Our radarFunk installation uses a BlueTooth server developed by us that runs on a windows PC.
The machine is a bit outdated, and there’s a lot of hardware running under windows XP.
This causes windows’ hardware manager to sometimes fail on the BlueTooth dongle and crashes the service.
Luckily this happens just every few days with the computer running 24/7.
Today I had to go and check the installation, but I had to figure out a way so the machine can be turned off and on.
I already set up the server to auto-login, launch the needed stuff on startup etc.
I even created 2 batch files to restart and shutdown the machine in case we need (there’s no monitor/keyboard attached).
All of the above works if you can:
- access the power button easily (not our case).
- connect to the machine over Remote Desktop.
None of the above can be easily performed by the people who manage the exhibition, so I had to figure out something else,
this is why I built a remote power switch for PC.
I used an old USB memory case to build the switch and add an LED to represent the machine status (power LED).
As I needed to carry 4 wires (switch and led) I thought using a USB connector might have worked pretty well, and it did.
An afternoon of work (most of it on adapting the board inside the usb memory stick and the USB port in the black box.
This is what came out, and tomorrow I’ll have to test it (hope it’ll work)
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