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Thread: DC-DC or Inverter for Laptop?

  1. #1
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    DC-DC or Inverter for Laptop?

    So I'm going to use a Thinkpad laptop as the PC in my CarPC. I have a 07 350z and I'm planning to install it in the glove box with a 7" touch screen in the cubby.

    My question is which is better, a DC-DC adaptor (I can get one for about $60) or an Inverter, which I guess would be more expensive (to be big enough to run a laptop). This is an older T40 series, so a Pentium M 1.6GHz.

    One benefit of the Inverter is I would install it in such a way to give me a "power plug" in my car if I ever needed it for something else. So the question is would a DC-DC adaptor be better in some way?

    Thanks,

    Ross

  2. #2
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    Please check the FAQ link in the navbar above.

    There are FAQs written specifically to answer this kind of question.

    Good luck.
    Jan Bennett
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    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the no-help reply. I have read the FAQ, nothing I can find talks specifically about LAPTOP computers. They refer to desktop power supplies, etc, but not laptops. That's really what I need to know about...

    Anyone else know?

    Thanks,

    Ross

  4. #4
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    wow - good luck on your own!

    the information is there, you just choose to not read or search for it.

    you're not going to haev much fun with this project at all...

    especially considering this question get's asked almost DAILY around here...
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

  5. #5
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    There's lots there about the topic.

    Desktop or laptop makes no difference.

    I will offer you this though:

    If there's a car adapter for your laptop, that's what I would go with.

    You'll still have to adress the startup shutdown options.

    A low buck way would be to hack the laptop and wire in a power button, then just set the power options in the laptop to shut off after a couple mins on battery power.

    One more piece of advice:

    try turning the other cheek when you get a response you don't like. Getting snarky with a respected member like Red is never a good idea. Especially when she's right.

    Cheers

    BJ

    *edit* I also see darque is watching, I'd watch my step if I were you. Just a word of caution.
    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
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  6. #6
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    I know what you guys are saying - being new here but old to other forums , when you see the same question over and over it does get old. But if you guys have a great thread or 2 that you know would be perfect - maybe reply with link to that. You know when you do a search for say laptops - you get a whole bunch of stuff coming up actually over 500 posts. In the Faq I didn't really see much about laptops per se maybe there could be one topic for that - just a thought and observation from a nebbie

  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate jwlionking's Avatar
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    I would think a mp3car employee should have turned the other cheek with this comment. Respected? Not by me now. Sorry I made purchases from mp3car if the other employees are like this. This kind of attitude on forums sure is common... Haven't seen it on here in a while.. Hope this isn't a sign. He was respectful on the first post and then was not in this post.. Wow these kind of people infuriate me.. Ok.. Enough of my rant, now to HELP a fellow hobbyist.

    This is how I accomplished a similar effect of the powersupply w/startup and shutdown controllers:

    Power : Inverter - Power this with a relay which turns on and off with your ignition

    Auto turn on - I purchased this item - http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/powe...rn-module.html

    Auto Turn-off - In adjust power properties in windows on laptop - set it to go into standby when running on batteries - I set mine to 2 minutes

    The auto turn on module comes with wire and a momentary switch to run up to the front of the vehicle works as an emergency switch. There are wires that you need to solder to your switch on your laptop.. I purchased a docking station so there was no damage to laptop.

    Hope this helps!


    Quote Originally Posted by RedGTiVR6 View Post
    wow - good luck on your own!

    the information is there, you just choose to not read or search for it.

    you're not going to haev much fun with this project at all...

    especially considering this question get's asked almost DAILY around here...
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  8. #8
    Variable Bitrate
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    Quote Originally Posted by mocars2 View Post
    I know what you guys are saying - being new here but old to other forums , when you see the same question over and over it does get old. But if you guys have a great thread or 2 that you know would be perfect - maybe reply with link to that. You know when you do a search for say laptops - you get a whole bunch of stuff coming up actually over 500 posts. In the Faq I didn't really see much about laptops per se maybe there could be one topic for that - just a thought and observation from a nebbie
    I'm far from being an old hand here, but I'm also an experienced forum member in other venues. As a counterpoint, I'd like to offer that the first reply said to look at the faq.

    The very first faq that appears on the pull-down menu discusses the difference between DC-DC converters and inverters (the question asked).

    I hate to sound pedantic, but...if a person doesn't know that the only real differences between a laptop and a desktop is expandability (less for a laptop) and a built-in UPS (of sorts - the laptop's battery), then honestly don't you think a carPC project is probably past their skill level anyway?

    Just my $0.02

  9. #9
    Constant Bitrate
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    Skill level nothing! Everyone has to start somewhere.

    I don't like pushing people off with a simple RTFM or such, but this is one of those kinds of questions that is so common that it gets that response almost as a knee-jerk reaction. If you find over 500 posts on laptops, I'm sure a few of them address the topic in question.

    That being said, newbies sometimes don't really even know what to look for or what they're looking at so, these kinds of posts are inevitable.

    I'd say use an inverter for simplicity. And then to make it cool and complex, build a robotic arm that's programmed to push the power button when the car's ignition is on the ON position and again when it's off.

    I don't think you need a super duper inverter. All the Dell laptops I've ever seen use 90W and below for their adapters. I have some IBM Thinkpads at work, but I can't remember their power ratings. I can't imagine they are much different.

  10. #10
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    This hobby is not now, nor has ever been for those who aren't willing, able, and capable of doing some research to find out information.

    And what's the purpose of compiling FAQs for easy reference when we're supposed to answer the same question over and over again, by jwlionking's logic.

    The fact is, many members have spent a good bit of time and effort compiling information for those FAQs and adding to them. Why? To answer the obvious questions that newbies ask over and over again.

    When someone is pointed in the direction of the FAQs for an answer, it's not a brush off. It's simply saying "your answer is over here." If you're not willing to look for your answer, especially when you're pointed in the direction tos tart looing, then you really have no business in a hobby that requires as much research and planning as this, plain and simple.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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