Powering ON/OFF Bunches of Computers

A customer had a requirement to turn ON or OFF almost a thousand PCs at three different locations. It was basically a security concern. They wanted to control the power so that an employee could not stay late or come in early to access someone else's computer.

To accomplish this, they used a number of CPS's IPNs (Intelligent Power Nodes). Up to 60 of them can be daisy chained and separately addressed. They cost $115.00 each. However, to prorate the cost the customer added a standard AC power strip to each node. Now each of the nodes controls power to six machines (6 AC outlets on the power strip). Be careful that the combined load does not exceed 10 amps per IPN.

Each node can be accessed over phone lines, through one of CPS's telephone line Controllers ( SP-RRC, 3P-RRC, etc.) or over the net (N-RRC, Serial Net, etc.). The customer used three line telephone line Controllers except in the main building where he connected directly to the serial port of a "control PC".

The topology worked out well since the computers were in lines of cubicles and the floor outlets were made to be non accessible with "lock boxes". The lock boxes contained the AC outlets, the IPNs and the power strips. The Ethernet jacks were in there too.

Now at about 5:30 PM each day they call the Controller and power OFF all of the IPNs with a single wild card command. In the morning they turn them ON with a similar wild card command. Each IPN has an inherent delay based on its address so as not to put a surge on the AC circuit while powering ON.

The nodes can still be separately addressed if the power had to be turned ON/OFF on an exception basis.

6/04... Other "Base Unit" products to consider in this general area are the "Relay Concentrator" and the "Auto Push Board-I". They are less expensive internally wired devices and can operate with the same Remote Controllers.