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USB Software-Controlled Power-On Switch

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cmn

New Member
Hello,

I'm a newbie and was wondering if any of you gurus might be able to help with this questions...

I was wondering where I could find a switch that will power on a device when I issue a command to do so via my computer?

Basically, I would like to be able to write a program (in something like VB.NET) that runs on my computer that can power on or power off a device whenever the program tells it to do so. I would prefer that these commands are issued via USB but it would be cool to issue them over the actual power cables as well.

Thanks in advance,
-cmn
 

justDIY

Active Member
do you want to build this yourself, or buy something premade?

for DIY, look into a microcontroller - you can get them with USB capabilities built in, and have dozens to 100s of switches available.

for off the shelf, look for a USB IO board

check this out:
http://www.phidgets.com/index.php

check out their 0/0/4 board ... all it is, is a USB microcontroller, some transistors and four relays

as far as power line control, look into the X10 protocol... again, its something you do with a microcontroller and a zero crossing opto-isolator
 

cmn

New Member
JustDIY,

Thanks for the info. It looks very interesting, unfortunately I have no idea how to use that for what I'm trying to accomplish.
Say I bought the 0/0/4 board, how would I use that to power my device?

-cmn

justDIY said:
do you want to build this yourself, or buy something premade?

for DIY, look into a microcontroller - you can get them with USB capabilities built in, and have dozens to 100s of switches available.

for off the shelf, look for a USB IO board

check this out:
http://www.phidgets.com/index.php

check out their 0/0/4 board ... all it is, is a USB microcontroller, some transistors and four relays

as far as power line control, look into the X10 protocol... again, its something you do with a microcontroller and a zero crossing opto-isolator
 

justDIY

Active Member
cmn said:
JustDIY,

Thanks for the info. It looks very interesting, unfortunately I have no idea how to use that for what I'm trying to accomplish.
Say I bought the 0/0/4 board, how would I use that to power my device?
I'm not sure I follow - do you want a power supply or a switch? In your original post you said:

I was wondering where I could find a switch that will power on a device when I issue a command to do so via my computer?
a switch doesn't power anything - it just interrupts the flow of current.

The relays on that 004 board are rated to switch 10a at 250v, so you would put them inline with the hot side of your mains power to the devices. Then its just a matter of writing your application to send the approriate commands to that board (which that site shows you how to do)
 
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