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  • portawattz 140 wont power up my computer....

    After having the inverter for about 5 days now, i just got my car back from my bro (lent it to him).. hooked up the inverter to the cigarrette lighter, set the comp. box in the other seat of the car, hooked up keyboard, plugged in power cord, started car, waiting about a minute, turned on inverter, hit the switch for the computer and it didnt power up, and the red "fault" light on the inverter came on. I know computer isnt taking too much power (when i just tried it, it has this in it: maxtor 10gig hd, p200mmx and 64mbram on tyan titan turbo atx-2 mobo, cheap video, 16bit sound. Thats all. No way in heck that takes 140watts rms of power. So.. what could be wrong? Should i buy a new cigarette lighter socket and hard-wire it to the battery and mount it inside and just unplug the inverter when i leave the car or what? Im stumped, someone help me out please
    THanks

    Tim
    99 ram 5.9 turbo
    P4 2.0, MicroATX, Audigy2nx, Monster Cable / Alpine.
    Coming soon: Indash motorized, 5.1, dvdrw, gps, bluetooth, wifi, and more!

  • #2
    How do you know "No way in heck that takes 140watts rms of power" ???

    The problem is most likely because of startup surge. Your computer may not take 140W of power when fully running, but it may easily exceed this when first turned on for the first few 10's of milliseconds until the input caps charge up. Enough for the protection circuitry of your inverter to kick in and shut down.

    Unplug your inverter, plug in your computer, turn on your computer, then turn on your inverter. The power ramp will be slower and you'll most likely power up successfully.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have added an info page on inverters at http://www.sproggy.com

      Take a look and maybe you'll find something that could help

      Sproggy http://www.sproggy.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Argh, my bad. It does power the computer, but not when the car is running.. Comp starts up when accessory is on, but if i turn the car on, the inverter with nothing at all connected to it, shuts down with the fault light on.. I think its because the battery isnt fully charged and the other things like the interior lights and buzzes take up all the amp's from the battery that the inverter would otherwise need. Chargin battery up fully then gonna try to start car and power up, if dont work, then ill probably buy a new battery (good excuse to go get a die-hard security battery

        L8r

        Tim
        99 ram 5.9 turbo
        P4 2.0, MicroATX, Audigy2nx, Monster Cable / Alpine.
        Coming soon: Indash motorized, 5.1, dvdrw, gps, bluetooth, wifi, and more!

        Comment


        • #5
          Err still cant get it to work- charged the battery for 3 hours, still only works when its on "accessory" and not when the car is running.. I thought since the plug is connected to all the other internal stuff id buy a new plug and run it directly to the battery, just got done doing that, and it still comes up with "fault" when the car's running. Im totally lost here. I dont think its the battery cause i bought it last year, a Les Schwab XHD battery. What happens is when i turn on the inverter, the power light comes on for about 6 seconds, then fault comes on. If i turn on the inverter and turn something else on real fast (rear defroster) then it faults faster.. This has me thinking the battery cant put out the power needed for everything. Anyone here running there car ok with an inverter? I dont wanna have no music at night cause i have to decide between headlights and mp3s (id chose mp3s, but for others safety headlights might be my choice ...
          Any help is appreciated.. (most likely new battery?)

          Thanks

          Tim the long lost car freak.

          99 ram 5.9 turbo
          P4 2.0, MicroATX, Audigy2nx, Monster Cable / Alpine.
          Coming soon: Indash motorized, 5.1, dvdrw, gps, bluetooth, wifi, and more!

          Comment


          • #6
            It sounds like an alternator problem causing an overvoltage situation. Probably the AVR has faulted and gone short circuit causing the alternator to pump the voltage up to a much higher level.

            Get it checked out quick before you cook your battery.

            Failing that you could simply have a faulty inverter.

            Get a multimeter and check all the voltages

            Comment


            • #7
              So, the inverter stops working when you are cranking your car? If so, then your inverter is cutting out when it senses your battery voltage going low. Starting current for cranking is very high and it isn't uncommon for the +12V from your battery to dip to around 10V during cranking.

              Your solution is to either 1- get an inverter that doesn't lock itself out permanently when the battery voltage dips, 2- not have the inverter automatically comes on with your accessory line, but instead manually with a separate switch. This way you could restart your inverter after cranking is done.

              Comment


              • #8
                Ok- i have multimeter, checked all voltages, all are where i was told they should be (12.68) and the alternator is only about 5 months old, and is the biggest thing under the hood next to the full size spare and the puny 1600 engine.
                And cranking power, everything shuts off for that- nothing in car runs when its turning over cause that takes all the power. (as with most cars i believe.)

                Well i think i figured out how to overcome it now. I ran direct 12gauge wire from battery to the trunk and mounted another socket back there near where the inverter/computer will be (heck if im having 110volts running through my car!). conected it all grounded it, ect.. then i bought a "jumbo glow rocker switch" (a switch that glowss... ooooo). and am putting that in the dash so i can turn the power to the socket off/on. (inverter will always be plugged in and on since i put shutoff switch for the power line in the dash).. and now my only problem is if the car is running, and inverter is running, it kicks off when i turn on A/C (the air conditioning needs alot of juice to start up, so inverter dont get what it needs).. think im gonna try to rev' up the engine most the way first and see if it still faults, and if it does, then just probably turn a/c on before the inverter since it will work that way.

