from the power off position with a learning remote control. As I use the htpc for purely video and not games/internet etc I don't even have a mouse/keyboard attached :)


Thanks in advancE!
 

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The problem with the newer ATX power supplies is the on/off switch is controlled by a low voltage switch through the motherboard. In the older AT power supplies, the on/off switch actually controlled the 110V and you could leave it on and just plug in/unplug the power cord to turn it on or off.


I have also seen sites (don't remember where) that talk about piggybacking two power supplies to run a lot of fans for heat/oveclocking. Those sites had all the pin outs for the ATX molex plug and as I recall, there was a single pin that needed 5 or 7 volts to get the PSU going.


There may be an easier way, but I think you could just put in a momentary contact (closed for about 2 seconds, single pole, single throw, normally open) relay on the two wires that go from the motherboard to the on/off switch and that should work. The relay could be controlled by an X10 or something similar. I am not familiar with the X10 type crap, but maybe there is something that will act as a remote IR momentary relay.


I hate these new ATX powersupplies because of that, I used to have a great setup where if I modemed in on PCanywhere from home and when (not if) the CPU froze, I could call in to a COM box ("choose line 1 to blah blah blah) and activate a relay that would kill the CPU power for 10 sec and the machine would reboot and save me a trip to the office. Dont work anymore (but then I don't modem in anymore either).
 

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Hello DaHammer2,


Very soon the UIRT2 (Universal Infra-red Reciever Transmitter) will be available in kit form. It will do remote PC turn on, and be the Girder ir reciever and ir blaster all in one. If you check out the Girder website there is a thread regarding this in the forum over there. I'm putting together a website that will provide construction support and hopefully provide the kits.


-PGPfan
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok I'm skim reading thru the UIRT2 forum over there now.

Looks interesting.


I haven't found the answer to one question: How will it actually turn on the pc?


Is it being powered externally from the com port (as this will have no power while the pc is off).

Does it send a wake on signal or some other trigger to turn the pc on /off?


OBviously the on/off feature is external to girder since the pc isn't on for girder to do it..


Thanks!
 

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I'll be, learn something new all the time. Check out the last post at

http://www.girder.nl/phpBB2/viewtopi...ighlight=power


my BIOS doesn't have a "power on resume" option, but it has a "power on alarm" which is pretty close (won't do you any good, but it is in the right direction) and explains another one of those mysterious BIOS settings.


Check your BIOS, probably under "power management," to see if you have that option, if so enable it and you should be able to control with on/off of power plug receptacle.
 

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If it has power on LAN support you could power it on from another machine. For most folks that wouldn't be of use, since its the only PC involved. But if you use some sort of hand held IP based system, you could probably send it the wakeup packet over the network and have it come on.
 

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If your motherboard support "power on keyboard/mouse" command, you can simply use an IR keyboard and teach the actual power on command to your learning remote.


Kei Clark

Digital Connection
 

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I once read a review of a decide which could switch on your computer remotely. Used radio frequencies, and plugged straight into the connector your power switch usually plugs into.


I just cannot remember where I saw it.


The IR keyboard is your best bet though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No I investigated the power on via a IR keyboard.

My htpc doesn't support it.


I could do it from Standby but then my MAudio doesn't support that.


Also I assume the "power on keyboard/mouse" doesn't require it to be self powered? because most off those things require it to be powered from the usb/serial port which itwon't be as the computer is off.


I am investigating a do it your self method which should work on any ATX motherboard. It'll work off a standard IR signal and switch the pc on.. but will be a bit off a do it yaself job.
 

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If I remember the Girder/UIRT2 discussion correctly it will support following 'wake up' events;


1) Power switch

The idea is to have a parallel switch of the UIRT2 to the power supply switch. This requires some modification to the inside cabling (including 5V supply to the UIRT2), but shouldn't be such a big problem. There was some discussion about the parallel 'power down' function which could cause your PC to stop when the button was pressed again. I haven't tested this myself (short press on the power button). Note that this only works with ATX mainboards/power supplies, but I assume most of them are...


2) Wake On Lan

It should be possible to provide the requested signal to the WOL connector on the mainboard (if available). I'm not aware of any other software required. An advantage of this solution is that 5V from the connector can be used to run the UIRT2 in standby.


