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First Car PC Dilemma

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  • First Car PC Dilemma

    right, i have been on this forum a while now and am looking to very soon install my first carputer

    i was just about to start making it all when i had some thoughts..

    firstly i will tell you my original idea..

    'as i have a broken screen laptop i was going to use this as the pc (the insurance company are buying me a new one ) and have a 7" touchscreen in the dash, have it all under the passenger seat with usb ports in the glove box and the aux out of the laptop going to the aux in on the rear of the head unit, with both the screen and the laptop wired up to the battery'

    then i thought about the laptop battery draining severly if i forgot to turn it off so thought what about hooking up the charger + screen to the ignition, then it could run off the laptops battery power and avoid a flat battery

    then i thought about a possible power surge when i turned on the ignition and now am really confused.. dont know what to do lol

    well anyway i want it as cheap and as effective as possible and have approx 430/$703 to spend on the whole system (except obv the laptop unless you think it would be better if i got a normal pc)

    all suggestions welcome and extremely appreciated

    thanks in advanced

  • #2
    look in the laptop section to see what others have done for your issues--i know that are alot of laptop users that have run into the simmilar problems--i don't use a laptop, so i can't help you much..
    My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
    "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"

    next project? subaru brz
    carpc undecided


    • #3
      How about if u just set your OS to go sleep after an hour when on battery power?


      • #4
        Check my worklog for a laptop install. No pics of it, but I opened the laptop case and soldered wires from the power switch to the modem phone connector.

        I plugged in phone cable with a momentary press button switch on the end of the phone wire. If you get the right power supply (eg. Opus with Laptop firmware or a Carnetix, it can also get wired into this cable to do the startup and shut down.

        Didn't take long and I found the manual on Google to show me how to pull the case apart.
        2007 Toyota Hilux with a CarPC..

        OziExplorer GPS Embedded in RR:


        • #5

          yeah i know about extending the power button but just want a power supply setup that wont do any damage to my car..

          what power supply would you reccomend?


          • #6
            i used a lappy in my project.
            set it to hibernate on 1 min on battery, this way u never drain the battery, u only use it to hibernate. there is also a small program available that can run as a background service to hibernate the comp once the power is unplugged (thats what i use).
            then all you need is a relay module to press the power botton on ACC or IGN which will resume it from hibernation, this way you completely automate the power up/down proccess.
            ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
            2007 Toyota Tundra Double Cab SR5
            >"Say what you mean and mean what you say"<


            • #7
              there are advantage to both, the PC or the Laptop,
              but i you want to use the laptop route, you can buy/build the laptop startup/shutdown module designed by one mp3car member. Then power everything off of an inverter (screen and laptop). Some inverter have ignition wire to tell it to turn on or off when the car is on, some don't. If it doesnt have it, just wire it to the 12V cig adapter, and it'll be on if the car is on. This way you will never drain your batter.

              If you want a PC route, mp3car has really nice starter packages, have a look at the store.


              • #8
                i completely agree with Punky, however even if the inverter doesnt have ign wire just connect it to a high amperage wire that is turned on after or on ignition... i connecte3d my inverter to the THICK ECU wire.
                this way the inverter powers the laptop on IGN, however the relay module will turn the lappy on ACC this way i can run the lappy using its internal battery without draining the car battery.
                ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
                2007 Toyota Tundra Double Cab SR5
                >"Say what you mean and mean what you say"<


                • #9
                  Inverters will work but you can also use a laptop power supply that is intended to plug into the cigarette lighter. Those are built to work with car power systems and won't damage the laptop. In addition, they are DC-DC which are often less prone to interfering with the audio.
                  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


                  • #10
                    good point bugbyte, in addition dc-dc inverters are more efficient.
                    their only drawback is the price, which is around $70-$120...
                    i picked up my 200watt dc-ac inverter for $25 at walmart...
                    ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
                    2007 Toyota Tundra Double Cab SR5
                    >"Say what you mean and mean what you say"<