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Author Topic: remotely controlled power switch?  (Read 30781 times)
cicada
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August 16, 2011, 02:22:49 PM
 #1

I've seen quite a few posts where people are controlling their farms remotely, often 10s or 100s of miles away, asking about automating reboots, cycling power with automated timers, etc.  And sometimes miners just lock up hard, and there's nothing to do but flip the power switch.  

It occurs to me the ideal solution would be computer/remote/network controlled relay switches, allowing you to power-cycle your miners from anywhere you please.

I've done some research on solenoids, solid-state optical relays, etc, that look like they could be pretty easily wired and driven from a serial port or even USB, however my EE skills are severely lacking.  Something pre-packaged in a <$50 range would be ideal, but I'm not finding any 'consumer friendly' options.  I'm willing to pull out the old soldering iron if I can find a good guide to follow, but time is precious.

Is anyone using such a thing they could recommend?

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August 16, 2011, 02:30:38 PM
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Sounds like you want to be using an IP remote power switch, similar to what most data centres use.
I'm using this one in my garage: http://www.openxtra.co.uk/p/usb-net-power-8800uk and it works really well for its cheap price.

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August 16, 2011, 02:38:57 PM
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That's the ticket, but at 6A max current I don't think it'd hold up too well against my 4x gpu rigs.  Looks like they've got a few IP controlled switches with built-in web pages, etc, but they're a bit pricier..

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August 16, 2011, 02:43:19 PM
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That's the ticket, but at 6A max current I don't think it'd hold up too well against my 4x gpu rigs.  Looks like they've got a few IP controlled switches with built-in web pages, etc, but they're a bit pricier..
6A is fine for what I need here in the UK with our 230v.
But yes, at the end of the day you get what you pay for and at £35 this is really the bottom end of things.
Have a look around ebay, you can usually pick them up second hand for decent prices from data centre clearances.

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August 16, 2011, 03:38:35 PM
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x10 appliance modules handle up to 20 amps.
The cm17a firecracker module interfaces them to a PC.


http://www.linuxha.com/bottlerocket/ provides a script to turn modules on/off.
cicada
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August 16, 2011, 03:57:30 PM
 #6

Something like this SSR controlled power strip would work pretty well too, fairly cheap outside of the labor involved, but choosing your own SSR means you decide the max-current and voltage specs..

http://www.instructables.com/id/A-USB-Power-Controled-Plug-Strip-With-Isolation/

This $23 SSR + crap I have laying around could get the job done:

http://opto22.com/site/pr_details.aspx?cid=3&item=120D25


The only problem I see with this is it introduces a dependency on whatever device is supplying the DC current to the switch..  one more possible failure point..

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August 16, 2011, 10:42:02 PM
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Something like this SSR controlled power strip would work pretty well too, fairly cheap outside of the labor involved, but choosing your own SSR means you decide the max-current and voltage specs..

http://www.instructables.com/id/A-USB-Power-Controled-Plug-Strip-With-Isolation/

This $23 SSR + crap I have laying around could get the job done:

http://opto22.com/site/pr_details.aspx?cid=3&item=120D25


The only problem I see with this is it introduces a dependency on whatever device is supplying the DC current to the switch..  one more possible failure point..

Wouldn't all of this seem to be better served by a simple USB relay to put the pins of the power switch on the mobo high for the 10 seconds needed to tell it to shut off now, dammit? Then you don't need it rated to run the actual load of the full power draw, it is just like having a USB (or ethernet) interface to the power switch. No need to interrupt the power to the rig, really, it's just wiring the power button to a switch that you can control remotely. There are commercial solutions that do this already, and a friend of mine that does micro hardware is looking at building one for me.

(As a random example: http://www.controlanything.com/Relay/Relay/CAT_RELAY4. I found cheaper when looking a while ago, but that is a random common example company.) 

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August 16, 2011, 11:22:13 PM
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Wouldn't all of this seem to be better served by a simple USB relay to put the pins of the power switch on the mobo high for the 10 seconds needed to tell it to shut off now, dammit?

Man, I got options.

That would be pretty easily doable with an arduino or similar, and gets rid of the relay-failure problem.  Its also a hell of a lot safer, we miners get enough high-current play in the breaker box!

X10 isn't a bad idea either, I forgot about those Smiley

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August 17, 2011, 01:45:57 AM
 #9

Wouldn't all of this seem to be better served by a simple USB relay to put the pins of the power switch on the mobo high for the 10 seconds needed to tell it to shut off now, dammit?

Man, I got options.

That would be pretty easily doable with an arduino or similar, and gets rid of the relay-failure problem.  Its also a hell of a lot safer, we miners get enough high-current play in the breaker box!

X10 isn't a bad idea either, I forgot about those Smiley

Interestingly, my friend that was looking into building one of these mostly uses the arduino, so it might even be based on that :p

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August 17, 2011, 03:02:11 AM
 #10

I use kit 108 from kitsrus.com, purchased assembled from electronics123.com (http://www.electronics123.com/s.nl/it.A/id.291/.f?sc=8&category=35).

