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  • DC-DC or Inverter for Laptop?

    So I'm going to use a Thinkpad laptop as the PC in my CarPC. I have a 07 350z and I'm planning to install it in the glove box with a 7" touch screen in the cubby.

    My question is which is better, a DC-DC adaptor (I can get one for about $60) or an Inverter, which I guess would be more expensive (to be big enough to run a laptop). This is an older T40 series, so a Pentium M 1.6GHz.

    One benefit of the Inverter is I would install it in such a way to give me a "power plug" in my car if I ever needed it for something else. So the question is would a DC-DC adaptor be better in some way?

    Thanks,

    Ross

  • #2
    Please check the FAQ link in the navbar above.

    There are FAQs written specifically to answer this kind of question.

    Good luck.
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

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    • #3
      Thanks for the no-help reply. I have read the FAQ, nothing I can find talks specifically about LAPTOP computers. They refer to desktop power supplies, etc, but not laptops. That's really what I need to know about...

      Anyone else know?

      Thanks,

      Ross

      Comment


      • #4
        wow - good luck on your own!

        the information is there, you just choose to not read or search for it.

        you're not going to haev much fun with this project at all...

        especially considering this question get's asked almost DAILY around here...
        Jan Bennett
        FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

        Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

        Comment


        • #5
          There's lots there about the topic.

          Desktop or laptop makes no difference.

          I will offer you this though:

          If there's a car adapter for your laptop, that's what I would go with.

          You'll still have to adress the startup shutdown options.

          A low buck way would be to hack the laptop and wire in a power button, then just set the power options in the laptop to shut off after a couple mins on battery power.

          One more piece of advice:

          try turning the other cheek when you get a response you don't like. Getting snarky with a respected member like Red is never a good idea. Especially when she's right.

          Cheers

          BJ

          *edit* I also see darque is watching, I'd watch my step if I were you. Just a word of caution.
          For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
          Leonardo Da Vinci

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          • #6
            I know what you guys are saying - being new here but old to other forums , when you see the same question over and over it does get old. But if you guys have a great thread or 2 that you know would be perfect - maybe reply with link to that. You know when you do a search for say laptops - you get a whole bunch of stuff coming up actually over 500 posts. In the Faq I didn't really see much about laptops per se maybe there could be one topic for that - just a thought and observation from a nebbie

            Comment


            • #7
              I would think a mp3car employee should have turned the other cheek with this comment. Respected? Not by me now. Sorry I made purchases from mp3car if the other employees are like this. This kind of attitude on forums sure is common... Haven't seen it on here in a while.. Hope this isn't a sign. He was respectful on the first post and then was not in this post.. Wow these kind of people infuriate me.. Ok.. Enough of my rant, now to HELP a fellow hobbyist.

              This is how I accomplished a similar effect of the powersupply w/startup and shutdown controllers:

              Power : Inverter - Power this with a relay which turns on and off with your ignition

              Auto turn on - I purchased this item - http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/powe...rn-module.html

              Auto Turn-off - In adjust power properties in windows on laptop - set it to go into standby when running on batteries - I set mine to 2 minutes

              The auto turn on module comes with wire and a momentary switch to run up to the front of the vehicle works as an emergency switch. There are wires that you need to solder to your switch on your laptop.. I purchased a docking station so there was no damage to laptop.

              Hope this helps!


              Originally posted by RedGTiVR6 View Post
              wow - good luck on your own!

              the information is there, you just choose to not read or search for it.

              you're not going to haev much fun with this project at all...

              especially considering this question get's asked almost DAILY around here...
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              • #8
                Originally posted by mocars2 View Post
                I know what you guys are saying - being new here but old to other forums , when you see the same question over and over it does get old. But if you guys have a great thread or 2 that you know would be perfect - maybe reply with link to that. You know when you do a search for say laptops - you get a whole bunch of stuff coming up actually over 500 posts. In the Faq I didn't really see much about laptops per se maybe there could be one topic for that - just a thought and observation from a nebbie
                I'm far from being an old hand here, but I'm also an experienced forum member in other venues. As a counterpoint, I'd like to offer that the first reply said to look at the faq.

