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Thread: Powering Laptop with the Car Battery

  1. #1
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    Powering Laptop with the Car Battery

    This is my first post, and I've been reading these forums nearly day and night, however, I'm not finding much information on my exact ideas.

    So I come with this question. I have an old Thinkpad (can't remember the exact series) and it's power supply is 16V. I've modified the original casing, and completely removed the battery. I've completed the PSone LCD hack and now I'm ready for my next step. Powering the 16V Laptop and the 7.5V PSone LCD screen.

    I bought the LCD screen used without a powersupply, so that rules out using it of anysorts. Frankly I don't want anything plugged into the Cig Lighter outlet and would prefer to hard wire the power to the car battery, just like a normal head unit. Ultimatly I will mount the Laptop in the glove department, and the LCD screen with go where my older head unit is now.

    Is there any idea's, or links that you fellows could help me out with. Just point me in the direction and I'll keep posting my status, (with pics).

    Oh, my car is a 2000 Honda Civic DX, is that makes any difference.

    Thanks!
    Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. There might be a law against it by that time.

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate blicky_1's Avatar
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    I use a T23 Thinkpad in the boot and a Maplin adapter directly to the battery for power, it is adjustable from 12 to 19v, these are around 20.

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    I power my OEM notebook with the adaptor from Maplin's also.
    The voltage can be adjusted, and it comes with serveral different end adaptors to plug into most laptops.
    Part Code : N59AC

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    Quote Originally Posted by blicky_1
    I use a T23 Thinkpad in the boot and a Maplin adapter directly to the battery for power, it is adjustable from 12 to 19v, these are around 20.
    Product name? I looked on their site, but I'm not finding anything like that. I did see some Battery Connectors, but as for the adapter, I don't see it. This sounds very interesting though.
    Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. There might be a law against it by that time.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by neillangston
    I power my OEM notebook with the adaptor from Maplin's also.
    The voltage can be adjusted, and it comes with serveral different end adaptors to plug into most laptops.
    Part Code : N59AC
    Ah.. thanks, but that adapter is still for the Cig Lighter. Isn't there a way to splice off the powersupply that's going to my head unit, and work with some resistors and ohm's law to actaully have it completely hardwired.

    Excuse me if I'm sounding stoopid at anytime during this thread, it's been a while since I shopped at radioshack for these type of things. as
    Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. There might be a law against it by that time.

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate blicky_1's Avatar
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    I just purchase the female end (cig lighter) to plug into it then wired that directly to the battery, saves cutting off the cig plug. Just remember to fuse it!!

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    Newbie 480TURBO's Avatar
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    Isn't there a way to splice off the powersupply that's going to my head unit, and work with some resistors and ohm's law to actaully have it completely hardwired.
    a bit more difficult than that, the car system runs at 14v when the engine is on and 12v when the engine is off, if the lappy needs 16v it isnt going to work. you would need to build a forward or "boost" converter using inductors and many other components, this is what the device from maplin actually does, steps up the voltage so the laptop can run. save yourself a LOT of hassle and just buy one.

    powering the screen will be pretty simple though cos you are stepping down from 12/14v to 7.5. depending onthe amount of current that the screen draws when its running you could just use an adjustable voltage regulator with a heatsink on it

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    So I guess getting a power inverter would be my best idea for this. However, since I don't have a 7.5 adapter for the LCD screen, I will have to go purchase one. I was thinking originally that I could actually build one myself, but it seems the best idea is to go with an original.



    Has anyone used this model? Is there a better one that anyone suggests?

    Thanks again.
    Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. There might be a law against it by that time.

  9. #9
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    are you doing a vga mod on the PsOne screen? if so, what video card you have in your laptop to make is working?

  10. #10
    Newbie 480TURBO's Avatar
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    So I guess getting a power inverter would be my best idea for this
    probably not, the inverter is bulky and inefficient.
    as advised above i would buy a laptop car adapter and cut the plug off it. hardwire it into the power supply for your stereo or some other circuit via a fuse and a kill switch, perfect!

    as for the ps2 screen you can built a very simple circuit with 7 or 8 components to power the screen off the same 12 volt supply. look on the back of the screen and find out how much current the screen consumes and i will try to design a little circuit to power it for you!

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