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Michael
22nd February 2007, 02:42 PM
Finally got around to taking a few photos.
Having an aversion to spending money I made the laptop table from some scraps of 3 mm MDF, teak, leatherwood & Qld red cedar. The front corners of the lapy slide under the stainless steel strips, padded with rubber.
The bolt at the back runs thru a captive nut embedded in the teak block, it's end is ground down to fit into the Kensington lock slot at the back of the lapy.
Once it is screwed in the lappy is secure to the table.
The table attaches to the base with a 10 mm coach bolt & wing nut so the table can swivel on the base.
The base sits on either the front or back passenger seat & is firmly tied down with nylon cord.

Michael
22nd February 2007, 02:53 PM
In the car

Michael
22nd February 2007, 03:06 PM
My GPS60 sits in a Garmin bracket mounted on a block of Qld red cedar carved to fit in a recess of the dashboard (no idea what the recess was intended for) The GPS buttons are just in reach of my right fingers with my hand still on the wheel.
The lapy plugs into the lighter socket, the GPS runs on AA batteries.
The external antenna velcros into place under the glass sun roof on top of the fabric covered lid that slides across under the sun roof.

Dooghan
22nd February 2007, 03:08 PM
Excellent work there Michael :clap . It looks really good.

mlenser
24th February 2007, 06:32 PM
Very nice setup there.
Do you find that the external antenna makes much difference? Is it difficult to fit the antenna onto the shade slide?

Michael
24th February 2007, 07:28 PM
Hi mlenser
Thank you.
The GPS antenna close to the front windscreen works pretty well. Just sometimes when looking at the track in Ozi some points are further apart than expected or the odd point is a little off the side of the road (& the rest are right on it).

I think the external antenna improves the accuracy just slightly, especially when driving under heavy tree cover, in valleys with steep hills close along side the road, or in built up areas driving along streets with multi storey buildings.

To place in position I have the sunroof open, shade slide about a quarter open, from the drivers seat plug antenna cable to GPS then straight up to right side of sun viser. Wrap around viser then on to rear view mirror, wrap a turn around bracket, then back onto shade slide.
Open door & stand on sill, reach over roof of car, position antenna (velcro glued to base) into centre of slide, close slide with all excess cable tucked on top of it, press switch to close sun roof.
Quicker to do than to describe it.

regards Michael

festy
24th February 2007, 07:53 PM
That looks great, looks like it would be more at home on a yacht than a rav though :)

Love the GPS holder too, now you have a wood-inlay dash :hatoff
I'm guessing you work with wood a fair bit?

oh - most people find a mouse is more effective as a pointing aid than a camel :food-smil

Michael
24th February 2007, 08:13 PM
Did my trade as a boat builder years ago.
Then back to teachers college.
Then taught it at a TAFE.
Now teach wood work & outdoor ed at a private school SE suburb of Melb.
Still build the odd canoe or clinker row boat for the fun of it.

The camel is a genuine Toyota promotions product, came with the car, Oh What A Feeling etc.

regards Michael

Pocileh
25th February 2007, 03:31 AM
Good workmanship Michael. Really like the look of wood. Looks like a sturdy and secure setting.

The GPS holder is a very clever solution. No need to drill holes or stick things to the dash.

Eastie
7th March 2007, 05:41 AM
Nice work Michael. Have you ever seen the woodwork forums?
It may be of interest
http://www.woodworkforums.ubeaut.com.au/

rabs
17th March 2007, 06:10 AM
well done, a lot of work went into that..Just as an alternative if you are using a 7" lcd screen as im going to use velcro your lappy to a stable table with the beanbag on the bottom and that sits under the seat, nicely cushioned

cheers

y2064
15th May 2007, 11:13 PM
A simple question, how can you make the laptop battery last longer, say for 8 hours driving ? Thanks !

Dooghan
16th May 2007, 06:51 AM
A simple question, how can you make the laptop battery last longer, say for 8 hours driving ? Thanks !By going down to your local electronics store (like **** Smith) and getting a 12 DC/DC adaptor for a laptop. Then pug it into the car and you'll get as much driving time as you want.

Michael
16th May 2007, 07:51 AM
Hi y2064

By going down to your local electronics store (like **** Smith) and getting a 12 DC/DC adaptor for a laptop. Then pug it into the car and you'll get as much driving time as you want.
Exactly
Got a 'Kerio' brand 'Energy Knight 1' unit at DSE.
Plugs into ciggy lighter socket.
Input voltage 11-15V DC, output power 72 W continuous, output voltage depends on which 'fuse' (supplied with unit) you put in it. Several different 'tips' also come with the unit to fit different brands of laptop.
Also has an 'inflight' plug to use on planes.
Laptop battery stays fully charged.

regards Michael

y2064
16th May 2007, 09:00 AM
Sorry, I never try to connect a 12V car battery to a laptop that expecting 19-20V input. Anyway I will do it for test. Thanks.

Michael
16th May 2007, 09:15 AM
Hi Y2064
Unit cost about $80-90.
I thought it worth it as it is something I use.
Works well for me, if you have similar need then is worth shopping around for, several brands & models available.
Try DSE, Officeworks, computer shops to find what suits your laptop.

regards Michael

y2064
16th May 2007, 10:23 AM
Michael, thanks for the reply, I was thinging converting the 12V to 240v, then use the laptop charger. But if the DSE is working for you, that is much better.

