Beep beep VROOOM! A remote starter for your PC

Subject: Systems | August 4, 2017 - 03:41 PM |
Tagged: remote starter, microcontroller, DIY

The Tech Report have an interesting project for those interested in building their own electronic gadgets and doohickeys.  They have created a project which uses a NodeMCU open source microcontroller for IoT devices to allow you to remotely power cycle your PC via an RF signal.  The build will teach you about creating your own IoT device, a bit about how to secure said device and insight into the signals which tell your PC to power on or off or to go into sleep mode.  For those already familiar with the components and processes utilized by this project, it is a quick and easy way to design a device that retails for $25, for a lot cheaper.  Take a peek here.

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"Commercially-available remote power switches make turning a PC on and off from a distance a simple task, but our resident microcontroller enthusiast thought of a few ways such a product might be improved. Join us as we see whether those ideas could be implemented for about $10 in parts."

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:


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August 5, 2017 | 03:07 AM - Posted by Blackfox (not verified)

i use Unified Remote you install it on your phone and on the pc its free and it has mouse control, keyboard and screen viewer etc

August 5, 2017 | 05:37 PM - Posted by StressedOutCat

I don't understand, how is this better than Wake on LAN functionality thats on most motherboards these days?

August 11, 2017 | 01:57 PM - Posted by Lonnie McClure (not verified)

Wake on LAN would not be a good solution if all one is looking for is a more convenient power switch.

In my situation, I have a PC attached to my HDTV, and is is located several feet from my chair. After too often sitting down and forgetting to turn it on first, I looked around for a remote PC power switch, and settled on a $10 card that plugs into a x1 PCIe slot for power and connects to the power switch and reset headers on the motherboard (with a pass-thru for the existing switches), and uses a small RF remote. (It is the same type linked to at TechReport by the "Take a peek here" link in the article).

Even if I was the type that had my phone constantly on and at my side (and I'm not), with WoL I would have to pick it my phone, launch an app (except for those apps that provide a widget) to then be able to power on my PC.

The simplest solution would have been a physical wired switch, but all of those seemed to be around the same price, have too short a cable, and include other facilities I did not need (such as USB ports or audio jacks).

August 5, 2017 | 05:51 PM - Posted by Anonymouse (not verified)

WoL works better, is more compatible, more secure and has better IoT I tegration, this is just a waste of time and money.

August 7, 2017 | 12:47 AM - Posted by Wolvenmoon (not verified)

Physical solutions are better than WoL, which frequently will not work if the system loses power. I've considered making an Internet-accessible system using an Arduino or Raspberry Pi and either instant messenger or e-mail that would use a car-keyfob-like rolling code list to reset/turn on/turn off my computers. It'd cost about $10/system, but depending on where I stored the rolling code list it'd be secure enough for a car.

August 7, 2017 | 02:01 PM - Posted by Power (not verified)

Would be nice to built in the remote into a mouse.

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