Power Saving

This weekend I purcased a few bits and pieces to help reduce the amount of standby power my computers and HT gear was using. It's debatable how much value there is in terms of $$, but there are lots of other good reasons not to waste power.

BTW: I got all of these from JayCar

Watt Meter
I tested this against known loads like lights and fluro tubes and it seems to be fairly close. It allows you to measure volts, watts as well as peak and average watts. It also allows you to enter a price per watt and gives you a price est.

DansData has a review of the same product here;

My media-PC uses 60w when on, and (more concerning) 12w when off (I do mean OFF, not standby). It's a simple P4 2Ghz jobby with 2x hdd, tuner and gfx card.

My HiFi setup used 26w when on standby

My wifes PC setup used 20w on standby (laptop, speakers, usb hub, wireless m/k, printer)

USB triggered power-board
These are simply a powerboard with a USB port. When there is power aviliable via the USB, it turns the board on. I used this on my wifes setup, the powerboards usb pluging into laptop, the usb hub then pluging into the passthrough on the powerboard (so only one usb plug attached to the laptop).

Every device was then powered off the usb triggered powerboard apart from the laptop and the wireless mouse charger so they could both charge.

When the laptop is off, the standby power is now reduced to zero (assuming the mouse and laptop are charged), a saving of 20w.

Master/Slave powerboard
This means that when a "master" device is on, so will be the "slave" devices. This is done by monitoring the power use of the Master and switching the Slave power-points based of that. There is 1xMaster, 3xSlave, and 4x standard power sockets. The powerboard delays shutdown of the slaves by 5 seconds in case you change your mind.

I used it for my HiFi setup which consts of a AVR, TV, DVD-R, DVD-C, CD-C, PVR, VCR. Standby was 26w.

I pluged the AVR in as master and everything else in on the slaves (via a extra power board!). The only exception was the PVR which needs power so it can record on schedule.

The result was a drop from 26w to 14w. The remainding 14w is more or less the PVR's standby... the AVR doesn't pull a measureable amount when in standy.

So... not a lot saved but every bit counts. All in all you are much better switching to energy efficent bulbs, turning off spare fridges, etc... 

USB triggered power-board notes;
- 6 ports, 1 manual "off switch", surge protector
- usb port and passthrough.
- PCs often leave their USB ports on when in Standby mode. So unless you turn your PC off the board often doesn't.
- Xbox 360's leave their USB ports on... so this is useless for a 360

- 1x Master
- 3x Slave
- 4x always on
- 5 second off delay