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Thread: Starting and Shutting Down

  1. #1
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    Post Starting and Shutting Down

    Im really new to all this, I mean really new, so My question no matter how simple it may seem to you guys is.....
    What is the most prefered method of starting you systems? through push button or wired into cars power? I mean how is it done and done well I dont want to just stick a big switch labled "computer" if thers a more elegant way of doing it.
    And on the other end of the scale how do you shut down? do you just cut power and disable the scan disk function? if so isnt that bad for your drive? Like I said Im new to all this so dont take anythink I just said the wrong way, but a little guidence wouldnt go astray. Thankx!!
    The box said Windows 9x or better.. so I installed Linux

    There are 10 kinds of people in the world those who understand binary and those who don't.

  2. #2
    FLAC
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    For starting up you could wire the pc power up thru a relay which would energise when you turn your cars ignition to accessory. The problem is the next progression is starting the car, with the starter motor sucking alot of juice, often causing a PC to faulter - not always, but is normaly the case.

    The other method is just to have a switch, you can make it look elegant if you like I like having a seperate switch independent of the car - it also saves hacking into the cars electricial system.

    For powerdown just cutting the power is easiest. If you are going to use a ATX motherboard you could shutdown properley using a shutdown controller (search the BB), but I much rather have instant turn-off and just disable scandisk. Of course if you run DOS you dont even need to worry about that.

    Its not bad for a HDD to just cut power, it can cause lost clusters if the hard disc was writing data back to the hard drive at time of powerdown..... but with playing mp3's etc.. this would not normally be a problem.
    Project - GAME OVER :(

  3. #3
    Retired Admin Aaron Cake's Avatar
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    Talking

    I just have a switch mounted below the stereo that turns the computer on. It activates a relay in my case, which in turn connects power to the DC-DC supply. I wanted to be able to turn my machine on independant of the rest of the accessories.

    As for shutdown, on my keypad I have a "SHT DWN" button. When I hit this button, the software calls the ShutDownWindow API and Windows then shuts down. After a few seconds, I cut power manually. I like this system, as it gives a lot of control.
    Player: Pentium 166MMX, Amptron 598LMR MB w/onboard Sound, Video, LAN, 10.2 Gig Fujitsu Laptop HD, Arise 865 DC-DC Converter, Lexan Case, Custom Software w/Voice Interface, MS Access Based Playlists
    Car: 1986 Mazda RX-7 Turbo (highly modded), 1978 RX-7 Beater (Dead, parting out), 2001 Honda Insight
    "If one more body-kitted, cut-spring-lowered, farty-exhausted Civic revs on me at an intersection, I swear I'm going to get out of my car and cram their ridiculous double-decker aluminium wing firmly up their rump."

  4. #4
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    well thankx for the help but one more question,
    Whats this all about, inverter or no inverter, I was about to run out and pay $120 for one from autobarn, do I need one? And if I do what is the kind of thing I need to look at.
    So far I want to put the PC and a playstation in there so what kind of inverter if any do I need?
    The box said Windows 9x or better.. so I installed Linux

    There are 10 kinds of people in the world those who understand binary and those who don't.

  5. #5
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    Inverters convert DC power to AC power. If your computer power supply uses AC (most likely) then you need it, UNLESS you get a DC power supply. The Playstation can use the inverter. Most people like to use DC power supplies because they are more efficient, produce less noise, and there are less parts. However there are limitations. Most DC power supplies are only for an AT style motherboard, most people have ATX motherboards. The other problem is the “Power Good” signal that some boards need (like mine), which require a timer.

    On the original question- I use an on/off switch in line with the car Acc power and leave the switch I the ON position. That way the computer goes on and off with the ignition, unless I put the switch in the OFF position. I use Winamp and just shut off the power (AT style motherboard). I used to close Winamp prior to killing the power but I ran into a problem with winamp not completing writing to the playlist on closing the program when power was turned off. The next time I started up, winamp was dead. Since then I just stop winamp and kill the power. It’s been over a year and I have had no problems w/ the HD or the program. Occasionally, when I add more songs to the playlist, I’ll run scandisk. I also use TWEAKUI to disable autoscan on startup and the RESUMER plugin to autostart winamp and go back to the part of the song that was playing when the car was turned off.

