Laptop Power

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 12:14
ThreadID: 35175 Views:2553 Replies:5 FollowUps:6
This Thread has been Archived
Gday Team

What is the best way to run my laptop in the car? by using a inverter or a 12v adapter? I want to have it setup some how so that when I turn the ignition to acc the laptop and touch screen fire up. The laptop will be under the drivers seat folded away. I don't like the idea of a inverter coz they tend to get hot and it might be running for hours and hours. Will it work ok if I run the power straight from the aux battery under the carpet and then into a 12 adapter of some sort?

Thanks in advance
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Nick R - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 12:39

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 12:39
I imagine a 12v adapter will warm up also, I put my inverter in the dash above the glove box of the gu and added an addittional cooling fan i pulled out of a pc power supply and hooked it to the inverter switch, this sort of thing should overcome the heating. In the laptop power seetings there should be a wake up setting for when power comes on and just have the touch screen off the accessories.
I would be interested in how you go as I want to do the same sometime.
Carpe Cerevisi

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 179857

Reply By: revhead307 - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 12:40

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 12:40
Hi Troll,

lots on this in archives.

I run mine off a 12V regulated laptop power supply, have had no dramas with it. got mine cheap on ebay...however some others prefer to spend $$$ on a brand name one to protect their asset. each to their own.

Is easily wired up to power screen when accessories on, and similarly to power laptop.

However, the laptop itself needs to be switched on, The fact that the power supply is only half there.

If you cant be stuffed reaching under the seat to switch the laptop on OR have a power button hidden by the will need to sort out a remote turn on lead with a momentary switch on the dash.

That was u can drive away, then push the dash button to power up your laptop.

check post ID 28431



AnswerID: 179858

Reply By: Groove - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 12:49

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 12:49
There has been a lot of debate for and against inverters or adaptors for laptops. There are some good arguments for and against, I personally prefer a 12 adaptor because I belive them to be more efficient, just my opinion.

Having the laptop fire up when the acc switch is turned on in another story.

Some touch screens have this feature built in, you just need to switch the feature on, usually from a menu, sometimes by entering a code from the remote (as is the case with the lilliput screens)

If the feature is not built in then there are modifications that can be done, some involving relays that sense the ignition voltage and trip the power button on the screen. details of these circuits and mods can be found at

As for the laptop this is a bit tricky. I am not aware of any laptop that will switch itself on and off when its detects and external voltage, alot of desktops have this feature usually in the BIOS under a setting such as AC BACK.

The other issue is a laptop needs a proper shut down procedure so it cant just cut off when the power is switched off, although having a battery helps with this.

Once again a possible solution lies with a circuit that will sense the ignition voltage and a trip the power button on the laptop. Powering off is another issue.

I started to muck around with the types of circuits mentioned above but franky got a bit jack of it and simply wired a switch into the laptop that in mounted on the dash (the laptop lives under the seat). A quick press of the button and its on press again and its off. The switch is not hard wired into the laptop but rather is on a cable with a plug on the end ( a headphoneplug actually, its all I had on me at the time. Then I wired a socket into the back of the laptop that is wired to the power switch on the laptop.

All alot of fun really

AnswerID: 179860

Follow Up By: pprass - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 15:20

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 15:20

"Some touch screens have this feature built in, you just need to switch the feature on, usually from a menu, sometimes by entering a code from the remote (as is the case with the lilliput screens)"
Do you mean that the Lilliput screen can switch on automatically when turning on the ignition? If so - how do you do that with the remote? My screen switches off when turning the ignition to start the car and then I have to press the "on" button on the screen.

FollowupID: 436077

Follow Up By: Groove - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 16:21

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 16:21

This is copied from in the forums section.
this is the link to the actual thread
Site Link

Hope it helps

Here is what you do. .

Auto Power On New Lilliput - Programming Guide

You could try the following reset:

1.In VGA mode with your PC turned on (Recommended) , SLOWLY Input "588998" to come into the "factory setup" with the remote control unit.

2.When the screen shows "--- - - - -", input "1270*10". The * means there are three modes you can choose: 0,1 and 2. If you choose 0, the monitor will go into standby mode when we switch on the power (default). Choose 1, the monitor will go into Power-On mode (This is what you want), and choose 2, it will go into the mode when you switch off the power.

In a nut shell you would enter "1270110" to activate the auto power on.

(Please note: If you setup on NW618TVT(with TV input) please input "1270111")

3. Press any number key to store the setup.
FollowupID: 436089

Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 13:14

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 13:14
Thanks for the help so far. Forgot to mention that it's a old Dell and you have to open it to get to the power switch. I just checked the bios and have changed it so that if you close the lid the power stays on. I get back in Aus on Sunday 2 July and this is going to be my project for the day so I am most likely going to be posting and asking for help while I do it.
AnswerID: 179866

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 13:56

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 13:56
You could probably re-route the wires to an exterior switch though Troll. I am pondering putting a slide into the area where Nick R has his inverter. I have a bit of stuff stashed there at the moment like the CDMA phone gear taped to the strengthening bar.
FollowupID: 436056

Follow Up By: Eric M - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 21:37

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 21:37
Hi Troll,
I have GQ Patrol, have just bought a Seform 8" touch screen comes with a factory mount bracket, am getting away from having a laptop mounted with oziexplorer maps. Idea is to mount laptop under seat. What is a good way to mount the screen on Patrol dash, also I have a Dell laptop are you saying that you can control the on/off of the laptop whilst closed using the touch screen, am definitely new to this one would appreciate comments.
Cheers, EricM WA
FollowupID: 436142

Follow Up By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Friday, Jun 23, 2006 at 00:12

Friday, Jun 23, 2006 at 00:12

No what I am saying is that what the laptop use to do is suspend when I close the lid but I changed the setting under the power options to stay on if I close te lid
FollowupID: 436173

Reply By: Muddy doe (SA) - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 22:51

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 22:51
I had a look at this issue myself as I would love to do an in car PC setup (there have been a few threads on this lately). One solution I saw in the US of A was a dedicated Car PC which is a complete PC in a casing similar to an inverter that is easy to install in a vehicle either under a seat or on a cargo barrier. It drinks 12 volt DC and has all the regular ports for screen and keyboard/mouse/trackball and stuff.

They are ruggedised for in vehicle use but one interesting thing was the power management. They boot up when you start the vehicle and then automatically shut down 1 to 2 hours after the ignition is switched off. This means that if you are in and out of the vehicle it is not starting up and shutting down all the time. But is does not stay on long enough to consume too much battery. Something to think about.

There were several competing brands of these car PC's and it seems to be a market that is expanding. There was also mention of a "Windows XP Automotive Edition" but I have not looked any further into this yet. All I can say is that they are doing some very nice gear in the states and that Google is your friend if you want more details.

Oh and it helps if the Credit Card is fully charged!!! The really whiz bang stuff is not cheap.

AnswerID: 179981

Follow Up By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Friday, Jun 23, 2006 at 00:15

Friday, Jun 23, 2006 at 00:15
Hi Muddy

I think I will be able to achieve the same with the laptop though. I know I can set it up so that when it loses main power it will switch to the battery but I will set it to only stay on battery for say 20 min and then it will automatically shutdown it's just the power up up that will be tricky I think
FollowupID: 436174

Sponsored Links