Sunday, August 12, 2007

Using a Master/Slave Power Control to save energy

We all have lots of gadgets in our homes. We keep them in standby mode all day long, to save a few seconds once or twice a day. How many hours a day is your iPod dock really charging your little audio player? Where is your iPod most of the day? You have it with you, right? In the meantime your dock's power supply is wasting energy. The same goes for your TV, receiver, PC speakers, game console, your pc, printer, scanner, charging adapter for your mobile,...

Why are we wasting all this energy? First of all, it's very convenient to turn on everything with our handy remote controls. A lot of people already recognize this wastes a lot of energy in standby mode. But even then, most new devices don't even have a physical power switch. You can't turn them really off, you can only get them into standby mode. You have to pull the plug, which is kind of annoying.

The solution

Is there a way to get the conveniece of a remote control, without wasting too much energy? Fortunately, yes.

You can use a Master/Slave Power Control (like this) to control your devices. As long as your master isn't turned on (i.e. uses more power than a configured value) all your slave devices are turned off.

I use this in my living room. Every time I turn on my Receiver, I also need to turn on my subwoofer. Unfortunately my receiver doesn't come with a switched power outlet for an external subwoofer, like my old one did. So I use a Master/Slave Power Control with the receiver as master, and the subwoofer as a slave. Every time I turn on my receiver (via the remote) the subwoofer is automatically turned on. But that's not the only one...

  • I don't use my TV without the receiver running, so there we have our second slave.
  • I don't play with my Wii without turning on the TV :)
  • My iPod get's charged in the dock, another slave. Charging while watching TV or listening to music is more than enough time.
All devices are turned off, and with one click on the remote everything comes to life...

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