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FAQ: Do-It-Yourself Startup/Shutdown Controllers

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  • FAQ: Do-It-Yourself Startup/Shutdown Controllers

    A startup/shutdown controller (SDC) is a device that automatically starts your computer (usually when the car is started or the key is turned to the ignition or accessory position) or shuts it down when the car is turned off. This prevents you from having to switch the system on using a manual switch or relay and also from having to select "shutdown" from your Start or Apple menu.

    There are several purpose built commercial startup/shutdown controllers (SDC's) available. The mp3car.com store carries 3 types (here) and there are others available as well. In addition, most commercial power supplies and regulators include startup and shutdown features in their packages.

    The reason you need a shutdown controller is that your PC may hang on shutdown, even after receiving the command to shut down (or hibernate). If this occurs, the PC will continue to run and may drain your battery. Most SDC's will shut power off after a certain amount of time (say, 45 seconds) to prevent this from occuring.

    Commercial SDC's have a variety of features that often allow the user to specify how the sequence and timing of the startup/shutdown commands occur and they range in price from around $40-$70 USD.

    There are other alternatives, however. Several members have come up with solutions to build your own SDC. Here are links to some of those threads:

    1. Home made SDC
    2. Ghetto SDC
    3. Schematic based on UPS monitoring.
    4. Controlling your PC from a key fob
    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

  • #2
    zootjeff and the old timer mp3car community DIY SDC currently hosted by Moahdib
    http://home.comcast.net/~acuratl2004/old/shutdown.htm
    Attached Files
    2004 Matrix XR A7N8X-VM/400 AMD XP-M 2500+, DS-ATX
    89 Supra Turbo P3 [email protected]/Abit BE6 II, Alpine M-BUS Car2PC.
    Y2K Accord Dell GX150
    RoadRunner is the best FE PERIOD
    EmoRebellion is a SCAMMER

    Comment


    • #3
      http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...light=software

      Shutdown control software, the prog by weekendowel is now pay-ware, but towards the end pages of the thread there is an lpt port based one I'm now using.

      Comment


      • #4
        Ok, here's a newb question....

        ...I understand how the startup/shutdown controller works. However, when it goes to shutdown the PC is it basically doing a "hard" shutdown? Same as holding down the power button on the PC vs Start / Shutdown?

        Thanks,
        Jay
        1994 Toyota Supra
        10.12 @ 141.6
        10.13 @ 137.5

        SC300 GTE / 6spd

        Comment


        • #5
          A shutdown controller basicly sends a pusle to the power button headers.
          As if you just pushed and released the power button.

          With recent motherboards and windows together
          the user gets to decide what he wants the power button to do.

          Standy, shutdown or hibernate

          Comment


          • #6
            or you could pay 35 bucks for a wireless model already made.
            CAR INFO HERE
            "He who dies with the most toys, wins".

            Comment


            • #7
              or you can do a search on this forum and you will find ALOT of homemade low cost shutdown controllers

              this is one of my diagrams, for people using inverters and ordinary ps
              http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...3&postcount=21

              Comment


              • #8
                This would be my first post here. I'm a A+ Certified and an active MCDST. Though I've seen enough idiots who hold these certifications; so it doesn't mean much.

                I think I can give helpful input to this discussion.

                I don't see why you guys are doing crazy stuff like the huge schematic MATRIXPC posted; when all we want is for the computer to shut off when the car does.

                We should just have the serial port monitor ACC voltage and in the absense of such voltage execute shutdown through the operating system. Why mess with relays, components and the power pin headers on the motherboard at all when this can be 100% software driven ensuring a safe and graceful shutdown all the time?

                And why pay, when I'm giving you the SOURCE CODE to a probably working program at the bottom of this post?! Compile the program for your computer yourself!

                Here's a simple C program that would do the trick in Linux. In Windows, you might have to use some weird API, and surely windows.h, primarly why I hate Windows. It's a pain in the *** to program in.


                This program must be run in root. I haven't had a chance to compile and test this program yet on a serial port to see if it works, but it'll have to run under root (since it uses the shutdown command.)

                To get the serial port going, just plug in a +3vDC - +12vDC ACC wire in to pin 8 of your serial port. This program will do the rest. (You may have to ground the ports ground to your car chassis, and this is for sure if you're using an inverter)

                To compile and run this program just save this code in a file called controller.c -- and type gcc -o controller controller.c -- To start this program simply type ./controller and you're set!

                You might want to change this program so after it detects the absense of ACC it will start a countdown (5 minutes?) and at the end of such a countdown have it check again for ACC. If ACC is STILL not present, THEN do the shutdown command. This would be useful if you stop at 7-11, shut the car off, go inside, and them come back out -- since 5 minutes of the PC running off the battery wouldn't drain it (and so when you came back with your Slurpee, you wouldn't have to start the machine back up)

                I came up with this idea pretty much myself; and my philosophy is KISS.
                Code:
                /*Copyright (C) 2006 Jonathan Kelley
                This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
                modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
                as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2
                of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
                
                You should be able to grab a copy of the license at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html
                if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA  02110-1301, USA.
                
                TO DUMB THIS LICENSE DOWN FOR THOSE WHO NEVER
                HEARD OF THE GNU/GPL LICENSE BEFORE; IT CONTAINS
                THESE 4 MAIN POINTS.
                
