Hot Tip: Saving GigaMuppets…

With electricity prices rising faster than Space X debris is coming down, any trick to save even an electron of power must be a good thing.

Well I found a small way that was pretty easy, apart from getting on my hands and knees for a short period.

When I look in my studio that doubles as my editing suite, I can count probably 20 devices drawing 240v power that are continually left on. These include computers, monitors, printers (normal and 3D), LED strip lights, RAID boxes and my Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro. And then there are USB chargers plugged into 240v sockets and either charging nothing, or at 3am or less in the morning, have finished charging what I need such as camera batteries, drone batteries and so on.

And this all adds up in those electron thingies.

In the West I read yesterday, we pay around $64 / whatever it is power is rated at – GigaMuppets or something – whereas you folk in the East pay up to 4x that!

The reason, I think, is pretty simple. Power here is run by the Gummint, not privatised out, so that “competition makes it cheaper” as the mantra goes. The same goes for gas incidentally.

Anyway, by buying a couple or three “smart” power adaptors, I have can now program all these devices to be turned off at the mains at say midnight, and then turned back on in the morning ready for a days’ work at say 7am. Or whatever times I wish.

It can even be varied on a day-to-day basis, or have multiple versions so that it can be turned on in the morning and then if I know it will not be used again that day – say I never use my 3D printer on a Sunday after midday – to turn it off at that time on that day.

As they say in the TV ads, the secret is in … planning how you connect everything. I use 3 six port power boards and each of these is plugged into a smart adaptor plugged into the mains. By working out what I want turned on or off at which days / times, I can then program the adaptors via a smartphone app. This also means I can control them manually remotely if I wish. You can also monitor the power that is being used.

There are many of these adaptors on the market, and a standard across the board is starting to come into play on the protocols and apps(s) they use.

Mine came from Jaycar, but you can also get them at Bunnings or Kmart for example, or even (shudder), Amazon.

Incidentally, you can also get smart LED lighting that allows the same thing running on the same app. I have these in the main rooms of the house as well as the back patio and garage. Security cameras also are available, again on the same app.

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