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Thread: Almost ready to start project. Have a couple of questions.

  1. #1
    Newbie namyzarc's Avatar
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    Almost ready to start project. Have a couple of questions.

    Hey all,
    I've read through the forum A LOT & have gathered most of the equipment/info I will need to set up the carputer in my RSX:

    - Acer Laptop
    - Targus Docking Station (DS)
    (DS specs: 4-USB ports [2 always powered], 1 video-out, 1 mic, 1 headphone, power button)
    - Lilliput 7''
    - Kensington 120W DC-DC converter
    - Holux GPS reciever
    - Griffin powermate

    Connections:
    The laptop has two cables going to it:
    1) power
    2) USB cable running to the DS.
    Everything else listed here will be connected to the DS. (Sound has not yet been tested)

    Last night I tried setting everythig up in my house connected to AC power for now & noticed I had a few of issues I was not able to find an answer to by searching so I'd appreciate any ideas:
    1) Lilly Resolution: The lilly is connected to the DS. When I run the lilliput as a "mirror", the resolution cannot change to the recommended 1158x864. Trying to set it to that resolution results in a "over range" message on the lilly. My bios does not have a CRT/LCD option. If however I run the lilly as "external" (i.e. the only monitor) it runs fine. The problem with this is that the laptop lcd goes blank with that option, so what do I do if the lilly dies or if I just want to disconnect the laptop to take it with me? I'd hate to have to keep switching back and forth.
    2) Remote power on: Initially I purchased the docking station so that I could wire an external power button to the docking staions power as was done by some members here. The problem with this is that the docking stations power button has absolutely no effect on the laptops power. I'd hate to have to open the laptop to tap into it's own power button or even connect more cables to it for a wake-on-lan option. It would defeat the whole purpose of having an easy-disconnect docking station.
    3) Standby: Initially I was planning on using the laptops standby option. I can wake it by pressing any key on the laptops keyboard. I was hoping I could also wake it with the powermate since the docking station provides for a couple of "always on" USB ports. Two problems with this:
    a) The USB ports would not be "always on" when installed in the car because I think I should cut power to the docking station when the car shuts off so as to avoid battery drainage. I want to install a USB keyboard eventually too, but this would probably also not work.
    b) The powermate doesn't work even with power still going to the DS - or even when it's plugged directly into the laptop. Are there any other ways to wake it by connecting something to the DS?

  2. #2
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by namyzarc View Post
    1) Lilly Resolution: The lilly is connected to the DS. When I run the lilliput as a "mirror", the resolution cannot change to the recommended 1158x864. Trying to set it to that resolution results in a "over range" message on the lilly. My bios does not have a CRT/LCD option. If however I run the lilly as "external" (i.e. the only monitor) it runs fine. The problem with this is that the laptop lcd goes blank with that option, so what do I do if the lilly dies or if I just want to disconnect the laptop to take it with me? I'd hate to have to keep switching back and forth.
    You might try lowering your laptop's resolution to less than the idea.
    800x480 is the ideal for the Lilliput, and it's also a 16:9 widescreen resolution. It's very likely that your laptop can output that.
    You might also try other, higher resolutions. They may work as well.

    2) Remote power on: Initially I purchased the docking station so that I could wire an external power button to the docking staions power as was done by some members here. The problem with this is that the docking stations power button has absolutely no effect on the laptops power. I'd hate to have to open the laptop to tap into it's own power button or even connect more cables to it for a wake-on-lan option. It would defeat the whole purpose of having an easy-disconnect docking station.
    You don't have a docking station. You have a port replicator. There is a huge difference.
    A docking station typically has its own power supply that will power a laptop, as well as charge it.
    Another forum member made an auto-on module for laptops. I know nothing about it, as I'm not using a laptop on my system, but I'd think it would be worth investigating.
    There are other options for powering on the laptop remotely, as well.

    3) Standby: Initially I was planning on using the laptops standby option. I can wake it by pressing any key on the laptops keyboard. I was hoping I could also wake it with the powermate since the docking station provides for a couple of "always on" USB ports. Two problems with this:
    a) The USB ports would not be "always on" when installed in the car because I think I should cut power to the docking station when the car shuts off so as to avoid battery drainage. I want to install a USB keyboard eventually too, but this would probably also not work.
    b) The powermate doesn't work even with power still going to the DS - or even when it's plugged directly into the laptop. Are there any other ways to wake it by connecting something to the DS?
    See my answer for #2 above.
    The unit I mentioned has a startup/shutdown controller that is triggered by the ignition.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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  3. #3
    Newbie namyzarc's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll look into changing the resolution to see if that helps.
    I am aware of the auto power on module, but I went a different route with what I thought was a docking station because I'd like to avoid having to drill into the laptop case and solder anything, especially since other members have sucessfully managed to use the standby option.

  4. #4
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Standby has nothing to do with the power button, except that you can tell the computer to go into standby on the press of the power button.
    That is logic that's employed by the OS to tell the computer to save the system state in memory, then shot down to where the BIOS keeps a trickle of power going to RAM in order to maintain that state.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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  5. #5
    Newbie namyzarc's Avatar
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    You're right. I guess I mixed 2 different "needs" into a single post:
    1) I'd like to have the ability to manually power the laptop On/Off via a remote button (for whatever reason). And I now understand I have 2 different options to accomplish this: either via the auto-on module, or via a remote button set up on an actual Docking station and not the port replicator I have that was sold to me as a docking station (makes me feel silly since I'm a programmer & am around computers all day, but hey I've never owned a laptop up until recently so I was not aware of the associated hardware ).

    2) In a normal day-to-day setting I'd want it to go into standby after 5 or so minutes which is currently set up & working just fine, BUT I now have no way of getting it out of standby. I initially thought I'd be able to do this with the powermate, and that 's still an outstanding issue.

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