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Author Topic: How to keep computer always switched on? [SOLVED]  (Read 5925 times)
amazingrando
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September 24, 2011, 03:34:25 AM
 #1

I have several Biostar A870 motherboards.  It's quite stable, but sometimes I overclock it too far and the system and it hangs.

Recently I put them in a data center where I can turn on and off the power outlet that feeds the PC to make it reboot.  In the computer's BIOS settings I have it set to power on if there is a loss of power.  Strangely, that setting often gets lost.  If I've done a power cycle at the outlet, the result is that the computer just stays off instead of coming back on again.  That means having someone at the DC (or me) physically go and turn it on.

Has anyone seen a solution to this?  Power switches these days are the intermittent type, so it doesn't seem like you could just put a jumper over the two power pins on the motherboard.

Bounty of 2 btc for a workable solution  Grin

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deslok
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September 24, 2011, 04:08:20 AM
 #2

There was actually a compete thread about this sort of thing here

 https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=37451.0

Your best bet would be to segment things into groups and use a USB or serial controlled relay board

These seem an excellent choice depending on the number of miners
 http://www.controlanything.com/Relay/Relay/CAT_RELAY4

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amazingrando
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September 24, 2011, 04:24:57 AM
 #3

Thank you for pointing me to those ideas.

What I have right now is an IP controlled power distribution unit like this:


It works perfectly at turning the outlet on and off.  It's just that the BIOS setting in my motherboards to power on after power loss are crap and work only half the time.

Aside from replacing all of my motherboards, I literally need a way to short the power pins on the motherboard and start up a stopped machine.

The relay link you sent is interesting, but for that price I could just pay someone to go there and push a button each time it happens.  hmmmmm......

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deslok
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September 24, 2011, 04:36:04 AM
 #4

You could use a IP switch like you have with a no relay wired to the pins. One like this http://www.mpja.com/prodinfo.asp?number=18900+RL

Could start 2 PCs at the same time and you could wire multiple relays to I've outlet depending on how many computers you're willing to restart.

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BkkCoins
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September 24, 2011, 05:36:58 AM
 #5

As long as one of your systems is up you could use it to trigger the contacts for another one.

The simplest way would be to wire a small solid state relay to the parallel port header (on board) on one and then the contacts to the power pins on the other system. If one system goes down you can trigger a power up from the other. There are lots of utils around for setting pins on parallel ports so you would just script together calling such a util from a web page trigger.

Another way to handle this would be to have the systems watch each other. So if you use a parallel port to control a relay then the same port could use an input to monitor the 5V line on the other system. If you poll that parallel port every minute then when it sees the 5V line low it could fire the relay for 1 second to restart the system. Repeating that on each system in a daisy chain (loop) would ensure that as long as one system is up then all the others would soon start up too.

The only thing you need for this is some wires and solid state relay with input suitable for parallel port outputs. I could draw up a simple wiring diagram for N number of systems if that would help.

Edit:
An opto-isolator like a 4N25 would be a better way than a relay and easier to wire up too... about 0.25$ each.

 
Code:
                                 
Parallel                                 Pwr Switch Conn.
Port Sys1                                Sys2
  
D(1) --------------------------------- 5V line on switch Conn                            
          R1    1  ----------- 5    
D(2) ----1k------| Opto-     |-----+ to power switch + pin  
                 | Isolator  |                
GND -------------|           |-+              
                2  ----------- 4|            
                   CNY 17 or    |   R2      
                   4N25         |   1K    
                                +--\/\/\/\/--- - to power switch GND pin
                                            
                                          

Script running on each system polls once / minute. If the D(1) line is low then it fires D(2) for one second, causing the next system to start up. Of course you can also add some logic/web page interface if you want or just use ssh to remote manage. Add a second 4N25 connected to restart pins if you want to force a cold boot on next system, or just use one switch but hold low for 4 seconds to power off. Lots of ways to use the basic idea.

eg. for 3 systems
Code:
Sys1-ParPort ---> Sys2-PwrSw
 Sys2-ParPort ---> Sys3-PwrSw
 Sys3-ParPort ---> Sys1-PwrSw

Edit2: another idea - even simpler, if your IP power bar allows controlling each socket then just wire in a "radioshack" relay to a power socket and use it to short the PwrSwitch pins on all boards at once. If you pull low for 1 second it won't reboot already up systems but any that are down will boot. (note, this requires a common ground connection between systems).

amazingrando
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September 24, 2011, 06:16:31 AM
 #6

As long as one of your systems is up you could use it to trigger the contacts for another one.

The simplest way would be to wire a small solid state relay to the parallel port header (on board) on one and then the contacts to the power pins on the other system. If one system goes down you can trigger a power up from the other. There are lots of utils around for setting pins on parallel ports so you would just script together calling such a util from a web page trigger.

Another way to handle this would be to have the systems watch each other. So if you use a parallel port to control a relay then the same port could use an input to monitor the 5V line on the other system. If you poll that parallel port every minute then when it sees the 5V line low it could fire the relay for 1 second to restart the system. Repeating that on each system in a daisy chain (loop) would ensure that as long as one system is up then all the others would soon start up too.

The only thing you need for this is some wires and solid state relay with input suitable for parallel port outputs. I could draw up a simple wiring diagram for N number of systems if that would help.

Edit:
An opto-isolator like a 4N25 would be a better way than a relay and easier to wire up too... about 0.25$ each.

 
Code:
                                 
Parallel                            
Port                              
                                  
          R1    1  ----------- 5    
D(x) ----1k------| Opto-     |-----+ to power switch + pin  
                 | Isolator  |                
GND -------------|           |-+              
                2  ----------- 4|            
                   CNY 17 or    |   R2      
                   4N25         |   1K    
                                +--\/\/\/\/--- - to power switch GND pin
                                            
                                          

This is a very clever idea.  I like the fact that I could control the power via a script.  The limitation seems to be that it would be from one computer to another, or several computers via daisy chain.  I think I would like to keep this idea in my back pocket for special situations.  Regardless, I'll send a small donation you way!

The solution that I am most keen on right now is to disable ATX soft power.  Soft power is described here: http://www.jeae.dk/computere/atx_-_psu.htm.  Basically, when an ATX PSU is connected to a motherboard it is always providing a small amount of power to be able to sense the power on signal.  If you ground the POWER ON (green) wire you will be telling the PSU to give the motherboard power without using the switch.  People often short POWER ON and a ground wire to run an ATX power supply without a motherboard.

What I am thinking that I will do is to quick splice the POWER ON wire with a ground wire as shown below.


Accomplished by using one of these, which run about $0.50:


By doing this, whenever the PSU has power (and PSU's power switch is in the on position) the motherboard will turn on/stay on.  To control the on/off state of the computer, I will use my switched power distribution unit.  With the PDU, via a web interface, I can turn an outlet on or off, which will turn the computer on or off since soft power will be disabled.


UPDATE:
Several of my boards did not like this configuration.  GPU, CPU, etc. would power on, but it would not wake the motherboard itself.  Thus, YMMV

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abracadabra
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October 20, 2011, 02:02:26 AM
 #7

I've got 10 Biostar A870U3 mobos.  All work perfectly with the Bios power setting set to [Power-On]

For resetting the mobos when they hang I used an ethernet relay board I purchased on eBay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/110726704273 $90 shipped

1 board handles 8 rigs. 


amazingrando
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October 20, 2011, 11:56:07 PM
 #8

Thanks for the tip on the relay.  That's pretty cool.  I might give it a try.

I have since swapped all of my Biostar boards for Asus boards.  They all seem to work just with the bios setting, though I don't have to do it often.  They're quite solid.

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