It has 8 relays controllable by serial port.  I wire them into the motherboard power switch connector.  One box can reboot 8 machines.  Of course you need two boxes connected to two separate computers if you want to reboot the machine controlling the relay box.
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August 17, 2011, 03:25:56 AM
 #11

I use kit 108 from kitsrus.com, purchased assembled from electronics123.com (http://www.electronics123.com/s.nl/it.A/id.291/.f?sc=8&category=35).

It has 8 relays controllable by serial port.  I wire them into the motherboard power switch connector.  One box can reboot 8 machines.  Of course you need two boxes connected to two separate computers if you want to reboot the machine controlling the relay box.

Right, don't hook it one of your miners, or you have a chicken and egg solution, unless you maybe had a really clever relay box that if it didn't get a keepalive pulse on pix <whatever> from that box, then it reboots it... but that's a mess. I already have a file server with not enough PSU for a real video card that I would hook mine to, personally. Or, for a bit more, I'm sure you can find one that has an IP and a web interface to skip needing a computer to go with it...

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August 17, 2011, 11:18:24 PM
 #12

Low tech could just use a timer...


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rearwheels
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August 18, 2011, 02:14:06 AM
 #13

Low tech could just use a timer...



Low tech would be placing a cd-rom drive which the tray will open and hit the reset button.

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August 18, 2011, 06:50:09 AM
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Low tech would be placing a cd-rom drive which the tray will open and hit the reset button.
Someone please do a thing like that and make a video  Grin

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August 18, 2011, 07:35:07 AM
 #15

Another option: PIC-WEB for $30 Euro and a small relay or transistor for each mainboard controlled.
You'd likely have to write some small bit of code to toggle port pins but the main stuff is there already in the TCP-IP stack and web server stuff.

http://www.olimex.com/dev/pic-web.html

They have a bunch of other ethernet connected  boards too but I think this is the cheapest one.

And useful for other projects later too.

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August 21, 2011, 10:52:00 AM
 #16

Low tech would be placing a cd-rom drive which the tray will open and hit the reset button.
Someone please do a thing like that and make a video  Grin
Having two rigs with each cd-rom drive tray pointing at each others reset button and a simple monitoring script, then just watch those rigs resetting each other as you discover bugs in the script  Wink

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August 21, 2011, 11:17:19 AM
 #17

Wouldn't all of this seem to be better served by a simple USB relay to put the pins of the power switch on the mobo high for the 10 seconds needed to tell it to shut off now, dammit?

Man, I got options.

That would be pretty easily doable with an arduino or similar, and gets rid of the relay-failure problem.  Its also a hell of a lot safer, we miners get enough high-current play in the breaker box!

X10 isn't a bad idea either, I forgot about those Smiley

I built one with an arduino.  I even wrote a GUI so that you could log into a control computer (Teamviewer) and press power/reset, it even indicates when power turns on.  The pins on the power switch just ground when turning on so you can just use a transistor or a relay (I used a transistor). 

Also, the design a couple thermistors also so I could monitor ambient temps remotely also (not yet completed in code but very simple).

I am sure you could eliminate the control computer and just wire in a network interface also but it was much easier in my case to just write the program and build the arduino shield.

I have yet to have a miner lock up to the point where I actually needed to cycle the AC to get it to restart, physical reset with the buttons always works.

The plan was to release the code and the design on the forum I just have not got around to it yet.  It is a very simple "Processing" code using the Arduino mega with "Firmata" firmware.  The most expensive part is the arduino at $65.  If you ever felt the need to also cycle the AC power the circuit could be very easily modified to switch SSR's or Mechanical relays.
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August 21, 2011, 04:20:47 PM
 #18

Heres a power switch that has its own web interface that lets you control each power outlet individually.

It has 4 outlets, and a LAN port for network.  You just setup a port forward on your router to this device, and you can login to the power switch from outside the network (like from work, hotel, or a hotspot).

Amazon.com is selling it for around $74, which I think is a great deal!!

Heres the link: http://amzn.to/lhspnX
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August 21, 2011, 06:04:42 PM
 #19

I have this & it works well. Rated at 6A per outlet (10A overall). It does get quite hot, and the web interface only works 100% with IE. And that price is not far off half of what I paid!  Grin
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August 21, 2011, 06:23:53 PM
 #20

in Germany we have these babies, have to try out one:

http://www.anel-elektronik.de/deutsch/Produkte/produkte.html
http://shop.varia-store.com/product_info.php?language=en&info=p990_ANEL-Elektronik-NET-PwrCtrl-POWER.html&XTCsid=00d20aa61240065c2e58471667a61cee

http://www.gude.info/index.php?lng=1&section=products&product=epc1200
http://www.gude-shop.de/7758_Expert_Power_Control_NET_D4x_SchukoDer_4fach_Remote_Power_Switch_mit_integriertem_Strommesser_fuer_TCPIPNetzwerke/dd0693ad49c2800d478eb6fa9bf4b846/


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