Simple PC Motion Detection to Turn on Monitor

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Simple PC Motion Detection to Turn on Monitor

Postby aaknitt » February 10th, 2011, 5:01 pm

Hey all,

I'm setting up a monitor in our fire station truck bay to display some status information from a web page. Since we're a volunteer department there's no one at the station 95% of the time, so I'll have the monitor turn off after a set period of time. I'd like the monitor to turn on automatically when someone comes in the door near the monitor. The PC will be an older HP thin client running XP embedded. My first thought is to use a simple motion detector wired into a USB mouse button, but I thought I'd ask here to see if anyone knows of a more elegant way of doing this. Using the mouse button method, I'd probably need a manual disable for when I want to actually do something on the computer. I was thinking maybe something with a webcam, but not sure how much I can run on the thin client. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Andy
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Re: Simple PC Motion Detection to Turn on Monitor

Postby MS3FGX » February 10th, 2011, 6:32 pm

My first thought when I was coming into the topic was a webcam and motion detection software, but your idea of connecting a simple motion detector to a USB HID device is actually much more elegant.

Connect a motion sensor (these are pretty easy to wire up with a CdS cell, or you can buy/salvage a PIR module) up to where the "click" microswitch is with a toggle switch inline to disable it, and put the whole thing into a project box that sits next to the computer. Like you said, that way you can cut out the motion sensor when you want to work on the machine, and the rest of the time it can wake it up.

I guess technically using the click action might have some unexpected results depending on where the cursor was sitting. Perhaps better to tie into the actual mouse movement, but the method there will depend on what kind of mouse you use for the donor.
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Re: Simple PC Motion Detection to Turn on Monitor

Postby Wolfin » February 12th, 2011, 3:59 pm

My first thought is one of those air freshener motion detectors, a microcontroller, FTDI chip, and keystroke code - send a press of CTRL or Scroll Lock or something silly.
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Re: Simple PC Motion Detection to Turn on Monitor

Postby frank26080115 » February 12th, 2011, 7:32 pm

If you want to go the USB route, try http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/usnoob ... th=104_128 and make a keyboard that turns on SCROLL LOCK, since nobody cares about scroll lock. I have a feeling an IR distance sensor is better than a motion sensor for this if you simply want USB HID to unlock a screensaver

Or you can just wire a microcontroller to the power button on the monitor.

Or... If you are really ballsy, the computer sends the "sleep" signal to the monitor, you can try to add something in between that sends the "wake" signal.
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Re: Simple PC Motion Detection to Turn on Monitor

Postby aaknitt » February 19th, 2011, 8:07 pm

Well I managed to pull this together last night. Here's the writeup:

https://sites.google.com/site/radioetce ... pc-monitor

Mods, if you want to move this to a project forum go for it.

Andy
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Re: Simple PC Motion Detection to Turn on Monitor

Postby MS3FGX » February 19th, 2011, 8:11 pm

Clever idea combining the mouse and PIR sensor into one device. I had originally thought of the motion sensor as it's own entity, where the host computer would see two USB mice, but this is two birds with one stone.
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