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  • Hoping to power laptop without soldering to power

    Has anyone had any luck with the various non-soldering laptop startup methods? I've read about wake from USB, Wake On LAN, Wake On Link and even separate hardware devices (xobyte). Can't find alot of success stories though...

    The main reason I want to do this is so that I'm able to pop the laptop (netbook actually, HP Mini 1030) out of my car at times... and not have wires hanging out of it.

    Looking at the Carnetix P1900 to power my netbook, USB hub and XM Direct... just want to see if I'll be able to auto-startup and shutdown.

    Thanks,
    Matt

  • #2
    just another idea-- if you search through some electronic warehouses (digikey, allied), you should be able to find a small mating connector that you could use to do what you need, allowing the power supply to control the power button, and still have a removable setup that doesn't have cords hanging off of it...
    My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
    "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


    next project? subaru brz
    carpc undecided

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    • #3
      Originally posted by soundman98 View Post
      just another idea-- if you search through some electronic warehouses (digikey, allied), you should be able to find a small mating connector that you could use to do what you need, allowing the power supply to control the power button, and still have a removable setup that doesn't have cords hanging off of it...
      Thanks Soundman... is there any chance you could point me to a DIY or guide that uses something like this? Sounds like a great option, just not sure where to start!

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      • #4
        whats wrong with the xobyte solution? i don't see why it would have problems?
        sorry, if it was an obvious answer because i haven't looked much into xobyte

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        • #5
          I like the sound of the xobyte solution but its the cost that's throwing me... xobyte (~$150 to Canada) still needs a regulated power source. So I'm looking at a minimum of $300 (xobyte + Carnetix, for example) to make a go of it.

          Having said that, if people tell me that xobyte will 100% solve my problems I'll likely go for it. Just looking for real world examples of it working at this point....

          Comment


          • #6
            i have not been convinced that the xobyte solution is the universal best either-- while there are many boards that support WOL, i don't know if there is enough to guarantee that any future board that meets your needs will have it-- i know that WOL is not a huge feature for most people..

            i personally like hardwire solutions over data-packet solutions like the xobyte...

            for some ideas on type of connection, you basically need 2 conductors, the power button will not have any more then a very small amount of power that is sent through it, so there really isn't even a large concern over voltage/amperage ratings of the adapter you choose...

            you are really only limited to something with at least 2 conductors, and something that will fit in a small open space in the laptop casing... so let your mind run wild..

            my first idea is a headphone jack, but i have a similar one in my car like that, and the power gets shorted across the terminals when the jack is installed/removed... so this might not work the best for you..

            you could also use a rca jack..

            or you could use something like this:
            http://www.alliedelec.com/search/pro...px?SKU=6181840
            http://www.alliedelec.com/search/pro...px?SKU=6185001


            or items from this page:
            http://www.alliedelec.com/catalog/pf.aspx?FN=257.pdf

            or these(i use these all the time to control surveillance cameras):
            http://www.alliedelec.com/search/pro...px?SKU=5020693
            http://www.alliedelec.com/search/pro...px?SKU=5028718


            and being that the actual connector did not have a image-- see it at the catalog page:
            http://www.alliedelec.com/catalog/pf.aspx?FN=276.pdf

            and i haven't even gotten through a 1/4 of allied's connector assortment with these, and with a project like this, i prefer to look through the catalog, then try to search, because a search will only show you the things you can't use

            so start browsing the catalog(any pages before the ones i posted seem to have larger connectors then would be useful in a project like this) and see what you can find that you would be happy with..

            a solution like this would require you to add the port to the laptop, which would require drilling, cutting, and possibly glue, but with some careful selection, and well spent time, i have no doubt that you could come up with a solution that would look like it was supposed to be there...
            My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
            "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


            next project? subaru brz
            carpc undecided

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            • #7
              Sorry, the reason I posted so few links is because I really need to stay away from catalogs like allied-- going through my allied catalog, I am finding my old notes on parts-- last time I tried ordering, it was well over a $100 on parts that cost no more the $4 ea...

              and my wallet is still recovering from my ssd purchase...
              My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
              "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


              next project? subaru brz
              carpc undecided

              Comment


              • #8
                unless your laptop doesn't support WOL or you're planning to change laptop, i don't see why xobyte woudn't work.

                how i did it years ago was running the power on button to two pins of my modem ports (leaving the modem port useless, but i dont use it anyway) and connect a switch to that.
                back then it was manual turn on, but if you want to automate it, just have to buy a startup/shutdown controller trigger a relay and you've got a clean startup/shutdown method.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Have you considered a dock? Permanently install the dock in the car and mod the power switch on the dock.

                  On my Mac Mini, I soldered two wires to the power switch and ran them to two brass grommets mounted in the case. I attached the wires and filled them with solder. The case came in contact with two ballpoint pen springs that had the signal wires soldered to them. In 3 years of use in and out of the car, I never had a failure to startup or shutdown dye to that connection.
                  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

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for these ideas Soundman - I have no problem replacing the power button on the HP as its a pain as it is. Silly little plastic slider. Just so I understand the idea, the mating connector would trigger the laptop to power on when the ignition is turned (using a Carnetix P1900 as regulator)? How would it work when I take the laptop out of the vehicle? Can't get this part straight in my head.

