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Power requirements

Solo sub-pages

Market scope

Environmental issues

Input devices

Design & construction

Other "green" technology

LCD monitors

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Prototype Mark II

Solo prototypes, Mk II

Dimensions; (overall)386 x 278 x 54 mm incl stand 345 x 274 excl* Screen size;14.1" (36cm) diagonal
Screen type;TFT Liquid crystal Resolution;1024x768 (XGA) @ 256 colours
Processor;ARM 7500# Operating system;RISC OS and/or Linux in ROM
Memory;32Mb RAM, 128Mb max Storage;256Mb Compact flash or 1Gb Microdrive
Power;6-30v AC or DC @ 12 WATTS Battery;Internal 2Ah lead-acid or NiMH; external lead-acid
Weight;4 Kg plus keyboard, solar panels etc Ports;parallel, serial, PS2 keyboard, mouse, 10baseT Ethernet, (USB, PCMCIA+)

*The Solo case has a standard 75mm VESA mount and may optionally be held by a wall bracket or desk-top arm.

#Production units will offer an ARM 9 processor option

+USB port and PCMCIA not fitted on the Mk II prototype.


LCD screen size: 8.4" or 10.4" @ 800x600; 12.1", 13.3" or 14.1" @ 1024x768 (XGA). The smaller the LCD screen, the less power is required to run the Solo. A minimum of one 10w solar panel is required for screens up to 12.1" in full sunlight.

Input devices: Keyboard, mouse and touch-screen options are covered on the Input devices page.

Case material: wooden, with optional outer layer of Dibond aluminium composite (Alusuisse). Refer to the Design & Construction page. Other case materials on request.

Storage: internal; Compact Flash or IBM Microdrive up to 1Gb. external; Compact flash via optional PCMCIA interface.

Battery: internal 12v lead-acid 1.2Ah or 2Ah, or 2Ah NiMH (Nickel metal hydride)

Solar panel: Polycrystalline or amorphous silicon. The former are more efficient per m2 in full sunlight, but amorphous silicon units are 'shadow tolerant' and can also be supplied in a flexible variant. Guide-price is £100 ($150) for 10w.

Power requirements

Solar panel

A 10w mono-crystalline PV (photovoltaic) panel driving a Solo prototype Mk I near Kihihi, Uganda, March 2001.

Two such units will provide sufficient power at 16.4v to continuously supply a prototype Solo computer and dump excess energy into a storage battery for use at night. Production computers may require only one such solar panel, depending on the choice of screen-size.

The intelligent power supply in the Solo will continue to operate when the computer itself is 'off' and can be used to store energy in any lead-acid vehicle battery that is connected.

Solar panel

The choice of power sources is wide. Any AC or DC supply from 6 to 30v will be capable of driving a Solo. Any shortfall in the power required is made up from the internal or external batteries. Excess available power is stored back in the same batteries.

In the event of a complete power failure, and the user giving no response to on-screen warnings, a 'last resort' battery within the Solo itself will close all open files and shut down the computer cleanly.

See also the information on Environmental issues and the Solo computer strategy.

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Contact details for ExpLAN Computers Ltd can be found on the ExpLAN homepage.

For further information contact info@explan.co.uk.
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Last modified: 25-jul-2002