Introduction: Universal IR Remote Power Switch for PC

Picture of Universal IR Remote Power Switch for PC

This project lets you switch your PC on and off with the TV remote. Several months ago I posted a project that showed how I use my DirecTV remote to control a lamp across the room. That project turned into something that I use all the time. Almost immediately after I started using it I realized that I needed something to switch my PC off for when I'm watching a movie playing out of the PC. I don't have a home theater PC or anything, but sometimes when I watch a movie late at night --which is quite often -- I would like to be able to hit a button on my remote to shutdown the PC.

Step 1: The IR Switch Module

Picture of The IR Switch Module

Originally I was going to use the SIS-PC chip for this but since they have an on/off module for PCs that doesn't require any soldering, I went ahead and got the PCS-1 module. If you want to save some money and have time to solder then you might consider the SIS-PC chip.

Step 2: Locate Where to Drill Hole for IR Receiver

Picture of Locate Where to Drill Hole for IR Receiver

Here is my PC, and where I'm going to drill the hole for the IR window.

Step 3: Unplug AC Power

Picture of Unplug AC Power

Just to be safe, I unplug the AC power just in case I spill my drink while working ;)

Step 4: Open Up the PC

Picture of Open Up the PC

I removed 4 screws from the back of the PC so that I would have access to the motherboard. This also gives me access to the tabs for removing the front faceplate so that I can drill the hole and mount the IR switch module...

Step 5: Drill Hole for the IR Detector

Picture of Drill Hole for the IR Detector

Started with 1/8" drill, then 1/4", then 3/8". Stepping up the drill bit sizes makes for a hole with a smooth edge. I left the 3.5" plate in the main faceplate while drilling so that the part would be easier to hold steady. Be cautious and safe when drilling anything, especially small parts with relatively large bits.

Step 6: Connect IR Switch Module to Motherboard

Picture of Connect IR Switch Module to Motherboard

Unplug the PC's front panel switch from the motherboard, and plug in the module's two pin connector in its place.

Step 7: Mount the IR Switch Module

Picture of Mount the IR Switch Module

There is strong double sided tape on the back of the module that mounts it to the inside of the back of the front faceplate. The module should be mounted so that the IR detector can "see" out of the hole that was drilled.

At this point, I also connect the front panel power switch to the IR switch module. This allows me to control the PC power either manually or with the IR remote control.

Step 8: Connect Power Wires to IR Switch Module

Picture of Connect Power Wires to IR Switch Module

Now it's time to connect the module to the ATX power supply. This is done with the included splicers.

At first I was wondering how the IR switch could turn the PC on if the PC was off in the first place. The answer is that ATX power supplies have a standby line (purple wire coming out the the ATX power supply) that provides a small amount of power to the system at all times (assuming that the AC line is plugged in and the power supply switch on the back is turned on.)

Step 9: Program IR Switch

Picture of Program IR Switch

I double checked the wiring, then plugged the AC line back in.

(If the PC comes on at this point just push the power button on the front of the PC to shut it down. If it's already started loading the OS then just wait until it loads then shutdown as you normally would.)

To program the IR switch module to recognize the button on my remote I pushed the button on the module and the LED lit up. Then from a couple of feet away I aimed the remote and pushed the IR button and the LED went out. That's it.

To test, I pushed the button on the remote, and my PC switched on!

Step 10: Conclusion

Picture of Conclusion

All that's left to do is put the panels back on the PC.

I'm very happy with this project but now I want to be able to control my PC's media player with my remote. I know there are products out there for that, but for $5 or less in parts there's a way that I can connect this module to my serial port (9-pin not USB) and with the help of some free software control my media player! If any of you would like to see that project, drop a line and I'll put it together.


JamesS32 (author)2015-05-01

Ummm... is the splicer self explanitory? because it would be nice to know exactly what it is doing and what is involved, kind of seems like a step was skipped over. Do you have to cut wires to apply the splicer because honestly im not brave enough to cut wires on my 200$ psu ... Why dont they have some kind of small battery or somthing rather then affecting your power supply. Also would be nice to know whether this is bad for your computer as from what i am told holding the power button is an ill advised practice.

jbeer (author)JamesS322015-12-17

the splices that are supplied in these kits usually have a pin in the red sheath, and by clasping it closed it makes a small needle prick hole in the cable, leaving a fairly easily fixed hole if removal is required (bit of heat shrink or hot glue)

jbeer (author)jbeer2015-12-17

as the poster has stated the power supply puts a small amount of power out for this (or always on charging usb ports) while you could use a battery, it makes more sense to use this than have a battery you have to keep on replacing. As for the pressing the power button, this would produce a signal that the computer sees in the same way as going via windows and shutdown or sudo.halt on linux. on modern computers you can have windows see a short button press (often sleep/hibernate) and a long press (power off) with being held down for several seconds is a hard power down. This used to cause lots of issues, and may cause some corruption in rare cases, but having slow hardware (the mac I am writhing this on is getting on for 10 years now) I often find this to be the only way I can get a system to respond (with no repercussions so far!)

