Power ON computer via RF


Active Member
Was just reading a thread about being able to power up a pc using a RF x10 remote. Two things were discussed: Using an appliance module, and using a Universal module. Are there any other ways to go about this? I am not a hardware modder (still think that ohm has something to do with Buddhism), but would love to know if this is possible and more importantly, what steps to take to execute it.

I was going to install the USB-UIRT in my case and use that to power up the pc out of hibernation, as I am attempting to make my HTPC act like a normal device that you would find in anyones living room.

Just fishing for ideas.

An appliance module is the easy way, just set the bios to turn back on after powerfailure, and all you have to do is turn on the appliance module and the computer will boot. Another way is using Wake On Lan if you have another system on the network which is up 24/7, have it send a packet out to the powered off system, and if your bios supports it (most do), then it will turn on.

Some motherboards support wake up on IR, if yours does, you can use IR, otherwise don't think there is much you can do without making some investments.
If you're looking for an "instant-on" kind of response, which I think you are, you'll have to follow the advice you've already read concerning a Universal Module. Wire it to your PC's power button and change your Computer's power button behavior to a sleep button (where it puts the PC to sleep if pressed, and turns it off if held for three seconds).

If you have an Ocelot & SECU16, you can do the same thing... You could even have a program in the Ocelot that will react to different IR commands - one command closes the power button circuit for 1 second, and brings the PC in and out of sleep mode, and another IR command closes the circuit for 3 seconds, powering the computer off.

You don't need anything fancy to wire either to the PC, just run the wires in parallel with the power button where it hooks to the PC's mobo, When the Ocelot or Universal Module closes the circuit, it's just like you closed the same circuit by physically pushing the button, your mobo wont know the difference.

If you're using a universal module, you'll need a way to get your command from your remote control to the universal module. Here are a couple of ways:
1. Use a RF remote and a TM751 or RR501 or V572AB to get the signal to the universal module... Since the PC may be off, you'll have to rely on one of these plug-in modules to get the signal from the RF remote to the Universal Module.
2. Use an IR Remote and a IR543. this is probably the least expensive way to go, and lets you use ANY programmable remote rather than being limited to just X10 RF-capable remotes.
Does your mobo support starting from keyboard command in bios?

If it does then in power magement you would set the power button to sleep whenever it is pushed.

Now I use a wireless keyboard [and will later learn this command to a learning remote, or use JP1 programming to map it to the remote]

To go into sleep mode write a batch file and excute this from a button on your front-end.

DRB, that's interesting. I was assuming that a PC in sleep mode could only respond to either it's power button and/or a wake on LAN command, not anything else. I know some PC's have the button you mention on their keyboards, but I didn't think that such a button would work (or even exist) on a wireless (IR or RF) keyboard... since whatever device "listens" for the wireless keyboard's commands would be unable to receive the commands in sleep mode, but If you're already using it that way, then I guess it's doable.

DRB, What model wireless keyboard are you using? Can you post a link?
I use a liteon airboard, not sure if they are still avaiable but got it from http://www.digitalconnection.com/ last year for $29.00

When you have a keyboard key set-up in bios to power-up your computer that is essenticaly the power button. Depending on the mobo manufactor the options are either spacebar or enter key.
Great ideas guys. Thanks for your input.

I tried Electron's idea of just using an appliance module and it works just fine. The only reason why this is not ideal (for me) is that we have interuptions in our power, from time to time, where the power will shut off for 30 seconds, pop back on for another 30, and shut off again (can go on like this for a while). I'm also a little hesitant about having the the puter just shut down, if I or my GF hit the wrong button on the remote, and the computer should never be off, as I use it to schedule and record TV shows.

Sidebar: In case other newbies come across this post...

WOK : wake on keyboard
WOL : wake on LAN

These may help when searching for information on this subject.

I think I'm going to stick with my original plan of using the USB-UIRT IR receiver and girder to wake the computer out of hibernation and also to suspend it. The appliance module works like expected, and is nice if the power is totally off, but jrfuda hit the nail on the head when he mention "instant on", so I'm going to see (when my unit arrives) if this will give the impression that the computer is off/on.

Here are some threads I pulled up over at the girder forums discussing powering On a computer via IR.

Cheap Remotely PowerUp PC solution
PC Power Up by IR remote
IR to X10 on any HouseCode Script --- for Homeseer

The last one isn't for girder, but I just came across it today while doing some research. This is in case there are any others with the USB-UIRT.

Thanks for all the info. (and a special cheers to jrfuda, for linking to specific products... truly makes it easier for me to understand..... well, kinda, now I have questions about the Ocelot, but Ill save those for another thread)

Some motherboards even support wake on IR. If you lose power like that, I suggest you get a UPS or you system will be fried very soon due to brown outs (I lost 2 systems to this!). It would also cover the 30 second gaps you are talking about,and it's worth protecting your investment.