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Thread: Laptop Auto Power-On / Turn-On Module

  1. #261
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    Sorry I need to Read more!

    Sorry to WilgartW of post #209...This thread is so huge I missed it...damn...pics too...Looks great! Hope mine goes well.

  2. #262
    Constant Bitrate Gibson99's Avatar
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    Webmaster - excellent and SIMPLE device you've come up with here. I'm no EE but i can solder OK, and follow a simple schematic like this. I've decided to make mine a little more modular.

    I have the remnants of a Dell L400 laptop. I say remnants, because it's one of those weird first attempts by a manufacturer to make a super-thin laptop, where the "docking station" is really a second layer that snaps into the bottom of the laptop, and is the only way to have a floppy or cdrom, or even more than just one USB port! It was given to me by a friend who knows I like to tinker, and it's missing that lower half w/ cdrom/fdd/etc, and has been dropped, so the plastics are in pretty rough shape. It's got a 30gb hdd and unfortunately only 256mb, but it runs XP, Winamp and Streets & Trips, so I'm ok with that. I found another thread on here with some great command line instructions on how to "pre" install xp onto the hd with the hd installed in my desktop. The only weird concequence of that was that now instead of C:, the laptop has an F: drive. Looks weird in explorer, but it works, so who cares!

    I took off the screen (permanently - it's going on ebay!), and while I was in there, I probed around to find the power button stuff. While I was in there I also removed the modem, since I won't be needing it. A thought occurred to me at this point, because the phone jack actually had a 2-pin lead going from the motherboard up to the modem daughterboard, so I just grabbed a little length of cat-5 and took one pair out of it, and used that to extend the lead from the phone jack to the power button. This made "adding a plug" to the outside of the case super easy - especially since there was absolutely no room to add anything (further complicated by cracked case plastics!) So now other than the missing screen (and physical damage to one corner) the laptop looks normal - you can't tell it's been hacked! No idea what would happen if you actually plugged a phone line into the modem port now, but I haven't used a POTS landline in so long....

    Now for the box I'm building off your plans, I am simply putting a duplex phone jack (cannibalized from an old 2-way phone jack splitter) into the side of the enclosure. I will have a simple coaxial power connector to plug into the car for 12v acc, but for the 5v section i took a rather different approach:

    I am using the PS/2 KEYBOARD PORT for my +5vdc! Why? I only have ONE usb port on this laptop, and I am probably going to end up using that for the touchscreen, and I don't want to deal with usb hubs and their power issues. From another project, I had an unused female ps/2 port I can easily install into the radio shack project enclosure so that I don't lose my keyboard port in the process. For the lead to the laptop I chopped the end off an *OLD* keyboard adapter cable that allowed you to use an old AT style keyboard on a machine w/ a ps/2 port (See, there is a good reason to hang on to all those old cables and equipment - free carputer parts!). I'm simply tapping into the 5v rail on the keyboard line to activate the relay. I don't necessarily have to have a keyboard plugged in for this to work, though i will be using a numpad to control it - at least till I get a touchscreen installed.

    The only thing I see as possibly being a problem is that I bought a 1000uf 35v cap instead of a 25v one like you specified. I couldn't find a 25v at any of my local radio shacks - 50v was more prevalent. Do you forsee this being a problem if I keep a 10k resistor?
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Previous: CamryAmp 1.0 - 95 Camry SE V6 Coupe (sold)
    Current: CamryAmp 2.0 - 98 Camry CE V6 5spd (still bench-testing)

  3. #263
    FLAC W3bMa5t3r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibson99 View Post
    Webmaster - excellent and SIMPLE device you've come up with here. I'm no EE but i can solder OK, and follow a simple schematic like this. I've decided to make mine a little more modular.

    I have the remnants of a Dell L400 laptop. I say remnants, because it's one of those weird first attempts by a manufacturer to make a super-thin laptop, where the "docking station" is really a second layer that snaps into the bottom of the laptop, and is the only way to have a floppy or cdrom, or even more than just one USB port! It was given to me by a friend who knows I like to tinker, and it's missing that lower half w/ cdrom/fdd/etc, and has been dropped, so the plastics are in pretty rough shape. It's got a 30gb hdd and unfortunately only 256mb, but it runs XP, Winamp and Streets & Trips, so I'm ok with that. I found another thread on here with some great command line instructions on how to "pre" install xp onto the hd with the hd installed in my desktop. The only weird concequence of that was that now instead of C:, the laptop has an F: drive. Looks weird in explorer, but it works, so who cares!