Nicko
16th May 2007, 01:59 PM
12v to 240v is an inverter and should only be considered if you are wishing to use other 240v gadets in your car. Laptops never run on 240v as they have a regulator that drops it from 240v to typically 19vdc depending on laptop model/brand.

Two Snakes
16th May 2007, 04:18 PM
I took this option for my laptop though. It works really well and I can pug all sorts of things into it.

Good for camping and being out and about.

- Two Snakes

the evil twin
17th May 2007, 09:06 AM
I use a Toshy Satellite Pro and have found mine will run quite happily on "vehicle 12VDC" (remembering that most vehicles supply around 14VDC from the Alternator pack anyway)...as long as you do not wish to charge the Lappy Battery. How other brands of Lappy will react I can't say......

I also have an inverter fitted to my Nissan Patrol which I can use to charge Mobile phones/GPS/PDA/Lappy etc etc.

As some here have already stated if you only wish to run the Lappy and charge its battery then the cheapest idea is to spend $70 to $100 or so and purchase a DC/DC converter as a decent budget Inverter will cost about twice that.

Nicko
17th May 2007, 11:07 AM
It is not advisable to run a device under it's specified voltage range because it tends to overdrive the device to obtain the current it needs, thus reducing it's life.

the evil twin
17th May 2007, 03:50 PM
It is not advisable to run a device under it's specified voltage range because it tends to overdrive the device to obtain the current it needs, thus reducing it's life.

Greetings all powerful one :hatoff
and on a side note my compliments on an outstanding forum, I've picked up heaps of good gen in the short time here and hopefull managed to share a little...

Agree entirely with your comment and I probably should have clarified my post a little bit better.

The early Sat Pro Toshy's req'd the majority of the juice to run the charge circuit for the crappy batteries they came with. If you leave the battery out completely and the screen off the units will happily churn away with little problem.

In a way I and a few others around the place running similar installs are essentially derating the "device" by reducing/eliminating the loads for voltages above 12V.

To clarify...my car PC setup is an old rat chewed Toshy Sat Pro 4270 laptop with no battery installed and the the screen inactive 95% of the time so no need for the need for the higher voltage loads. The unit is therefore essentially a pre packaged USB power supply, video card, HDD, motherboard and interconnect box.

I (well, mainly the passanger) use a trackwheel USB mouse, a 40Gig USB hard drive and when required an external USB keyboard. The monitor is a 5" job on the dash and I will be one of your first customers if you happen to get a good 7 or 8 inch VGA at the right price after the Taiwan expo.

I would certainly not advocate anyone wacking 12VDC into any Lappy running on full power trying to charge batteries etc but if you get hold of a cheap early Toshy lappy with a damaged screen they can be a budget alternative as a Car PC sans internal battery. Other makers may be OK but my experience is limited in that regard.

I run my "real" lappy on my inverter connected to the Aux battery on my dual vehicle battery system.

kaa45
12th June 2007, 09:27 AM
Very nice, but what do you do if all the seats are full of passengers?

the evil twin
12th June 2007, 10:11 AM
Very nice, but what do you do if all the seats are full of passengers?

No probs, do it all the time....

The lappy is permanently mounted under the seat...
the trackball is mounted on the centre console with velcro...
the USB mini keyboard is in the glove box and sits on the open glove box door when needed (thinking of changing to rollup full keyboard tho)...
the display (s) are mounted on the dash...
the GPSr is a $40 el cheapo SIRF II USB mouse style magnet mount on the dash hidden under the dash mat...
power for all devices is from my house battery mounted behind the back seat routed under the door sill trim and kick panels...

Full Touring/working config is...
1. ASUS PDA running Tomtom 6/Ozi CE for voice nav is windscreen mounted between the dash binnacle and drivers A pillar (level with gauges, fits like a glove)

2. 5 inch LCD laptop repeater display mounted on dash at same height on left side of instrument binnacle

3. 8 inch LCD touchscreen lappy display on dash in front of passenger directly above glove box.

Michael
12th June 2007, 05:23 PM
Very nice, but what do you do if all the seats are full of passengers?
Never happens, we are a 4 person family with 3 cars!
If it did, then someone would have the lapy on their lap. :hatoff

regards Michael

kaa45
12th June 2007, 06:33 PM
nice work, by the way, and the boat looks good too......something about wood...warm and comfortable.

ozmidnight
2nd September 2007, 12:55 AM
You have done a wonderful jod on that rig did it ake long to work out

Michael
2nd September 2007, 07:21 PM
did it ake long to work out
Not long.
Had the concept fairly clear in my mind, made a few rough sketches, measured lappy & car, & decided on sizes.
Made a quick knock up with scraps of MDF to check fit & securring of lappy.
Decided on the need to swivel on a base piece that ties to car seat.
Made the finished product out of offcuts lying around the workshop.
Had it made over one weekend, then took several days to varnish.

regards Michael

cliffang83
5th October 2009, 12:00 AM
Sorry, I never try to connect a 12V car battery to a laptop that expecting 19-20V input. Anyway I will do it for test. Thanks.
There's a converter which convert 12vDC to 220vAC which allow normal power plug to be plugged in for PC. I used that in my car for almost anything.

sierra_victor
5th October 2009, 09:09 AM
There's a converter which convert 12vDC to 220vAC which allow normal power plug to be plugged in for PC. I used that in my car for almost anything.
I have used a inverter for my laptop in the car, run a 76Cs with OziExp.

Brian..