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4. In-Car Computers > 46. Turn On Your Car Computer Before You Start Your Car

Turn On Your Car Computer Before You Start Your Car

Most cars today come with keyless entry systems that can be used to turn on your car PC remotely.

“Reduce the Boot Time of Your in-Car Computer” [Hack #44] suggested that one way to reduce the perceived boot time of your car PC is to have it boot when you open the car door. This way, by the time you get the engine started, the computer is fully booted and waiting for your commands.

When you open your car door, the dome light usually comes on. This behavior is controlled by a small plunger between the car door hinges in the frame of the car itself. It turns off when the car door is closed and on when it is open.

Opening the door causes 12V to activate somewhere in the system. This 12V may not be directly connected to the dome light—for instance, it may trigger some computer that turns on the dome light for a while. Regardless, you can simply use the door opening or dome light 12V signal as a “start” command for the startup controller you selected in “Start Up and Shut Down Your Car PC” [Hack #43] , by running a wire from the door button or dome light to the ACC/KEY input on your startup controller. Figure 4-14 shows how this works.


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