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Travla C137 PSU and Laptop Car Adaptor

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  • Travla C137 PSU and Laptop Car Adaptor

    A new mini-ITX case has become available in the UK:

    http://www.travla.com/Products/C137/c137.html

    This comes with a 120W DC-DC PSU normally fed by an AC to 19V DC power brick. I was wondering if I could use an in-car laptop power adaptor which supplies 19V DC, e.g. those produced by www.vanson.com.hk and others, instead of the AC power brick as the basis of my carputer PSU? I could then add my own mini-ITX motherboard, HDD, RAM, PCI cards etc.

    The laptop car adaptors are relatively inexpensive, e.g. 30 from Maplins in the UK. Does anyone have a view as to whether this is likely to be a workable system? How well do laptop adaptors typically regulate their output? Do they maintain output during cranking?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Bristol603
    A new mini-ITX case has become available in the UK:

    http://www.travla.com/Products/C137/c137.html

    This comes with a 120W DC-DC PSU normally fed by an AC to 19V DC power brick. I was wondering if I could use an in-car laptop power adaptor which supplies 19V DC, e.g. those produced by www.vanson.com.hk and others, instead of the AC power brick as the basis of my carputer PSU? I could then add my own mini-ITX motherboard, HDD, RAM, PCI cards etc.

    The laptop car adaptors are relatively inexpensive, e.g. 30 from Maplins in the UK. Does anyone have a view as to whether this is likely to be a workable system? How well do laptop adaptors typically regulate their output? Do they maintain output during cranking?

    Thanks.
    That looks very interesting! I'm going to e-mail them, and their UK distributors, to see if they will sell the PSU as a separate item.

    GingerPrince

    Car changed for TVR Griffith 500, so computer de-installed. Using a Dension 100ix w/60Gb HD unit in the interim.

    Carputer Install - http://www.stuffandting.com/carputer/
    CarBox Software -- http://www.stuffandting.com/carbox/

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    • #3
      I've have just built a C137 cased EPIA mini-ITX system for use in the home (M6000 MB, 80GB 3.5" HDD, 512MB RAM, slimline DVD and 250PVR PCI card). I tested this in my car with a 19V laptop adaptor (fairly cheap, but only rated at 70W). The PC was quite happy with the variation in alternator voltage (11 to 14V) whilst the engine was running or stopped, but powered off when I cranked the starter. I suppose one could rig up some sort of tank circuit to supply the laptop adaptor with 12V during cranking, but on the other hand the Opus isn't that expensive and has lots of other features.

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      • #4
        I have a C137 that I am using for the car. I ditched the internal power supply in favor of a 150W Opus which can very easily be made to fit with minor modifications. I just didn't want to hassle with building or buying regulation/low voltage/shutdown controllers.

        If anyone would like to purchase my C137 PSU, please PM me with an offer.

        I have to say that I LOVE the C137 case, though! It's the neatest little case I've ever built a computer in. The only fault I find with it is that there is no reset button (i wired the power button for reset since I have an OPUS to control the power) For a Mini ITX, it's very expandable too! It can hold THREE 2.5" HDD's with a CDROM and 2 PCI cards. It also has an option of front-mounted CF reader if you're into that. I also like that it has a seperate backpanel for the M10000 usb and firewire ports so that you dont use up a PCI slot or have cables coming out the front of your case. Here's what the back of mine looks like:



        I now have a wireless NIC in the top pci slot and have terminated the OPUS connector. I modified the ATX (ITX) backplane to hold a second serial port above the VGA also.
        MY CAR IS FOR SALE!
        See My Project Page for Details - 2003 BMW E46 ///M3
        Custom Dash Monitor Housing - OEM Fitment
        Custom Overhead DVD-ROM Housing in Headliner
        BMW I-Bus Integration
        My homepage with many other fun projects!

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        • #5
          you were able to fit the 150W OPUS inside the case??? i didn't think that was possible.

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          • #6
            Yes. The 150W Opus is in there. I used the version that comes with the housing in case I ever need to use it in a different case or something. I had to dremmel the mount for the C137's CF reader off in order to fit it behind the PCI card I'm using, but it would fit without the modification if you had a shorter PCI card.

            Here's a pic:
            MY CAR IS FOR SALE!
            See My Project Page for Details - 2003 BMW E46 ///M3
            Custom Dash Monitor Housing - OEM Fitment
            Custom Overhead DVD-ROM Housing in Headliner
            BMW I-Bus Integration
            My homepage with many other fun projects!

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            • #7
              thanks for the photo, very cool. and, does your system survive engine start/crank? or does the computer restart? i'd seen the opus was supposed to be okay with engine start, but had some people tell me they didn't think it would.

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              • #8
                quinxy: You don't do a lot of reading do you? The opus is capable of providing full power output at low voltage (10-11V) for extended periods of time and can withstand a few seconds of drop to as low as 6-7V during engine cranking (most cars would not even go that low). Unless it takes you 30s to start your car, you will not have a problem (with your power supply that is.. if your car is taking 30s to fire, you probably have a problem with your engine!)

                I don't really believe that anyone intelligent enough to put together a car pc and anyone who has gone through the decision making process to fork out the money for an opus would have told you otherwise.
                MY CAR IS FOR SALE!
                See My Project Page for Details - 2003 BMW E46 ///M3
                Custom Dash Monitor Housing - OEM Fitment
                Custom Overhead DVD-ROM Housing in Headliner
                BMW I-Bus Integration
                My homepage with many other fun projects!

                Comment


                • #9
                  We've been selling the Vanson and found it gives a very consistent voltage even during cranking. I can't guarantee it would survive cranking on all cars though. The bigger problem is it's only rated at 70watts which is a bit low for what you're trying. I've a new line of 90watt power adapters coming in which would be better but still not perfect. I like the idea of using an adapter in the car that uses the same connecter as the power brick. It means I can take it home to work on it without having to sort out a means of powering it.

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                  • #10
                    Gork

                    i promise you i've read and read and read almost all the posts on mp3car (and other sites) related to the opus and tank circuits/etc. i've never seen anyone say it won't survive crank. but this guy who has been selling/building these things since '96 (and stocks and installs the opus) told me he was pretty sure it wouldn't survive crank. and so if a guy that has installed carputers in dozens of cars and carries the opus in stock says that, it's pretty reasonable to want some confirmation that it really will work!

                    quincy

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                    • #11
                      hmm, the more i think of this, I'm not sure this would fit for me. i've got a 3.5" drive on the floor, under the second PCI slot (where the first card would go) and I am not 100% sure how long the existing dual PCMCIA slot PCI card is. it sounds great, i need to check my case, but to do that i need to remove the rear car seat.

                      Quincy

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                      • #12
                        You cannot use two PCI cards in a C137 with a 3.5" drive.. There's not that much room. You have to use a 2.5" drive in there if you want two PCI cards. On the plus side, you can fit two (or even 3 if you dont use an optical drive) 2.5" hdd's in the case and still have room for 2 pci cards.

                        If all you need is a bunch of PCI cards for some reason, you could always go with a PCI expander of some sort -- they plug a PCI/PCI bridge into one pci slot and provide two or seven or thirteen or twenty PCI slots from it.. Some peripherals like sound cards have trouble working like this with the extra latency but most stuff can work fine. here is an example of one such product.
                        MY CAR IS FOR SALE!
                        See My Project Page for Details - 2003 BMW E46 ///M3
                        Custom Dash Monitor Housing - OEM Fitment
                        Custom Overhead DVD-ROM Housing in Headliner
                        BMW I-Bus Integration
                        My homepage with many other fun projects!

                        Comment

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