Jun, 2014

LIFE and LIVA, My Helper for Camp Entertainment


You can do a lot with a lightweight main computer, so it's better to take it outside and make use of it. The first thing that I thought of was when I go camping, is that I can take the ECS LIVA Main Computer with me. However, the results will decline due to using the car's power to rotate to AC110 and then using a power transformer to change it to DC. Hence, I came up with the method below. (In consideration of the warranty, no damage is made to the exterior and no modifications are made to the motherboard.)


ECS LIVA is powered by a direct current from a 5V power source. Although a portable power supply will work, we want ECS LIVA to last for long periods. You can easily get a 12V battery on the market and create a DC to DC voltage transformer. The voltage from a 12V battery or a dual connected 24V will reduce to 5V.


LM2576 and LM2596 are two accessories that I currently have that are easier to design. Their transfer efficiency are also not bad. They can transform the inputted voltage and reduce it beyond the original voltage (ex. 12 to 5 or 30 to 12). The strongest current can get up to 3A (3000mA). If anyone is interested, you're welcome to take a look at the following link: Datasheet http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/lm2576.pdf (電容請用LOW ESR Rated ripple current高一點的)



After gathering your accessories, it's time to start to work!


Originally I wanted to be lazy and just buy a MICRO USB charging cable plug to use. However, after opening it, I found that the wire was too thin, so I still had to do it myself. In the picture, the diameter of the tip of the pen is 0.5mm, the red cable is the USB charging cable I purchased, and the green thin cable is the one I chose to use.


If possible, it's better to have a SMD accessory because the space used will be even less.



Make sure you don't mix up the positive and negative ends of the motherboard!



After connecting the DC to DC power exchange connections, you must check to see if the output voltage is 5V before connecting the MICRO USB. Otherwise, you risk destroying the motherboard.



Put the power cable through the external covering, estimate the output end of the power cable and cut it to an appropriate length.



Tie a knot for the input end of the cable before passing it through the external covering, to prevent it from pulling on the circuit.



Stabilize the circuit at an appropriate place. Make sure to protect the circuit if it'll come into contact with the motherboard as it'll short circuit. (Tape is great, double layered is safer).



The battery is still being delivered via Black Cat Delivery, so I removed a 12V battery from a 50cc scooter. The specifications are 12V 4AH. After modifications, you can see the actual product and how to use it below.



Below is a live recording. The system is WIN8.1 with updates. All updates were made before June 11th, 2014. It shows the power up after being connected to a 12V battery.



Hopefully it'll add some enjoyment to my camping. Tonight, I'll take all the photos taken by my family and watch them together after integrating them using ECS LIVA. If you have young children, you can let them watch Shima Shima Tora no Shimajirō (so you don't need to worry about them running around anymore while you're on a camping trip).


If you're like me, who likes to go on camping trips and goes quite often, you can also use the solar panel to extend the usage time.