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Thread: using a laptop, questions

  1. #1
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    using a laptop, questions

    for some reason, i was having trouble posting in the noob forum, that's where I thought this should be, but it kept freezing up when i tried to post...go figure

    alright, I've been cruising these forums all night, and I'm pretty sure i have the basic concept down for a carputer, and I am getting a new car within the next week or two (a tiburon probably, at this point, if you have any suggestions lemme know).

    I'm looking at a compaq Presario 700 with a 900mhz AMD processor. It has a DVD-ROM and 128 Megs of RAM. I was thinking about taking it apart so it's even smaller. I'd be running a head unit still too, and i'm wanting dvds, gps, bluetooth, all the good stuff.

    I just have a few questions that I couldn't exactly answer;
    1. if i buy a laptop, can i just use a DC/DC regulator to power it?
    2. will the computer have to reboot everytime the car is turned off? is there anyway to keep that from happening? (i found a few different answers to this on the forums, but i couldn't figure it out)
    3. I'm thinking about wifi, but i'm going to do somemore research before i start asking questions about that.

    thanks!

  2. #2
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    Using a Lappy for a Carputer...

    Hey there,
    Yes, you can have a laptop as a carputer. I currently have a Compaq Presario x1000 in my Jeep Grand Cherokee installed in a compartment in the trunk. The laptop is hooked to a 7" Xenarc touchscreen lcd I mounted onto the dashboard. The computer itself is plugged into a 160watt inverter that turns off when the car is off. My Jeep has 3 cigarette lighter power outlets and 2 of them are always on (hot) regardless of the car running or not. I originally had the inverter plugged into one of those; however, I accidently drained the battery over a weekend of not driving and leaving the laptop running. After having to call AAA for a jump, I decided it's not worth the risk of always having it plugged into a live outlet.

    Basically, I put the computer on Standby mode whenever I park it for work or at home and it can keep the charge for well over a couple days; of course, it's constantly charging when the car is running, so I never have issues while I'm driving for consecutive days. This is the easiest solution for getting it to turn back on quickly. Since my laptop is out of reach from the driver's seat, it would be extremely annoying to have to open the trunk compartment to turn it back on. I have a wireless logitech mouse that I use to bring it back to life from standby mode. Beware that bluetooth mice don't have the ability to do this... at least not ones that I've owned.

    When you say you're thinking of wifi, do you mean using a kyocera kr-1 router or something? I have a sprint mobile broadband card hooked into the laptop with an external antenna for better reception. I was thinking that a pc card router would be neat to have, but it's just another device that needs power from your car. You don't need it if you're just thinking of using an evdo pc card with one computer hooked to the internet.

    Hope that helps,
    Joel

  3. #3
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evankuhl View Post
    I just have a few questions that I couldn't exactly answer;
    1. if i buy a laptop, can i just use a DC/DC regulator to power it?
    POssibly. It depends on the power requirements of your laptop. Another alternative is a car adapter for your specific make/model of laptop.
    2. will the computer have to reboot everytime the car is turned off? is there anyway to keep that from happening? (i found a few different answers to this on the forums, but i couldn't figure it out)
    No. Most of us use standby or hibernate mode or some combination of the two.
    3. I'm thinking about wifi, but i'm going to do somemore research before i start asking questions about that.
    You do that.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  4. #4
    Newbie toxiclows's Avatar
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    If the lappy has a good battery in it. .. .it will stay on when you turn the car off for short periods of time suck as running into a store or something.. .
    i am going to use a 100 watt inverter... with my stock lappy power cord... and this will charge it while the car is running. .. i am thinking this should work out quite nicely.. . . I also am using a docking station so that i can take my lappy when i go. . . .and prevent theft. . .. .also i wired the dock to the dash so that i can turn it on from up in front

  5. #5
    FLAC
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    search on invertors. Look in the power supply section for some good advice. Basically avoid them and do it right the first time. Get yourself a Carnetix 1900 and hack the cabling. I did everything to the docking station. This will allow you to automatically turn the unit on and off with the flip of your key. Using a relocated switch will lead to a dead battery.

    Go DC-DC powersupply with an automatic shutdown controller. You will love it long time

  6. #6
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    answer

    Quote Originally Posted by evankuhl View Post
    for some reason, i was having trouble posting in the noob forum, that's where I thought this should be, but it kept freezing up when i tried to post...go figure

    alright, I've been cruising these forums all night, and I'm pretty sure i have the basic concept down for a carputer, and I am getting a new car within the next week or two (a tiburon probably, at this point, if you have any suggestions lemme know).

    I'm looking at a compaq Presario 700 with a 900mhz AMD processor. It has a DVD-ROM and 128 Megs of RAM. I was thinking about taking it apart so it's even smaller. I'd be running a head unit still too, and i'm wanting dvds, gps, bluetooth, all the good stuff.

    I just have a few questions that I couldn't exactly answer;
    1. if i buy a laptop, can i just use a DC/DC regulator to power it?
    2. will the computer have to reboot everytime the car is turned off? is there anyway to keep that from happening? (i found a few different answers to this on the forums, but i couldn't figure it out)
    3. I'm thinking about wifi, but i'm going to do somemore research before i start asking questions about that.

    thanks!
    i am using a laptop in my car an IBM i am using a cig lighter charger and it powers the laptop. remember its a laptop it has a batter the min you turn off the car the batter will kick in and the laptop will not shut down until you tap the screen on your dash board start and shutdown and then turn off the car and let the batter take over and the laptop should shut down i have been doing this for almost a year and it works perfect in my car no issues at all. i am also using a wusb54g linksys its a usb wifi adapter don't us the pc card because the signal will be limited

  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate miwise's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
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    I have a laptop I'm currently in the process of installing into my Lexus. It hasn't been very hard except for having to do a little bit of soldering (annoying at best). Try this tread for an auto power-on box (if you don't care about the controller powering the laptop off as it should do this automatically anyways): Laptop Auto Power-On / Turn-On Module . you will still need a power source though. If you want a full solution, you can try the mp3car.com store and get the carnetix power supply which has the power supply built into it. The startup controller was good for me b/c I didn't need the power supply as I had one already. I just finished it today. Take a look at the tread and see if it is what you need. It even has a remote switch to turn the thing on and off (although I didn't need it b/c my car still has the factory power switch on the dash for the radio left over I'm going to patch into to keep it as factory looking as possible). Hope this helps.
    Celeron 2.53 Ghz Processor
    512M ddr memory
    Mimo 7" USB Display
    XM Direct Tuner
    mp3car.com XM Direct USB interface box

    1999 Mustang GT Convertible Supercharged

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