Introduction: 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
Originally I was going to use the simerec.com 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
Here is my PC, and where I'm going to drill the hole for the IR window.
Step 3: 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.