                The very first faq that appears on the pull-down menu discusses the difference between DC-DC converters and inverters (the question asked).

                I hate to sound pedantic, but...if a person doesn't know that the only real differences between a laptop and a desktop is expandability (less for a laptop) and a built-in UPS (of sorts - the laptop's battery), then honestly don't you think a carPC project is probably past their skill level anyway?

                Just my $0.02

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                • #9
                  Skill level nothing! Everyone has to start somewhere.

                  I don't like pushing people off with a simple RTFM or such, but this is one of those kinds of questions that is so common that it gets that response almost as a knee-jerk reaction. If you find over 500 posts on laptops, I'm sure a few of them address the topic in question.

                  That being said, newbies sometimes don't really even know what to look for or what they're looking at so, these kinds of posts are inevitable.

                  I'd say use an inverter for simplicity. And then to make it cool and complex, build a robotic arm that's programmed to push the power button when the car's ignition is on the ON position and again when it's off.

                  I don't think you need a super duper inverter. All the Dell laptops I've ever seen use 90W and below for their adapters. I have some IBM Thinkpads at work, but I can't remember their power ratings. I can't imagine they are much different.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This hobby is not now, nor has ever been for those who aren't willing, able, and capable of doing some research to find out information.

                    And what's the purpose of compiling FAQs for easy reference when we're supposed to answer the same question over and over again, by jwlionking's logic.

                    The fact is, many members have spent a good bit of time and effort compiling information for those FAQs and adding to them. Why? To answer the obvious questions that newbies ask over and over again.

                    When someone is pointed in the direction of the FAQs for an answer, it's not a brush off. It's simply saying "your answer is over here." If you're not willing to look for your answer, especially when you're pointed in the direction tos tart looing, then you really have no business in a hobby that requires as much research and planning as this, plain and simple.
                    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
                    How about the Wiki?



                    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Trust me, I understand the importance of keeping forums clear of repetitive questions.

                      However, Just curious, did you research the true issue before you posted? I did.


                      Originally posted by DarquePervert View Post
                      And what's the purpose of compiling FAQs for easy reference when we're supposed to answer the same question over and over again, by jwlionking's logic.
                      DigitalFX4.0 Skin by JohnWPB

                      Road Runner RR's Myspace

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                      Project 98% Complete -FREE DOMAIN & WEBSPACE / FILE HOST FOR DEVELOPERS - PM ME

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                      • #12
                        search string:

                        "power laptop"

                        in the newbie forum. First result:

                        http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/newb...questions.html

                        third result:

                        http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/newb...er-laptop.html

                        search string:

                        "power laptop"

                        in the power supply forum. second result:

                        http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/powe...wake-link.html
                        Jan Bennett
                        FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

                        Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jwlionking View Post
                          Trust me, I understand the importance of keeping forums clear of repetitive questions.
                          Uh huh....
                          However, Just curious, did you research the true issue before you posted? I did.
                          I don't really need to. I've been hanging around here long enough to know what information is and is not in the FAQs, as well as in other areas of the forum.
                          I know what has been discussed and hasn't been discussed. If I were the statistical type, I'd pull numbers for topics of discussions and put them on pretty charts and graphs to display. Fortunately for you (and probably everyone els), I'm not that sort.

                          Why do I know what is discussed over and over again? I actually read the forums. Nothing major. I'm no better than anyone. I don't have any insider knowledge or super powers. I simply pay attention.

                          To recap:
                          The OP wants to know if it's better to use an inverter with his laptop-based setup or a DC-Dc power supply (car adapter). The overwhelming majority will say DC-Dc power, as it doesn't do the double-coversion from DC to AC and back to DC. There is also less risk of noise being introduced into audio and video signal. Also, inverters that are not pure sine wave inverters generaly don't play nice with laptop batteries.