    The end product is very close to a normal car stereo with the exception of the 30 second boot up.

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate Raas's Avatar
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    MikGan..
    First things first: I don't want to flame on you

    But...

    I suggest you do a little investigation in this before you start of anything

    Just read and look at alot of the setups numerous users have built, just to get some basic knowledge about all this.. (no flame, but you'll have to know how computers are powered, and what this power does...)
    Then let your own ideas come up, and we're glad to help you with any problems that may come up...

    Succes !!!

    Greetz
    Raas - The Netherlands
    ME: VIA epia m10000, lilliput 7', opus 150w, 80gb<br>
    GF: IBM Thinkpad 380, ext. 3.5 80gb, 40x4, PB-IR

  7. #7
    Rob
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    A slightly different aproach to the power on/off question (I have to doing things differently)

    What I've done is I've got a shut down button connected to the serial port, and which causes my PC to shut down.

    Simple? Now here's the clear bit, I've replaced all the power buttons (and shutdown button)with relays, connected to a simple circuit which monitors the the "PSON" output on the motherboard. I all I do to turn the machine on or off is press a single button which is connected to this circuit, and depending if the the machine is on or off it'll power up or power down.

    I can give you the design if you want but it will need modifing based on the rest of the hardware.

    Rob
    And you say people actually pay money for M$ Windows?
    www.mp3mini.co.uk (Does what it says on the URL) www.openclassic.co.uk (The new car, with zero rust!) www.rob-web.co.uk (My other site)
    Total re-design underway: on the whole progress is very slow as the car is taking up too much time :)

  8. #8
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    Well, not sure if anyone would be interested, but I came up with a fairly simple device (only needs 4 ends to be soldered, and 3 parts that can be found at any electronics store, and a simple car adapter that you might already have, cost me $15.00 w/ the adaptor), and software for the computer that runs it. For automatically shutting down when the car turns off all you need is the device and the software, and for turning on you need a motherboard that supports external modem on feature.
    The software also has voice recognition (basic commands, play, pause, stop, skip track, etc.), and voice (answers to what day and what time is it). It also saves all settings when the computer shuts down, eg starts playing at the music (this is all using winamp) and position where it was before you turned off the car.
    If enough people are interested, and there's enough requests, I might be willing to make it more "official" and sell it, I wouldn't charge more than $15-$20 (this isn't including the device, like I said it is very simple to build, I myself am not an electrical engineer and it took me 10 minutes to do it wiht a simple solder iron).

  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate
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    Since my PSU is a DC-DC ATX, I have a momentary lighted pushbutton in the dash that controls the CarPC's power supply just like the button/power LED on the front of an ATX case.

    To start the PC, I simply press the button momentarily. The LED lights up and the PC boots.

    To shutdown the PC, I do as Aaron did and have a button to shutdown Windows (on my IR remote). This is the same as doing Start &gt; Shutdown &gt; Shutdown from Win98. Since my system is ATX, the computer turns ITSELF off once Windows is done shutting down. That way I don't have to remember to manually turn it off. I can see this happen when the power LED in the dash goes off after a few seconds of executing the shutdown sequence.

    If my system locks up for some reason while running, I can hold down the momentary button for 5-7 seconds and the PC will be forced to power off.

    I have been quite pleased with this setup as it has worked well for over 6 months now. I have a +12V line coming out of the CarPC that turns on my amp and connects to a relay switchbox that switches my 4-channel amp's inputs from the headunit to the CarPC.
    Jason Johnson
    Yorba Linda, California
    http://www.m2pc.com

    MPC Phase IV - *** PENDING ***

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