Re: Carputer 101
Originally Posted by Megalomaniac
Turning it on simple. There's fairly simple kit out there now for this that cost about 15-20 in parts, or 35 premade to facilitate this. It does involve soldering a couple points on the power button of the laptop. Overall not hard. especially if you use a docking station for the laptop. It auto turns on the laptop for you when you start the car, just like a regular carpc startup controller. It also prevents you from restarted the laptop if it was already on and you cranked the car up.
Voltage drops arent a problem since you use the battery. All You really need is a good protected/regulated power inverter or adapter. I plan on having it go into sleep then hibernation. Charge for awhile and then when the car battery gets to 11.5Volts or so, shut off the charger. It'll still run off battery/hibernation for a good long while. It's basically the same thing people are doing with standard carpcs.
On most modern laptops if you boot the laptop with a external vga screen plugged in it will auto output to that vga screen. Mine does this no problem. as long as you boot it with the cable plugged in theres no need to use the FN+f5 key
Also I have a mini handheld keyboard which will be installed somewhere in the car. Doubt I can do the FN+F5 Key combo but so far i have not needed it. My laptops been running in the back seat for about a month now.
If you make a car pc you more than likely arent going to be using the DVD/CD often. You can just use an external usb one mounted somewhere else in the car if you need it so bad. On top of that there do exsist laptop drive to usb adapters, meaning you can fabricate a slim laptop dvd+rw drive anywhere, same thing you would have to do if you wanted an easily accessable optical drive with a standard carpc. Unless you have a mac mini you're not going to be able to get back to it and load a dvd quickly.
Sound quality is a moot point since you can still use high quality usb sound cards/dacs. or if your laptop supports it full sized PCI cards(There are many out there, the docking station itself has 3 PCI slots, Dells I believe, A old usable dell with over 1ghz can be had for 250-350, the docking station would be $50) Then theres PCMA Cards.
I dont like pci sound cards tho due to noise interferance. Especially in a car enviornment. I'd rather go with a decent usb -> optical out -> sound processor.
Also newer laptops put out alot more power than older ones
My HP ZE2000 puts out 0.5v From the headphone jack
My HP DV6105 puts out almost 2v from the headphone jack
Dont know what my Acer Aspire 5102 puts out as I havent measured it.
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