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Author Topic: Using a laptop -- boot on power.  (Read 13459 times)

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Using a laptop -- boot on power.
« on: September 10, 2010, 09:42:44 am »
Hi MAME folks.  I'm trying to wrap up my MAME cocktail cabinet project.  I decided to build it with a PC inside.  I also used a CRT -- so as you might imagine the amount of free space in the cabinet is really pretty minimal.  Recently I was toying around with the idea of using a laptop instead.  It seemed to me that there wouldn't be too many (if any) drawbacks to using a laptop in the cabinet instead of a PC, and some clear benefits (smaller profile, less power use, less heat generated, easier to take out and work on, etc).  I have discovered one apparent hangup:  I have the BIOS in the PC set to boot on power (PC will boot as soon as the cabinet is plugged into the wall).  I looked on the BIOS of a couple laptops and don't see such an option.  It seems like the only way to turn it on if using a laptop would be to wire the power button to the outside of the cabinet.  While not impossible, I'd much prefer the "plug and play" style of the boot on power option.  Does anyone know if it's possible to get a laptop to boot on power?  Thanks!


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Re: Using a laptop -- boot on power.
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2010, 09:40:48 pm »
Since no one has come up with a response to have the laptop boot up on powering up, I'm wondering if you've given any thought to maybe finding some other type of stimuli to have the laptop come alive.  Wake on LAN?



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Re: Using a laptop -- boot on power.
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2010, 11:12:06 am »
I got my laptop to turn on from a momentary switch just like cabinets with full size PCs do. I had an old Dell latitude c640 with a docking station but this same technique can be used for any laptop really. A lot of car mods sites details this process which is where I learnt how to do it.

Basically the on button on laptops functions the same way as a regular pc, the only difference is the momentary switch is soldered directly on the circuit board and is a very tiny momentary switch. When someone pushes the switch it completes a current that tells the laptop to turn on. The advantage here is that there is exposed solder that can be seen. This solder holds the switch down but also is ideal to tap into with wiring. Two of these solders will start your laptop, to find out which simply take a wire with both ends exposed and touch two soldering joints at the same time together. You'll quickly sort out which two solders will start the laptop.

Next create some short (3-5") wires and pot quick connect terminals on them. Expose the other end of the wire and solder it to the respective solder joints on the circuit board. Then get some other wire and solder it to the momentary switch adding quick disconnects to these as well. Using the quick disconnects you can then join everything together, at this point pressing the momentary switch will complete the circuit and start the laptop.

I modified my docking station to do this but the same technique applies to the laptop. The advantage of adding quick connects to the laptop wires is when I do build my cabinet again later I don't have to mess with the solder I added. I can create longer wires with their own quick disconnects and install my button on the back of the cabinet.

I'll post some pics later.