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Thread: Auto shutdown when laptop goes to battery

  1. #1
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    Auto shutdown when laptop goes to battery

    Ok, I've decided to use a laptop (sans lcd) in my car project (850MHz pIII, 512 ram, 40g) and I've got the car power adapter for the laptop and a battery for it... so I was wondering if there are any software packages out there that can detect when the laptop is on battery power for say 15 min or more... then it will shut the unit down...
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  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate osirisdon's Avatar
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    Its different with every operating system, but give it a try.

    Right click on your desktop, go to screen saver tab, then on the bottom of that small window there should be a button to access power features, in there you can change it. When on batterys shut down after so and so minutes...blah blah blah.

  3. #3
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    This is one of the main reasons I chose a laptop. It has built in, and very nice, shutdown features if running Windows. Better than what a $200 power supply from Opus gives you if building a computer.

    Go to Control Panel. Double Click on the Power Options. You will see all sorts of goodies to do this. The Power Schemes TAB is where you can do about anything.

    Alarms is another one, when combined with the Action feature. You can have the laptop do stuff for example after its used 10% of it battery.

    Also be sure to look at the Advanced Tab, where you can program what to do when you press the power button or close lid button.

    How are you going to handle turning the laptop on? I am going to use a docking station so I can rip out the laptop and work on it easily. This will also help mount the laptop easier inside the car, and keep it off the ground, and cool. I have ideas on the power on, but I dont even have the docking station yet, so will have to see what its like when I get it.

    Mark

  4. #4
    FLAC DodgeCummins's Avatar
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    For power on, you can simply solder a couple of long wires and another momentary on switch to turn it on. Mine simply replaces the original switch with wires to a new one...but I could have soldered wires onto the original switch also.

    I also like using laptops for the car computer...

  5. #5
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    Hi Dodge,

    Nice setup! and good to see someone has a real remote switch. Do you have any pics or instructions on your site for this? I would like to see whats involved. The switch inside my laptop might be pretty hard to tap into, but I will really need to do this to the docking station, and hopefully that will be easier. Don't laugh, but my idea was, and still may be, to mount a shutter release button from a camera as a switch, to mechanically operate the power button.

    Mark

  6. #6
    FLAC DodgeCummins's Avatar
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    I didn't have a good digital camera at the time...so the only pics I have of the build are those on the site.

    I am very sure that your laptop uses a standard solder through switch...I mean it has pins that go all the way through the mobo where they are soldered in.

    I desoldered mine...the reset, the power/standby and the master on off sliding switch. and moved them.

    At some point I will add a delay circuit to my stereo, so when the stereo comes on...a few seconds later the power switch line will be closed and the computer will start up.

    If you are willing to permanently modify your laptop and can't get at the switch to desolder...you could just disassemble the switch and solder to the guts inside.

    Really the only hard thing with this hack is getting the laptop open.


    BTW I just popped the hood on this laptop I am typing on, it has a single surface mount switch...just solder two wires on the pins (you may have to do some testing to figure out which pins (probably 2 for mounting and 2 for power)

  7. #7
    FLAC
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    hrrm, this is an old post.. but I was wondering if anyone had any other ideas for a remote switch. My laptop's screen recently cracked, and I can't find an affordable replacement.. I may as well just spend a little extra to get a new laptop.

    Anyway.. my laptop doesn't have a momentary switch.. it's a pad like on a keyboard. I'm not going to risk destroying my laptop by soldering on to the leads.. so It seems like I may be SOL..

    the laptop is a Dell Inspiron 8100
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