One of the crazy things my son did on an older car (long before the Tesla) was set up some networking - using a FireBrick, WiFi access point, and 3G dongle.
Yes, seemed crazy, but much of the kit needed an inverter as well to get Mains from 12V car power. These are not very efficient.
The latest FireBrick (FB2900), available real soon now (literally waiting on safety test sign off now) will also have some DC power options. Yes, I may be crazy, but I decided "what the hell?", and these will be available at launch, along with rack mount kits.
The two options are (a) an automotive option aimed at cars and trucks and (maybe) boats allowing 12V and 24V supplies. Much more work than you expect as it needs all sorts of protection from voltage and current spikes you can get in such an environment. (b) The telco option for telecommunications racks with 48V DC.
We decided on Anderson power-pole connectors, and will supply a plug and tail with the unit as well. They are excellent DC power connectors. The two variants are different colours and different keying too.
This is more tricky - who wants these? Well, telco racks with 48DC do exist, so that is one case. We do the FB6000 models with DC 48V supplies even (both DC+AC and DC+DC as dual power).
But will anyone really want in a car? Not sure.
Will anyone want in a boat? Maybe more likely... We have already had some enquiries, though I doubt we would meet the requirements to sell for boats (lots of salt water involved).
So what else?
Well, I want one myself? Why? Well I have a good 12V DC lead acid backup for the alarm/door system here. It lasts all day! They are common and simple. Alarms often need Internet access too. They are way better than a UPS for lasting all day if you have kit that can run on 12V DC.
The FireBrick FB2900 can provide the Internet access (e.g. a VDSL SFP) and connect to the alarm/door system anyway as well as some Ethernet connections for laptop in the event of main power failure. At around 5W for the FireBrick, and a max of 15W with USB and high power SFP, that is still a good lifespan from a 12V lead acid battery system.
They cost a bit more than the AC version, but I can see there being all sorts of unexpected uses for this. We shall have to see how it goes - if you want DC powered serious network equipment, well, let us know. For now, with thousands of AC powered FB2900s on the shelf ready to ship, we have some DC models ready for evaluations in the next few days. Just talk to the team at A&A for more details.
I hope it was worth the investment in the DC options. It was my call to go for these options, DC and rack mount, to see how well they sell. If we only sell a few, we know for next time. Surprise me!
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