tahn (author)2013-05-04

There's an RF switch as well.

gax (author)2013-02-09

cool artwork!
can i have the schematic diagram of this. thanks. :-)

Utsav25 (author)2012-05-08

Very nice concept ..looks great .It would be greatly helpful to me if you provide a schematic of this circuit so that it could be easily made at home . thank you .

jkhpgf (author)2012-04-19


jkhpgf (author)2012-04-19

how can i do the same using an arduino and also use the remote to control the windows media player?

junti (author)2011-11-22

hello good day. i have a problem with this. My IR detector is not a TSOP but there is a three pins in there like TSOP IR detector but its different Number. not same in TSOP.

nbagf (author)2011-07-03

if we find a 2 way 2 pin connector would it work and let the button and the ir toggle still work?

fadebrain (author)2011-05-14

nice ya...

Kante Tech (author)2010-09-21

this this harm your computer it is as if you where to hold the power button no?

purpulhaze (author)2010-08-17

My question is, if I was to buy the chip where can i get schematics for the circuit so I could solder it together?

purpulhaze (author)purpulhaze2010-08-23

Guess I'll answer it myself. Maybe I should be one and figure out how it's put together. Then I will post a sketch of the schematics for everyone else who would like to build and not spend a bunch of money. Guess I need to go this route since I will eventually need a total of 4.

bmxlive (author)2010-06-16

where can i get one of those?? Can i use the IR receptor from any dvd player?

vbexpressrocker (author)2010-01-13

That is so COOL!
I'll ask Dad to help me do it!

electronic boy (author)2008-10-05

not bad try typing in on Instructables ir on serial bus/computer. note i am only 13 so don't expect too much.

dombeef (author)electronic boy2009-06-08


tykies (author)2009-02-25


munchman (author)tykies2009-06-07

All you need to do is aim and push the button, from what I understand.

Gelis (author)2009-01-25

Hey would be very nice if you would put together the instructions of how to control the media player with an ir-remote because that's exactly what i have been looking for!!! thanks in advance..!

Hycro (author)2009-01-16

Something that should be noted is that not all computers have tabs that hold the front cover on, some, like mine, use screws. I would have preferred mine to have tabs though, so that I wouldn't have had to take out one of my hard drives to get one of the screws out when I put a customized, illuminated 3.5" faceplate in my computer, both computer and plate I made myself from parts. And the plate I made from a scrap piece of plexiglass (though I would have preferred 1/4" lexan, and then made it flush with the rest of my computer's face, instead of it being recessed) and I illuminated it with 3 high brightness clear LEDs that when lit up are red (I got them from a $1 bicycle safety light, and had a board, holder, and the holes for the LEDs with them soldered in already done for me, I felt it was worth it, since the nearest place that I could buy just the LEDs would have made the total cost (gas to get there and back included) a lot higher than what it was)

psi_teck (author)2009-01-16

would the hardware mod for this be as simple as soldering a wire between the ir receiver output (pin 6 on the PC2) and port 1 (DCD) of the serial port?

limwel23 (author)2008-10-01

if we turn off the computer, is the shutdown mode will appear or not?

TimHepner (author)limwel232008-10-14

This switch can be used to shut down the PC just as if you had pressed the front panel switch.

Zujus (author)2007-07-15

Nice :)

NickMich (author)2008-06-12

good stuff man, I'm totally gonna do this on the rig I'm about to start building. Thanks!

MerleCorey (author)2008-03-25

Ok. i know its non nerdy solution but if you want a remote control for your pc why not just buy a wiimote? mine works great.

TimHepner (author)MerleCorey2008-03-30

Can you turn your PC on( not from standby, which is constantly wasting electrical power )with a wii remote? If so, please share the connection instructions.

manofshadow (author)2008-02-20

Nice, I'd like to make one for myself, the only problem is I can not find the toggle IR switch to a local dealer. Do you know a replacement for it? Can you post the schematics? Thanks.

Spicer__ (author)2007-09-02

u should and hit me up wen u get it done

fegundez1 (author)2007-08-12

I have a couple of old vcr and dvd players,think its possible to use the scavenged parts for this?I was going to try to make the remote run the pc like your future instructable i just haven't figured how to do it.

nbradford (author)2007-07-30

Exactly what I was looking for! Thanks! Would also be interested in hearing if the project to use the receiver on your serial port was successful - and if so, what software did you use? winlirc / lirc?

TimHepner (author)nbradford2007-08-09

Unfortunately, I haven't had time to implement the serial port solution yet. Maybe this weekend??? I'm planning on using winlirc.

nbradford (author)TimHepner2007-08-10

Great - would be really interested in seeing the result if you get there. PS - I got my PCS-1 on Thursday night after reading about it in your article here. 30 minutes or so to solder in extension wires so I can mount the pickup outside the case (my htpc is in a cupboard) and it works like a treat!

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