Hey everybody, new here, and just am trying to figure out what to do. I'm looking at my first real "mod", I've built a few systems, but nothing as complex as this. What I'm talking about here is a moderately sized briefcase that has been gutted to fit some form of ATX(mini, micro, or some deviant, maybe ITX) mobo, strewn with batteries for portable power and containing an LCD as a monitor. The biggest challenge for me here is I want to throw in something extra, a way to charge or at least prolong the battery life of the system. It's difficult when trying to figure out how to throw all of the pieces together as far as what goes first. Before this I was figuring I'd just use a solar power system(with a panel and batteries) to manage itself, and just have the system think it was running of AC power or whatever, this would make it easy to charge. However finding a system to support this has been difficult, if not, impossible. I've also considered the UPS approach, where the solar panel system will charge the UPS directly, and the AC power would charge both the UPS and power the system. Honestly I'm just not sure which direction to take this. I'd like the computer to show the battery life you have left, however an external meter would be fine as well. I've seen DC power supplies, but which solar panel system would work with this is beyond me. Any help would be appreciated.
My reasoning is to change the balance that is usually put into a normal laptop. I'm looking to place less emphasis on weight on the unit, which is the reason why I wouldn't use a standard laptop. Also this unit will usually be running off AC power, however I'd want the solar panels to trickle charge the batteries. The last notable difference is that I'm aiming to put 3 or more batteries in the unit itself(yes, this will be heavy by laptop standards). The concept is to make a heavier yet more powerful/longer lasting portable computing unit. The solar panels simply prolong the life of the batteries by charging them when they can.