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Strange issues with carPC, random boot failures & sound issues.

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  • Strange issues with carPC, random boot failures & sound issues.

    The setup is nothing fancy, & Ive inspected the entire install multiple times for loose or bad connections. I "think" the issue is with the PSU, but wanted to get more feedback before replacing it.

    PSU is an OPUS DCX3-120w, its a few years old and have been using it in this application since July, issues I am having just started up within the last month or so.
    PC setup is the same as this
    Snagged it for $50 shipped several months back, so far been very happy with it until these issues.

    So the issues I am having:
    1. Cold starts seem to screw up the PSU. By cold start I mean the first time starting the car after sitting overnight (or a few days). The PSU flashes an error code claiming there may be a short, its being overdrawn, or the PSU is bad. (per OPUS manual) It generally wont start the first time, and if I make a short trip somewhere, it sometimes wont startup then either. I have a toggle switch I added to the acc wire so I could manually power it on/off, and if I turn it off for a minute then back on (while car is running) the system fires right up. The issue seems to be completely random except for cold starts, but then today it started up first time & every time which hasnt happened in about a month. I have messed with the voltage settings, thinking maybe its the voltage change while cranking, but the voltage doesnt drop much & the battery is not only new but has 3 times the OEM sized ratings. (stuffed a huge batt in my Honda) It also cannot be temp related, because its still in the 80's here and the cold start issue happens early morning (60's) as well as mid afternoon (80's), only constant being the first time starting after an overnight sit. I can drive to school at 8am, have it sit in a parking lot until 6~7pm, and the PC will start up just fine. Ive tried waiting to let the PC boot before cranking, but the second the engine cranks the PC looses power, even though the turn off is timed to prevent this(acc wire) & the voltage doesnt drop under 11v (12v connection) while cranking.
    This leads me to believe the PSU may be on its last legs.

    2. Really weird sound issue, and this happens completely at random regardless of volume level, temperature, or how long Ive been playing the PC. At random the left channel goes silent, and the duration it is silent is also random. It can just cut out and then come right back, and other times it cuts out & doesnt come back for the rest of a 20 min drive. It has happened while driving, while sitting still, and even with the vehicle not running. This started happening right about the same time the PSU started acting up, and the reason Im unsure if the PSU is bad or not. I am using a splitter for the audio, and have swapped the channels to see if the issue is the vehicle's amp or the source and the issue is clearly with the PC's output. Simultaneously to the channel going silent, the system picks up horrible engine noise and the annoying whine stays until the channel comes back on. Its bizarre because with both channels going there is absolutely zero engine noise, and its only present while the left channel is silent (musically silent, the engine noise comes through all speakers when present). I am using the onboard sound, & I dont have an additional soundcard to test otherwise.

    I am beginning to think (& hope) that the PSU is dying and that is what is causing all of these issues. I cannot see a mobo with a bad onboard sound causing the PSU to shutoff while cranking, but if the mobo is bad & the PSU is bad I will probably just scrap the entire setup & go back to a regular aftermarket radio, because replacing both will cost too much. (not to mention is about 80% of my entire setup)

    Fingers crossed someone will come on here & say their bad PSU did the exact same thing to their sound output, fingers crossed.
    Last edited by audiophyle_247; 10-17-2011, 01:12 AM.

  • #2
    You might want to contact Opus and see what they have to say. They'll test it for you.
    1999 Mercury Grand Marquis GS with: ASRock E350M1 w/4GB RAM, 80GB Intel SSD, Opus DCX3.120, Visteon HD Radio + HDR-USB, PL-18N wifi, OBDLink Scan Tool, BTA6210 BT, BU-353, Win 7 Ultimate, CF 4.0, Alpine MRP-F240 + MRP-T220, RF Punch 1572s, Kicker 8" Comp.


    • #3
      ^ ditto. though, being that your also having issues with the mobo, i guess it is possible that it is only the mobo causing the problem.

      do you have a audio device you can try to test the cable with? to verify that it is in fact a issue with the motherboard..

      also, the ebay link doesn't work for me-- just redirects to the ebay homepage.
      My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
      "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"

      next project? subaru brz
      carpc undecided