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Thread: Simple and Clean Remote Laptop Power Switch

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate WarDriver's Avatar
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    Simple and Clean Remote Laptop Power Switch

    Laptop remote power on/off switch mod



    This mod has helped me and I wanted to share it with the community. On 4-27-06 I posted the first hints of this project here. I've been meaning to convert it to a a how-to...so here it is.

    Pictures, comments and improvements are welcome.

    *The mod below also works great with my remote inverter switch mod*

    Rational:
    -I want to be able to turn off and turn on my laptop carputer from the driverís seat of my car.
    -I donít want to hack up my laptop so it is un-useable or looks funny.
    -I want the solution to be simple, clean and easy for a person of average skill to replicate.
    -It has to be cheap

    Parts I already had:
    -Laptop - acquired for free because someone thought it was broken
    -Old network cable for wiring
    -Momentary on switch from some old project.=
    Additional Parts Required:
    Stereo audio jack female (Radio Shack $3 this or this)
    Stereo audio jack male (Radio Shack $4 this or this)
    Total $7

    Tools Required:
    Drill w/Bit
    Soldering Iron
    Solder
    Electrical Tape
    Muti-Meter

    I would like to make it look as stock as stock and clean as possible. This is a simple idea, replicate remotely what the physical pushing of the power button will do to your laptop.

    So to start lets gather the parts. A quick trip to radio shack and Iím ready to roll. I used the 1/8" because the nut shank on the 3/32" was too small.

    Choose what is right for you. First you'll need to get to your power switch. I can' t help you there, but with a little patience and some help from Google I'm sure you can figure it out. If you can't get to your power switch that is probably a good indicator you shouldn't be doing this mod.

    Laptops (typically) use a momentary on switch to initiate the boot, resume from hibernate or shutdown depending on how your OS is configured. Once the case is open locate the power switch and break out your multi-meter. Leave out the battery and AC connector and start trying to figure out which two pins "close" when you press the power button. I just used the beep setting on my multi-meter.



    Once the pins are located, locate a good spot to mount the female stereo jack. I used a stereo jack because the left and right channels are insulated from each other and the common ground.

    Strip the ends of some very small gauge wire, I used an old network cord I had laying around. It worked great. Fire up the soldering gun and connect one wire to each of the pins you located earlier. Make sure you use an overly long piece of wire, always easier to cut it shorter than to make it longer.

    Drill the hole for the female jack in the spot you located earlier. I wanted to place my jack in the back of my laptop, but I could not get the space necessary, so I opted for the side. Test fit the jack in the hole. Create a test route for your wire, making sure it will clear all of your components once your laptop is back together. Cut the wire to length and solder to the female jack.



    Solder some more old network cable wire to a male plug on the left and right channels. Strip the other end of the wire but make sure they don't touch. Reassemble your laptop enough to see if it will power on. Connect the male jack, put in your battery or AC plug and touch the wires together. If it fired up hold them together to see if it will hard stop it self.

    If all worked as it should reassemble your laptop. Solder wire to your m your momentary on switch and mount it all in your vehicle. And now you have a custom remote laptop power on/off switch.








    I ended up using a nicer switch, I just used the one shown for testing.

    **This is a tutorial of what worked for me. I will not be responsible for any hardware failures because of this mod.**

    -If this doesn't help you try this thread-

    -If you are looking for a desktop power supply mod, try this-
    -WarDriver-
    Server Administrator
    Outdoor Nut

    My DC to AC Inverter Mod
    My Laptop Remote Switch

  2. #2
    Super Moderator. If my typing sucks it's probably because I'm driving.... turbocad6's Avatar
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    hey man, cool mod, I usually try to use an already there jack on the laptop, most times it'll be the modem jack... I mean who plugs a phoneline into there laptop anymore anyway

    could also be done thru a headphone jack or mic jack, if your willing to loose the original functionality of that jack. of course adding your own jack is also a good option if needed, just wanted to mention the other options available for this

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate BarryWoods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbocad6 View Post
    hey man, cool mod, I usually try to use an already there jack on the laptop, most times it'll be the modem jack... I mean who plugs a phoneline into there laptop anymore anyway

    could also be done thru a headphone jack or mic jack, if your willing to loose the original functionality of that jack. of course adding your own jack is also a good option if needed, just wanted to mention the other options available for this
    What's a modem??
    Failure is not an option....



    It's installed by default on every version of Windows.

  4. #4
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    Nice mod...

  5. #5
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    I did that to my tablet last year - Great minds hey!! used the same jack but installed a nice switch on the dash

    Daniel

  6. #6
    Newbie musters's Avatar
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    Nice Mod

    I did the same mod on my laptop too, however, I ended up just having wires stick out of it that I connected with speaker clips.
    I really like your speaker-like plug idea though, very clean!!
    ------------------------------------------------------
    1996 Toyota Corolla - HP ZV5000

  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate WarDriver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by musters View Post
    I did the same mod on my laptop too, however, I ended up just having wires stick out of it that I connected with speaker clips.
    I really like your speaker-like plug idea though, very clean!!
    Thanks...the idea was to have it be fully mobile and hopefully look somewhat normal.
    -WarDriver-
    Server Administrator
    Outdoor Nut

    My DC to AC Inverter Mod
    My Laptop Remote Switch

  8. #8
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    Hi Wardriver,

    A question regarding your remote switch. Does its still work? Has it done any damage to the laptop once in the car. My concern regards electrical noise pickup and the laptop circuit sensitivity.
    On my Dell, a 3v3 signal is always present for the power switch to work. I'm just wondering if I need to keep it well sheilded in the car environment.

    I've also gone for a remote switch on, but gone for a different approach. I will have one button on the dashboard (which neatly fits the spare button slot on P11 primera dashboards) and route that to this control board I.ve built. On ignition startup, no button needs to be pressed, the controller checks the usb power, if the laptops off, it start the laptop, then turns on the screen, and to avoid audio thump as the soundcard comes on, it will power the amp last. The dashboard button can then be used with a quick press toggling the screen power, 2sec press simulated laptop power switch, >4sec shuts of the entire system immediatly (in case of lockup). All done with some relays and a freebie pic.
    So far it all works on the bench, but in an electrically noise car environment, I'll just have to see.....

  9. #9
    Newbie Guinnessdawg's Avatar
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    I just finished this mod! thanks for the excellent walk through. Works like a charm.....so far, and only four screws leftover!

  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate WarDriver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guinnessdawg View Post
    Works like a charm.....so far, and only four screws leftover!
    Ahhh...they always put extras in there....
    -WarDriver-
    Server Administrator
    Outdoor Nut

    My DC to AC Inverter Mod
    My Laptop Remote Switch

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