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Thread: Simple way of turning on the PC along with the car?

  1. #1
    Newbie dencker's Avatar
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    Simple way of turning on the PC along with the car?

    Hey guys!

    I've been looking around for a solution to start the Car PC along with the car, and what I found was a couple of those fancy controllers (SDC). And then I started wondering..

    I'm not an electrician or anything, but I got an idea. I dont know if anyone has come op with it before, or if it's simply too good to be true. Here goes:

    Well, Windows has a setting which lets you choose what it should do when the power button is pressed.


    Then, why not hook a relay to the power button on the PC (not the PSU)? Then, when the ignition switch is flicked, the relay would switch on for a moment. If the PC is shut down, it would start. If it's already on, it'd do what you told Windows to do.

    Additionally a manual switch could be put on, just in case you didn't want the computer to turn off when you turn off the car.

    What do y'all think? Again, I don't know if anyone has come up with this idea before, as it's quite simple
    Looking forward to picking up a '99 Ford Focus and stuffing a CarPC into it! I'm going for the OEM look. If anyone has tips or are willing to help me, please feel free to contact me!

  2. #2
    Low Bitrate dLockers's Avatar
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    Most pc power supplys come with a switch cable, or am I missing something here?

  3. #3
    FLAC Chairboy's Avatar
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    All the shutdown controllers use this function already. They also have watchdog circuits that will kill power to the computer if, due to a Windows malfunction, it fails to actually shut down or hibernate or standby or whatnot after being told to. This saves you from a dead battery. Also, the SDCs usually have timer circuits that keep the computer on for a specified period after you shut it off so that if you turn it on again right away, you don't have to wait for the computer to go through the whole shutdown/restart thing.

    It's about control. You should have to have one, and you can certainly do what you describe, but you will rapidly discover massive limitations to it. Personal experience talking here.
    Chrysler 300 - Fabricating
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    Newbie dencker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chairboy View Post
    Also, the SDCs usually have timer circuits that keep the computer on for a specified period after you shut it off so that if you turn it on again right away, you don't have to wait for the computer to go through the whole shutdown/restart thing.
    Oh right, so what is so special about the SDC is that it's possible to delay the shutdown?
    Looking forward to picking up a '99 Ford Focus and stuffing a CarPC into it! I'm going for the OEM look. If anyone has tips or are willing to help me, please feel free to contact me!

  5. #5
    FLAC Chairboy's Avatar
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    While skepticism seems to practically drip from your post, I'll still answer it cheerfully and promptly. The SDC is not powered off a line that only energizes when the ignition is on. It has a full time power connection to the battery as well as an ignition line that's used to signal key status. So when the car turns off, the ignition line turns off, and the SDC starts a timer. The carputer is still receiving power and running like everything's fine. After 30 seconds or so, depending on your setup, the SDC realizes that you're serious and virtually 'taps' the power button, initiating the shutdown on the PC using that behavior defined in the power control panel.

    Hope that helps!
    Chrysler 300 - Fabricating
    http://hallert.net/

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    Newbie dencker's Avatar
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    Oh no, it wasn't meant anything like that Well, I see how it's smart. Also, some cars just accidentially stop sometimes if you don't handle the clutch well (We all know that from the first driving lesson!), so an SDC would be pretty smart right there. You know, so that the PC doesn't turn off right at the moment where the car went out.
    Looking forward to picking up a '99 Ford Focus and stuffing a CarPC into it! I'm going for the OEM look. If anyone has tips or are willing to help me, please feel free to contact me!

  7. #7
    FLAC Chairboy's Avatar
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    Heh, no prob, text is tricky. Hope it helps!
    Chrysler 300 - Fabricating
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  8. #8
    Newbie dencker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chairboy View Post
    Heh, no prob, text is tricky. Hope it helps!
    Exactly! I heard once that body language makes up like 90 % of the way we percieve things when communicating - that's why we gotta make ourselves so clear while communicating online

    And yep - I see the idea of the SDC now. It's probably been developed like this, like one guy tried to do what my idea was and discovered that he might be needing a little delay and voilá - the SDC was invented
    Looking forward to picking up a '99 Ford Focus and stuffing a CarPC into it! I'm going for the OEM look. If anyone has tips or are willing to help me, please feel free to contact me!

  9. #9
    FLAC Chairboy's Avatar
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    Heh heh, I think you nailed it. I look forward to hearing about your install, good luck! And keep us in the loop!

    BTW, User FociMan also has a 99 Focus, he did some interesting work for his screen:
    Introducing my Focus Installation

    Might be worth comparing some notes with him about any car-specific gotchas.

    Cheers!
    Chrysler 300 - Fabricating
    http://hallert.net/

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