How to Automatically Power Off Electronic Devices


Introduction: How to Automatically Power Off Electronic Devices

About: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through understanding, and strives to inspire others to lear...

I am always forgetting to turn off my stereo amplifier. I can manage to pause iTunes to stop the music, and the music computer goes to sleep on it's own, but I just can't remember to switch off the amp.

So, I connected the amp to an extra outlet timer and set it to turn off the stereo at times I'm likely to either be away or be asleep. When the timer switches the outlet back on, my Harman/Kardon powers up into stand-by mode. So, when I forget to turn it off, the timer takes care of it for me, and when I want some music, it's ready and waiting in stand-by.

I know this saves only a very little bit of electricity (and if I had bought the timer new and counted its manufacturing costs, this probably consumes more than it saves), but I think it's important to get in the mindset of saving wherever you can, and to set things up so that consumption is reduced automatically.



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    well duh i think we all know that plus as french crawler said " dont argue with the the boss"

    Since when did an instructable have to have more than one step? I would have never thought of it, so I'm glad this was posted.

    OOOOOOOOOOOH BURN ERIC! C'mon, you're not going to take that kind of crap are you?!


    Great motto ;-) (I haven't seen you around as much as I used to...)

    I'm still alive and watching, just haven't really had any energy left over to really do anything. I'm still in progress in converting our old trailer into a work space (I finally got around to cleaning the junk out of the bathroom)... nothing instructable worthy in there yet. Though on Wednesday I was bitten by a yellow jacket while working outside of it (I thought I had been stung, and I'm allergic), so I wasted Wednesday by laying on the couch waiting to see if my face blew up or not. The wasp was unable to sting me cause he was tangled in my hair, so he bit my scalp like crazy. Once all the parts come in for my next project, I'll post an instructable on it (still need to buy wire and 3-4 diodes, but everything else is in the mail). So that should be fun as long as I don't fry myself :P

    I have a lot of equipment, several tape decks, a turntable, 3 amplifiers, an O-scope, 2 EQs, and they all serve purposes. I cut off what I can when they're not being used, but when I'm blasting I can't help but have EVERYTHING on. (The three amp setup is something I can't by-pass, one is for my subwoofers, one is for my front speakers and the third is for auxilary inputs and rear speakers, but I don't use it for the speakers so much. I live in a house that was built in the late 1960's, and it's wiring is not the greatest. Also, since I don't have a lot of outlets like most of my friends do, I have to clutter up all of that power over two outlets. My lights dim, A LOT. I do have excellent bass response and sound, but it could be better. I know it's because of this. I never think about it forever until I read about it again. I'm going to go work on spreading it out tonight. I wouldn't use a timer myself, I have a lot of money invested in mine, and I know the damage a single switch can do. I had 15 amp switches once, but it still blew some of the circuitry on my Yamaha amp, but I managed to revive her. :D Never again, for me.

    this will have been helpful to a great deal of potential cannibis growers, that are too high to figure out how to use these little timer critters by themselves. i salute you.

    I have the same timer for my fish tank

    An audiophile would probably have your head over doing that. However the concept is good enough to be used. Oh yeah and thinkpad FTW

    2 replies

    Do you think that cutting the power to the amp will affect its performance? I now have two of these setup, one on a wireless speaker, and I will admit that that second timer makes a real mechanical racket. When the kitchen is quiet, you can hear it clicking away turning the dial. I suspect that timer just needs little attention and it would be silent like the other.

    Well if your stereo(s) are just for the odd listening too, or just general cheapo stereo it shouldn't really matter no. But for a more serious listening I'm sure the timers do affect the performance of the amp (bandwith etc,.) or even add humming or noise to the sound. That being said, it sounds crazy, and I thought it was crazy when I was reading it on an audiophile site. Running an amp on an electrical outlet whom's circuit is connected to a lot of other loaded outlets can also do the same thing in itself (lack of power and the such). Our house being somewhat freshly rennovated, my room had another outlet installed, and a wire was ran down into the basement but never installed. A month or so ago I ran it into the panel finally, put it on it's own breaker, and away from the rest of the breaker boxes on the panel. I couldn't believe how much clearer it sounded, and how much more solid the bass sounded/felt. Another thing to look for is, do your lights dim when you turn it up? I know before I hooked that outlet up, my stereo(s) were plugged into a plug that shares a circuit with not only the rest of my electronics in my room, but the room next to me with tv and other random things. So when I got playing my "gangsta music" with my sub amp on, my lights would dim pretty bad, sometimes my monitor would dance to the music, funny but not good for your things.


    Good one! I just realised recently that my cordless screwdriver was sat in its cradle being charged up 24/7!!! :-( I did the same thing as you with the timer so it just comes on for 1/2 hour each night (when leccy is cheaper - mine is anyway!).

    omfg! i never EVER figured out how to use thos lil timers!!! lol there cool if you know how to use em :-\