So in between spikes of pain(don't ask) I got something done to improve productivity(translated: give me something to mess with) while on the road.
I been digging through my junk piles, etc.
I've been wanting to build a truck pc for being able to work as well as relax watching movies or whatever while not driving. I'll explain the plan for downtime/avoiding resets later.
So what I came up with...
I realized that a low end 340w PC power supply can comfortably run on a 500w inverter. The invert I have will do some interesting things as well as shut down if battery voltage drops. But that shouldn't happen considering the truck has an APU with battery monitoring/charging. But it also has a switch input for key-on/acc-on... helpful, but not really needed. I modified an ancient UPS(battery backup) that I don't use since its batteries are wasted. It measures power draw/supply, as well as switching. When it senses one of the criteria I set it for... it can trigger a shutdown on the computer.
So with that in mind, I filtered through all of my computer junk looking for... 12V stuff
So far, I am running:
*An AMD based 64bit windows PC, running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit with a 160gb SSD. (wireless keyboard & mouse - sleeper has a slideout workstation top)
-- main workstation, video player, connected to printer, etc (hooked to a 19" monitor I'm working on hinge mounting on a cabinet in the sleeper so it folds out when needed).
-- also contains a 4 port video capture card. Right now I have no cameras connected, but at a minimum 1 camera will be on the top sleeper fairing looking back and one under the visor looking forward.
*EeePC 1000HD(Small Netbook-Stays closed,buried in storage) with an external 1 terabyte drive running Linux.
-- a fileserver, etc. Mainly its hosting about 350+ movies, 50k music tracks, Map data for navigation(3 sources,1 trucking specific),etc.
-- Audio is piped directly to the stereo head unit
-- GPS receiver mounted on sleeper fairing, connected to server directly. It logs when the server is down for up to 2 days on internal power.
-- I can control music tracks, etc from my android phone in its cradle on the dash, switch to the audio input which is connected to my XM receiver.
*Custom wifi router/access point allowing shared access within the truck stop for movies, etc... if I choose
*1watt 2.4ghz (802.11b) wifi amplifier connected to a 9dbi omni-directional antenna mounted on the rear of the sleeper fairing... don't think I'll get out of range walking the auction yards
*12V & 5V usb charge ports for my tablets/cell phone
All of this is being run off a switched PC power supply, running interconnected with the UPS & Inverter circuitry.
I've got remotes panels for the power button, reset switch, as well as a power LED to 2 places in the truck which controls everything at once except for the monitor. Which is the only thing not connected directly to the power supply circuits, since it gets powered up later than the PC,etc... it's draw doesn't appear to affect startup of the rest of the systems. The monitor gets shut down by the UPS/Inverter stuff when the PC shuts down since it shuts down the inverter when it's power draw drops. Upon hitting the power button on the inverter, everything powers up at once... and there is not "crying" from the inverter from over-draw.
I'm not sure I want to show pictures yet. At least not until its all been mounted "nicely" and tested in real-world use.
Even then, I'm not sure I'll share it all... don't want to publish a "shopping list" on the internet for some thief.
If I had more power at my disposal with what is already on-hand, I might have included a decent video card in the windows pc. My recent speed tests and ping tests suggest that I'd be able to get away with limited gaming on the road. My connection has always been faster than truckstop wifi, but seeing ping rates on my connection in the 90-120ms range is acceptable for gaming occasionally. I'm not sure if the old GTS250 will run under the power limitations... eh, maybe I'll try later.
I'm limited by the current Inverter I have... I have power supplies to handle it, the inverter is the question.