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  • linking into laptop power button

    alrighty,

    I have an IBM Thinkpad T20 laptop which i'm going to be installing in the boot of my car. I was hoping I could simply solder a wire to the terminals that the power button connects on the laptop. However the main power button is connected to a circuit on a rubbery type material. So Im not going to be able to trigger the main power button using wires.


    Any ideas on how I can turn the laptop on in the front of my car?

    My thinkpad has a socket underneath used for the port replicator (docking station). On this docking station there is a power button, so i was thinking 2 of the terminals on this socket should trigger the laptop to turn on?

    How has anyone else triggered the power button on a laptop?

    cheers for any help.
    Volvo C70 - Installation in progress *gulp*

  • #2
    I soldered 2 wires to my laptop to power it on. On the base of the power button were 4 metal connectors. I figured out what two needed to be bridged, soldered the wires on, attached a momentary switch from Radio Shack and viola! Power button.

    Unfortunaltey, all the moving around of the laptop I did, the power button wires pulled off and my resolder job .. was not a success and I burned up some small chip on the mobo .. the laptop died shortly there after. I'm thinking maybe about glueing the wires onto my new laptop motherboard..

    -Brad
    83 mp320i 285k
    -Brad
    83 mp320i
    99 mp323i
    _________

    7" Lilliput w/Touch, 150 W Opus, 2.4ghz P4 533fsb, 512 DDR 333mhz, GPS, WiFi Inet, 40g Maxtor 7200rpm, Laptop DVD/CD-RW w/USB2.0 Bridge, WinXP Pro.

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    • #3
      thats what I was planning on doing. Unfortunately my powerbutton doesn't have any connectors to solder onto
      Volvo C70 - Installation in progress *gulp*

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      • #4
        There must be another joint somewhere, you should be able to trace it. Unless you are talking about one of those multiplexed switches wheres the connections are in row and columns.

        You can wake up your laptop from serial port, and shut it down too....this all depend if your laptop supports it.

        The wake-on-ring pin on serial port can wake up the laptop when the modem rings on that port.

        You can then shutdown by setting up a fake UPS connected to the serial port.

        You obviously not gonna connect a real modem and UPS on the comport, just wires applying a "high" or "low" on thoses pins...and yes they do take 12V. Just be sure to put a protection diode and resistor in series.

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        • #5
          get a multimeter and look at the connections, you can probably find the right tabs to solder to.

          You can also look at the lid switch, and try to solder something there. It took me forever to find the lid mechanism on my laptop, because it is controlled by a magnet. I have the power switch wired to an oem switch, and I plan to hook up the lid switch to a relay controlled by the alarm system

          |V1 Virtual Display|

          Hard work often pays off over time, laziness always pays off right now.

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          • #6
            post a pic of the button on the board, both sides of the board.

            i extended the power switch on a tablet. it was a 3-pin single-pole, double-throw (SPDT) slide switch.

            if the port replicator has a power switch, just buy a port replicator and extend the button on it, if it's easier. if you can get hold of the tech specs for the laptop/replicator then you can see the pinouts and find the proper pins for power switching.

            but, post pics.

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            • #7
              On an old Dell laptop I owned the docking station power button just shorted two connectors on the bottom of the laptop... I soldered a lead to each connector and ran them to a momentary switch mounted in my center console. (Also put in a quick-disconnect plug for use outside the vehicle.) Then I set Windows to "do nothing" when I closed my screen. (Control Panel -> Display -> Screen Saver -> Power -> Advanced -> When I close the lid...)

              I had also set the power setting to shut down after 5 mins on battery. Since I was powering the unit from a switched accessory outlet it would shut down on it's own after the vehicle was turned off. If only I could have figured out that wake on ring...

              -BZ
              It has to start somewhere... It has to start sometime.
              What better place than here? What better time than now?

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              • #8
                T20 power prob

                Hi, I also have the same problem with the T20, did you ever resolve your issues??

                I had hoped there would be a large easy to solder connector but alas not, also tracing the wires back is nigh on imposible as its jumbled up in the keyboard keys, and is all in a ribbon. Im not going to be using the onboard keyboard, so I might just butcher it and see what happens. I dont want to buy a dock to find I end up with the same problem, also I dont want the extra space that a dock would take up. I ll put my thinking cap on with this one....

