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  • Auto Power-on Laptop

    I am installing a laptop into a car as the main computer, and I am trying to design a circuit that will automatically turn the laptop on. Turning the laptop off is not a problem, since when the power line loses power I have Windows set to hibernate in 15 minutes. I am assuming I need a circuit that will activate a relay for 1 second when the acc line goes from cold to hot. Anyone have any ideas how to do this?
    2003 Golf TDI
    Molded LCD in progress...

  • #2
    open the case of the laptop . bring out two wires from the on switch. conect a relay form switch contact side. the control side of relay to the ingintion switch start wire. so when you start your car the laptop will think that you pushed the on button

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    • #3
      Lawrence has it right. A 555 timer circuit set up in one shot mode would work nicely. You have to have it timed, or else you laptop is gonna keep shutting itself off. Any help with the electronics is readily available. PM me with any questions.
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      • #4
        http://www.the12volt.com/relays/page5.asp#ctm

        Check out the section on converting constant to momentary output.
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        • #5
          Cube timers work great too. You can get a .25-5sec cube timer for about $20 from any electronics supply store (not radioshack). What you would do is hook it to your acc and when it energizes, it closes a circuit for .25-5sec, depending on what size resistor you use. The circuit then opens back up until the timer is de-energized then energized again.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by lawrence
            open the case of the laptop . bring out two wires from the on switch. conect a relay form switch contact side. the control side of relay to the ingintion switch start wire. so when you start your car the laptop will think that you pushed the on button
            Thanks for the response, how many amps would the relay need to be for this?
            2003 Golf TDI
            Molded LCD in progress...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by owibitmytongue
              Thanks for the response, how many amps would the relay need to be for this?
              The relay just connects a switch, it shouldn't actually be providing the power to the laptop so you should only need one that capable of providing a few milliamps.
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              • #8
                this will workand maybe small enough to fit inside case also rember to leave th laptop switc conected for use when not in the car

                http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...5Fid=275%2D233

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                • #9
                  Here's the Answer

                  Ok, after much thought this curcuit should be able to be wired into a laptop or docking station and automatically "press" the power button when the car is turned on. It is smart enough not to press the button when the computer is already on and 'awake.'

                  For shutdown I reccomend using windows power settings to go to standby and/or hibernate based on time and battery level.


                  See attached image below:


                  Let me know if you can think of any issues with this.

                  Rob




                  My inspiration comes from here:
                  CDRSKULL's circuit
                  and here:
                  12 v constant - to - momentary
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                  • #10
                    if bios is set to power on with on switch and to shut off after press and hold for 5 seconds. then if using starter signal fron key switch. then the laptop will boot as long as it dose not take more then 5 seconds of cranking to start you car. you will only need on relay to power up or turn off laptop. to shut down the laptop put your car into drive and turn key to start and hold for more then 5 seconds. the pc will see a request for shut down. if you have a manual trans test to make sure that your car will not crank with the clutch not pushed down. if so use that to shut down the pc.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for all the thought and info guys! It helped me out a ton!
                      2003 Golf TDI
                      Molded LCD in progress...

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