                Sound like im goin the right direction??
                (and if its any concern to you, i have to go buy another rocker switch, just broke the 2nd one trying to put it in.. who knows you dont push real hard on the switch part until it fits in the dash?

                Tim
                99 ram 5.9 turbo
                P4 2.0, MicroATX, Audigy2nx, Monster Cable / Alpine.
                Coming soon: Indash motorized, 5.1, dvdrw, gps, bluetooth, wifi, and more!

                Comment


                • #9
                  ARGH. Now the inverter will only work when the car is not running. Ideas anyone? When i turn it on and the car is running, it faults. But it works fine when the car isnt running. Also, whats the best way to get rid of buzzing without buying a new power supply? (i was told by the dude at radio-shack that the buzzing is from whatever you have hooked up not able to filter the sine wave. (in this case, my power supply sucks and dont filter the sine wave) So, ground loop isolators work good?

                  Thx

                  Tim
                  99 ram 5.9 turbo
                  P4 2.0, MicroATX, Audigy2nx, Monster Cable / Alpine.
                  Coming soon: Indash motorized, 5.1, dvdrw, gps, bluetooth, wifi, and more!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Buzz fixed: i was using some cheap altec lansing computer speakers hooked up to the inverter, then switched to my home comp's cambridge pcworks speakers and buzzing is gone.. guess Statpower and radioshack are both right- buzzing IS caused by cheap electronics.. Still need to get it to work while car is running (works perfect when its using just battery)...
                    Suggestions welcome!

                    Thanks
                    Tim
                    99 ram 5.9 turbo
                    P4 2.0, MicroATX, Audigy2nx, Monster Cable / Alpine.
                    Coming soon: Indash motorized, 5.1, dvdrw, gps, bluetooth, wifi, and more!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      hey mate ...

                      Frist of all when the car is running the voltage on the battery should be no less then 12.8v (13.0v) and max 14.1v. If it anywhere outside the range then you may have some problems. If the voltage is less then 12.8v but it still charging your battery then its most likely the faulty diod(s) or the regulator. Usualy if the diod(s) are faulty then there is a buzzing noise in the stereo system, which also means interferance in the cars power lines (12v). This interferance can force some inverters to activate the protection circt, preventing the damage to the inverter.
                      So check your altinator, put the head lights on, heater fan on, higibeems on and then check the voltage. If the volatage drops under 12.0v when the car is idling, try accelerating see if the voltage goes up. If its still under 12.0v then its most likely your altinator.
                      Try this and let us know how it goes...


                      ------------------

                      Fosgate
                      Fosgate

                      System Comp V3 - In progress.
                      Low power MB with C7 CPU, DC-DC PSU, car ECU link, USB TV, GPS, 7" TFT, Wireless, Voice.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The Diods and the regulator im talking about are inside the altinator. If it wasnt clear.

                        ------------------

                        Fosgate
                        Fosgate

                        System Comp V3 - In progress.
                        Low power MB with C7 CPU, DC-DC PSU, car ECU link, USB TV, GPS, 7" TFT, Wireless, Voice.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Cars voltage stays steady around 12.68volts, when everything is on and it idles. It has no problem keeping charge either, and voltage goes up a tad when i floor it (up to a whopping 12.74) Im thinkin now of buying a in-line fuse and seeing if that helps it. If not im stuck with mp3s that only play when car dont run..
                          Any other suggestions?
                          99 ram 5.9 turbo
                          P4 2.0, MicroATX, Audigy2nx, Monster Cable / Alpine.
                          Coming soon: Indash motorized, 5.1, dvdrw, gps, bluetooth, wifi, and more!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            TimW mate i think you have a problem with your altinator.
                            12.75v is really low i recon. the avrage should be around 13.5 or so.


                            ------------------

                            Fosgate
                            Fosgate

                            System Comp V3 - In progress.
                            Low power MB with C7 CPU, DC-DC PSU, car ECU link, USB TV, GPS, 7" TFT, Wireless, Voice.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Weird.. its always read that voltage, and i just got a heavy duty alt. a few months ago (i think its somewhere around 70amps.. paid pretty price for it though, $179). I just tested my brothers truck and his voltage at the battery reads at 12.8 (has no a/c in it so that saves some juice).. Hmmm argh. Im thinkin now that the dc socket i bought from napa isnt good enough (was a cheap $8). Im thinking about saving up and buying a 3way 25amp socket thing with built in fuse and everything. I think theyre $30 though, little pricey for a poor white boy like myself.. sure.. anyways, Im going to try to take the ground from the socket up to the battery instead of to the chassis in the back. See if that helps or not. I hate it i hate it i hate it! i have it all built, it works fine when cars not running, but faults when car is running. Man and all i needed left to get is a AIWA head deck. (already have a RCA coaxial run from trunk to front of car and coming out of dash, taped to underneath until i get my aiwa)... BTW, if you use regular miniplug (3.5mm) all the way i highly suggest getting coaxial and a couple of mini plug adapters. for the main reason, miniplug/stereo/3.5mm isnt insulated very well (if at all with some) and coaxial is much better to run through cars as it doesnt pick up vibrations and transmit them as audio..

                              TIMMMMMMMMM
                              99 ram 5.9 turbo
                              P4 2.0, MicroATX, Audigy2nx, Monster Cable / Alpine.
                              Coming soon: Indash motorized, 5.1, dvdrw, gps, bluetooth, wifi, and more!

                              Comment

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