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Thread: Laptop as a carputer. What do i need?

  1. #1
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    Laptop as a carputer. What do i need?

    I saw some threads about this, but it made me confused..

    Can someone tell me what i need to use a laptop as a carputer?

    I will use a laptop, extra usb harddrive and possibly an usb soundcard..

    but what about the power? what do i need so i wont damage the laptop..
    do i have to ground the computer/powersuply more than from the ligher outtake. or is it best to wire it directly to the battery/ground?


    Thans, from a newbie who really wants a carputer...

  2. #2
    MySQL Error Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    You need to thats what! Sorry to be blunt but all the answers are out there and very easy to find and more and more duplicate posts make searching more and more tedious!

    There are quite a few of us doing laptop installs and it isn't actually easer than an ITX or ATX solution as it has its own set of problems.

    Good luck

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Monkey
    You need to thats what! Sorry to be blunt but all the answers are out there and very easy to find and more and more duplicate posts make searching more and more tedious!

    There are quite a few of us doing laptop installs and it isn't actually easer than an ITX or ATX solution as it has its own set of problems.

    Good luck
    If you read my post, i have searched.. but there are different answers.. Thats why i wondered if anyone could me so kind to tell me exactly what i need.

    The problem i have is the money. i cant afford a ITX og ATX solution right now, put i have a laptop...

    So if anyone can be so kind to help me, instead of telling me their appinion about if its right of me to make this post or not..

  4. #4
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    I have read here to power a laptop you need to find a 12 V. car power (cigarette) adapter made for powering laptops. Try finding one from the company that manufactured your laptop or ebay or google. Should be less than $50 US. Pretty simple/easy solution, though you won't have any automation of start-up/shutdown.
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  5. #5
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    To get going you will need these :

    Car-to-Laptop adaptor, this take in the car 12V (usually via cigarette lighter) and step up the voltage to what your laptop requires. Most adaptor are rated at 60-90W and have variable outputs from 15-24V or so. Just check with the supplier if the one you are after is suitable. No need for tank, caps et all. The laptop battery will take care of that.

    You will need to turn on the laptop by means of a startup/shutdown controller. You can use 2 wires directly connected to the power buttons. Use the wake on ring, wake on lan, or use a docking station.

    Get a VGA screen, mouse, keyboard. Thats about it really, that should get you going.

  6. #6
    Newbie peegee's Avatar
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    This is the type of thing you need.
    You need to make sure it works with you laptop (you dont say which one/type you have)

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  7. #7
    Self proclaimed spoon feeder TruckinMP3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TommyTott
    If you read my post, i have searched.. but there are different answers.. Thats why i wondered if anyone could me so kind to tell me exactly what i need.

    The problem i have is the money. i cant afford a ITX og ATX solution right now, put i have a laptop...

    So if anyone can be so kind to help me, instead of telling me their appinion about if its right of me to make this post or not..
    Yup, you and everyone else... exactly what you need depends on the laptop make and sometimes model. that is why you found more than one answer.
    TruckinMP3
    D201GLY2, DC-DC power, 3.5 inch SATA

    Yes, you should search... and Yes, It has been covered before!

    Read the FAQ!

  8. #8
    MySQL Error Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    Tommy, are you willing to take your laptop apart? I am asking this as you can make a simple DIY startup/shutdown with a remote switch from your laptop or if you build a startup/shutdown controller you will probably have to link into this switch (see: Remote laptop startup). What make and model is your laptop? You may want to look for a cheap (eg ebay) port replicator as if you are lucky (like IBM ones) they have an on-off switch so you wont have to take you laptop to pieces.

  9. #9
    MySQL Error Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    Oh jsut to add - if you get a DC-DC laptop power supply you can have this powered on using a relay which is switched on when you turn on your ACC line (e.g. just hook it up to your exisiting radio power leads) and then if you are using a simple switch for your laptop you can turn on the laptop as soon as you get in and allow it to shutdown after you get out as it will run on its battery (the nice thing about laptops as car PCs). This would be the simplest was if you jsut want to get up and running for now - The startup/shutdown controller int he tread i mentioned looks like the best solution to me though and this is what i am plannin on using. Jsut make sure you draw your power for the laptop PS from the battery with a fuse near the battery - they generally come in 90 or 120W from the likes of ebay and if you use a port replicator you can also get rid of the crappy laptop connectors and hardwire the PS to it.

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