How to keep housemates from using your rig?

I just about had it with my 2 college-aged, housemates. Their guests broke one of my Blue Room MiniPods during one of their soccer parties, and they kept knowledge of the damage from me until I did some investigative work and discovered it myself. (No wonder the speakers never ever fully-broke in...!!!). When I first asked them if they (or their guests) dropped my MiniPods, they lied to my face about it. Only after confronting them with evidence of the damage, did they mumble something about "Perhaps one of their guests dropped the speaker, and did not tell them about it." [That, btw, is a lie. I heard the crash and bang from my room, and when I came out of the room and asked what was that about, my housemates said a few DVD cases fell]. They agreed to pay for the damage, but pro-rated it against the last month of use, and as a result, are only paying me 85% of the full-price.

Being an easy-going fellow, I let that one slide after lecturing them on respecting the personal property of others. Kids will be kids...

Last night, I discovered that they have been using my other soundsystem--a set-up that amounts to a grand total of US$9,000. As I no longer trust them to honor their word and keep their paws off my system, I had to come up with a method of keeping them from turning it on. I am also pretty sure that (Gawd forbid!) if they broke or damaged my set-up (e.g. turning my amplifier to 100%, causing it to clip, and blow the speakers), they would not own up to me. [My present room is too small to contain these speakers within them. 2 months from now, when I move into the master bedroom, I will move the rig to my room, and end this headache].

This, so far, is my best idea. I am getting a chassis from RadioShack, and putting a power-strip inside it. This power-strip is equipped with a single On-Off switch. A 9V Radio-Frequency Controlled Receiver would be hooked up to servo motor unit, with a linkage, which turns the power-strip-switch On or Off. The receiver would be powered by a seperate 9V AC/DC power supply which sits outside the chassis.
All the power cords of my hi-fi system will be hooked up to this power-strip inside the chassis. The chassis will be secured by tamper-resistant allen head screws.

I will carry the transmitter (basically an R/C type) with me. This unit would turn the power-strip On or Off remotely.

Is this a good idea? I know for a fact that they cannot afford to pay up if they damage my system, but my current room is too small to hold my set up, and I didn't pay 1/3rd of the rent to hide everything in my room, and banish my stuff from the living room.

Suggestions/opinions are highly welcome.
I saw Red Green do that once.
Put your system in your room and wait until you move to use it. They will not leave it alone. They will do damage to it trying to figure out how to turn it on. I went through this 20 years ago and am still not over it. Save your system!
Pardon me for saying this, but ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!?!

I think that you are crazy to think that they will respect your gear and your wishes given what they have already shown (and NOT shown you). Either lock it away or store it but you are nuts to keep it out in the open.

Plus why live with all that stress in your OWN home? I mean you must walk in each time scutinizing your system, trying to figure what is different, is anything wrong? Home is supposed to be where you get to relax - this will continue to be a source of tension and stress - IMHO.

You need to find roommates that "get it" with high end audio if you want them to respect the gear. Suggestion - see if there is a local club or something in your area and look for new roommates.

You are letting this happen to you - pure and simple!
Your situation is upsetting to read about. Your housemates are selfish, unscrupulous, and dishonest. You should find a better place to live.

To address your question, the weak part of your plan is probably the servo + linkage. These need to be positioned reasonably precisely to operate the power strip switch properly. Unless they are very firmly afixed to the Radio Shack chassis, there is a likelihood that they will become misaligned with repeated use (or shaking or other abuse from your housemates). You may be attaching them to the chassis with screws which might be exposed to tampering. (One way to defeat the tampering would be to have another chassis surrounding the whole thing.)

Another issue: while you told us how unprincipled your housemates are, you didn't mention if they are mechanically inclined. Are you sure they can't buy a $1.98 set of Allen drivers and open your box? Maybe epoxy would be safer. Good luck!
GET YOU OWN PLACE and that will solve the problem.
Here's a thought: have someone build a heavy steel mesh enclosure for your gear (except the speakers), and have it electrified with a high voltage current from an dedicated power source which only you can turn off...

If that idea seems impractical, you might try setting up a concealed "nanny cam" somewhere, so you have videotaped evidence to use in small claims court against them... Barring that, I'd move everything into your room until you can either get a place of your own or new roommates.

