R.G. Keen's Blog

Remote Power Management, Part Four: A Safer Button Pusher

Posted in Opensolaris Server, Power Considerations, Remote Management by rgkeen on May 16, 2010

I had one of those “Doh!!”, forehead slapping moments.

In the first Button-Pusher article I talked quite a bit about safety issues and the need to know what you’re doing with AC power line stuff – or wind up electrocuted. That was all straightforward and true.
But I think of these things like an engineer, not a hacker. The hacker side of me finally pulled through.
You don’t need to do all the AC safety mess if you have some widget that encapsulates all that for you. And we do, and it’s cheap and easy. It’s an AC to DC power adapter, widely know as a “wall wart”.

Just do the same circuitry after the rectifier diodes to do the internal stuff. But make the input to the computer side of this be a barrel style DC power connector. Plug an AC to DC wall wart in the controlled-AC power source, and plug the wall wart power connector into the barrel-plug socket on the computer. All done. No need to mess with AC power line. That’s all enclosed inside the wall wart. All that comes out is DC, and the dangerous bits have been pre-designed and pre-tested for safety and other things so that you never have to endanger yourself and others – at least any more than you do now. šŸ˜Ž

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