Power a mini PC in your car for less than $1

ipadcarMini PCs, whether in the form of TV set-top boxes or TV sticks, have taken the market by storm, offering ARM-grade computing on a miniature scale with support for Android and, in many cases, Linux as well.

We’ve already talked about how to run a single-core mini PC like the original MK802 or the lower-powered CX-01 on two AA batteries, but it’s also possible to run these devices in your car.

Single-core TV sticks consume around 700mA at 5VDC, however, higher-performance dual-core require upwards of 1A and are usually powered by 5VDC/2A USB AC adapters.

But there’s a way of running just about any mini TV stick in your car – all you need is a cigarette lighter USB adapter, commonly referred to as an iPhone car charger.

You can pick these up on eBay for under $1, although these super-cheap ones only have enough output current to handle the single-core mini sticks.

To handle multi-core TV sticks, you need a car charger designed for iPads – these can output up to 2A, which is enough to handle even the new quad-core mini PCs. You plug your USB power cable into the charger, the other end into your mini PC and you’re good to go. So if you have an idea for using a mini PC/TV stick in your car, at least powering it won’t be anything to worry about.

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