Last option: I can send you the contact phone number for my "friend" Rocco, who will "discourage" your roommates from ever touching your gear again. Rocco's rates are reasonable, and he guarantees his work, but his "work" is usually irreversable...
I have heard that a solution of cayenne pepper and water sprayed on the surface will discourage most housemates from perching. Wait - I forgot to ask, how many legs do your housemates have?

Seriously, I feel for you. I had to reinforce my door in college with stolen (not me, really) banquet tent-posts - these were hardwood poles with a metal rod down the middle as reinforcement. Someone still busted through my door, and ended up taking out the doorframe, reinforcements and all. Nothing went missing, but I did gain a 350lb drunk fatso snoring on my couch.

Put the hobby on hold, and get used to your roommate's Aiwa.
kick them out , i say. the stress you go through is simply not worth the rent they are paying you. it is bad enough that they don't respect you and your precious rig but to lie to your face like that...

good luck !
Scott, Rocco, eh? too good -
I was thinkin' about some guys I knew back east with the middle name of "the" for the same reason
(wink wink nudge nudge) -aj
Hi, Angela: yeah, Rocco changed his name because "Lucca Brazzi" was too recognizable (wink wink, nudge nudge indeed....). Rocco likes to think of himself as a "medical consultant" that specializes in "destructive orthopedics"....
Now I know why I got married and then went to college. Best damn roomate an audio enthusiast could have.

Good luck,
"This, so far, is my best idea..."

No, the best was starting this thread. Your roomies don't need to turn it on to break it. Get it out until you get them out.
This reminds me of a college roommate (20-odd years ago) who would leave piles of knives and spoons on the kitchen counter (not even in the sink!) for weeks on end, all with assorted goodies smeared on them - mostly peanut butter - which the ants and roaches quite enjoyed... then one day I decided that if he had such little respect for me, it was time to return the favor - so I cleaned off about a dozen peanut butter knives on his freshly washed bedsheets and pillow cases! It might have helped that I was twice his size. Hey, come to think about it, I should have gone into my "Bubba mode" and tried out some of my All-Star Wrestling moves on him... so I'll join the peanut galley (I know, bad pun) and suggest that you get on your own ASAP. One day this will all be a distant memory. In the meantime, protect your gear!
Might I suggest installing your system in a simple locking cabinet.
I would venture to say that the soultion you have suggested will probably make your system sound so bad you won't care if they blow it up.
my college roomate story was pretty funny

I had a roomate my freshman year who basically thought since he was my roommate that he had the run of the mill concerning my stereo. He was heavily into the band Rush who I did not particularly like (that high squealing voice I found grating). So, I came up with a devious plan, I bought a duplicate copy of one of the Rush albums he had(Farewell to Kings I think) and proceeded to play it in front of him, and I was pretending to groove to this music. After a few minutes I got up walked across the room, slammed the needle across the record (I put my cheap B&O cartridge on) and took the record over my knee and broke it in half. The look on his face of total shock was priceless, and he being the macho type, when he recovered, he was about ready to kill me. I then pulled out "his" record and with a nice long pause told him "not to touch my stereo". He got the message - don't mess with me, and I moved out several months later

that $3.50 for the rush album, perhaps the best stereo investment I ever made...
This reminds me of my cousin whose father would take his VCR from him and hook it up to his tv. My cousin got sick of this and hid the VCR in the basement ceiling and then put a padlock around a water pipe and around the cord. When he came home he saw the VCR back on the father's tv. He looks at the cord and by the plug is a huge ball of tape where the cord had been cut. My cousin gave up then.
You could try a simple fix of lock out tag out covers for the plugs or there are ones that slip on the plug prongs and they have a key. But if they are disrespectfull like ny Uncle, they will find a way. Especially if they are removable cords. All they need to do is remove the cords from their computer and plug those in and they would be using your stereo and you'd be none the wiser.
What a knot of toads. By the time my son was 8 years old he had not only learned how to operate my system properly and carefully but how to defend it from the his grimy little friends. What a pity your roommates grew up without suitable parenting.

If I were you, I'd lock everything up until I had a suitable room. That's a loss, I know, but it might prevent far more grievous losses. I can't imagine that jamming all that stuff into one of your cabinets would be good for your sound.

Good luck!

booby-trap it!
Louisville Slugger - wood, not me
I don't know, Pops, the PING of aluminum might be deeply satisfying...