1. Power bars are usually located under desks or are otherwise obstructed making the switches difficult to access.
2. The power bar switch controls all outlets on the power bar, but sometimes it is desirable to turn some devices off while leaving others on.
I build my own remote power switches to solve both these problems. I can turn off just the outlets I want with a switch placed exactly where I want it. See examples of some of my remote switch installations below. If you have enough mechanical and electrical aptitude to drill a hole and solder two wires together, you can make your own remote power switches too.
For information on this and other projects of mine see my website IWillTry.org.
Step 1: Materials
The materials are:
Qty - description - cost
1 - rocker switch Digikey part no CH809-ND - $1.24
1 - plastic enclosure Digikey part no HM375-ND - $1.60
1 - surge protector with removable back cover - $15
6ft - 14 gauge 3 wire electrical cord (should have black, white, and green wires) - $5.00
2 - 2" lengths of 3/16" heat shrink (not shown)
1. Most power bars already have an illuminated switch. You could simplify this project by simply relocating that switch remotely, but I prefer to have a remote switch that only controls some of the outlets on the power bar allowing others to be "always on".
2. Costs for Digikey components decrease with quantity. It will also take you less time per unit if you build several at once. I purchased 10 each of the switches and enclosures for this reason.
3. This particular power bar was for a computer, so I used a surge protected power bar. Non-surge protected power bars are less expensive.