                          I don't need to search the forums to know this. Why? I've read and answered the same questions over and over again. Just like crtamming for an exam, the information has been beaten into my brain, like it or not.
                          Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
                          How about the Wiki?



                          Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ok, I will spell this out for you two. You pointed to the FAQ. Nothing specific there. You gave references to other areas in your comeback replys.'

                            Honestly, you two have been around a long time and have a lot of knowledge. Number one, don't judge someone by a number on a vbulletin forum. That doesn't account for their experience.

                            I have a feeling you two are getting jaded. Maybe you should sit back and think about what this forum is all about because you two are pushing it away and also making some of us think poorly about the retail site mp3car.com since you two are representatives.

                            For example these are right in the Forum rules:

                            Super Moderators

                            The Super Moderators do their best to maintain order and civility on the forums. They are all long-time members of the mp3car.com forums and were chosen because of their fairness and objectivity, as well as their general knowledge about the hobby, which is often put to use assisting other, newer members.

                            These forums exist as a community of hobbiests helping hobbiests, but also as a resource for other individuals to gain information about how to implement CarPCs in their business model.

                            How are you instilling this by scolding new people to the hobby and attempting to show the rest of the group your authority and experience?

                            All that effort and work you put into trying to prove a point to me is what we need for the new guys on the block.

                            How come you didn't do this for rosscarlson or the others you rebuke?

                            Please, in all sincerity, think about this.
                            DigitalFX4.0 Skin by JohnWPB

                            Road Runner RR's Myspace

                            My Ride - Car Domain Page -JWLionKing's MySpace Page

                            Project 98% Complete -FREE DOMAIN & WEBSPACE / FILE HOST FOR DEVELOPERS - PM ME

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                            • #15
                              jwlionking - I'm sorry you feel the way you do. It's apparent that you have your views of the way others should act.

                              I would encourage you to take note that many times, newbies are provided with the information they requested, it's just not in the manner they probably hoped for. As a result, harsh responses ensue. No one deserves to be talked to in that manner, not an employee, not a newbie, and not a forum regular. It's a matter of mutual respect.

                              I provided the OP with the direction to help him find the solution he was looking for. Rather than politely state that he did not find the information he was looking for, he decided to react in the manner he did.

                              Different people have different views about what it means to assist others.

                              To many people on these forums, assisting other members means pointing them in the direction to find the information they requested. To other members, it means spoon feeding the information.

                              You cannot sit back and tell us that you believe one way is right while the other is wrong.

                              Pointing a member to the area where they can find the answer they are looking for IS being helpful.

                              As has been discussed many times on this forum, spoon feeding, while helpful initially, has proven to be detrimental to newbies learning experiences.

                              This is because they do not learn along the way. Many times, in searching for answers to questions, one will find other solutions that might not have been prevalent before. They might also stumble across another idea or an answer to a question they didn't even know they would have yet.

                              While this hobby is not extremely difficult, it is fairly technical. As such, an individual looking to build and install their own CarPC solution, needs to use technical research skills to fully understand what they are doing and how they should go about tackling this project.

                              I have helped a few newbies by doing as you clearly want us to do. One such newbie is now on his 3rd motherboard and 3rd power supply, all because he didn't bother researching the products he was purchasing or how to properly install them. It is simply impossible to hold an individuals hand through this entire process as there are too many variables. These variables are not fully realized until someone does a bit of the leg work on their own.

                              As part of my job with this company, I help large customers piece together systems on a bulk basis. Many times, the customer comes to us, expecting our company to handle all of the technical aspects of installing a PC in their application. This simply is not practical, nor is it a smart move on either parties part. Because of the different environments and different needs of each install, the approaching party must be willing to put forth the effort to fully understand the process that they are about to undertake. Without this, the project is doomed from the beginning.
                              Jan Bennett
                              FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

                              Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

                              Comment

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