Seriously, standby mode sucks (power). So I decided to help out. By re-wiring the switch from the power strip under my desk up to a box on top of the desk, it is now easily accessible. Every morning I turn the key to deliver electricity to my computer, hard drives, speakers, and monitor, and every night, I turn the key the other way, cutting power to my appliances, thereby foiling their attempts to raise the energy bill. It works great! Please comment, rate, and VOTE!
Step 1: Supplies
- Power Strip with LED indicator (that you don't mind hacking up a little)
- Key switch (Jameco #106650)
- 3 mm LED
- Small project box (Radioshack catalog #270-1801)
- Cable wrap (Jameco #1585531)*
- 115VAC-capable wire*
- Relatively thin wire for LED*
- Small heat-shrink tubing
- 2 small zip-ties
- Thin metal plate (fits where switch and LED were on power strip)
- Velcro strip
- Gorilla Glue and/or superglue
- Electrical tape
*needs to be long enough to go in between power strip and box location
- X-acto knife
- Soldering iron w/ solder
- Heat gun
- Wire cutter/stripper
- Desoldering pump
- Tin snips
- Large-ish clamps
- Drill with various drill bits
Step 2: Start on the Box
Step 3: Commence Soldering!
For the LED wires, strip about 3/8 in. off one end of the set, and about 3/16 off the other. On the long side, solder on your LED, but not before you slide heat-shrink tubing down. I forget to do that every single time.
Step 4: Box Assembly
After the glue dries, put the wires through the cable wrap. It might help to wrap both ends in tape to keep them together. Next, feed some cable wrap through the box and zip-tie it in place on the inside and outside. Schweet! Your box is done!
Step 5: Hacking the Power Strip
Desolder all the wires from the switch contacts, but remember where they go because you will be putting them back later. Next, desolder the switch itself and remove it from the power strip. Then desolder the LED, making note of polarity on the circuit.
After the switch and LED are removed, feed the wires coming from the desktop box in through an open hole in the power strip's casing (like where the switch was). Solder the proper wires in the proper places. New switch wires where the switch was, new LED wires where the LED was, and switch ground to the power strip's ground. After soldering, position the circuit board where it was and close the power strip's casing back up. Test your modification by plugging the power strip into the wall, and a simple light into the power strip. Turn it in and off with the switch box, and try the light in all the outlets. If it works (it either does or it doesn't), move on. If it doesn't, examine your wiring and circuit board. If you comment with a picture and your issue, I may be able to help.
Step 6: The Little Metal Thing that I Can't Come Up with a Name For
Clamp the piece down evenly and let it sit for a few hours to dry thoroughly. Once it's dry, set up your new, improved anti-standby power strip!
Step 7: Secure the Area
w00t! You can now easily turn on and off your power strip and stop your appliances from eating up electrons! Fight the power! Comment! Rate! VOTE!