How to build a wifi or bluetooth capable button pusher for turning on computer from a distance?

I have been googleing this like crazy and cannot find anything close enough related to what I am trying to do.  I would like to be able to (ideally) use an iphone or ipad to send a wireless signal to a circuit board that then tells a piston (button pushing) mechanism to push the cylindrical on button on my computer.  It doesn't have to be a wireless signal, I could settle for less considering my lack of expertise in the area.  I am however confident in soldering and some scripting, which I thought about using a raspberry pi might work for this, especially for the wireless part of the project, but I would prefer still something with even less overhead.  If anyone has any ideas or direction that would be awesome.

sort by: active | newest | oldest
1-10 of 13Next »
Hull032 years ago

The answer to most problems is not to over-think the solution.
I had the same issue a few months ago - here's what I did and it works a charm:
1) go to
2) buy a WiFi Smart Socket - they're around £29
3) install the associated app on your phone and set up the smart socket as instructed (10 minutes).
4) you can now turn that smart socket on an off from anywhere in the world via your phone
5) go into the bios of your PC and alter the setting in the power management section so that it will 'start up on resumption of power' (like after a power cut), save and exit (F10)
6) plug your PC into the smart socket
It really is that easy, £29 and 10 minutes of your time!
Now when you switch the smart socket on via your phone app, the PC will start and boot up to the log in screen, you can then log in remotely.
You can close down the PC using the 'shutdown -s' command line, wait 5 minutes and switch off the smart switch via your phone app, and you're ready to start it again next time.
If there really is a power cut the smart switch returns in the 'off' state so no problem with surges damaging the PC.
There ya go! -
Code might be poetry, but there's no substitute for common sense!

Dude. Yes. Thank you. Like the OP, I've been trying to figure this out for a long time now. Nothing has helped me, and I resigned myself to building a small linear actuator and powering it with an RF receiver. I had dismissed the Smart Outlet option because Computers don't have persistent switches like lamps, fans, etc. But this is awesome. How did I not know about that feature? I looked, and sure enough, that feature is available in my Bios. Holy crap. This is awesome. Thank you.

qquuiinn4 years ago
Try this
The imp is a cheap cloud platform, and I can verify that it is easy to use. Just borrow the code and diagram from the project and you should be up and running in no time
qquuiinn4 years ago
Try this
The imp is a cheap cloud platform, and I can verify that it is easy to use. Just borrow the code and diagram from the project and you should be up and running in no time
asluyters4 years ago
Why not rely on the electronic 'wake' of the computer iteself?

The more modern PC's with ACPI have something called 'Wake On Lan'.

THis only works if the computer is in sleep though, not turned off.

The other option is have a close look at the motherboard documentation, as often enough, the modern motherboards can use one of the LAN ports as a 'management port' these have that capability too via a web interface or via SNMP
zcmcc (author)  asluyters4 years ago
Mostly just a pet project. WOL doesn't really accomplish what i'd ideally like to accomplish here. If I simply wanted to be able to access certain volumes remotely I could do that while most of the computer still slept using scripts. Really just want to be able to go from s5 to s0 just because it IS possible.
caitlinsdad4 years ago
Arduino with an ethernet shield controlling a relay to switch on the power hardwired to the button or power cord (mechanically pressing the button needs motorized stuff) or coded to send wake on signal. Or get a cheap wireless doorbell and rig that up. Good luck.
zcmcc (author)  caitlinsdad4 years ago
Yeah i'm cool with motorized, in fact that is what I would prefer to do. I don't mind having to solder on something like an arduino, but don't want to attempt it on my computers motherboard. something like this.  Use it as a remote switch for the powertail or relay on the wires for the on/off switch.
zcmcc (author)  caitlinsdad4 years ago
That is very similar to what I would like to do, but I would like to not add anything in between the outlet and the power in in the PC; afraid it might mess with the quality of electricity or even the consistency. I am really thinking of a little motor ( my case has a front door with about an inch of space maybe a little more) with some type of post that would have enough torque to push the button physically.
1-10 of 13Next »