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Thread: Looking for low power 24/7 Bluetooth Capable Computer

  1. #1
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    71

    Looking for low power 24/7 Bluetooth Capable Computer

    Hi

    i am looking for a computer or similar thing that will run off my car battery (or any additional battery that can be charged from my alternator) as long as possible (i am talking days or weeks, not minutes or hours).
    i need the folowing minimal features:
    - 1 RS232 Port (or any other possibilty to switch some relais)
    - Bluetooth (large ranges preferred)
    - Web-Server or any other tcp-ip capabilities, to exchange data through a GPRS Connection with my Home PC or directly with any Wap-Cellphone
    - Some not too complicated way to programm it (i.e. no assambler, but c, java, basic would be fine)

    the goal of the sytem will be to be able to unlock and start my car through bluetooth (with a ericsson t68-i Cellphone --> i already know how "talk" to my cellphone (through at commands you can display messages and questions and stuff) ) plus i want to be able to switch my Webasto Heating on and off. any other function aso for example opening and closing the sunroof will be appreciated but is not really needed.. so far i could stick with many little controller units (as for example the german c-control unit (http://www.c-control.de)) but i also want to be able to control at least the heating system through a wap interface. therefore i have my webserver at home which would be able to generate the wap pages, in case there is no web-server on this specific device. but it needs to be able to communicat through tcp/ip because i want to have it connected all the time through GPRS, which is charged by kilobyte and not by time, and this, as far as i am informed, only supports tcp/ip.
    what's more, the whole system should not cost thousands of dollars. i don't need any display or anything like this and the size does not matter too much (of course should it not be a big-tower or something like this, but i don't care wheather it fits in a mini-itx case or a matchbox) the price of the system should be less or at most 500$ i'd say.
    sometimes my car is not being moved for say 4 days. usually i drive it daily.


    are there any suggestions for such a system? would a nokia communicator or their picture-phone do the job? (here in switzerland you get cellphones really cheap if you sign a one year contract, which i need anyway to get my stuff connected. i do have an old ericsson t39 phone wich i could use in my car, this does not have to be added to the installations price :-) )
    what about one of the slower via eden's? They probably draw too much i guess..

    any suggestions for additional battaries?

    hope to hear some ideas

    pascal

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    413
    would a nokia communicator do the job?
    If that runs PocketPC Phone Edition, and you can get a serial cable for it, then yes.

    I'd recommend getting a PocketPC or PocketPC Phone Edition, since they're designed from the ground up for low-power always on use. MS gives away the C Compilier and Visual Basic for the platform. TCP/IP is built in (not to mention PPP).

    You can get a low-power Bluetooth card for most PocketPCs.

    therefore i have my webserver at home which would be able to generate the wap pages, in case there is no web-server on this specific device.
    I don't think there's one out for a Pocket PC (could be wrong, there's a lot of apps out there).

    any suggestions for additional battaries?
    PocketPCs come with thier own batteries, and can trickle charge off the car battery so that's another check off your list. (taking a guess, I think that a good car battery should power one for a month or more)

    I'm not sure if it's availble in Switzerland, but the Dell Axim has a good price, long lasting battery, Secure Digtal slot for memory and a compact flash slot (for a bluetooth card).

  3. #3
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Just North of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    384
    the other thing to consider would be an sbc (single board computer) as i believe those have low power usage. do a search on here for sbc and you'll find lots of information on them.

    a pocketPC would be ideal though, or something that runs on its own internal battery would be designed to need only a little power.
    Project AutoBoxen: Coming along, almost ready to hook up in the car.
    Celeron 500, 192mb ram, 8gb hdd, other stuff.
    '91 Mazda 626: Its free, so ill use it.

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