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  • homemade macbook dock - anyone made it?

    Hi all!
    New car, new project.
    This time, I don't want to be invasive.
    And I want to use my macbook as carpc because:
    1-It's wonderful
    2-The only moment I can't use my macbook is in the car, and a indipendent carpc will be used only in the car... so why not use the same computer as I use at home/anywhere? Just think of it as I'm going to simplify my habits, but I still want to have something different on my car
    3-don't have so much money to spend in other hardware (my former carpc now is my parent's desktop system, cause epia consumes less than a p4), so I want to use my existing onwings as far as I can
    4-it would simplify the installing process.

    I plan to put the macbook in the trunk and use my lilliput 7" TS to control it. So the only thing I need is a dock to quickly insert and remove the MB.
    I've already checked http://www.bookendzdocks.com/ , but the macbook dock doesn't have the magsafe replicator, and it costs a bit.
    I saw that a mac mini dock exists: http://minidock.jp/en/index.html
    And I liked the simple idea of that dock:

    I think it could be done for macbook, adding a system to support and secure the laptop. I didn't come up with the final solution, but I'm thinking how to do it.

    For the DC supply, I think I'll buy one of these:
    http://mikegyver.com/
    Or maybe I'll buy a normal kensington power adapter and I'll follow these instructions:
    http://www.mikegyver.ca/?p=1

    Anyone did that already?
    Thanks for the feedback!

  • #2
    I tried to do it with my Powerbook G4 first. There wasn't a thing wrong with it, except.. You had to open the lid to turn it on, then close the lid to put it in its appointed position. Remote power on and off is not a simple solution.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by dogpilot View Post
      I tried to do it with my Powerbook G4 first. There wasn't a thing wrong with it, except.. You had to open the lid to turn it on, then close the lid to put it in its appointed position. Remote power on and off is not a simple solution.
      well, since I use my MB at home, I plan to put it on sleep before I get into the car, mount it and resume it by tapping the touchscreen. I tried it at home and it works.
      I'll have to remember to put it to sleep when I leave the car.

      I also prepared 2 applescripts to change between carPC and home profile, starting and stopping the right applications and services (ie I don't use bluetooth at home, but it's useful with bluephoneelite 2 to have a handsfree environment).

      glad to hear someone tried it!

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      • #4
        You will find it likes to turn on when you plug in USB devices. At least the G4's did. The Macbooks behave a bit differently, so a bit of experimentation would be in order.

        These guys offer a built up dock:
        http://www.bookendzdocks.com/Docking...ook_White.html

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dogpilot View Post
          You will find it likes to turn on when you plug in USB devices. At least the G4's did. The Macbooks behave a bit differently, so a bit of experimentation would be in order.
          Yeah, I already tried and it turns on when I plug the touchscren. also the video output works correctly when I plug the mini-dvi to vga with the lid closed.
          These guys offer a built up dock:
          http://www.bookendzdocks.com/Docking...ook_White.html
          Originally posted by barb3tta View Post
          I've already checked http://www.bookendzdocks.com/ , but the macbook dock doesn't have the magsafe replicator, and it costs a bit.

          Comment


          • #6
            D'oh, (note to self: read the entire post).

            Nothing is perfect in these applications. I am seriously thinking of hacking off one of my spare Magsafe plugs to make an adaptor for my iGo. I have quite a selection of very nice Cannon Plugs to choose from to make it go back to its adaptor. I still can't get over the $59 price tag for the airline adaptor, you can buy an entire AC adaptor for that price.

            The Mini seemed a good compromise. They can be picked up relatively cheap on Craigslist. I do some esoteric astronomy with my Syncro, and the Macs do a lot of the telescope and camera control.
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dogpilot View Post
              I do some esoteric astronomy with my Syncro, and the Macs do a lot of the telescope and camera control.
              Ooooo.... It's off topic but extremely cool. Please describe your setup (hardware, software).

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              • #8
                Lets see, Telescope control is done with Starry Night Pro 6.2 through the USB. Camera control is dependent on which camera system. When I shoot the Nikon D2x, it is Nikon Camera Control Pro. When I do the Firewire cam, it Astro IIdc

                Telescope setup is always changing. My main scope is a 10" Meade RCX400, then I also run a Televue 85 refractor on a German Equatorial Mount. When I am setting up for the Boy Scouts, I have a Meade ETX 90 mounted on a custom DX mount. It is good for both the big night sky objects and solar observing. It is an inexpensive scope, so if the boys somehow destroy it, then I am not forced to sell their body parts to pay for it.

                As I mentioned in another post, I am a geologist, who does a lot of work with and from aircraft. However when you in the field, nights are long and boring. So astronomy came early as a pastime as far back as High School.

                The Big Meade is a great scope, it just takes up a lot of room in the van. I tend to use the Televue for most trips. It is a convenient size, yet the mount is still controllable via the USB. Having the Mini mounted in the van to control the scopes frees up the MacBook Pro to control the cameras. Once you set up pointing, then the rest happens with magic.

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                • #9
                  BoodEndz makes MacBook and MacBook Pro docs. I personally use the MacBook Pro dock at work.
                  "If it works this good why F with it?" -KMFDM "Intro"

                  Strive for ethical wardriving: http://faq.wardrive.net/

                  My CarCPUs: v1 - 2000 | v2 - 2004
                  Mp3Car Meets: http://detrimental.org/eyecandy/MP3CarMeets

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kandyman676 View Post
                    BoodEndz makes MacBook and MacBook Pro docs. I personally use the MacBook Pro dock at work.
                    Originally posted by barb3tta View Post
                    I've already checked http://www.bookendzdocks.com/ , but the macbook dock doesn't have the magsafe replicator, and it costs a bit.
                    My idea is to create an alu folder opened at the top for airflow and at the right to let macbook slide in and out and to access to the optical drive.
                    the folder will be mounted on the side of the trunk; the left part of the folder will use the same system as minidock posted above.
                    obviously I need to insert something to protect the macbook cover and a velcro strip or similar right under the dvd slot to secure the right part.
                    I don't have much time now, so I'll abandon this project for a while.
                    In the meantime, if you have any suggestion I'll be happy to hear you!

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                    • #11
                      Sorry, didn't originally see that when I had posted :-( I'm use to the MacBook pro where the optical is in the front of the machine and not on the right side like the Macbook.

                      I had no real issue with the magpower. The bookends has a little clip and when you place the laptop in, 75% of the time they will catch and connect when you dock. The issue is the handle to undock is on the BACK of the unit.

                      It will just have to be built from scratch :-(
                      "If it works this good why F with it?" -KMFDM "Intro"

                      Strive for ethical wardriving: http://faq.wardrive.net/

                      My CarCPUs: v1 - 2000 | v2 - 2004
                      Mp3Car Meets: http://detrimental.org/eyecandy/MP3CarMeets

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        With Insomnia you can close laptop

                        When you install and run a programm called insomnia, you can close the laptop and keep it running without any application stopping to run. i use it a lot on my macbook and macbook pro during downloads, when i am on the road. i just make sure my phone is tethered to the macbook (iphone 3G with AT&T - just change carrier file - no crack needed - enables tethering via usb and bluetooth) and then i am ready to go.

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                        • #13
                          For DC supply I recommend you the Carnetix for MacMini if you choose to go that route.

                          It has tone of possibilities and can power ....pretty much everything!!
                          VmtSquad - I sold my soul to Honda!
                          Final Install
                          CarPC progress: 95%

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