UAV Portable Base Station


I found that a conventional laptop computer is fragile for use in the field and decided to create my own ruggedized PC that would be suitable for use in the field and the workshop. Having upgraded my desktop, I have a spare socket AM3 motherboard. The motherboard has an integral video adapter, so will not require a bulky graphics card. To power the PC, I will use a 12 volt ATX power supply. A 19" Samsung LED LCD will be used. The screen comes with a 14.2V mains power supply, this is more than the intended 12v input. I attempted to power the screen with 12V but it would not switch on. To ensure the the LCD will have a consistent 14.2V input, I will use a buck-boost regulator. This means the PC will be able to take a wide input range from 10-20V.

The case is constructed from sheet aluminum and 1" aluminum equal angle and held together using M4 stainless-steel cap headed bolts. I think it should be up to the job when it's finished.


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  • @Martin Poller

    I thought about off the shelf cases, but I wanted something that I could chop and change to meet my requirements.


    The Samsung monitor was supplied with a 14V mains adapter, I measured the output at 14.2V. I attempted to run the monitor under voltage at 12V but it would not start. I solved this problem by using a buck-boost voltage circuit I bought off eBay, it will accept a wide voltage input range but will maintain a steady output set by a potentiometer. More pictures later

  • Please show me closer pictures how can you power your monitor. The Samsung monitor has its power adaptor with it. 

  • Hi Leo,

    The case looks good, did you think about any off the shelf cases?

    Are you going to use your cars 12v dc socket to power the ATX , or are you using a leisure battery, and have you thought about some sort hood to block out the sunlight.

  • Very cool.  I'd have gone with button head screws, however.  Don't stand out as much.

    Did you consider using a Pelican case to hold it?  It would be nice because they are waterproof too.

    I thought about building a computer like this, but I got a great deal on a high-end Sony laptop, and I just got a Pelican case to put it in.  Works well enough for me. 

  • Hehe, that plug will never fail you Leo :)


    I think it can take AC too but only up to 18Volts always.

  • @Dimitri

    That's very handy UPS! How can you connect the UPS with AC power as it is for DC input??

  • @Dimitri

    Dimitri I already have a portable power system for use in the field.


    I will most likely buy a power supply from this manufacturer. The car power supply will take an input from 6-26V. this will be used in conjunction with a 12V sealed lead-acid battery.

  • Great stuff! Ready for mad max ;)

    How do you plan to power it at the field ? Gennie ? I'll be building something similar after I upgrade my desktop and have come across this mini UPS you might find handy in case gennie runs out of gas or w/e ;)

    picoUPS-100 12V DC micro UPS system / battery backup system
    picoUPS-100 12V DC micro UPS system / battery backup system for 12V automotive environments is a small yet powerful UPS (uninterruptible power supply…
  • +1 for the holder.

    PC power!

    It looks good, congrats.

  • Just needs a beer holder.

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