Every now and then I need to wake my machine up while I’m away from home, either to quickly remote desktop into it, or to get access to my Plex library on the go without needing to leave the computer on all the time.
Unfortunately, quite a few routers block magic packets coming from the WAN altogether, without allowing you to disable that behavior.
I decided this would be a great opportunity for a small first IoT project, where the goal would be to expose a web hook to a mobile application which would then the micro-controller to send the magic packets to a given machine from inside the home network.
Based on a suggestion from my friend @romerobaseclass, I decided to order a brand new Spark Core. Unfortunately the smaller and cheaper Photon is still 2 months away from release – but still, at $39, this is a steal! This beauty is fitted out-of-the-box with a WiFi chip and can be controlled through a REST API within a few minutes of unpacking.
If you are interested, I created a project over at Hackster.io. There you will find the instructions to set up your Spark Core or Photon within 5 minutes so that it can respond to requests to wake up a computer. I’m also working on an Android client app to conveniently expose that functionality:
UPDATE: The companion app has been submitted to the Play Store. You need to enter the MAC address of the machine you want to wake up and the access token of your particle.io device (you can get that from https://build.particle.io/).