sispmctl is the name of a program to control a Gembird SIS-PM programmable power outlet. It is controlled from a Windows PC over an USB cable. A Gembird SIS-PM power outlet with 4 sockets costs around 30 € (here in Germany). With the power outlet comes a driver for Windows, but there is help if you want to use it with a Linux box: SIS-PM Control for Linux English.

With Debian Lenny the installation is easy.

unseen:~# apt-get install sispmctl

The first task was to scan for a power outlet:

unseen:~# sispmctl -s
Gembird #0 is USB device 019.This device is a 4-socket SiS-PM.
Accessing Gembird #0 USB device 019
This device has a serial number of 01:02:03:04:05

My power outlet was beeping from time to time, so my second task was to switch off the beeper:

unseen:~# sispmctl -b off
Accessing Gembird #0 USB device 019
Turned buzzer off

Third task: Test the power outlet and do some switching!


while [ TRUE ]
  sispmctl -q -f 1      # switch socket 1 off
  sispmctl -q -g 1      # check socket 1 status
  sleep 15              # wait 15 seconds
  sispmctl -q -o 1      # switch socket 1 on
  sispmctl -q -g 1      # check socket 1 status
  sleep 15              # wait 15 seconds

# eof

The light is on!

The outcome:

unseen:~# ./

The advantage of this power outlet: It is cheap. The disadvantage: It needs a computer to control it. (With the Windows program you can setup timers, some people use it to control their fish tank lights. I didn’t install nor tried the Windows software.)

My Linux box is running all the time. But there is other equipment that I only need from time to time …
Bye, Tore

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