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Tutorial: Easily Power a Mac Mini without an inverter or speical power supply

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  • Tutorial: Easily Power a Mac Mini without an inverter or speical power supply

    Today, I finally got my Mac mini powered in my car.

    I've placed a connector in the wire that lets me quickly and easily transfer my Mac mini between my car and house by unplugging the connector from the car and plugging it into the Mini's power supply.

    You don't need an inverter or a special power supply... just a laptop car adapter that gives out 18v (link on the page) and a couple of other of little, easy to get bits.

    I've put photos and a walkthrough on my site: http://www.kennettnet.co.uk/astramac/power/

    Hope it's interesting and/or helpful to you all.
    AstraMac

    Power a Mac mini from 12v: Here
    Front end status: Here

  • #2
    Pretty interesting. I don't have a Mac Mini in front of me yet so I can't really tell how feasible. Also is this just to make it easier to take in and out of the car by adding that plug?
    Dak TruckPuter:

    Mac: - Researching and Awaiting Funds

    Changed to planning for a Mac Mini Trukputer...w3rd.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Grimey
      Pretty interesting. I don't have a Mac Mini in front of me yet so I can't really tell how feasible.
      It's perfectly feasible - I did it today. That's where the pictures came from.*

      Originally posted by Grimey
      Also is this just to make it easier to take in and out of the car by adding that plug?
      If you hardwire the mini to the car adapter it will work, but that's it - if you ever want to take it out and use it in the house you need to buy another power supply 'cause you've cut the 10-pin power connector off the one you have. This lets you use the same one 10-pin connector for car and home.

      Also, you have to wire that resistor to the proper wires for it to work at all.
      AstraMac

      Power a Mac mini from 12v: Here
      Front end status: Here

      Comment


      • #4
        Can I send you my brick/power wire and you can do this mod for me? Assuming you would charge a fee of course. Just realized your in UK. NM.

        Back to my inverter. I'm just not that electronically/wire/soddering wise inclined to attempt something like this.

        On a side note.. are you going to relocate your power button? I'm wondering how I am going to incorporate it in the dash and how to actually rewire it/extend the wires into my dash. Any tips on a power button relocation would be appreciated.

        Your wiring has inspired me, just gotta get up the guts to do it and figure our where to get the parts.

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        • #5
          I plan to have the power controlled by an 'intelligent' car power supply (I have the Opus 90W) that 'pushes' the button when you switch on/off the ignition. I'll still have to extend the wire...

          The power button connects to the connector pointed out in the uploaded picture. It isn't a standard power button header though, so you'll have to find one that'll fit somewhere, or cut the wires and splice an extension on there. You can put a soft push button on there if you like to act as a power button.

          You can get all the parts I used and have talked about (apart from the laptop adapter) from an electronics shop. In the UK, we have a shop called Maplins. I know there is a nationwide store chain in the USA that sells all this stuff, but I can't for the life of me remember what it's called.
          Attached Files
          AstraMac

          Power a Mac mini from 12v: Here
          Front end status: Here

          Comment


          • #6
            You're probably thinking of Radio Shack or something of the sort.
            Dak TruckPuter:

            Mac: - Researching and Awaiting Funds

            Changed to planning for a Mac Mini Trukputer...w3rd.

            Comment


            • #7
              Did you see this:
              MacMini Power Button and Indicator



              The link was mentioned here before

              Comment


              • #8
                Yea I remember that link but it was just showing the main car install, not the specific button install. If it did I missed it, that's really cool, thanks for pointing that out.
                Dak TruckPuter:

                Mac: - Researching and Awaiting Funds

                Changed to planning for a Mac Mini Trukputer...w3rd.

                Comment


                • #9
                  AWESOME!!. Thanks so much for the link. This thing is really starting to come together. As far as what type of wires I should use to extend the button, is their a standard I should be using?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This is some great stuff! I'm glad there is another alternative out there on how to do this. I am personally waiting for some used mac mini's on ebay to do my tinkering.
                    "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

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                    • #11
                      HERE's some additional detail on the power button mod. It's specific to the P1900, but will give you some more photos in the details of the mod.
                      MikeH

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                      • #12
                        Sweet thanks for all the help guys. And as far as wire is concerned any 24 gauge wire will work right? Any special metal i should be looking for?

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                        • #13
                          I used plain old 24GA wire from Radio Shack... It's not critical. There's very little current/power in this line.
                          MikeH

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                          • #14
                            Sorry for all the questions, but did you end up integrating the button into your dash? Just trying to figure out how I am going to mount it. I see your from marietta, i'm right up the street in alpharetta. ATL

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                            • #15
                              No, I eliminated the pushbutton. The P1900 has a startup/shutdown controller (SSC) built in. This lets the SSC turn ON/OFF the Mac when you turn ON/OFF your ignition. Or you can start/stop the system with an external pulse (ie with a wireless remote car starter or car alarm system). You can wire the ignition is series with a toggle switch so you can take over manual control of the ON/OFF functions if you like. Here's a schematic of how to do this.
                              MikeH

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