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Thread: can a carputer compete with a head unit for sound quality?

  1. #211
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    hehe - it's amazing what good quality components will do for you!

    glad you got it all working!
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

  2. #212
    Variable Bitrate fonseca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3onDubs
    1. That coax to optical converter does not run off the power it advertises. I ended up feeding it into my amp's power lead to get it to work.

    I went through this exact same problem. See posts 68, 69 and 78 in this thread. Mine has been running perfectly on 8v. Sounds like you're feeding it 14.5v when the car is running, that might be a bit high. It's very easy to wire up an LM7808 or LM7809. I bet if you measure the power adapter's output, it will be close to 9v like mine was.

    Not only did the crackle go away, I no longer have that annoying turn on pop that I could never get rid of (tried everything), I no longer have engine/electrical whine noise (or any noticeable noise for that matter). My gains are set back to normal (not cranked up to get sound) and the SQ is amazing.
    Same here. Zero noise, no thumps, and amazing sound that surpasses HU for quality when playing a good source, such as FLAC instead of 192k mp3. Now for ease of setup, the HU wins no contest. But that's the fun part anyway.
    In progress: M10000; Travla c134; Xenarc 700TSV; Hitachi 80GB 2.5"; 256MB ULP; M2-ATX; ITPS; Powermate; iKEY SL-88 KB; Holux GM-210; Audiobahn ADD51T w/ COAX/optical converter; Road Runner; iGuidance 2.1

  3. #213
    Maximum Bitrate 3onDubs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fonseca
    Mine has been running perfectly on 8v. Sounds like you're feeding it 14.5v when the car is running, that might be a bit high. It's very easy to wire up an LM7808 or LM7809.
    Do you think that anything can go wrong by feeding it too much power? I'm not worried about the converter that much because I got it for cheap off ebay. It's probably safer to do things the right way though...I'll search for info on the LM7809....thanks for the advice


    Quote Originally Posted by fonseca
    Same here. Zero noise, no thumps, and amazing sound that surpasses HU for quality when playing a good source, such as FLAC instead of 192k mp3. Now for ease of setup, the HU wins no contest. But that's the fun part anyway.
    I've never really set up an HU, but I imagine its just plug n play. This wasn't that much more difficult (except for setting up the software to output digital sound, which is just a few clicks)....but for anyone who has installed their carPC on their own, this should be cake. How can I get FLAC? Do you know any good sources?...im kinda curious to see what this thing could do. I've been reading the manual and I think I've pretty much got most of it down. I don't know why, but I've suddenly got the itch for a speaker upgrade as well...

    EDIT: Sorry about the FLAC question...a simple search was all i needed.
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  4. #214
    Maximum Bitrate 3onDubs's Avatar
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    I have another question...to those who have experience with the Alpine H701...In the user's manual it tells you that you have an active crossover which eliminates the need for a passive crossover as the signals can be crossed over prior to entering the amp so that you only magnify the correct frequencies. This sounds very neat, but how can I implement this with a four channel amp. I have one channel dedicated to each speaker. My front speakers are components and I am still using a passive crossover.

    The Alpine 701 has Front 1 (L and R), Front 2 (L and R), Rear (L and R), Center, and Sub outputs to go into the amp. If using as an active crossover (from my understanding) you would dedicate Front 1 to tweeters and Front 2 to midranges. I don't think this would work on a four channel amp because that would require six channels....am I correct? Is there another way to do this without sacrificing surround sound?
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  5. #215
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    Hi,
    I've been reading this thread and want to ask you something... Is it possible that a coax/optical converter may induce noise to audio if not correctly powered (its a modulated signal...)? because I have one between my epia and DSP (panasonic cy ac300) which had an DC apdater of 6V, and I'm running it at 5V from my M1, It works but i'm getting all the possible noise in my speakers (processor fan, alternator, hard drive...)

    thanks

  6. #216
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    You will get those noises from the converter. the data is digital ones and zeros going down the coax not analog.

    Get the converter supply voltage from a seperate source and make sure its very stable (read low ripple).

    3onDubs :- yes you are correct you need 6 channels.

