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Thread: 1st install...advice please?

  1. #1
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    1st install...advice please?

    hi guys,
    as you can see this is my first post. i have been reading up on this and various other sites about a carpc. to be honest i didnt know that many people did it until i found these sites but anyway enough rambling on eh?!

    i have got a lil ford fiesta 1.3 (i know i know but its my first car as iam only 17 :P) and i have got a dell inspiron laptop (p3, 20gb internal hdd, dvd-rom, 256mb ram, onboard sound and graphics, 2 usb ports). and basically i would like some advice or even a confirmation to myself as i have thought it all out and want to check iam on the right tracks.

    1) i have just ordered my headunit...has aux input
    2) got all the cable needed for the aux etc
    3) then i will order my lilliput 7" touchscreen i have found and plug that into the laptop video out
    4) do i then need to basically put the laptop in my prefered location, install headunit, and run the aux cable from the laptop 3.5mm sound jack into the aux out on the headunit, then get a power invertor (something like this), then conect the invertor up to my car battery and then plug the power lead from my laptop into the plug socket on the invertor?? and hopefully i should be good to go??

    thanks for your time to read this but i didnt really know where else to put this and i couldnt really find anything else on it.... please dont me rofl!

    regards
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  2. #2
    Low Bitrate omar's Avatar
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    You should be good to go. I'm using a laptop in my setup also. You haven't mentioned how you were going to power on your laptop. For my laptop (an HP), I took it apart and soldered two wires to my power button. That is connected to a relay powered by my radio's remote turn on lead using the one-shot circuit here: Schematics/Pin Outs/Diagrams.

    I originally set windows xp to hibernate my laptop after 1 minute. That did not work. Apparently your laptop must be idle for xp to hibernate automatically--if music is playing, the computer is not idle. So I wrote a program that runs in the system tray that monitors when the laptop is being run off batteries(this would be when your inverter is no longer on). After a period of time ( I set mine to 30 seconds) the computer hibernates--whether it's idle or not. If you want the program, I'll send it to you.

    For the inverter, I would use a relay to turn it on with the car/radio.

    btw, if anyone knows where to get automotive relays cheaper than Radio Shacks $6-7 let me know.

  3. #3
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    ok thanks.
    im just going to open up my boot and then press the power button and same with the invertor...just flick the switch off once ive turned my car off and then on again when i get back in.... maybe just get a small switch and chop a wire in half the solder each end in for power on/off

    thanks

  4. #4
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    hi again guys
    dumb me... ive just been looking at the voltage on my desktop pc...the exact pc im NOT putting in the car! derrrr! just looked at the underside of my laptop and it reads:

    Input: 20V --- 3.5A

    no other sign of a wattage.
    so with this now in mind will this inverter do baring in mind its the laptop that is going in which will eventually have GPS and a touchscreen running off it... but if needs be i can always just wire the inverter straight to the battery and have the monitor plugged into the cig lighter.

    one more thing...sorry... do you think i would need a seperate battery for the screen, laptop, inverter etc...so basically just for my ICE stuff?

    thanks once again

    EDIT:
    (I have just gone on to the Dell website and got the tech specs for the power etc if this helps, will mean more 2 you probably :P)



    Battery
    Type 8-cell lithium ion (dual battery support is available via the media bay)
    Dimensions:

    Depth
    88.5 mm (3.48 inches)

    Height
    21.5 mm (0.83 inch)

    Width
    139.0 mm (5.47 inches)
    Weight 8 cell; 0.39 kg (0.87 lb)
    Voltage 14.8 VDC
    Charge time (approximate):

    Computer on
    2.5 hours

    Computer off
    1 hour

    Battery life
    approximately 3 hours minimum with 8-cell standard battery
    Life span (approximate) 400 discharge/charge cycles
    Temperature range:

    Operating
    0 to 45C (32 to 113F)

    Storage
    20 to 60C (4 to 140F)

    AC Adapter
    Input voltage 90 to 135 VAC and 164 to 264 VAC
    Input current (maximum) 1.5 A
    Input frequency 40 to 63 Hz
    Output current 4.5 A (maximum 4-second pulse); 3.5 A (continuous)
    Rated output voltage 20 VDC
    Dimensions:

    Height
    27.94 mm (1.1 inches)

    Width
    58.42 mm (2.3 inches)

    Depth
    133.85 mm (5.25 inches)

    Weight (with cables)
    0.4 kg (0.9 lb)
    Temperature range:

    Operating
    0 to 40C (32 to 104F)

    Storage
    40 to 65C (40 to 149F)

  5. #5
    Low Bitrate omar's Avatar
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    Input: 20V --- 3.5A = 70 watts. The inverter should be fine as long as that 100 continuous watts. The lilliput would'nt need the inverter. It runs off 12v. I personally don't think a seperate battery is necessary.

  6. #6
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    sorry but... <bump>

  7. #7
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    instead of the inverter why dont you just buy the car adapter from dell. (http://store.yahoo.com/laptoptravel/delin26418201.html) It is made to be plugged into the car's cig. lighter socket. You could just hack that apart and hard wire it to the battery or if you dont want to hack that you could buy a cigarette lighter socket and hardwire in your trunk and just plug it into that.

  8. #8
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    thanks very much for that link. i managed to find the correct adapter for the model of my laptop. works out around the same price as say a 400W power inverter but the other inverter listed above would work out around half the price. only thing iam wondering is if it would work...

  9. #9
    cheap custom title JC-S60's Avatar
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    The car adapter will be more efficient then the inverter, that's for shure.

    All sounds as it's going to work fine.

    One thing: the lilliput would be connected to the VGA output of your laptop, not the composite or s-video out, so be shure to buy the right cable

  10. #10
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    yup will do will do

    well ive just found one on ebay uk for like 15 pounds and after delivery its still under 20 so that sounds great! i would be able to hardwire this into the battery instead of having to plug it into the cigerette lighter port wouldnt i?
    thing that stumbled me was he called it use for dell insperon laptops...when they dont do those type do they? :S i thought it was just inspiron
    and do you think i will need another battery or is the one fine? remembering its a tiny lil ford fiesta
    and as for the vga do you mean it will plug into this port on my laptop?? if so..the lilliput already comes with the cable and also a usb cable for touchscreen capabilities doesnt it?

    regards,

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