Remote Power On Idea with Harmony Remote

4 posts
by Oysterville » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:54 am
One of the more annoying aspects of my Raspberry Pi as a media center device experiences is the whole powering it up situation. I've got the Pi set up so that it will power down gracefully when the television powers down (through CEC), but powering back up has always entailed getting off of my American butt, unplugging the power supply, and plugging it back in. Every thing else in my entertainment center was powered on and otherwise controlled by my Logitech Harmony One remote, why not my Pi?

Then I came up with this idea, a remote controlled power outlet. Logitech Harmony remotes will control this specific outlet, so in theory all I would have to do is plug the Pi into this outlet and add a couple of item-specific functions to my "Raspberry Pi" function that would turn on everything else in my entertainment center. I'd likely have to send an "OFF" and "ON" signal to the outlet, because theoretically no signal is sent to the outlet during the power down sequence to allow for the Pi to shut down completely.

Has anyone tried this? I'm pretty sure that I'm going to, but not until after vacation in early May. I will, of course, report back if anyone is interested.
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by spezzer » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:52 pm
I like the sound of that! I'm using Raspbmc and was happy to learn my old microsoft remote works with it. On that basis I'll get my Harmony One set up to include Raspbmc. But - same as you - easy enough to power down but a bitch to power up. My RP is in the case it arrived in (with a few new holes) and pulling the lead and inserting it again it not exactly a modern age practice! So I like the sound of remote power supply - my only reservation is that spike from the mains when connecting - wouldnt recommend anyone switching a PC on, no matter how small, from the mains.
How about USB activation - I've seen this option in many BIOS but never implemented it - wonder if RP has this option? I'm assuming your remote control is a USB device?
You also mentioned the RP went off with the TV using CEC? Wont that cause an improper shutdown error from RP - mine doesnt seem to approve unless I select power and shutdown.
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by Oysterville » Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:11 pm
I wouldn't think that powering on via a remotely-controlled power outlet would be any different than what we currently do to start the Pi with plugging it in, though I could be completely wrong here. Seems to be the same thing, though if it is not I could possibly plug a surge strip into the remote controlled outlet, and then just the Pi into the strip.

As far as the TV powering down causing the Pi to power down, apparently HDMI sends a shutdown signal from the TV to the Pi, causing it to go through the normal and safe shutdown procedure (though there is still a red LED on showing that the unit is still getting power). That way when I want to turn it on now, I have to unplug and replug the Pi to get it going. This is why I was thinking that I will have to duplicate the same startup sequence with the remote by first sending the power off signal to the outlet, send the power on signal to the TV, then send the power on signal to the outlet, and lastly change the HDMI input on the TV to, in my case, HDMI3.

All of that should work in theory, and I will hopefully have a part to play with by the weekend. I will, of course, report back here with what I find.
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by drgeoff » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:33 pm
Oysterville wrote: ... though if it is not I could possibly plug a surge strip into the remote controlled outlet, and then just the Pi into the strip.

It is the possible overshoot within the PSU itself that is of concern. A surge strip won't protect against that. Whether the concern is justified is a different question. Too much depends on the design of the power supply to give a blanket answer. But a decent power supply shouldn't overshoot to any significant degree.
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