My computer installation isn’t what you could call typical. I have a home made 19″ rack in my loft where I keep a bunch of stuff (including my router, network switches & patch panel, server PC, router and my main PC).
Up until now my “power switch” for the main PC has come in the form of setting up a wake on lan user on my router and logging on to that page using my PSP. That has worked great except for the times when the PC plays up and I need to press the reset or power button directly. When the needs arises for that I have to climb up in to the loft to get to the PC.
So, last week I did a little experiment with an old momentary PC switch and a length of CAT5 cable. I wired up the CAT5 cable straight through (ie – not to any standards). I made two “patch cables”, one for the PC end and one for the switch end. I just used one of the 4 pairs and basically spliced it into the middle of my spare momentary switch. Since I already had a spare RJ45 socket in my study I just plugged the switch end into that, and plugged the connector end into my patch panel for that socket. I then plugged the connector into a spare PC’s motherboard.
I climbed back down my loft ladders and pressed the button, climbed back up into the loft and hey presto the PC was booting up. My experiment was a success; I could use my existing CAT5 wiring to control my PC.
So, I purchased a few bits’n’bobs from farnell and another shop called the mod blog and made myself a little switch box with power and reset buttons on it. Oddly enough, my PC locked up during boot up this morning, so I had to use the reset button. It worked perfectly.
The wiring in the PC isn’t great as I’m not the worlds best solderer, but it works and because I bought the right bits, I didn’t actually need to splice into anything in the PC. The wiring sits between the normal power and reset switches in the case and the motherboard. So, I can power on/off and reset either from my little box in the study or from in the loft directly on the PC.
|4 pin fan header||CONF-4HWhite||£0.40||http://www.themodblog.co.uk|
|10 Way Rainbox IDE Ribbon Calbe||RID-10R||£0.40||http://www.themodblog.co.uk|
|2 Way PC Header Connector (with Crimp Pins)||CONKK-02||£1.26||http://www.themodblog.co.uk|
So, the next project is to do it again for another computer!
The components, 2 switches, cable gland and boxThe back of the finished boxThe finished item
The back of the finished box
The finished item