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  • always on method

    So i have a dream guys. i have built my carpc and it is going very well. but now i want to take it to the next level. I want to build a solution thats "always on". basically i want to run a pc 24/7 in my car. why you ask? its simple. so i can do whatever i want, without having to climb in the car or take it out to work on it inside. i want it to constantly be connected to the web so that i can send commands to the car (turn on, arm/disarm alarm, etc) i want to be able to do all this from a phone. i can build apps and im good at coding. im most likely going to do the software end through PHP (which can be done with classes) to control the OS. and read gps values etc and have them pushed to my phone screen. ive looked at some solutions for using your phone to control the car, but here it is. Im the person who doesnt want to buy something if i can build it myself. i want the satisfaction of saying "hey i built this" or "i did that by myself" yes yes i know what your saying "hey your asking people on here for help!" lol. well just wanted to gather input from everyone here to see if its worth trying to get something like this going. i do not want to put another battery in the car or anything like that either. ive looked at some ALIX boards and ive seen people use those for always on solutions. what do yall think?

  • #2
    Possible, however very difficult. First off, if you want it to be constantly on, you're going to definitely sacrifice performance. Your clock frequency affects your power consumption hugely, so you're going to have to use something way slower, alix or fitpc2 for example. If you are ok with that, then the next thing would be removing as much add ons as possible: ext HD, bluetooth, and anything external that draws current. Finally get a deep cycle battery. All that together would get you a PC that might run for a couple days without car running.

    An alternative would be using WOL wifi cards which only turns on your computer remotely as required.

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    • #3
      Unless you can build a system that draws less than 5 watts, then this wont be possible with the stock battery on 99% of the vehicles out there. At 10 watts power consumption, this might be do-able if you have a huge auxilary deep cycle battery. Also, it is not just a question of how big your battery is. You also need to consider if your alternator is beefy enough to keep everything charged up based on how much time the engine is on everyday (and if that is enough for the battery to absorb all the charge). You dont want to drain more power than what the alternator can put in.

      Basically, the better route would be to just have a wake-on-lan solution.

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      • #4
        i understand what you guys are saying, but i have a red top battery and this is in a 2004 mazda 3 sedan. i probably should have made this clear earlier but i dont want to replace the carpc, i want to add a smaller board with very low power consumption(as the alix) or something else thats comparable. to then be able to turn on my computer then do everything in need. i want to have the alix run a webserver so then i can do things OTA even when im not near my computer and i just have my phone with me.

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        • #5
          search for sheeva plug


          go check on bugbytes thread on setting up a car to be connectected to the internet cloud--so far, his thread is one of the more detailed threads on getting a setup that will always remain on.
          My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
          "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


          next project? subaru brz
          carpc undecided

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          • #6
            Right, the Sheeva plug draws 6 watts or less. Try using that.
            Originally posted by ghettocruzer
            I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
            Want to:
            -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
            -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

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            • #7
              also my plan as outlined here: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...ected-car.html
              Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
              Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
              Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

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              • #8
                I checked the fitpc2 specs yesterday and recalled it draws something rediculously low like 6w at idle and 10w at full speed. I think you can do the same with sheeva plug or some microcontroller depending on your skills.

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                • #9
                  You may want a low voltage cut-out.
                  Search my other replies for a great $25 circuit assuming you can construct & solder.
                  Maybe see the the independent aux battery idea too (fro charge light or same "high voltage" circuit.

                  Why have I become an advert for certain products? Geez!!

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                  • #10
                    well thanks guys but i would rather not use the sheeva plug because i do not want to use an inverter. and ive looked at the fit2pc but im not looking to spend money like that. hoping for a lower cost solution. and i have no experience with circuits. but i know a little about electricity and i know how to solder. lol

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by krillik View Post
                      well thanks guys but i would rather not use the sheeva plug because i do not want to use an inverter. and ive looked at the fit2pc but im not looking to spend money like that. hoping for a lower cost solution. and i have no experience with circuits. but i know a little about electricity and i know how to solder. lol
                      the sheeva takes 5v DC in so you can easily remove the stock power supply and get a dc-dc power supply for it. That's what I plan on doing.
                      Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
                      Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
                      Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

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                      • #12
                        kev000 i am reading your thread as we speak. I dont plan on using linux bc im not very good with it. ill be using winxp vortex. still trying to see how ur going to get yours done and see if i can maybe use some ideas that you have. as far as your proximity thing. im going to do the same with an arduino and a nike footpod. saw it on spark fun

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                        • #13
                          You might want to look into getting a yellow top instead. The red top batteries are only meant for starting. If you regularly cycle it, it will definately die very soon. How many hours do you spend driving a day because that is going to be an important in determining if you will be able to charge up the battery faster than it's being drained? Another benefit to the optima series batteries is that they can charge up much faster than a normal battery, assuming your alternator has enough juice.

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                          • #14
                            well when i decided to get a new battery iw anted to get a yellow top but autozone told me they did not make yellow tops for my car. im probably being gullible but yea. lol and i also know my alternator isnt very good. and i cant purchase a new one for my car seeing as any other one than the original gives the ECU a headache


                            *EDIT*
                            i used to work for ATT Uverse as a prem tech, i have backup batteries used in on those systems which typically last for 4hrs but ive seen them last up to 12. they are 12volt batteries that i think i could some how encorporate into my system as to not drain the main battery and have a regulated slow discharge on them and have them recharege when the car is running. and a day total i spend about 3-4 hrs driving

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                            • #15
                              Using some conservative numbers here..but assuming you drive for 3 hrs a day and the battery can accept a charge rate of 5 amps per hour (in reality the battery accepts charge based on how big and drained it is), then youve got 15 amp hours to work with. The system will be on battery for 24 - 3 = 21 hrs a day. 15Ahr * (1/21hr) = 0.71 amps. Basically what this means is that you should aim for a power consumption of less than 0.71 amps (less than 8.5 watts) and you should be good. Very rough numbers of course...

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