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Muppet power supply questions

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  • Muppet power supply questions

    Hi all,
    Just joined the forums cause I am planning on starting a Car PC project. Sorry in advance if my questions are a bit obvious, but I am totally new to this.
    Before I go all out on a car pc I want to do a dry run using my laptop. Therefore I need to be able to power my laptop in the car. Later on I will want to switch my laptop for a mini-itx system. My question is what would be better. An invertor or a DC-DC connection. From what I understand an invertor will allow me to plug in standard household devices, i.e. a laptop. However, I've also heard that EpiaMII boards can have a DCDC connector which means they can run straight from the cig lighter loom. The lilliput 7" Touch screen can also run from 12v. Basically my questions are:

    Is 12v enough for several devices?
    Will either option allow power up and down with the ignition?
    Are there any major pros and cons of either I should consider?
    Which is the best for power consumption, as I would like to be able to run this in the car when engine isn't running for the best length of time?

    Thanks in advance.
    Hardware:- VIA EPIA MII 12000 LVDS 1.2Ghz : 137.95 + 512Mb PC2100 DDR Memory : 49.34 + Opus 150w Shuttle PSU: 128 + 7 Lilliput 629 Touchscreen: 173.90 + 2.5 40Gb 5200rpm Laptop Drive + Slotload Laptop CD-RW/DVD-ROM + Hauppage WinTV-PCI-FM : 53.95