3) Wake On Ring

Also this is an internal connector, but believe an additional 5V power source is needed for the UIRT.


All of these solutions have the disadvantage that wiring to a serial port and an internal connection is needed. The ideal solution would have been the PS2/UIRT, but this project is on hold at the moment. It would have been a UIRT interface connected to a PS2 port to control Girder and perform power on functions.


Wykat
 

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If you want to build a UIRT2 (which is what it is being called now) or have one built for you, you only need 3 wires connected to the PC during normal use. It is true that the UIRT needs to communicate using a serial port, but this is only necessary if you want to also use it as an IR receiver with girder, etc. Otherwise you can connect the serial port to program the UIRT, which stores the turn-on/turn-off/etc. IR codes in its non-volatile memory. From then on, it can operate 100% standalone.


As far as the connections, the schematic I drew up a while back: http://www.geocities.com/jon_rhees/U...eredNoICSP.GIF still applies. The 3 connections required are Ground, +5VSB, and PCPWRBTN. Ground and +5VSB are power supply connections and are easily made with no fuss by using those 'Tap-In Squeeze On' connectors available at your local Hardware or Radio Shack, etc. The PCPWRBTN connection is to one side of the 'Power' button on your ATX system. You'll need a meter to know which side. On ATX systems, the 'Power' button simply grounds (momentarily) a signal routed back to the motherboard.


With this setup, you can turn the PC on and OFF because the UIRT performs the equivalent of pressing the button. For newer OS's that support programmability of this button, it further allows you to come in and out of standby.


With UIRT in hand, the connections to the PC take all of about 5 minutes.


-Jon
 

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I did a very simple X10 solution, no extra relays needed. I all ready use the IR to X10 box so I can control X10 stuff with my pronto, so I just added a X10 Universal Module (UM506). It has two screw connections on it that are configurable by a selection switch on the module, I set it to be momentary.
http://graphics.x10.com/images/um506.GIF_blue.gif

I then connected these screws to the same 2 pins on the system board that the power switch on the case connects to. When my pronto sends the X10 signal that the universal module is set to, it closes the contacts for a few seconds and the PC powers on. I didn't want a wire going into my case so I picked up a stereo 1/8 jack and a 1/8 cord from radio shack. I installed the jack in a slot cover plate and connected the two wires coming from the power switch to the tip and mid point connections on the jack (I didn't use the ground connection on the jack as it is grounded to the case and I didn't want to ground either of the wires on the power switch). Then I cut off one end of the 1/8 plug cord, removed the shield (ground wire), and connected the two center wires to the two screws on the X10 Universal Module. Now if I need to remove the computer, I can just unplug the X10 stuff from the computer case.
 

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Hi


I also use an x10 solution, but my motherboard supports start up after power cut, this way I use my pronto to turn off the power supply to the PC then when I want to switch it on the x10 module turns on the power which in turn powers up the PC. This has always worked for me. Some motherboards do not support this feature.


Paul
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by gsjmia
I'll be, learn something new all the time...

Originally posted by pauld

I also use an x10 solution, but my motherboard supports start up after power cut...
If your motherboard BIOS offers options on what to do after a power failure, (Stay Off, Reboot, etc.) then this is the simplest way. No need to open the computer or hook up wires.


Just set the machine to reboot after a power fail. Plug the computer into an X10 module. You still shut down your computer normally.


To turn on, use the X10 module to cut power to the (already off) computer, possibly a minute or so to discharge the power supply, then turn the X10 back on. The computer thinks a power failure happened & boots up.


To avoid this power "off-on" delay for startup, you can shut down the computer normally and then immediately turn off the X10 module to the computer, so it's ready already when you want to turn it on.

If you have an X10 timer, you can also have it turn the computer's X10 module off every day when it would be off anyway, like 3 am.
 

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Just killing the power externally is NOT a recommended way to turn off a machine. You are almost guaranteed eventually to get some files scrambled because they got halfway written when the power went off, or at least to lose updates that aren't fully commited. W2K/XP is pretty good about recovery, so you probably won't scramble anything in the OS, but you can easily freak out programs by causing them to halfway update files and then have trouble recovering from that.


I'd definitely want to have a scheme that shut down cleanly, no matter how the powerup happens.
 
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