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Thread: Setup using old laptop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Setup using old laptop

    im looking to use an old laptop in my car to serve as an mp3 player and possibly some videos.

    here are the specs for the laptop:
    IBM thinkpad. 785mhz
    probably 64-128mb ram
    a couple of gigs of hd, i can upgrade
    battery is most likely shot.

    im buying a 7'' touchscreen for the monitor and will wire it up using vga. im assuming the touchscreen part uses usb or serial.

    audio will be hooked up through my aux. port in the back of the cd charger. i already have that for my ipod

    i will be powering this bad boy through the cigerette lighter using a power inverter.

    here is my problem: i have been reading about automatic shutdown chips and such, but im confused as to how they really work, and if they will work with a laptop.

    how do these chips connect to the computer and what would i need to do to ensure that the computer gets shut down after i turn off the car. will this work with a power inverter?


  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Rochester, NH
    I would recommend searching and reading... you'll find most of those answers allready in stickys and stuff. People get anoyed seeing the same questions over and over again, and I can understand why.

    My thoughts are that you need more ram, and alot more planning. What are you going to do with the computer? Where are you going to mount it... do you want to deal with plugging in and unplugging the computer everytime (cause it will drain your battery in one nights time if you leave it plugged in... especially an inverter.) The automatic shutdown controllers are typically for pc's with power supplies in them... not laptops with external ac adapters and built in logic.

    Laptops allready have so many valuable shutdown abilities built into them... a battery, a lid switch and so on, you just need to rip it apart and solder wires onto the points to use these items.

    Good luck... its not an easy task... once you get it installed the fun begins of getting it to work right.

    Oh, and touch screen use usb.

  3. #3
    Low Bitrate madmartigan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    I used to run a laptop in my van for a couple of years and by running the inverter on unswitched power, you will not have any problems. I didnt even have ignition thump either. I am going to restore this laptop without the built in screen and use a touchscreen instead and I am confident this will continue to serve me very well.

    Note: having a working battery installed in the laptop will also save you a lot of possible headaches.

    Another note: I was using a dc to dc power supply with low voltage cutoff. Also most dc to ac inverters have low voltage sensing circuitry which will shut it down in case of low battery power. HTH

  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Woodstock, GA
    I'll be watching this thread, Im working on a laptop install as well. Im going to use a D-C-DC adaptor, wired into switched power, and a standby button on the dash to fire it up.
    Is this where the witty comment goes?
    97 Black pearl Mazda Miata MX-5 Carpc V2? maybee..

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Quote Originally Posted by shred444
    how do these chips connect to the computer and what would i need to do to ensure that the computer gets shut down after i turn off the car. will this work with a power inverter?


    just hit the power button- seriously. do you really want to pull up and park somewhere waiting for something (someone going into a store, going to be workign on something outside near the vehicle, etc) and have the computer shut down?... Pull up to a starbucks and need to stay online for their wifi, but dont want to waste gas? etc etc..
    99 ram 5.9 turbo
    P4 2.0, MicroATX, Audigy2nx, Monster Cable / Alpine.
    Coming soon: Indash motorized, 5.1, dvdrw, gps, bluetooth, wifi, and more!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Philly, PA
    I'm starting a laptop build with a Dell D600 Laptop myself. I already wired it for remote powerbutton for the dashboard. I have a DC to DC power block for it as well and a good battery. I used the built in power manager to tell it to auto standby 1min after it switched from AC to battery (Ignition goes off) and the power button I mount on my dash will wake it up. I'm also working on mounting a slim DVD in dash with the LCD so I can put discs in (DVD, Audio CD, Etc) in a stock like fashion. I think the laptop will be the better, albeit more expensive, solution...


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