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Ecostrip 2.0 - Up, down, and back up.
on October 31, 2010
When you turn on the PC, everything plugged into the Ecostrip powers on nicely. The problem with the Ecostrip is with Windows. After Windows boots up, it has this need to briefly power down all of the USB ports and powering them back up, hence powering down and back up everything plugged in to the Ecostrip. This is a problem with devices like monitors and hard drives. Windows assumes they are not there and...well the resulting actions can be unpredictable, not to mention hard drive failure, data loss, and such.
The idea of an energy saving power strip is a really good one. I thought of this concept of a relay controlled energy saver power strip about ten years ago. Necessity is the motherhood of invention. So, I decided to build one of these for my PC and its 20 or so power hungry peripherals. The one I built use the 12 volt power from the PC's power supply. I installed a plug in an empty slot cover and ran a wire to the power strip. I built many of these for friends. They worked great.
Later on, I did built a 5 volt version using the power from a USB port. When the PC is powered up, several seconds later, the USB ports powered up. The problem with this one was the announce of Windows briefly shutting down all of the USB ports for about 10 seconds and then powering them back up. Windows does this so each device can check in. The issue was the monitor settings would be lost. Well, I ended up use the USB power saver for the TV, DVD and such.
Just recently, I decided to use a laptop as my primary computer. However, there is no readily available 12 volt source. So, I decided to look on the web before building a time delay 5 volt USB powered switch. After reading all of the reviews, I decided on the Ecostrip. Save me some work. Well, the Ecostrip 2.0 acts just the same as the 5 volt version I built. No delay and the monitor settings and desktop icons still get messed up.
So, it's off to the Radio Shack and other places to build my own version of the Ecostrip, this one with a one minute power down delay.