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 .
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!
#!/bin/sh # sis_tst.sh while [ TRUE ] do 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 done # eof
unseen:~# ./sis_tst.sh off on off on off [...]
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 …