                3 Images attached, one for the front, back of keyboard, and one of the keys I atacked to see how it works.
                Attached Files
                Reanult Clio 2000
                Carputer Progress = 99.99%
                Pics of progress Gallery

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                • #9
                  Docking

                  I think your best solution will be a docking station. There is a guy in here that did this to a IBM laptop I believe he had a white BMW. There is also a simple circuit that will power the laptop on and off using a resistor, capacitor and a relay.

                  good luck
                  Ford Escort 2001 ZX2 - I know!!!
                  Dell Inspiron 4000 & 8000 W/Docking Station
                  Lilliput 7" Touch Screen,Mini Keyboard,ATI Remote, Hibernate and Wake up automated.

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                  • #10
                    I too, did the solder on the power switch, works great.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Stooboy
                      Hi, I also have the same problem with the T20, did you ever resolve your issues??

                      I had hoped there would be a large easy to solder connector but alas not, also tracing the wires back is nigh on imposible as its jumbled up in the keyboard keys, and is all in a ribbon. Im not going to be using the onboard keyboard, so I might just butcher it and see what happens. I dont want to buy a dock to find I end up with the same problem, also I dont want the extra space that a dock would take up. I ll put my thinking cap on with this one....

                      3 Images attached, one for the front, back of keyboard, and one of the keys I atacked to see how it works.

                      Thanx for the pics, but please explain what you have there in each pic. I think there is more then enough there to solder a button or relay.

                      The first pic seems to have a metal contact on the bottom of the button (if it is the button) that metal contact either pushes a button on a board, OR makes the connection between 2 contacts on a board. Either way, there should be 2 contacts to solder tow.

                      If not, the board in the second pic has several wires coming off of it. One or two of them SHOULD be related to the power button. You will need to get a Multimeter with a continuity tester to work out which wires.

                      This is really not that hard. No matter what, there HAS TO BE a switch with some contacts. It is just a matter of figuring out which contacts are the right contacts.

                      Michael
                      ...I love the French language...especially to curse with...Nom de Dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperies de connards d'enculés de ta mère. You see, it's like wiping your *** with silk, I love it.

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                      • #12
                        ta

                        Cheers for the replies guys,

                        My bad those pictures are misleading, as I took the photos while the keyboard was lying ontop of the exposed motherboard underneath.

                        there are no actuall wires on the keyboard, everything runs to the back of the keyboard via the brown ribbon strip(pic one in previos post). The black connector seen in pic one is the only connection between the laptop and the keyboard. Somwhere in those pins will be the power. The circuit board that you see on Pic one is the control for the mouse nipple and mouse keys.

                        the second picture is the cursor key off the laptop I removed to see the contacts below as it is a simmilar to that of the power button (I didnt want to **** up the power button and not be able to use the lappy anymore). This pic was taken with the keyboard ontop of the exposed laptop beneath. Both sides of that contact are insulated by rubber.

                        Pic 3 is a picture of the power button with only the harware peice removed, if you pull that rubber bit off you get the same as in pic 2 a small silver pad.

                        The entire circuit is basically a rubber membrane, that then runs via the ribbon to the back of the keyboard. It is a bit like a calculator keypad.

                        Thus I took apart an old calculator to see how it worked. What I found more clearly was, that there were two peices of curcuit that ran "closely to each other" sitting above that is a large circle disk, when you push down on the key it press the disk, down that bridges the two circuits (switch). This is the same on the IBM keypad, taking the keys off the keypad, you can pull the rubber membrane back. Then with a little persiverence you can eventually get the the top hlaf of the membrane to seperate from the bottom. Giving you the exposed pads. Since this is mainly rubber and solder resist im not sure if it can be soldered onto, but ill give it ago.

                        Its quite hard to explain but ill put more pics up. Although im new here, i often use the net to resolve problems and there is nothing worse than finding a thread with someone who has had the same problem as you, with lots of ppl posting things to try and you get to the end and they say "fixed it thanks" without saying wtf they did to fix it
                        Reanult Clio 2000
                        Carputer Progress = 99.99%
                        Pics of progress Gallery

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                        • #13
                          Don't solder onto the switch contacts. The disk is made of carbon. There will be no scanning occuring to detect the power switch closure so I expect that you will be able to find two pins on the connector that have low resistance when the membrane is pressed. I expect that the connection will be between ground and a seperate pin.

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                          • #14
                            I went down the docking station route as at the time I couldn't find an easy way either.

                            Thinking about it now though, if you take a gander underneath the laptop theres a small flap covering a socket for the docking station to clip into. Theres dozens of pins here and 4 main pins on either end. Im pretty sure 2 of these pins will connect when the switch on the docking station is pressed.

                            I tried to find out which pins but couldn't but if you can then that should be alot easier!!
                            Volvo C70 - Installation in progress *gulp*

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                            • #15
                              I did the docking station I have a t23 this should help is your friend

                              http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=49080
                              mp3car infill g4

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