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Laptop Battery For Desktop? How do I use PC while Car is off?

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  • Laptop Battery For Desktop? How do I use PC while Car is off?

    First, I'd like to thank everyone here for all of the information available on this site. I've picked up a lot of info so far!

    But anyway, here's my situation:

    I'm trying to put an old desktop in my trunk. I think I can figure out the rest, I just need to get this power thing down. From what I gather this should work to get power to the computer......

    1. Connect an inverter to the cigarette lighter (with a relay switch to prevent battery drain)
    2. After you start the ignition, turn on the relay switch to give power to the desktop.
    3. Rig the desktop to always have the power button in the on position so that the relay switch is essentially the computer's power button
    4. After you turn off the car, remember to turn off the relay switch too

    But what if I wanted to access the carputer's files while it's off and parked in the driveway? Here's what I'm thinking...

    -I could use a remote control relay switch to turn on the computer from inside the house, then access it over a network or desktop connection
    -But would using the computer like this for say 5-10 minutes kill the car battery?
    -If I can't do it that way what are my alternatives?

    If I was using a laptop this would work perfectly. The notebook would use battery power when the relay switch is turned off, and I could program it to turn off after a certain amount of time without AC power. Then, If I wanted to turn it on from inside the house I could use something like Wol.

    Is there something I could buy or build that would act like a laptop battery -only for a desktop?

    Long post, I know, but thanks in advance for any input!

  • #2
    I think it would be easier, cheaper, more reliable, and safer for the PC if you forgot the inverter/relay setup and just went with a DC-DC power supply.

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    • #3
      run a extension cord from your house to your car : )

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      • #4
        Originally posted by lionshead86 View Post
        2. After you start the ignition, turn on the relay switch to give power to the desktop.
        3. Rig the desktop to always have the power button in the on position so that the relay switch is essentially the computer's power button
        Don't think what you mentioned here is gonna work. A relay switch will not give you a momentary pulse ie even if the PSU is always switched in the on position that does not mean when it gets power, the mobo will signal for a boot up. You'll need a monetary pulse ie a button or a startup controller board. Secondly you have not thought about a graceful shutdown and if your relay cuts power then you'll have an abrupt shut-down which could corrupt the OS.

        My advise would be to use a PSU like the M2, M4, Opus etc, something which will meet your power draw requirements and handle a controlled startup/shutdown. Keep in mind that desktop PCs, especially old ones, are usually not ideal for use in a car as they draw too much power. In a car you want to use low power components. Trust me on this it will probably be better for you to re-think your set up here and go a different route.

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        • #5
          An inverter is by far the worst power option possible for a car computer.
          My Nearly Complete Car:
          http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ed-car-pc.html

          Micro Control Center... Control Your Car Across the Internet
          http://www.mp3car.com/fusion-brain/1...-internet.html

          Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)
          http://paulfurtado.com/

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          • #6
            I wouldn't say that. I ran my PC off an inverter for years and years. Even built a startup/shutdown controller for it out of 2 relays and a cube timer. Worked just dandy.
            Tidder

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Tidder View Post
              I wouldn't say that. I ran my PC off an inverter for years and years. Even built a startup/shutdown controller for it out of 2 relays and a cube timer. Worked just dandy.
              Depends on the inverter, I guess... mine has permanently damaged many devices which have been connected to it. I also made a startup/shutdown controller for it at one point. I pretty much just keep it there for a utility light now though...
              My Nearly Complete Car:
              http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ed-car-pc.html

              Micro Control Center... Control Your Car Across the Internet
              http://www.mp3car.com/fusion-brain/1...-internet.html

              Website: (It's a work in progress, really. All my projects have taken me from ever really developing it.)
              http://paulfurtado.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for all the replies! I've been reading up and I think I'm gonna go with a dc supply, it seems a lot less wasteful.

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