Introduction: Controlling Peripherals and Saving Electricity
We've all heard it, turn off devices when they aren't in use, but have you ever tried turning off all your peripherals at 1am before getting into bed? Not an easy task.
Step 1: Preperations
We have all heard it, turn off devices when they are not in use, but have you ever tried turning off all your peripherals at 1am before getting into bed? Not an easy task.
Using a relay, common sense and your PC, all your peripherals can turn off automatically when your PC is off. It saves power, and money. It also gives you the joyous feeling that you are helping save the hideous globe, from hideous death by global warming.
What you need:
- A 5v or 12v relay that can control up to 240/110v
- A plug board
- Some wire (not shown)
- Some cables (I used a PC Cable, and a PC to monitor cable, both optional)
- A box to put it in. (make sure it is plastic, or you will have to make in isolated.
- Electrical chock blocks, crimps or other cable joiners (Not pictured)
- Common sense/minimal electrical knowledge and if you want the relay diagram.
- Wire cutters
- Wire strippers
- Craft/Stanley knife (optional)
- Crimper tool (optional)
- Screw driver, flat or philips
Step 2: Making Mains Plug
To make life easier, I made a hole bigger so I could place the PC to Monitor power cable in, for a socket to connect and disconnect the mains. I chopped it in half first, you only need one end, you will see. I used a tower drill to engrave a groove so I could push out a hole.
Step 3: Making the Circuit
Now the electrical fun begins. You need to have another hole to place the plug board cable through, to join it to the mains. Screw the red or brown, yes the red or brown wire of the mains cable into one of the connections in the relay. In my case this was the monitor cable. This CANNOT be the power that controls the relay, it has to be the connection that the relay switches on and off. Screw it in tight. Now place the red/brown wire from the plug board into the relay. You will obviously need to take the plug off it, so take the fuse out and use THAT fuse for the mains plug
Now, place the blue/black cables from both the mains cable and the plug board into some chock blocks or some crimps, or other suitable electric joiners. Make sure they are insulated and do not twist and tape them together. This will prevent you from hideous death by electrical shock and/or your house will catch fire and you ill be hideously roasted to death, shamefulness.
The next thing to do it to place two small wires into the DC input of the relay. This should be 12 or 5v. This is because we will be using your PCs power supply and the main outputs are 12 and 5v.
Once this is done, we now need to wire it up to your PSU. I chose to use a floppy drive connecter as I have two and use none. You can use any of the cables if they are unused, or just branch off the cables with chock blocks, or what ever. A nice option for this would be a Molex Y Splitter, cheap and it is self branched off.
Use any yellow cable, for your positive +12v connection. Use any black cable, or just use the case to ground your connection, it does not matter. Just make sure it is secure, you do not want to ground the wrong components.
Use any red cable, for your positive +5v connection. Use any black cable, or just use the case to ground your connection, it does not matter. Just make sure it is secure, you do not want to ground the wrong components.
Step 4: Using It
Plug in the mains, now plug something into your plug board, and make sure it is switched on. Anything you have plugged in should not be active or working, if it is, it defeats the object. Switch on your PC. The relay should click on and then your device should power on. If not check the Q&A. If it is working, these things are recommended for the device. PC monitor, speakers, mouse if self powered, USB hub if self powered, scanners, external hard drives, external DVD drives, and your Printer and modem, if other PCs do not use these externally.
This is a great way of turning off devices when not in use, and keeping devices and transformers last longer, and saving the hideous globe.
I'll take apart my PC again and picture the cables.
Step 5: Q&A
Q. When I plugged in the mains all the devices powered on, why?
A. It would seem you have wire it up wrong. One would think that you wired the mains/plug board red or brown wire wrong.
Q. The devices did not come on with the PC.
A. I think you wired the relay up wrong, is there an LED on it? If this is not lit up, you may have the polarity wrong, or the connections are not properly joined. If not, is the voltage too low? Did you get the red or yellow wire wrong on the PC?
Q. The mains wire burned out after little use.
A. Make sure the cable is thick enough, I used a PC cable, this is equivalent.
Q. Where can I get a relay?
A. Cars, motor bikes ect. have them. eBay have them cheap.
Q. When I had the relay set up, my PC would not start.
Ai. You did not plug the PC into the plug board did you, this is wrong. The PC must be plugged in separately.
ii. Are any wires short circuiting? Try disconnecting your relay, if your PC starts, you may have an extremely rare case of your PSU being over loaded which is very strange. If this is the case and trust me this is odd, you should really get a bigger PSU for your PC, forgetting the relay.
Any questions, please comment.