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Thread: Shuting down ("softly") the computer to save the battery

  1. #1
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    Question Shuting down ("softly") the computer to save the battery

    I have just received all the components for my CarPC. The power supply is a DC-DC,250W,ATX (SPS-DX250H) and I am planning to use a circuit that switches to an auxiliary sealed lead acid battery (which is charging only while engine is running) in case the car's battery voltage drops under 9V (the minimum input voltage the PSU needs)or when I remove the key from ignition.
    Now I am wondering how can I make the computer to SOFT shut down after a predetermined amount of time in order to avoid discharging of the aux battery more than 30% (maximizing the life of the battery). I was thinking of using the Window's Power Options in order to put the system in stand by after 10 mins, but this is not shuting down and I'll have to mess with the computer at least every 10 mins even when I am in the car and hear music.
    Do you have a better idea, a piece of hardware, circuit (schematic),software?
    I would appretiate any help!

    Dimitris

  2. #2
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    "if everything is under control, you're not going fast enough!"

  3. #3
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    Anyone know if these controllers will shutdown Windows ME into hibernation?


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    Grand aMP3
    The Grand aMP3 Project
    Car: 96 Pontiac Grand Am
    Current Setup: AMD K62 300MHz, 64MB DIMM RAM, 20GB WD Hard Drive, Basic Video & Sound

  4. #4
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    I'm using the dschmidt controller and here's what it does:
    It is hooked in to the car's ACC line and a +12v always hot line. When the ACC line is activated, it waits a second, then allows the 12v power through and sends a power on to the motherboard. When the ACC is turned off, it sends a power off signal via the serial cable (like an APS) and gives 8 seconds for your PC to shutdown using software (like Powerchute). After 8 seconds, it kills the 12v power.
    You can use whatever parts of this little board you want to (you don't have to feed the 12 volts through it, if you just want an auto shut down or something and still want 12v going to the PC). I'm pretty sure that both Dimitris76 and grandamp3 could apply this board to whatever use you need. I am personally using everything part of it, wired in before my inverter, so that the PC/Inverter won't get power unless the car is on (so I don't accidentally drain my battery.
    For $25 you can't go wrong. It's a cool little board and easy to use. Check it out.

  5. #5
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    Windows ME has an option to put windows into hibernation/poweroff/reset when you hit the power button. So maybe if after a certain amount of time, a signal could be send to the poweron jumpers on the motherboard to go into shutdown or hibernation, or whatever you want.

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    www.geocities.com/blkdragon6

  6. #6
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    Actually, you can either do what blkdragon said (you can also set those things in the CMOS), or you can just wire the shutdown to a different set of pins. You can wire the "power on" cable to the "sleep button" pins on your motherboard.

  7. #7
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    Question

    Dimitris76, I got a question for you. how much did your DC-DC ATX PSU cost? Is that the sunpower brand? I really want to use something like that for mine.

  8. #8
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    That PSU is made by SPS and are sold in the US by Keypower for $170. Keypower told me that right now (and for the next two months) the 250W ATX is out of stock, but they have in stock 200W and 250W AT units (cheaper). Since I was interested specificaly for ATX units I kept on searching and finally found them last week from a company in Germany called FSI Computer Vertrieb GmbH (www.fsi-computer.com). They were selling them DM350.00 (plus 16%tax for us in European Union) which is a little cheaper than the $170.Unfortunately, as they told me, I bought the last two units they had in stock and they had already back orders but it worths trying. These power supplies are really HARD TO FIND in stock. I have been trying to find them all over the world (through Internet ofcourse) over a month.

  9. #9
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    TheDingo, which UPS software (and Version?) are you using with this gadget? I downloaded Powerchute Pro v1.2 from APC and but it needs to detect a plug&play UPS unit plugged in a serial port in order to run.

    Dimitris

  10. #10
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    The honest truth is that my box ain't done yet, so until tomarrow (when I finish) I have yet to configure the software. If you check dschmidt's site, he says that all you have to do is tell APC's Powerchute which com port it's on, and it works. Guess I'll find that out soon
    So far, everything else on the board works like a charm, just need to config the shutdown.

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