PowerControl Home Automation

You might have already seen my PowerTray tool in an earlier post.  I’ve made some big changes to the tool so I thought it warranted a brand new post.

The Power control suit allows you to control external devices in your home. PowerControl supports the following output controllers:

Using PowerControl with one of the above and a simple relay or solid-sate-relay arrangement you can control any appliance in the house.

PowerControl operates in a server/client architecture. It consists of the following components:

PowerControl Server Service (Server)

This windows service is responsible for controlling hardware, whether it be attached via Parallel port, print server or K8055. The PowerControl Config tool is used to add and remove devices which are controlled by this service. The PowerControl service can be managed from any PC on the network using the PowerControl Config tool (All tasks except configuring the local service instance, this must be done by running the config tool locally on the PC which runs the service).

PowerTray (Client)

PowerTray provides a system tray menu which is used to interact with a PowerControl server to turn devices on and off.  It can interact with any number of PowerControl servers and can be run on any number of PCs on the local network.  This means multiple PCs have access to the same devices. The PowerControl service maintains the state of these devices and updates each instance of PowerTray. For example You might turn on a Lamp from PC1 then turn it off later from PC2.

PowerCmd (Coming soon!)

PowerCmd is a command line tool which allows you to interact with a PowerControl service. This allows you control devices from other programs and scripts.

Version History (2008-08-24) (PowerTray)

  • Initial release (2009-03-21) (PowerTray)

  • Lots of little bug fixes and better error handling (2010-11-10) (PowerControl) Current release

  • Added support for K8055 USB
  • Added support for Windows 7
  • Split service config from PowerTray client
PowerControl (2733 downloads)

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19 Responses to PowerControl Home Automation

  1. Zemhhso September 18, 2017 at 1:10 am #

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  3. jason April 12, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    hi, been looking for a program to control lights connected to another pc and came accross this. amazing bit of kit and exactly what i was looking for. but 1 question…is there anyway i can also control it from my android tablet? many thanks

    • RhysGoodwin April 16, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

      Hi Jason. No android version sorry. The best I can do is offer the source code so you could create your own Android interface.


  4. Jef Peeters October 12, 2012 at 12:03 am #

    Hi Rhys,

    I’ve read on your site that you where working on an command version , is this project still in the pipeline?

    I’ve managed everthing working now perfectly now (i’ve even donated some money to you , which means i really liked it because i’ve never did this before lol)

    The question is because i would like to attach a key from my keyboard (let’s say scroll lock) to the application , so when i press scrolllock my port will open.

    Is there a possibility that this is going to work..?

    • RhysGoodwin October 12, 2012 at 7:47 am #

      Hi Jef, unfortunately I don’t have the time to work on this. If you only use the print server for this one task and you don’t need to use power tray then it shouldn’t be too hard to write a basic application to send the bits to the print server. Take a look at the code sample in this post: https://blog.rhysgoodwin.com/hardware/print-server-power-control-hack/

      You can download Microsoft C# express for free.

  5. Jef Peeters June 25, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    Hello, i’m trying the following,
    Power one port of the parrallel connector (eg.pin 5) to power one relais , but can’t find the settings for this in your powerconfig, can you help me please ?

    • RhysGoodwin June 26, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

      Hi Jef,, if it’s a native parallel port on LTP1 then the port number in power control config will be port 888 and the output number will be 4, outputs start at 0. i.e. 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7 so pin5=output4.

  6. Shawn August 22, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    Hey Rhys: I just installed this package and it doesn’t seem to want to show up in media portal 1.2.0’s plugin list, could you assist?


    • RhysGoodwin August 22, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

      Hi Shawn, sorry to say I haven’t updated the MP Plug-in in sometime. I’m not sure when I might have the time to do this, the best I can do right now is make the source available – let me know. But I will keep it in mind in case I do get some time.


  7. Joey May 15, 2011 at 4:41 am #

    Hey just checked your program out. Pretty Cool. I was wondering if its possible to monitor one of the pins for a drop in voltage and trigger an application upon change?

    • RhysGoodwin May 16, 2011 at 10:42 am #

      Hi Joey,

      PowerControl doesn’t currently support any input but it is my intention do add this at some point but I’m not sure when that will be.


  8. C Myers January 2, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    This is great! I love the software, and am ordering relays soon. 2 things, could you add a small tutorial showing how to set up the software? noob here. Second, adding a timer feature would be great to turn on and off lights (or coffee maker). Thanks!

    • RhysGoodwin January 3, 2011 at 9:50 am #

      Hey, thanks for your comment. From memory I added some setup info in the help/about section with-in the app but have a go and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.

      I do intend to add some scheduling features but not sure when I’ll get to it. Also want to add input support to allow triggering of events. But again time is always the issue! But your request is noted 🙂


      • C Myers January 3, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

        Thanks! I think I have it figured out. Could you please email me as soon as there are any updates? I think it would be rather easy to interface a speech recognition program with the PowerCmd gets out. Very good job programming the other 2, and I am eagerly awaiting the scheduling! =)

        • RhysGoodwin January 3, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

          Yep will do. Id be interested to hear how you end up using PowerControl.


          • C Myers January 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

            Ill tell you once it is set up to my liking – no idea how long that will take. Haha. Keep up the good work!


  1. Print Server Power Control Hack - November 10, 2010

    […] I’ve created a full windows application to control devices attached to print servers, local parallel ports and K8055 USB boards. Download and read about it here. […]

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