View Full Version : [Question(s)] stripped netbook or mini/nano MB

11-01-2009, 11:50 AM
recently we will find a lot of netpc like asus 901 or acer 110 that will soddisfy a lot of the requirements for a pc based robot on ebay at low cost
why spend more for only the MB?
buy a complete system tha include a nano or mini itx MB (like via one) add the ram , the psu, the hd/ssd will cost more than buy a complete atom 1.6 based netbook tha include also a lcd the keybord the speakers , a wifi module, a card reader bluetooth etcetc
the reason that I can see are these:

weight: these netbook weight nearly a kg but they are strippeble, you can run it trought the main robot battery you can disassembly the lcd the keybord and the chassis I don't think it will weight more than a nano/mini system

dimension: the mini itx format is 17x17 most of the netpcs are 24x17 but like before you can strip it

power draw?: I don't know will a netpc without lcd draw more than a nano/miniitx system?

so the question is this If I'have the room for the bigger netpc which is better considering power and cost?

11-01-2009, 02:24 PM
The expandability and placement options for components will be a more of a challenge with stripping a netbook. The SATA bus comes to mind.

You're finding working Netbooks for < $75 or so?

11-01-2009, 02:37 PM
the asus as sata I don't know if I or II probably I
no 75$ no but I'don't think there some nano or mini itx system that cost less of 250 $
I'm wrong?

11-01-2009, 03:38 PM
What about a beagleboard (http://beagleboard.org/)?

11-01-2009, 03:58 PM
I think the netbooks put up serious competition against most of the pico/nano/mini-ITX boards -- as long as size/weight is not a factor (In other words, on a decently sized rover, the netbook rocks). Most of the lower cost pico/nano/mini-ITX boards don't have much more processing than a 1Ghz-Via/1.6GhzAtom, which is also pretty comparable to most of the $300 netbooks. I think the real win though for the netbook is that it has a screen, battery, and keyboard (I woudn't strip it out, it really makes things nice -- I'm not a huge fan of debugging robots over SSH with a possibly wonky network connection).

As for something in the ARM/beagleboard category, you'll get more-processing/lower-power/smaller-form-factor for a lower cost, but the learning curve is quite a bit higher. As with most things in robotics -- you either put in the time and effort, or pay to have someone else put in that time/effort.


11-01-2009, 03:58 PM
I just paid $75 for a Mini-ITX with a dual core atom and an intel 945G chipset.

Add $15 for RAM and we're done.

11-01-2009, 04:00 PM
I just paid $75 for a Mini-ITX with a dual core atom and an intel 945G chipset.

Add $15 for RAM and we're done.

Isn't the 945G chipset a crazy power hog though?


11-01-2009, 04:27 PM
I can't get the board with 2GB and both procs fully loaded above 21.5wts, and that's by stopping the fan. Typically I'm seeing 18-19wts

So not the most power sipping, but for a dual core, it's pretty low power.

11-01-2009, 06:11 PM
you miss the psu and the hd or ssd, you have not wifi or bluetooth
not speaking about lcd keybord etc
but the imortatn think for me its the diffusion, mini or nano itx stuff its quite difficult to find used on ebay otherwise netbook are simple to find at 150-200$ o ebay now and "tomorrow" will be ever more simple and economics
but the mini itx you are talking about I'm interested which brand and model is it?
thx all for the reply and sorry for my english

11-01-2009, 06:20 PM
PSU = $4.50 I have both wifi and bluetooth for $5 ea.

I guess I've never really needed a keyboard on a robot... Teaching it to type would be a challenge.

11-01-2009, 06:31 PM
good a mini pc for less than 100$ its a really good deal luck you:)

11-01-2009, 09:12 PM
I I'm not a huge fan of debugging robots over SSH with a possibly wonky network connection

Well, if you're using a decent wifi dongle, you shouldn't have a "wonky" network connection.

With BrainBot, I have an on-board 2.83 GHz Core 2 Quad mini-itx. No monitor or keyboard is required. If you're running Win XP Pro on your robot, you can use Remote Desktop, which works really nicely over a LAN. Once I get the network dongle working, and enable Remote Desktop, I unplug the monitor, keyboard, and mouse, and use RD exclusively. I'm sure there are other remote desktop-like utilities for Linux or other variants of Windows, depending on what you're running.

- Jon

11-02-2009, 12:37 AM
Remote Desktop is a gihugic network slurp. Have you considered UltraVNC instead? Cross platform and it doesn't suck... down the network.

11-03-2009, 09:46 AM
I found a some interesting mini itx withthe atom 330 dual and a dcdc psu included

the zotac ion A that have wifi included to but need 19v
and a jetway one without wifi but with 12v only needed

i like the zotac but with a 18,5 lipo battery pack how to have a stabilized 19 v?
the 12v jetway can be powered with a 12v bec easily

the other way is buy the zotac D model without the dc integred power supply and power uit via a M3 dc-dc converter that accept 6-24v input
but this will cost some 25-30 € more

this miniitx with ram abnd hd will cost likely a netpc but I think will be more powerfull with more ram e more ssd HD capacity and a ion grafic chipset (gforce 9400 gpu)

11-03-2009, 01:05 PM
Integrated Wifi is nothing more than a wifi adapter with its case taken off and plugged directly into the internal USB bus. I absolutely wouldn't be letting that limit me.