                    Bugbyte - I looked at a few docks but I couldn't really find a suitable one for my HP Mini. I did end up getting a USB hub that also has stereo in/out... but it doesn't have a power button.

                    As for the solution you have for the Mac Mini, do you happen to have a photo handy? Sounds like a good one.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      my idea is very similar to punky's idea to use the modem port. the difference being that you would not add any connectors to the computer, but use a connector that you would not normally need on the computer. but but both ideas are less 'automatic' then bugbytes. in mine, or punky's ideas, you would have a connector on your laptop you would need to manually disconnect every time you wanted to take the laptop out of the car..

                      also, the power button wires would be connected to the corresponding terminals on the carnetix power supply-- this way, the 1900 will turn the laptop on/off depending on if it sees +12 volts on the 'ACC' input of the 1900..
                      My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
                      "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


                      next project? subaru brz
                      carpc undecided

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kingmatt View Post
                        I like the sound of the xobyte solution but its the cost that's throwing me... xobyte (~$150 to Canada) still needs a regulated power source. So I'm looking at a minimum of $300 (xobyte + Carnetix, for example) to make a go of it.

                        Having said that, if people tell me that xobyte will 100% solve my problems I'll likely go for it. Just looking for real world examples of it working at this point....

                        Hi,

                        I'm the local MP3 Forum rep for XoByte. I just wanted to let you know that our miniSpark StartUp/ShutDown Controller has been used with a variety of Desktops/Laptops/Netbooks in our Validation Lab and more importantly by our customers.

                        An independent review of our unit was done by an MP3Car Rep. You can find it here http://www.mp3car.com/blogs/141605_H...ontroller.html.

                        If you are unsure whether WOL is supported on your specific PC there's an App at our Site you can download and run on any machine to check. The link to the App is at the bottom of this page http://www.xobyte.com/support.html.

                        Lastly we offer our customers unlimited tech support to get their systems up and running and a full money back guarantee (no restocking fees) if they aren't fully satisfied with our product within the first 2 weeks of use.

                        Good luck with your project!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks for the post about Minispark... its definitely still roaming around in my head as an option. A couple of questions if you don't mind:

                          1) WAKE ON LAN

                          I did use the utility on your site and confirmed that WOL/Magic Packet works on my netbook. I also put together a little loopback cable and tested it out... its works perfectly bringing my netbook out of hibernate. Except for one major thing... as soon as power is cut to my PC (which it would be with the car's ignition off) the ethernet port is turned off on my netbook. This means it no longer notices the WOL signal.

                          I'm assuming I would have the same problem with the Minispark?


                          2) POWER

                          Is it recommended/required/dumb to combine the Minispark with something like a Carnetix P1900?

                          Thanks,
                          Matt

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Use a DC socket and plug. Either have the plug on a short wire hanging out of mount it on/in the side of the laptop.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kingmatt View Post
                              Thanks for the post about Minispark... its definitely still roaming around in my head as an option. A couple of questions if you don't mind:

                              1) WAKE ON LAN

                              I did use the utility on your site and confirmed that WOL/Magic Packet works on my netbook. I also put together a little loopback cable and tested it out... its works perfectly bringing my netbook out of hibernate. Except for one major thing... as soon as power is cut to my PC (which it would be with the car's ignition off) the ethernet port is turned off on my netbook. This means it no longer notices the WOL signal.

                              I'm assuming I would have the same problem with the Minispark?


                              2) POWER

                              Is it recommended/required/dumb to combine the Minispark with something like a Carnetix P1900?

                              Thanks,
                              Matt
                              Hi,

                              1) You are absolutely correct. Wake On LAN requires that the PC be powered prior to the WOL packet being sent to it. If the PC is always connected to a Power Source and it is Shutdown or Hibernating the power drain should not be that significant to cause any issues with the car battery. Of course the exact amount of power consumed would vary from one machine to the other.

                              A couple of our customers have told us they use one of miniSpark's General Purpose Outputs to control a Relay which would cut power to the PC and then re-supply it prior to needing to wake the machine. The miniSpark Application running on the PC will allow you to properly sequence the General Purpose Output to activate the relay before the WOL packet is sent. I'm not sure if every PC out there can deal with power being removed after it is shutdown and then re-supplied just prior to the WOL packet.

                              2) I know it would be an expensive solution but no it's not dumb at all. It's a matter of preference. Our CEO has an OPUS power supply for a desktop PC located in the trunk of his car and uses miniSpark for StartUp/Shutdown control functionality.

                              Another (cheaper) suggestion would be to purchase a PC Power Brick that comes with a Cigarette Lighter Adapter and use that for power. That's how I power my Dell Laptop which luckily came with a Power Brick that had an AC and Cigarette lighter adapter.

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