Laptop power management for SFF PC? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 2015-02-02, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Scarboro
Posts: 6,334
Laptop power management for SFF PC?

I am using an old laptop as a CarPC. One of the advantages of using a laptop in this instance is the battery and intelligent power management that comes standard with laptops. In particular a laptop has a battery so it will continue to run if you kill the external power supply and then will nicely shut down in a variety of ways (sleep, hibernate, hybrid sleep, etc) after a user specified number of minutes. Laptops can also boot up upon restoration of external power which is great in a Car since you don't need to manually push a power button on the computer.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to do this type of power management for a Small Form Factor (SFF) PC like a NUC or a Zotac Pico PC to use it in a car?

You could use a UPS to handle the shutdown but UPS's are pretty big and aren't as sophisticated as laptop shutdowns. And I don't know if they would then be able to handle the power on when external power is restored.
Wayne is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 2015-02-02, 02:33 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 1,329
Well, I'm not sure if an orderly shut down is possible on a PC experiencing sudden power loss; most UPSs will probably allow you to do this, though.

The PC itself can handle auto-power on. You don't need the UPS for that. Go into your BIOS settings, set "AC Power Loss Restart" to Enabled, and save and exit.

As far as size, a basic UPS can be pretty small, about the size of a power bar and twice the height.
tux is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 2015-02-02, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Scarboro
Posts: 6,334
But how would the power on setting work if you have the UPS plugged into your car via an inverter in the cig lighter or a 120V AC outlet in the car? Let's say you do this and you set the PC to hibernate 15 minutes after loss of AC power through the UPS software. When the car turns back on and the UPS is now receiving AC power how does the PC know this? Assuming that the UPS' battery did not totally drain then there is no difference in the power going to the power supply of the PC.

The AC power loss restart would work, but only if you plug the PC directly into the car's power that turns on when the car is started. I don't see how it would work if you plugged the PC into a UPS. In other words you want the UPS to be working when the car is powered off but you don't want a UPS involved when turning on the car.
Wayne is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 2015-02-03, 04:45 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Posts: 16,116
Have you considered an actual Car PC? I did a quick Google search and saw quite a few with integrated power management, battery drain protection for the car battery, DC UPS, etc. Some of them claim to operate like a laptop battery under Windows, although Linux may require special drivers.

My understanding is that you lose quite a bit by using an inverter for 120V AC equipment. In my experience, a standard household UPS doesn't operate even a low-power PC for very long when you are running on battery.
Dr.Dave is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 2015-02-03, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Scarboro
Posts: 6,334
Thanks - it looks like there is a website called mini-box that has some interesting products that may do the job, although they aren't cheap. There is something called the OpenUPS that can be connected to a variety of battery types but it is $120. They also have a PicoUPS that is about $35 that may work better.
Wayne is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome