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Help! Need to find solution to power my mini PC from 12V DC

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#1 meetjatin88

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 02:38 PM

As the title suggest i am unable to find a good solution to power my mini PC from 12V DC and would love to see whether any CN have found a solution that will work. Actually I am building my rig for doing some astrophotography right now and i want to control it remotely. I therefore i bought a fanless mini PC so that i can attach it to my scope and customize it with whatever software i want to use. The mini pc that i bought is https://www.amazon.c...duct/B08ZY5V62Q  and the power cable connects to the device through usb-c port but the other end plugs into the wall socket( the power adapter says that it needs 12v 2A). I am also planning to buy something like a Pegasus Astro Pocket Powerbox Micro https://optcorp.com/...BCABEgKsl_D_BwE that has 12V DC output available to power other devices other than the dew heater. While doing my research i thought that it would be awesome if i could power my miniPC using one of those 4 12V DC output ports available in either Pegasus Astro Pocket Powerbox Micro or any such similiar device. But so far i am unable to find any cable/adapter that is 12V DC input and usb-c output. i did find this cable https://www.amazon.c...y/dp/B08CCX5S96 but this is opposite in the sense that it can use to power device that has 12v DC input from a usb-c power bank but not the other way around. My main idea to power the mini pc that way is because it would the setup much clean since i won't have to run the cable to power the mini pc from the power bank. So far i am not even sure whether it is even possible to power the mini PC the way i want or i might be missing any alternatives. Would love to get some constructive feedback/suggestions.

 

Just like to mention that i am not considering using asi air pro because i have accessories like focus motor that are not from ZWO.


Edited by meetjatin88, 26 September 2021 - 02:39 PM.


#2 Ron-Fr

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 03:05 PM

If you have a 12V power source and a device that works with 5V, then you need a step-down, like this for instance:

 

https://www.amazon.c...32686573&sr=8-7

 

You need to take your current draw into consideration, however. If you plug a PC and other stuff, your battery need to be seized accordingly.

 

I'm powering a Raspberry Pi4, the mount (EQ6) and a cooled ATIK cam and I have a 33Ah LiFePo4 battery for that.



#3 robbieg147

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 03:22 PM

If you do a search for 2.1mm to USB I think you will find quite a few cables, then convert the USB to USB - C?



#4 Ron-Fr

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 03:27 PM

If you do a search for 2.1mm to USB I think you will find quite a few cables, then convert the USB to USB - C?

My understanding of OP's message is that they have a 12V output and a 5V input. There is more than just a cable needed here, you need to lower the voltage, which is what the step-down device I shared does.



#5 meetjatin88

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 03:58 PM

If you have a 12V power source and a device that works with 5V, then you need a step-down, like this for instance:

 

https://www.amazon.c...32686573&sr=8-7

 

You need to take your current draw into consideration, however. If you plug a PC and other stuff, your battery need to be seized accordingly.

 

I'm powering a Raspberry Pi4, the mount (EQ6) and a cooled ATIK cam and I have a 33Ah LiFePo4 battery for that.

My power source is 12V DC and my device ( which in this case is the mini pc ) also needs 12v 2A. the mini pc had usbc port for power. I am unable to find any cable/apadter that can work for my solution i.e has 12V male adapter( input) on one end and USB-C ( output) on the other.  The cable that i linked in my post https://www.amazon.c...y/dp/B08CCX5S96 does the opposite i.e  usbc-c ( input) can be used to power a 12V device. 


Edited by meetjatin88, 26 September 2021 - 06:18 PM.


#6 meetjatin88

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 04:01 PM

If you do a search for 2.1mm to USB I think you will find quite a few cables, then convert the USB to USB - C?

Unless i am mistaken, my understanding was that usb can only power 5V devices. Just want to make sure that  (12 V) 2.1m -> USB -> USB-C will power a 12V device through usb-c.


Edited by meetjatin88, 26 September 2021 - 04:03 PM.


#7 Ron-Fr

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 04:27 PM

Unless i am mistaken, my understanding was that usb can only power 5V devices. Just want to make sure that  (12 V) 2.1m -> USB -> USB-C will power a 12V device through usb-c.

USB is mostly 5V. Over 5V USB is very rare. Your Mini PC runs on 12V at 2 amps. USB won't do the trick.

 

Initially I thought you wanted to power a 5V device with a 12V source. My bad.



#8 robbieg147

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 04:46 PM

Unless i am mistaken, my understanding was that usb can only power 5V devices. Just want to make sure that  (12 V) 2.1m -> USB -> USB-C will power a 12V device through usb-c.

Your mini pc needs a 12v usb c input, so as long as the 2.1mm cable to USB and USB to USB C adapter can handle 12 volts I think you are ok.

 

When you order double check the max allowable voltage and amps allowable.


Edited by robbieg147, 26 September 2021 - 04:57 PM.


#9 Forward Scatter

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 05:12 PM

Something like this:

 

https://www.adafruit.com/product/4536

 

 Adapter. 5.5/2.1mm Jack to USB Type C Plug



#10 OldManSky

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 05:50 PM

Or here, lots of choices on Amazon:

 

https://www.amazon.c...&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

Next time I would suggest making sure the miniPC you get has a more "standard" power input jack :)



#11 meetjatin88

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 06:02 PM

Something like this:

 

https://www.adafruit.com/product/4536

 

 Adapter. 5.5/2.1mm Jack to USB Type C Plug

my mini pc requires 12V the adapter link that you posted mentioned it should only be used with 5V.



#12 meetjatin88

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 06:10 PM

Or here, lots of choices on Amazon:

 

https://www.amazon.c...&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

Next time I would suggest making sure the miniPC you get has a more "standard" power input jack smile.gif

i actually did try finding a fanless mini pc wth 12v input but was unable to find one, but i am sure there would be some mini pc like that. Thanks for the link, so far i am only seeing adapter that will work for 5V and only 12V.Tthe only thing that i found that might work is https://www.bixpower...p/bx-dd60pd.htm, it does have a big adapter thingy in the cable.


Edited by meetjatin88, 26 September 2021 - 06:16 PM.


#13 rhaskins

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 06:29 PM

look at this:

 

https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I use one to power my autofocus motor. You might be able to get an adapter to go to USB-c. Or, with a good soldering iron you can make one. smile.gif

 

Rick



#14 meetjatin88

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 11:09 PM

look at this:

 

https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I use one to power my autofocus motor. You might be able to get an adapter to go to USB-c. Or, with a good soldering iron you can make one. smile.gif

 

Rick

 The desciption in the link states that it is USB input: 5V 2A male and DC output: 12.0V, but i want 12v DC input therefore do not think even with a usbc adapter it will work but thanks anyways.



#15 ms6107

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 04:15 AM

Usually devices powered/charged through usb-c support power delivery protocol, that starts with handshake procedure - power supply unit and the device getting an agreement on voltage and maximum power. So usb-c is not just 5v or 12v.

 

But quick search on Google shows a video https://www.youtube....h?v=lvW8c0XJWBE and your minipc has a huge sticker on it, saying - this minipc doesn't support PD(power delivery) and asks to use supplied power adapter. That is seems to be dumb 12v 2A brick with fancy connector, you'd better not to use it to charge your phone!

I'm almost sure the cable you linked will not work for you - it tells device on an usb-c side to output 12v and up to 3a of current.

 

Your minipc likely uses same pins for power as regular usb-c and data pins just not connected, if manufacturer doesn't produce cigarette plug adapter you left with no options except to reverse engineer the power supply unit it came with. If it has only two wires inside you just need to determine polarity.

 

This thing I may work for you https://de.aliexpres...0020047188780"} or it may not. Neither yourminipc manufacturer nor cable manufacturer disclose which pins used...

 

Maksim.

 

PS.: And I would run away from anything that uses usb-c, 12v and doesn't use PD. 5v is more or less ok as it's a regular and the only voltage for older USB standars and works without negotiations.


Edited by ms6107, 27 September 2021 - 04:21 AM.


#16 rhaskins

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 10:53 AM

The one I linked to was identical in spec to the one OPTec supplied for my focuser. 5v to 12V buck converter inside I suppose. I will agree it appears that the minipc may have some magic going on in the brick - or it may not. Me, personally, would not purchase something like that. But if I did I would get a USB-C female cable, strip off the insulation, plug it into the brick and look at what exactly is going on. If the USB-C is just a fancy way of selling bricks, meaning the power is really just generic 12 volts, then I would fire up the soldering iron and make a few adapters and plug directly into 12v.

 

Rick


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#17 acommonsoul

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 02:13 PM

Just a question...are you able to return your mini pc and get one that has a standard DC plug? Might be an easier fix. I use my mini pc by powering it through my Pegasus Micro Powerbox. I just has to get a 2.1mm to 2.5 mm adapter and it works great.



#18 meetjatin88

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 04:35 PM

Just a question...are you able to return your mini pc and get one that has a standard DC plug? Might be an easier fix. I use my mini pc by powering it through my Pegasus Micro Powerbox. I just has to get a 2.1mm to 2.5 mm adapter and it works great.

I think that a great idea, will check about the return window. As far as I know I am within the return period, but I need to double check. If I am able to return it do you have any good suggestions for mini pc with standard dc plug and adequate processing power. I was preferably looking for a fanless one to avoid any vibration but I am open to others as well.



#19 acommonsoul

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 04:55 PM

I think that a great idea, will check about the return window. As far as I know I am within the return period, but I need to double check. If I am able to return it do you have any good suggestions for mini pc with standard dc plug and adequate processing power. I was preferably looking for a fanless one to avoid any vibration but I am open to others as well.

I got the Beelink GK55. It has a fan but it’s barely noticeable. Can’t feel any vibration at all. Plenty of power for astro needs.
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#20 ad701xx

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 07:19 PM

Just cut the cable off the included AC adapter and attach a 5.5 x 2.1mm plug such as this:

 

https://www.amazon.c...ctronics&sr=1-7

 

Be sure to observe the correct polarity.



#21 rhaskins

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 08:04 PM

kingdel is good. see amazon. 

 

Rick



#22 meetjatin88

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 10:09 PM

Usually devices powered/charged through usb-c support power delivery protocol, that starts with handshake procedure - power supply unit and the device getting an agreement on voltage and maximum power. So usb-c is not just 5v or 12v.

 

But quick search on Google shows a video https://www.youtube....h?v=lvW8c0XJWBE and your minipc has a huge sticker on it, saying - this minipc doesn't support PD(power delivery) and asks to use supplied power adapter. That is seems to be dumb 12v 2A brick with fancy connector, you'd better not to use it to charge your phone!

I'm almost sure the cable you linked will not work for you - it tells device on an usb-c side to output 12v and up to 3a of current.

 

Your minipc likely uses same pins for power as regular usb-c and data pins just not connected, if manufacturer doesn't produce cigarette plug adapter you left with no options except to reverse engineer the power supply unit it came with. If it has only two wires inside you just need to determine polarity.

 

This thing I may work for you https://de.aliexpres...0020047188780"} or it may not. Neither yourminipc manufacturer nor cable manufacturer disclose which pins used...

 

Maksim.

 

PS.: And I would run away from anything that uses usb-c, 12v and doesn't use PD. 5v is more or less ok as it's a regular and the only voltage for older USB standars and works without negotiations.

Thank you so much , this was very informative Maksim, I just bought https://www.ebay.com/itm/393095721492 and https://www.ebay.com/itm/254903013404 and think will give it a try. If you have any recommendations for a fanless mini pc that have standard 12V input, please do let me know.



#23 meetjatin88

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 10:25 PM

kingdel is good. see amazon. 

 

Rick

thank you so much Rick, I do see they have lot of fanless mini pc available on amazon.


Edited by meetjatin88, 27 September 2021 - 10:27 PM.


#24 meetjatin88

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 10:26 PM

Just cut the cable off the included AC adapter and attach a 5.5 x 2.1mm plug such as this:

 

https://www.amazon.c...ctronics&sr=1-7

 

Be sure to observe the correct polarity.

thank you so much Dave for this, if this works , that would be awesome .



#25 t-ara-fan

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Posted 28 September 2021 - 02:07 PM

 That is seems to be dumb 12v 2A brick with fancy connector, you'd better not to use it to charge your phone!

That is a DUMB setup to say the least. 




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