    Nigel Fenton

  7. #217
    Variable Bitrate fonseca's Avatar
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    That's weird. I would think it either works or it doesn't. Although in 3onDubs' case, I can see his crapping out eventually due to overvoltage. I took some precaution against ripples with a few .1uf caps.

    Your problem would sound like a grounding issue to me if we were discussing analog output, since it's pc noises you're hearing. Have you tested your digital output without the converter? That would be the easiest way to find the source of the problem. It could also be your PSU, since you're powering the adapter off it. Maybe it's not getting enough power, clean power, or it has an insufficient ground. I assume you're wired straight to the battery's positive terminal with wiring of appropriate gauge?

    The first thing I would try is to power the converter from a different source as Nigel mentions. Get a selectable cigarette lighter power adapter from Radio Shack to test it out.
    In progress: M10000; Travla c134; Xenarc 700TSV; Hitachi 80GB 2.5"; 256MB ULP; M2-ATX; ITPS; Powermate; iKEY SL-88 KB; Holux GM-210; Audiobahn ADD51T w/ COAX/optical converter; Road Runner; iGuidance 2.1

  8. #218
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    3onDubs, if you wanted to go all active x-overs on your front components you would need 2 amp channels for the tweeters and 2 amp channels for the mids. So a 4 channel amp for just them. If you have decent passive x-overs between the mids and tweets then the difference between using 4 or 2 channels total will be really small. Using the sharper slope and playing with the x-over frequencies that the 701 gives you can potentially lead to better sound as well as better dynamics, but you have to really know what your doing to tune it right.

    If your unsure about it or don't have enough total amp channels then just continue using the passive x-overs on your front components.

  9. #219
    Newbie canopy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fonseca
    That's weird. I would think it either works or it doesn't. Although in 3onDubs' case, I can see his crapping out eventually due to overvoltage. I took some precaution against ripples with a few .1uf caps.

    Your problem would sound like a grounding issue to me if we were discussing analog output, since it's pc noises you're hearing. Have you tested your digital output without the converter? That would be the easiest way to find the source of the problem. It could also be your PSU, since you're powering the adapter off it. Maybe it's not getting enough power, clean power, or it has an insufficient ground. I assume you're wired straight to the battery's positive terminal with wiring of appropriate gauge?

    The first thing I would try is to power the converter from a different source as Nigel mentions. Get a selectable cigarette lighter power adapter from Radio Shack to test it out.
    Hi,
    All is correctly powered (8 gauge cable for PC and DSP, and another 8 gauge to the amp, both directly to the battery), and grounded at the same point to the chassis... I have no means, at leat right now, to test other things... for the first time I tested the audio onboard with some headphones and It looked like there wasn't any noise ! I purchased the DSP to completely "kill" all the noise, and because I found one cheap on ebay, and didn't bother to test the onboard sound in car... I'll try and test the sound with some headphones out of the DSP, and use your solution to power the converter (lm7808), but I think it doesn't make much sense that the converter induces noise to the signal, as it is a coded one (modulated, whatever...) which needs to be decoded at the end... and sure there must be a decoder on the DSP that detects errors on the data received due to the noise...

    sorry about my english...

    thanks!

  10. #220
    Maximum Bitrate 3onDubs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonWW
    3onDubs, if you wanted to go all active x-overs on your front components you would need 2 amp channels for the tweeters and 2 amp channels for the mids. So a 4 channel amp for just them. If you have decent passive x-overs between the mids and tweets then the difference between using 4 or 2 channels total will be really small. Using the sharper slope and playing with the x-over frequencies that the 701 gives you can potentially lead to better sound as well as better dynamics, but you have to really know what your doing to tune it right.

    If your unsure about it or don't have enough total amp channels then just continue using the passive x-overs on your front components.
    I have the option of adding a small soundstream 2 channel amp that would match the amp that I currently have for my speakers. It would run my tweeters seperately, and then I could use the Alpine H701's active crossover. Do you think this would be better than using a passive crossover? Would three amps strain my battery (the soundstream is a 180.2 that puts out 45X2 at 4 ohms)?
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