ATX Power Switch Substitute

An additional push-button switch is normally required for the ATX Power Switch/Soft Power Switch signal, but you can do without it if you use this simple circuit. It is an artful design, but it has been repeatedly tested. The zener diode is intended to provide protection against excessive voltages and reverse-polarity connection. In the latter case, the resulting short-circuit current (approximately 1A) will exceed the allowable limit and cause the ATX power supply to shut down after around five seconds. It might be possible to use a smaller capacitor; this must be tested experimentally in actual use.

ATX Power Switch Substitute circuit diagramIf the motherboard documentation is poor, you should verify the earth pin using a continuity tester. The resistor is only needed if you want to be able to switch on the PC within ten seconds after switching it off. It discharges the capacitor quickly enough to make this possible. With a 1-kΩ resistor, the time constant is around 0.5 s. Since the capacitor also tends to stabilize the voltage, this circuit could also help in situations in which the ATX power supply switches off unintentionally due to voltage fluctuations on the PWR Supply On line.