                1) Not establish proprietary rights in the software (Once you 
                write it, everyone gets to enjoy it; altough the software 
                derrived from this code can be sold commercially); 
                
                2) Provide the source code (or access to the source code) 
                along with the object code. (Basically, requires you to reveal 
                or "open source" exactly how you make the software do 
                what it does upon user request); 
                
                3) That any programs based off, or using this code must also
                 be licensed by the GPL in full and include in the software 
                notice that the code is subject to the GPL (So that everyone 
                downstream can be warned); and 
                
                4) Accept the GPL code without warranties of any kind (You
                 got it for free, so you cannot complain if it does not work). */
                
                
                #include <sys/types.h>
                #include <sys/ioctl.h>
                #include <fcntl.h>
                #include <errno.h>
                #include <stdlib.h>
                #include <unistd.h>
                #include <stdio.h>
                #include <signal.h>
                #include <termios.h>
                /* Main program. */
                int main(int argc, char **argv)
                {
                 int fd;
                 int status;
                 int set_bits = 6;
                
                 /* Open monitor device. */
                 if ((fd = open(argv[1], O_RDWR | O_NDELAY)) < 0) {
                 fprintf(stderr, "ar-2: %s: %s\n",
                         argv[1], strerror[errno]);
                 exit(1);
                 }
                
                 int x = 0;
                 for (  x = 0; x < 100000; x++ ) {
                    ioctl(fd, TIOCMSET, &set_bits);
                    ioctl(fd, TIOCMGET, &status);
                
                     if (status & TIOCM_CTS)
                       puts("ACC Voltage is present. Do nothing");
                    else
                       puts("ACC Voltage has been lost! Start shutdown process.");
                       system("shutdown -h now");
                 }
                
                 close(fd);
                }
                My '94 C1500 truck.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jon_k
                  This would be my first post here. I'm a A+ Certified and an active MCDST. Though I've seen enough idiots who hold these certifications; so it doesn't mean much.

                  I think I can give helpful input to this discussion.

                  I don't see why you guys are doing crazy stuff like the huge schematic MATRIXPC posted; when all we want is for the computer to shut off when the car does.

                  .......
                  don't take this the wrong way but there are already programs similar to yours and what you're suggesting is more (or just as) complicated as the other shutdown controler methods. Why not just use UPS software already part of XP? also you're missing a key element, power up. Either way, if you want a carPC you're going to have to get some wiring done with relays, fuses and grounds. I don't mean to shoot down your idea, i just think you still need to learn a bit more about car electronics and carPCs. It's a good thing that you're giving your share of knowlege.

                  BTW, i agree MatrixPC's idea is very complex but it's an brilliant schematic and could be very useful to someone that understands it. For the rest of us (not electrical engineers) there's plenty of solutions for shutdown controlers varying from cheap and complicated to simple and expensive.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Shutdown/Powerup controller

                    I'm way over my head here but how hard would it be to design a small circuit that when it senses power off, a small memory chip would send the Tsshutdn command via serial port (or USB?????) and if the Bios had the option, wake on ring?

                    Seems like a breadboard would be cheap enoug.

                    I know this might be simplistic and possibly covered before but I searched



                    on "Tsshutdn" and got no hits.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ive looked on this site and couldnt find it, so If I'm posting an already done question, please lemme know and Ill delete....
                      Anyway,
                      Can you use this for a laptop? I would have to remove the battery and solder on the contacts for this from my opus? And speakin of opus, my laptop battery is 11.1V 4320mAh, which opus should I get? I dont know about this kind of electronics. I've also got a screen to consider and more than likely a few other add ons...Im thinking an 80 watt opus. But I dont know...
                      Pardon the n00bness...
                      ~Fin~
                      My First Install. Be gentle with my 03 Vibe GT

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Grimoire
                        \
                        Anyway,
                        Can you use this for a laptop? I would have to remove the battery and solder on the contacts for this from my opus? And speakin of opus, my laptop battery is 11.1V 4320mAh, which opus should I get? I dont know about this kind of electronics. I've also got a screen to consider and more than likely a few other add ons...Im thinking an 80 watt opus. But I dont know...
                        Pardon the n00bness...
                        If you are using a laptop...then you are making it too hard on yourself. Go with a remote switch. There are several examples on this site. Here was the simple, quick and cheap one I did....link.

                        W3bMa5t3r has a great auto laptop power on.
                        -WarDriver-
                        Server Administrator
                        Outdoor Nut

                        My DC to AC Inverter Mod
                        My Laptop Remote Switch

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wow, Alright, I may be able to pull that one off. Didnt see that thread, Ill read it. Thanks.
                          ~Fin~
                          My First Install. Be gentle with my 03 Vibe GT

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by WarDriver
                            If you are using a laptop...then you are making it too hard on yourself. Go with a remote switch. There are several examples on this site. Here was the simple, quick and cheap one I did....link.

                            W3bMa5t3r has a great auto laptop power on.
                            Hey mate, I never saw this before. Thanks for the props
                            The latest modules I'm shipping out are sweet if I do say so myself. lol I actually built myself one of the newer ones. Though, I'm already looking at ways to improve it.
                            speaking of which, I have 2 I need to go build and send out as soon as I get off work. Thanks again Peace...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by W3bMa5t3r
                              Hey mate, I never saw this before. Thanks for the props

                              No problem.
                              -WarDriver-
                              Server Administrator
                              Outdoor Nut

                              My DC to AC Inverter Mod
                              My Laptop Remote Switch

                              Comment

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