Testing the Smart Strip

The Mini Power Minder -- allows you to turn off all the peripherals associated with a PC at the same time you turn off or hibernate the PC.

This can result in a significant power saving -- 1300 KWH and $130 per year in our case.


To use the Mini Power Minder, you plug the PC into the 1) "Always On" outlet, 2) connect the Mini Power Minder to the PC with a USB cable (included), and 3) plug a power strip that has all of your peripherals plugged into it into the "Secondary" outlet.

When the PC is powered down, or goes into hibernate, the Mini Power Minder turns off the power to the "Secondary" outlet, and all of your peripherals get powered down.


This has been hooked up on our downstairs PC for about a week and has worked flawlessly.

Update: After a month of use, still working fine.

Cost is about $15.


For another similar option, look here ...


How It Works:

We bought one for use with our downstairs PC.  We plugged the PC into the "Always On"  outlet on the Mini Power Minder, and the  printer, two monitors, camera charger, intercom, scanner, phone, and speakers are plugged into a power strip, which is in turn plugged into the "Secondary" outlet on the Mini Power Minder.    In use, I setup the power button on the PC to put the computer in hibernate.  I also set it to go into hibernate if there is no activity for 15 minutes.    When I will not be using the computer for a while, I push the power button which puts the PC into hibernate, and the Mini Power Minder then automatically turns off power to all the peripherals.  The PC uses no power in hibernate, and the Mini Power Minder sees to it that the peripherals are all turned off and use no power.  So, when you are not using the PC it (and its attached peripherals) use no power -- what a concept.    When I want to use the computer again, I push on the power switch, and the PC comes back from hibernate in seconds.

It was very straight forward to install -- basically just plug things in.

It has been working just as advertised for about a week now -- no problems.


For this particular computer, the PC and all the peripherals use 174 watts when on, but not actively doing anything.  The difference between leaving all this stuff on all the time vs using something like the Mini Power Minder is:

On all the time power = (174 watts)(24 hrs/day)(365 days/year)/(1000 watt-hr/kwh) = 1520 KWH/year

On 3 hours per day = (174 watts)(3 hrs/day)(365 days/year)/(1000 watt-hr/kwh) = 190 KWH/year

The saving in power = 1520 KWH - 190 KWH = 1330 KWH per year

At 10 cents per KWH, this is $133 per year -- a less than 2 month payback in this case.

Your savings will, of course, depend on how much power your peripherals use, and how you currently manage power on your PC.  If you already have your PC set to go into standby or hibernate after some set time, you will not save as much, but you will still save the power associated with turning your peripherals off at the same time the PC goes into hibernate, and this can be quite a bit.

The CO2 emissions saving for power generated at a coal fired electric plant is 2600 lbs of CO2 per year!

For a typical US family, this is like getting no electric bill for one month.

One wonders why something equivalent to this could not be built into every PC sold?


The PC is plugged into the "Always On" socket of the power minder, and
the power strip is plugged into the lower "Secondary" outlet.  All of
your peripherals are then plugged into the power strip.
When the PC is turned off, the Mini Power Minder turns off the
power strip and all the peripherals plugged into it.


Gary Nov 17, 2007