So I'm working on a project which requires me to compile the kernel of my desktop machine at the office. But I do a lot of work at home using SSH.

As the kernel is very delicate, it causes a lot of kernel panics, and this leads to the computer freezing, and not rebooting.

Thus I was thinking of using my Raspberry Pi exclusively to reset my desktop machine.

My plans are as follows. I get a transistor, and connect the collector and emitter to short circuit the reset pins on my mainboard. Then I connect the base of the transistor to a GPIO of the raspberry pi.

Whenever I want to reset my computer, I login to my raspberry Pi and set the GPIO connected to the base to 1 for a second and put it back down.

One problem I have is the voltage difference between the GPIO of raspberry Pi and the mainboard pins. The mainboard pins seem to use 5V, whereas the GPIOs 3.3V.

Will it be OK to use a transistor directly without any other resistors?

2 Answers 2


It sounds like what you want to do is to essentially apply a jumper from one pin on your motherboard to a 5V source on your motherboard. Why not use an optocoupler? Then the electronics on the Pi will be completely separate from the electronics on the motherboard except for a signal to control whether the pin is jumpered or not.


I would use a relay to short the pins. there are some commercially available on breakout boards at electronic supply stores (Microcenter, Fry's, etc). it would take about 5 minutes to wire one up without any soldering (though that doesn't seem to be an issue for you), and they're pretty easy to diagnose.

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