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Thread: Powering my laptop without a docking station.

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thefdog View Post
    You need to look into the various solutions for powering on a laptop. Soldering another button onto the switch is only one way and not necessarily the best or easiest. Even if your inverter powers on, the laptop generally won't.

    You can rig a switch, look into power on with USB device (mouse, keyboard, etc), power on with LAN connection, power on with modem, etc. There are posts for all of these options. You can generally set your laptop to run for a certain amount of time or battery life before it turns off, so you won't have to worry about that: except -->

    When you windows crashes, and it will crash, only a hardwired switch can cut the power. Either one on the laptop switch or perhaps the inverter, but it may still run on batteries even with the inverter off. I wired a switch to the docking station that runs to the front of my car and gives me complete control. My start-up system goes like this - start computer by pressing button, start car (laptop batteries allow the pc to survive engine cranking), start monitor, listen to music.

    Also, an inverter is generally a poor solution. I tried one and it introduced terrible alternator/engine whine into my sound system. A DC-DC laptop power supply is much better. I've wired a Kensington 120W power supply directly to my battery, with a relay that cuts power to the DC supply with the ignition switch. Car off, power to laptop off, laptop can run on batteries if desired, can start car and not lose a beat. I also spliced into the wires from the Kensington unit and found a 5V line that I use to power my USB hub.

    Don't skimp on the power supply or you will regret it later. Read some more on the best way to do it, as it is likely the most important component of your setip. Most inverters, if left on, will eventullay drain your battery and then you be even more ****ed than the noise it may (will probably) cause. They are also very inefficient - DC to AC back to DC = lots of heat and power loss.

    Just my two cents...
    By inverter do you mean the thing that would go in between your laptop and the power source of the car?

    So could i do this:

    Wire one end of a Micro Shutdown Controller to the cigarette lighter 12V line and the other end to a Laptop Car charger. Then wire a switch somewhere on my dash to power the laptop (or use a wake on lan or usb device setup or something similar).

    ???

    You said that "an inverter is generally a poor solution". In the setup i mentioned above, would the "inverter" be the "car laptop charger cord"? And also you said you wired a 120W power supply to your battery? Isn't the battery 12V? sorry about all my confusion, i'm not very knowledgeable with automotive electronics.


    THANKS GUYS!

  2. #12
    Maximum Bitrate FusionFanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will_95gt View Post
    By inverter do you mean the thing that would go in between your laptop and the power source of the car?
    an inverter changes your car's 12VDC to 115VAC. they are made to plug in home AC devices / appliances / etc in your car. since your laptop runs on low voltage DC (just like your car), using an inverter is a bad idea and is not recommended for carPCs

  3. #13
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    for automatic startup, check your bios settings and see if you have an auto on with power or a similar setting. This will start the 'puter when you apply power to it. Some bios have it some don't.

    For shutdown, set the power settings in xp to shutdown when running on battery power for 5 minutes (or howeer long you want).

    Just get the 12v adapter for your laptop and wire it into the car properly and all is good.

    Cheers
    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.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  4. #14
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    laptop

    You'll get a lot of good advice as to what you should do, but it will be up to you to decide what is within your budget and works the way you want it to.

    My advice is to search a lot of threads on mp3car.com and read what other people have done and the problems they've encountered. That will help you to decide what works and what you should do for your own project.

  5. #15
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    Ah ok... thanks a lot guys!

    GreatWhite, I've scanned through my BIOS settings and can't find the boot options anywhere. I know on other computers I've seen "wake on lan" or similar options but I can't seem to find anything like that on mine.

    And thank you, Computergeek, for the diagram. Your post was very helpful as well.

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