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PC Enthusiast going mobile. Need some guidance

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  • PC Enthusiast going mobile. Need some guidance

    Okay so I'm looking into building my first carputer, been doing some research, planning, and now I'm at a point I think I need some outside direction. I'm teetering on the edge of going with gutting a laptop, or with a mini-itx solution. I'm leaning toward going mini-itx, merely because I don't need the extra power, and the idea of going from DC, to AC, and back, seems too inefficient to be worth it, even though it's probably not. Not to mention it seems like an itx solution can be more integrated with less hassle than a laptop, but I'm sure that's entirely dependent on the situation. On the other hand I might find myself pulled over trying to find a location on a map or something, thus I'm not sure how an itx box's drain on the battery would handle with the engine off.

    For an ITX approach I was debating going with building my own system gather parts off this site's store, or getting an all-in-one like this one:

    My only concern about building it myself is the wifi adapter. With mini-itx my limited number of dedicated usb ports will be fought over by the bluetooth, gps, ODB-II, and 3G dongles, not to mention any flash drives or external hard drives I decide to shove in it, my guess is that it would be better to go with the all-in-one than piece by piece.

  • #2
    You're right about wanting to use a DC-DC power supply.

    You can do straight DC power for the laptop with an auto adapter for laptop. However, you'd have to work out a scheme for turning it on & off.

    Some laptops may work with a Carnetix regulator, depending on the power requirements. Teh Carnetix also has a startup/shutdown controller to power the laptop on. Many laptops require some soldering to make this happen, though.

    A Carnetix wouldn't be the easiest choice if you wanted to retain the portability of the laptop, though. If you plan to gut the laptop, then a Carnetix may be the ticket for you.

    As far as power drain, if the engine is running it wouldn't be a big deal with either setup. You can expect the PC to run for over an hour with engine off. Obviously, the lower the power draw of the system, the longer it will run on battery alone.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?

    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.