A few days ago, I needed some distraction and thus I drove one of my sisters to IKEA. I needed a desk lamp1 anyway and thus this looked like a good idea. At that time, I was in the closing moments of my “Lüneburg Desk” project. I wanted a new desk to work at and reuse the old one otherwise. The old one was still optimized for my apartment in Hamburg and rather small, especially considering that I’m using two large displays and given the size of the them I was sitting much too close to the monitor. I have now proper cable management at my desk instead of freestyle shortest path cabling in a cable holder under the desk.

I had just one problem: Under my desk is my TrueNAS Scale based fileserver running some docker containers for the operations of my home and one of the tribble switches (Okay, Ubiquity Flex Switch Mini, they really seem to procreate like tribbles) and needed to be powered all the time, all the other stuff should be able to be switched of remotely and I didn’t wanted to have two power strips in the cable holder (it’s tightly packed anyway) and putting a Tasmota socket in front of the power strip wasn’t feasible as it would switch off the tribble switch and the TrueNAS server as well. And putting a Tasmota in front of each socket … did I mentioned the cable holder is already packed?

Just by chance I was waiting for my sister in the smart home department to close up from the floorware department and looked around a little bit as I wasn’t really in the mood for IKEA. I observed two things: I saw nobody else with a mask except my sister, which had filled the cart with a gargantuan amount of floorware (at least it looked that way) and was now closing up to me. And there i found the solution of my problem by pure chance without really searching for it.

Åskväder is more or less a modular power strip. You find it at for example at IKEA.nl (i’m using it because it’s an English version), you have Zigbee switch modules, modules with one or two sockets, USB-Ports for charging, cables to connect the modules if you don’t want a single monolithic power strip, cables to connect the strip to the power outlet. You can connect up to 10 sockets this way.

This really solved my problem: I have now a power strip with power cable, a two power socket module, the zigbee switch module, two two socket modules for the left side of desk, a 2 meter connection cable, and 3 additional two socket modules. The first module with the 2 sockets is always on, and the server and the switch are using this ports. Only the modules behind the Zigbee switch module are switched sockets, in my case controlled by a Hue bridge.

Next target for such a power strip will be my TV stand, to keep switch and Sonos powered while everything else can be controlled by the Hue app as well.

  1. I opted for the smaller sister of my reading lamp … Ranarp in white. 

Written by

Joerg Moellenkamp

Grey-haired, sometimes grey-bearded Windows dismissing Unix guy.