I am looking for a way to monitor and log when docking stations are connected to a computer.

Say I have 10 docking stations in a room I want to see when they were in use. Is there a way I can run a script/application off the docking station or extra monitors?

I am quite lost looking for a way to tackle this problem so any advice is much appreciated!!

Thank you

  • 1
    No. They don't have enough brains. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Nov 21 '17 at 19:59
  • You could configure computers to report when they connect to given pieces of hardware, though getting them to report connecting to specific monitors and/or docks may be difficult. – music2myear Nov 21 '17 at 20:01
  • I don't have access to the users computers, just the docking stations and monitors – dreamer Nov 21 '17 at 20:04
  • As @IgnacioVazquez-Abrams says, they don't have the circuits for that task. They are a combination of port replicator and charging station, and that's it. They have just enough ability to tell the computer it's attached, but nothing for telling a remote observer/computer about it. – computercarguy Nov 21 '17 at 22:16
  • @computercarguy Is there any simple way to add "brains"? (sensors??) – dreamer Nov 22 '17 at 12:56

Is it possible? Yes. Is it simple? Not really.

The only way I can think of being able to do this is to add a device outside of the dock to do your reporting. It would have to be something that would detect a laptop being attached to the dock, without affecting the performance of the laptop.

I've considered the different ports involved in a dock, and everything could be considered a security issue except the power plug.

So, my proposal is to use a meter on the power cord to see when there's a spike in usage. I know there are devices out there that can do this, but I'm not sure if they could report to you the information you're looking for. If this were me, I'd rig up an Arduino to measure the current going to the dock. At a certain level, count it as being used, then when it drops below that, mark it as unused.

Using an Arduino with built-in wireless and a dedicated router to do communication with a central hub, you can get your reports. This requires electrical, electronics, and programming skills to accomplish it, but it shouldn't be too bad. (Famous last words, right?)

Use a small enough Arduino and the right enclosure, and you could make it so the user would be very unlikely know it was there. Of course, you'd have to get your company's permission to do something like this.

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