    I took off the screen (permanently - it's going on ebay!), and while I was in there, I probed around to find the power button stuff. While I was in there I also removed the modem, since I won't be needing it. A thought occurred to me at this point, because the phone jack actually had a 2-pin lead going from the motherboard up to the modem daughterboard, so I just grabbed a little length of cat-5 and took one pair out of it, and used that to extend the lead from the phone jack to the power button. This made "adding a plug" to the outside of the case super easy - especially since there was absolutely no room to add anything (further complicated by cracked case plastics!) So now other than the missing screen (and physical damage to one corner) the laptop looks normal - you can't tell it's been hacked! No idea what would happen if you actually plugged a phone line into the modem port now, but I haven't used a POTS landline in so long....

    Now for the box I'm building off your plans, I am simply putting a duplex phone jack (cannibalized from an old 2-way phone jack splitter) into the side of the enclosure. I will have a simple coaxial power connector to plug into the car for 12v acc, but for the 5v section i took a rather different approach:

    I am using the PS/2 KEYBOARD PORT for my +5vdc! Why? I only have ONE usb port on this laptop, and I am probably going to end up using that for the touchscreen, and I don't want to deal with usb hubs and their power issues. From another project, I had an unused female ps/2 port I can easily install into the radio shack project enclosure so that I don't lose my keyboard port in the process. For the lead to the laptop I chopped the end off an *OLD* keyboard adapter cable that allowed you to use an old AT style keyboard on a machine w/ a ps/2 port (See, there is a good reason to hang on to all those old cables and equipment - free carputer parts!). I'm simply tapping into the 5v rail on the keyboard line to activate the relay. I don't necessarily have to have a keyboard plugged in for this to work, though i will be using a numpad to control it - at least till I get a touchscreen installed.

    The only thing I see as possibly being a problem is that I bought a 1000uf 35v cap instead of a 25v one like you specified. I couldn't find a 25v at any of my local radio shacks - 50v was more prevalent. Do you forsee this being a problem if I keep a 10k resistor?
    Sounds good mate, and good idea using your ps2 port for the 5vdc. The 35v cap is fine. The capacitance value is the same so you'll be good. Just rated for higher voltage applications.
    Good luck with your project

  4. #264
    Constant Bitrate peijffertje's Avatar
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    @Gibson99

    Dude, I used exactly the same as you have. (also no screen)
    A Dell c410 (Now a C640) with W3bmast3rs shutdown control thingie. (which is a really nice piece of work)

    I advice strongly on getting a dockingstation on Ebay (got mine for 10 Euro) and built the shutdowncontroller into that. You want to be able to take the laptop out when your installing software and that kind of stuff and you can upgrade later if you'd wish to a C640 or something and still use the same dock.
    Plus, big extra.. you get 2 more USB ports.

  5. #265
    Constant Bitrate Gibson99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peijffertje View Post
    @Gibson99

    Dude, I used exactly the same as you have. (also no screen)
    A Dell c410 (Now a C640) with W3bmast3rs shutdown control thingie. (which is a really nice piece of work)

    I advice strongly on getting a dockingstation on Ebay (got mine for 10 Euro) and built the shutdowncontroller into that. You want to be able to take the laptop out when your installing software and that kind of stuff and you can upgrade later if you'd wish to a C640 or something and still use the same dock.
    Plus, big extra.. you get 2 more USB ports.
    No, the C series is quite different from the L series. Check out these pics I just took of the L stacked on top of the C - both screens removed, at the bottom of this post.

    Actually my main laptop that I use for work is a Latitude C610 (which also only has one USB port - go figure). I also have an old Inspiron 4000 which is basically the same as a C600 but with a different bios and different plastics. Its screen is cracked, and i have a docking station for it (and the dock for the insp 4000 does NOT work on the c610 even though it physically fits - be aware of firmware differences when trying things like this), so when I get done with this project in the Miata, I am planning on using the dock and the insp4000 (minus screen) in my Camry. There just isn't enough room in the miata to put a big C series plus its dock, which is why I'm using the L400 - it's quite small. Its dimensions are 27cm x 21.5cm x 1.5cm, which makes it possible to fit in the glovebox of the miata with very little modification to the glovebox itself. Plus, since I am making this startup controller modular, I can easily unplug the laptop from the car and bring it inside for updates/maint. True, it's not as easy as removing it from a dock, but it's only power, keyboard, "phone" and audio, so it's not a big deal.

