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Thread: Powering a IBM Thinkpad Need Help

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    Newbie ReddyFire's Avatar
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    Powering a IBM Thinkpad Need Help

    So for the last month ive been looking around the forums trying to figure out the best setup for a car pc. i have an ibm thinkpad t41 thing is im not sure how exactly to power the mobo on it. ive worked with desktops alot and their power supplies/cables are completely different. i took my laptop apart and kept the screen aside for future use (not sure what yet its a 14" lcd). so anyways the dc jack see below is very different than a 6 pin ATX power supply connector. i looked at the M2 DC DC PSU and im not quite visualising how that would hook up to the car and the laptop given my situation.

    yes i am noob in carpc but im ready to learn so i figure before i go any further id ask you guys .... i need help


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    Admin. Linux loser.
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    Just use a laptop car adaptor for the Thinkpad.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
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    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

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    Newbie CyberStingray's Avatar
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    Newbie ReddyFire's Avatar
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    how would the m2 dc dc psu hook up to the car adapter? arent those supposed to plug in the cigg lighter thing...
    excuse my n00bness

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    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReddyFire View Post
    So for the last month ive been looking around the forums trying to figure out the best setup for a car pc. i have an ibm thinkpad t41 thing is im not sure how exactly to power the mobo on it. ive worked with desktops alot and their power supplies/cables are completely different. i took my laptop apart and kept the screen aside for future use (not sure what yet its a 14" lcd). so anyways the dc jack see below is very different than a 6 pin ATX power supply connector. i looked at the M2 DC DC PSU and im not quite visualising how that would hook up to the car and the laptop given my situation.
    That 6-pin connector is NOT an ATX connector.

    yes i am noob in carpc but im ready to learn so i figure before i go any further id ask you guys .... i need help
    If you're ready to learn, I suggest tracking down some detailed specs and service manuals for your model laptop., You can likely get a lot of good information from one.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReddyFire View Post
    how would the m2 dc dc psu hook up to the car adapter?
    It doesn't. The M2ATX is designed to connect to a desktop motherboard that is ATX-compliant. Laptops are not ATX-compliant.
    You're not going to be able to use an M2ATX with your laptop.

    arent those supposed to plug in the cigg lighter thing...
    excuse my n00bness
    That's exactly what they are for. That's why it makes for such a simple and somewhat elegant power solution for a laptop.
    Wire it straight to the battery and TAH DAH! You've got power.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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    Admin. Linux loser.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarquePervert View Post
    That's exactly what they are for. That's why it makes for such a simple and somewhat elegant power solution for a laptop.
    Wire it straight to the battery and TAH DAH! You've got power.

    You're overthinking it. Like DP said, ATX supplies are for desktop PC's, not mobile ones. With a laptop as your Car PC, all you have to do is substitute your car's electrical system for the adaptor that you usually plug into the wall to charge up your laptop. Plenty of manufacturers make the right gizmo that plugs into your car's cigarette lighter and your laptop.

    Why, you may ask, do people complicate things and use something besides a laptop for a car PC? Several reasons. First, the auto startup and shutdown of a laptop requires some hacking. Second, you may want to expand or add on to your PC (better sound or video card or larger hard drive) and a desktop unit is more flexible than the laptop. Third, you may want a PC with more computing power than a laptop. Fourth, laptops are more expensive unless you have an old one laying around or get one with a busted screen.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  7. #7
    Newbie ReddyFire's Avatar
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    that makes so much more sense to me thank you all im just gonna get a car adaptor and go from there...next thing i gotta find is a suitable enclosure for it since i took it all apart ... i was looking a u1 form server chassis for 40$ on newegg.com looks like i could fit everything i need in it and still keep it small im going for thin more than square.

    **EDIT on the part where you said "wire it straight to your battery" DP id still want to keep the power converter thing on the circuit correct ?

  8. #8
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Explain what you mean by "power converter thing", please.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate sargeants's Avatar
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    T41 power

    Just as a side note to the whole T41 power... that picture you have of the plug is NOT for a T41, but for a T61
    The T41 has a 4 wire setup which makes it way easier to figure out what is what....especially since you don't need to have the 'smart' adapter plug
    Here's an ebay link to the actual dc jack for your T41
    http://cgi.ebay.com/IBM-Thinkpad-T40...ayphotohosting

  10. #10
    Admin. Linux loser.
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    When DP said 'wire it straight to the battery,' what he meant was just cut off the cigarette lighter end and connect the wires of the power converter straight to the battery of the car. This allows you to keep your cigarette lighter outlet open for other stuff and makes your installation look more professional.

    Of course, if the actual power conversion circuitry is inside the cigarette lighter portion, you wouldn't want to do this! However, that cigarette plug portion would probably look suspiciously large and have vents cut into it to let heat out. More likely, there is the cigarette lighter plug, followed by a wire that connects into a small box where the circuitry is and a wire that goes out of the box and plugs into your laptop. Cutting off the cigarette plug in that case just gives you two wires you connect to the battery.

    Make sure you don't reverse the polarity if you cut off the lighter plug. I always advise people to use a multimeter but [sigh] they are afraid to do it because they don't understand how it works. It takes five minutes on Youtube to learn how to use one to measure voltage properly but instead they'd rather hook up their $400 amplifier blindly and hope there is reverse polarity protection built in.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

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