Remotely Controlled Power Strip

I got tired of having to either drive to my office, or call in to have someone hit the reset on whatever server just took a dive. So I started looking for remotely controlled power strips only to find them in the hundreds and most of them require an internet connection and only a few have an option for a dial-in.

This made me wonder, why not build thins with an Arduino, some relay, and give it the option of both ethernet communications as well as a GSM/GPRS module for incoming texts if the network itself is dead.

So in trying to lay this out in my head (so far), I'm thinking of hacking a regular rack mounted power distributor and adding relays on each port. Connect each relay to an Arduino (with appropriate isolation and all). Add both an ethernet as well as a GSM/GPRS module and have the thing listen for incoming messages. For that matter, I can have it check each server as well, and if one of them fails for whatever reason, it can text me and let me know so I can take appropriate action. Can also expand this into the SNMP area.

I can wire this to a UPS so it always has power. If the building loses power, it can let me know that too.

Anything in particular that I need to aware of? Logic that I may have overlooked? Comments, suggestions, calls for sanity checks?

Hi, Sounds doable. You understand the blocks and functions to do this. You need to dig into the details..

Here's some stuff about Arduino control of power and relays: http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/ArduinoPower

Nice optically-isolated relays would be good... http://goo.gl/3jds9

Other people here have experience with the GMRS/SMS stuff... I need to learn more about it...

DISCLAIMER: Mentioned stuff from my own shop...

Thanks Terry. Actually, I did come across those items on your site a while back and this idea has been lingering in my head for a while now. I just never really thought about doing this till this past weekend when one of the servers went haywire and the only way to kill it was me driving to the office and hitting the reset on it. If I was able to just kill the power for 10 seconds remotely, I would've done that.

So yes, I was planning on either using the 8-relays board, or build my own (though why re-invent the wheel). The part about communicating via ethernet and/or GSM/GPRS is also new to me, so I'm going to be experimenting with that first, as the relay part is fairly straight forward.