    The camry has a lot more room, so I can mount the dock under a seat, and yes, I plan to build the controller into the dock itself, so that all I have to do for that is add a switched 12v input jack to it - the relays, resistor and cap can all be contained completely within the dock. Do you have any problems with your laptop rattling in the dock? I don't want to add any more rattles to my car!
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Previous: CamryAmp 1.0 - 95 Camry SE V6 Coupe (sold)
    Current: CamryAmp 2.0 - 98 Camry CE V6 5spd (still bench-testing)

  6. #266
    Constant Bitrate peijffertje's Avatar
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    The dimensions of the C400 (Its C right? I know they are both lattitudes...) and the C600 are different (The C600 is a lot larger) but they use the same dockingstation.

    Nope, no ratling at all. The dock is firmly fixed in my trunk with Velcro and locking the dockingstation seems to be enough.
    If you put the laptop under your chair, keep in mind that it can get a little wet when people get in the car on a rainy day.

  7. #267
    Constant Bitrate Gibson99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peijffertje View Post
    The dimensions of the C400 (Its C right? I know they are both lattitudes...) and the C600 are different (The C600 is a lot larger) but they use the same dockingstation.

    Nope, no ratling at all. The dock is firmly fixed in my trunk with Velcro and locking the dockingstation seems to be enough.
    If you put the laptop under your chair, keep in mind that it can get a little wet when people get in the car on a rainy day.
    Good to know about the rattling (or lack of). My last carputer was under the driver seat and I had no issues with it. it was made of desktop components, too! Check out the photos section of my CamryAmp link in my signature.

    Back on topic, here's my (almost) finished box. I haven't tested it yet, partly because the only thing it lacks is the 12v input jack - it will go on the orange and brown wires sticking straight up. I kinda wish I could have made the keyboard cable a plug too, so that the box would not have any dangling wires, but oh well, nothing's perfect - and it'll be hiding in the dashboard anyway, so nobody will see it.

    Turns out the keyboard cable I hacked up was defective - it had a break somewhere in the wires, and I couldn't trace it back, so I found an old Compaq 2-button mouse with no scroll wheel that (thankfully) had all of the pins needed for the circuit. It ended up giving me a 2m cable to work with rather than just 15cm like before. The phone jacks will need a little glue to keep them from rattling, but that's easy. Whatcha think?

    EDIT: Update: it works great on the bench. Does exactly what it's supposed to! Now to hook up some bigger relays in the car itself to allow my inverter to only be on w/ the ignition, and then mount it in the car! woohoo! Thanks again Webmaster - your little gizmo has helped me get done with this project a LOT sooner than I otherwise would have, and it should work a lot simpler too!
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Previous: CamryAmp 1.0 - 95 Camry SE V6 Coupe (sold)
    Current: CamryAmp 2.0 - 98 Camry CE V6 5spd (still bench-testing)

  8. #268
    FLAC W3bMa5t3r's Avatar
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    Glad to see you guys taking this on in other/additional directions.

  9. #269
    Constant Bitrate Gibson99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by W3bMa5t3r View Post
    Glad to see you guys taking this on in other/additional directions.
    hey, we couldn't have done it without the great foundation of your little circuit, and your regular support in this thread to people like me who had questions! THANKS!

    here's to you W3bMa5t3r!
    Previous: CamryAmp 1.0 - 95 Camry SE V6 Coupe (sold)
    Current: CamryAmp 2.0 - 98 Camry CE V6 5spd (still bench-testing)

  10. #270
    Maximum Bitrate jonessc's Avatar
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    Hi W3bMa5t3r

    Ordered a kit bout a year ago and its still going well. Thanks for making these available to the community

    What im after is way to trigger a power on, while my laptops outta the car in the house (maintainance or software upgrades.)

    Maybe just a wire similar to your startup kit with a switch on the end to trigger the start, I dont mind buying another kit if thats not possible, just don't want the needless wires

    CarPuter Progress:
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    Current Project= Making skins in photoshop...

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