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Thread: Help with laptop carputer

  1. #1
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    Help with laptop carputer

    Hi, this will be my first install. I have tried to read many articles, but I'm having difficulty on getting the overall picture. I would like to install a carpc using an old laptop. I will gut the laptop and use the parts in a custom case. What do I need exactly?

    Power supply / On-off controller: Is this one unit or several units? Can you suggest what I should use (cheap as possible)? I want DC-DC...no DC-AC-DC conversion.

    Touchscreen: Are there cheaper/good units then the lilliput screens? I'm looking for a 7 inch. Can this be connected directly to the motherboard or graphics card so that the pc recognizes it as the primary display? How many cords feed off the touchscreen?

    Can somebody help me out...perhaps direct me to an article that gives very concise DIY instructions. THANKS!

  2. #2
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    I will first direct you to two resources where you really should do a lot of reading. The questions you asked are all answered in one of these to locations.
    MP3Car FAQ: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/advfaq.php
    FAQ Emporium: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/the-faq-emporium/

    Quote Originally Posted by dhorst27 View Post
    Hi, this will be my first install. I have tried to read many articles, but I'm having difficulty on getting the overall picture. I would like to install a carpc using an old laptop. I will gut the laptop and use the parts in a custom case. What do I need exactly?
    You're going to be fabricating a case. What you need is dependent on what you intend to use to fabricate a case. MDF? Plexiglass? Fiberglass? PVC? Sheet metal?

    Power supply / On-off controller: Is this one unit or several units? Can you suggest what I should use (cheap as possible)? I want DC-DC...no DC-AC-DC conversion.
    A Carnetix unit is your most likely bet. It all depends on the power requirements of your specific model of laptop. Check the output voltage on the AC power brick, and it should tell you.

    Touchscreen: Are there cheaper/good units then the lilliput screens? I'm looking for a 7 inch. Can this be connected directly to the motherboard or graphics card so that the pc recognizes it as the primary display? How many cords feed off the touchscreen?
    You can get cheaper touchscreens, but you're going to take a risk as far as quality and/or reliability.
    A touchscreen w/ VGA input will connect to the PC's VGA port, just like any other monitor, which would be the PC's primary display.
    Generally three: VGA, USB (for touchscreen) and power/ground.

    Can somebody help me out...perhaps direct me to an article that gives very concise DIY instructions. THANKS!
    Nobody can point you to a concise DIY write-up simply because there is none.
    Every install is 100% unique with its own challenges and hurdles.

    That being said, you can glean a lot from other users' installations. I suggest checking out the Worklog area and the SOYP area to see what others have done, especially with laptop installs. Most users' are happy to answer questions and give advice.

    One suggestion that I give to EVERY newbie to this hobby:
    PLAN YOUR ENTIRE INSTALLATION BEFORE PURCHASING ANYTHING.
    You're going to save yourself money and headaches, I promise.

    Welcome to the madness and good luck to you.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate LinuxRacr's Avatar
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    My old setup was off of a laptop. Check my sig for the link.
    My Car: 2001 Mazda MP3
    My OLD Carputer project: Here
    Completion Progress Bar: [**********100%]
    Current build! Here
    Completion Progress Bar: [*********99%]

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate kwchan's Avatar
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    Is it necessary to get CarNetix for laptop?

    I have seen much cheaper car to laptop adapter with selectable output voltage from 15 to 19V. It can plug direct to the cigarette lighter socket

    I understand that the regulator circuit probably less solid and the voltage may drop during cranking

    however, since laptop has its own battery...the laptop should run fine even if there is interruption to the power

  5. #5
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwchan View Post
    Is it necessary to get CarNetix for laptop?

    I have seen much cheaper car to laptop adapter with selectable output voltage from 15 to 19V. It can plug direct to the cigarette lighter socket

    I understand that the regulator circuit probably less solid and the voltage may drop during cranking

    however, since laptop has its own battery...the laptop should run fine even if there is interruption to the power
    No, it is not necessary, however a Carnetix unit is a convenient solution.
    In addition to the ability to survive cranking (which isn't that big a deal with a laptiop, since it can revert to battery power) it also includes a startup/shutdown controller for those who want that functionality.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarquePervert View Post
    A Carnetix unit is your most likely bet. It all depends on the power requirements of your specific model of laptop. Check the output voltage on the AC power brick, and it should tell you.
    Thanks for all the advice. I'm still struggling understanding a couple things. For instance, what would be the difference between the Carnetix CNX P1900 and the M2-ATX? Don't they perform the same functions? Do some of these only provide 1 power output so I won't be able to power both the screen and pc off the same unit?

    Another thing, I understand the touch screens have a VGA connector. So I guess this would be connected to the laptop and it would be recognized as a secondary screen. However, since I won't be using the laptop screen, is there a way to connect it as a primary screen directly onto the motherboard?

  7. #7
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhorst27 View Post
    Thanks for all the advice. I'm still struggling understanding a couple things. For instance, what would be the difference between the Carnetix CNX P1900 and the M2-ATX? Don't they perform the same functions? Do some of these only provide 1 power output so I won't be able to power both the screen and pc off the same unit?
    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/advf...iew&advfaqid=6

    The Carnetix provides a single output voltage for a laptop or a miniPC (like the AOpen Pandora or a Mac Mini).
    An M2ATX plugs directly into an ATX-compliant motherboard to power it, as well as the other components for the PC (HDD, optical drive, etc.)

    Another thing, I understand the touch screens have a VGA connector. So I guess this would be connected to the laptop and it would be recognized as a secondary screen. However, since I won't be using the laptop screen, is there a way to connect it as a primary screen directly onto the motherboard?
    The answer to both of those questions is dependent on your laptop make/model.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate WarDriver's Avatar
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    Why not just use a 12V adapter made specifically for that laptop? I have had one for my dell and my hp. (not that universal stuff - unless it is like the I-Go)
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  9. #9
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarDriver View Post
    Why not just use a 12V adapter made specifically for that laptop? I have had one for my dell and my hp. (not that universal stuff - unless it is like the I-Go)
    Quote Originally Posted by DarquePervert View Post
    No, it is not necessary, however a Carnetix unit is a convenient solution.
    In addition to the ability to survive cranking (which isn't that big a deal with a laptiop, since it can revert to battery power) it also includes a startup/shutdown controller for those who want that functionality.
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  10. #10
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