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Author Topic: mobile use of a small footprint computer  (Read 3724 times)

kc4zvw

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mobile use of a small footprint computer
« on: September 21, 2012, 05:55:22 PM »
All,

Wanting to power a small computer in a vehicle?  Need better idea than a wall wart plugged in to an inverter.

  12v battery --> 115v inverter --> power adapter --> computer (needed at least 12v)

Also a third-party power cube that plugs in the cigerette lighter socket is about $75-$100 dollars to power an under $20 computer.    :(

regards,

David
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digitalman2112

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Re: mobile use of a small footprint computer
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2012, 07:11:47 PM »
I'm confused, what are you trying to accomplish? What small computer? What target voltage?


P47

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Re: mobile use of a small footprint computer
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2012, 07:43:43 PM »
Don't know why you wouldn't want to use a cheap inverter. I use something like this.
 
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-25ecodZ5yc1v/R-202042608/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=power+inverter&storeId=10051#.UFz6ouXkaSo
 
It works great and only costs $25.
 
P47

tetsuharu

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Re: mobile use of a small footprint computer
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2012, 09:43:22 PM »
If it's a laptop and your charger is rated for <=12V, you could build a circuit to stabilize the voltage and plug right into the laptop?

kc4zvw

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Re: mobile use of a small footprint computer
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2012, 10:50:13 AM »
I'm confused, what are you trying to accomplish? What small computer? What target voltage?

The overall idea is to install a used Linux thin-client (Neowave C50) computer in a RV (actually a bus) that is not
wired for 115v AC.  Four of these units were purchased from SkyCraft a while back and I am in possession of one.

I want to see if it can be made to be a meda center or high capacity MP3 player that is permantly installed.  I do already own an inverter (800 watts) that should be enough power for a small TV set but had no plans to mount it close to the drivers seat.   Thought it would be a pain to have to leave the drivers position every time I started the vehicle or switched from radio to MP3 player listening.  At this time the location selected for mounting the thin-client computer was under the driver seat pedestal.

If this unit isn't going to work as planned because without mods it requires 115v AC I might hit Ebay and find something like a Wyse V90 or earlier thin-client computer with large SSD if one shows up for under $25.

Of coarse a Raspberry Pi in a armored case might fit the bill but still want the power supply to be powered off with
ignition key so that the main battery doesn't go dead while RV is not being driven.

regards,

David
« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 10:56:40 AM by kc4zvw »
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kc4zvw

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Re: mobile use of a small footprint computer
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2012, 09:37:41 PM »
Don't know why you wouldn't want to use a cheap inverter. I use something like this.
 
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-25ecodZ5yc1v/R-202042608/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=power+inverter&storeId=10051#.UFz6ouXkaSo
 
It works great and only costs $25.
 
P47

Thanks Mr. P47 for your serious answer and I might have to go that route.  Just always have to remember to shut it off if I don't drive the bus at least once a week.

I don't have a cup-holder though so different mounting will be required!  and if I did then where would I set down the Big Gulp?   ;D

regards,

David
--
« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 09:45:37 PM by kc4zvw »
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digitalman2112

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Re: mobile use of a small footprint computer
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2012, 10:43:37 PM »
The overall idea is to install a used Linux thin-client (Neowave C50) computer in a RV (actually a bus) that is not
wired for 115v AC.  Four of these units were purchased from SkyCraft a while back and I am in possession of one.

From a quick google scan, it appears to have an internal power supply that outputs 5v. It would not be difficult to build a nice 5v supply for it that had delayed power off (from ignition key), protection,etc. Of course this means opening the device to supply the 5v directly, so an inverter is simpler, although it will be lossy.


Chorca

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Re: mobile use of a small footprint computer
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 12:14:26 PM »
This may be more like what you're looking for?

http://www.mini-box.com/DCDC-USB?sc=8&category=981

Programmable power supply, DC-DC, with ignition sense, so you can program it how to respond.

P47

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Re: mobile use of a small footprint computer
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2012, 12:38:45 PM »
David,
 
I don't have exactly that one, just one similar. It seems these inverters change forms over the years, but mine has the same power output and a similar form factor. I've never put it in a cup holder, I just set it on the ground. I initially bought it to run a TV with a vcr in it to play race videos of mine at a car show and it worked great. I've also used it to run my puters and it also has a usb plug that comes in mighty handy! :)
 
Sometimes cheaper actually works.
 
P47
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 03:52:24 PM by P47 »

bethjaneway

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mobile use of a small footprint computer
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2012, 02:42:04 PM »
I did this recently, Waterbury suggested this and it worked well. Also, it's direct dc-dc. Skips the inverter.

www.walmart.com/ip/iGo-Slim-90W-Basic-AC-DC-Laptop-Charger-French-English/20524973
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 02:45:08 PM by gadgetcat »
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Hybridsix

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Re: mobile use of a small footprint computer
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2012, 02:53:14 PM »
I'd agree to find a DC-DC Converter, there are a few pre-packed ones with screw terminals just for this, and some that you can get that solder to a breadboard, if that's more your style. I can look up the parts if you're interested.