Please excuse my English….I’m South African.
I always wanted to do this or always dreamt of putting a laptop in my car. Well it wasn’t going to be easy and I have so many obstacles. I work in a Sugar Industry as an I.T. engineer and most of my friends work in the instruments department and so forth, so tools and components were not really and issue. There’s not much tools that I used for this project, however sometimes it did get tricky and I needed some help from good tools.
I put together a list of things that I used for this project.
1. I obviously needed a laptop.
2. An old scanner
3. An old cd-rom drive.
4. Wireless Keyboard and mouse (miniature ones).
5. 12 volt dc motor
6. 2 x Normally closed limit switches.
7. DPDT switch
Ok here goes…..
I stripped the scanner and removed all the parts including the motor and gear mechanisms. Everything inside the scanner head I ripped off and threw away (the mirrors and circuit) as I only need the housing that runs on the metal rod, gear mechanism and belt.
Next I needed to take the original gear head off the scanner motor. I did this because I did not want it to get too complicated as the original scanner motor is a stepper motor and it requires a controller to turn it. I could have used a floppy disk circuit board to control this, but that’s another project on it own!
Here I just used a standard small DC motor which has only two wires. I Removed the original motor out from the gear mechanism and attached the gear head from the original to the new motor and fastened it to the gear mechanism. I was tricky to get it somewhere in the centre. it’s slightly off but as long as it turns the gears without any hiccups it’s fine.
I used quick drying glue to fasten the motor to the gear mechanism. (as shown below)
Once that was completed and I placed it into the scanner housing/casing I attached the belt to the gear mechanism and moved the scanner head to check for the motor rotation, just to get a feel. Next i needed to attach the limit switches on either side of the scanner casing. This is so that when the scanner head reaches the end of its travel, the limit switch breaks the power stopping the motor. Otherwise the motor will keep spinning, as well as run my battery down. Then I needed to do the wiring. Attached (below) is a diagram that I did on Visio ( I’m not too good with drawing diagrams so please bear with me).
Notice I have a solenoid next to the switch.. I used a small plastic box where I connected the DPDT switch directly in front of the Solenoid and connect that to a micro-switch. This gives it the touch button effect because all the solenoid really does is push the real switch off and on. By now my project was starting to take off. When you hit the micro-switch once, the solenoid pushes the DPDT switch and that in-turn sends current through to the motor. Once the motor reaches its destination it will make the limit switch and turn the motor off (assuming my LCD is now in an open position). Upon pressing the micro-switch once more the solenoid does its job again but this time the DPDT switch reverses the polarity on the motor which spins it in the opposite direction until the unit makes the next limit switch. (closed position/laptop LCD tucked away). That is as far as I got with the LCD automation. THIS IS WHERE I NEED YOUR HELP!
I need to know how to build a mechanism that would allow the scanner to push out the LCD and then tilt it. Its purely a mechanical……and that’s something I am not too clued up with. I need to use a laptop to control my fuel management system, play dvd’s, mp3’s and even play games….. This is a drawing that I got somewhere off the internet…I don’t think its going to work, alas the cry for help!
The motorizing of the keyboard and mouse was extremely easy to do. I just made a tray in which the keyboard and mouse is kept in and attached it to the tray of the cd-rom. Extended the micro-switch by soldering the wire from the board and bringing it out. All this does is bring out the keyboard and mouse for use and retract when not in use. So basically everything is hidden away (the cops in S.A. is not too fond of having anything weird in your car!)
If you have any suggestions, even if you think they sound a bit dodgy……please forward them to me. My e-mail address is as follows; Larry.firstname.lastname@example.org I could really use your guys help. Oh and just incase you were wondering I split the LCD away from the laptop by extending all the wires. ( I know…it was kinda hectic!)