consumer and otherwise electronics questions

Damien Elmes resolve at
Thu Aug 23 00:01:14 EST 2001

hey everyone!

thanks to a very kind person on this list, i now have an old laptop to
mount in my car for the mp3 player i'm building. you can see a bit
about it here:

i've a couple of questions i was hoping some of the people here might
know, as electronics isn't my forte:

* i'm going to need to power this laptop off the car battery. an
  inverter seems the least efficient solution. someone suggested i
  might be able to find a compatible laptop supply that runs off the
  cigarette lighter. does anyone know if such a beast exists, and
  where i'd find one?

* i need a regulated 5V power supply for the LCD screen. what is the
  line level of a laptop serial port? the alternative is regulating
  the DC output from the car, but that's beyond my abilities. i'd need
  to find schematics on the net somewhere.

* i'm on the lookout for a 10 or 10/100 PCMCIA card that works in
  linux. (i've only played with PCMCIA for about 5 minutes in the
  past). either new or old will do. can anyone suggest a good place to
  pick one up?

* i'm also on the look-out for a laptop battery for an IBM thinkpad.
  is there a way to determine if the notebook is running off 'mains'?
  this would allow my laptop to shut down properly when power is cut. 

sorry for all the questions, and thanks in advance :-)

Damien Elmes
resolve at

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