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  • Questions about running cable, also powering questions

    I'm ready to start running cable for my car and have a couple of questions. I have a couple cables running up, would you reccomend putting them all into one piece of flexible tube? Will any of the cable become disfunctional because of people stepping on it?

    Alright. For the power, I was originally just going to run an extension of the cigarette lighter to the trunk. I noticed that I have a lamp in my trunk about a foot away from where I'm going to put the PC. I just burned out the fuse for that lamp and saw that it was 15 amps. Well the lamp is only turned on when the trunk is open and theres a switch right on the lens to turn it on or off when the trunk is open. Can I just run the power safely from this to my inverter? In theory it seems like it will work but I don't want to over power the lamp or in that sake the fuses and battery. Thanks a LOT! Your answers contribute to a nice project!

    -Kev

  • #2
    the wires running to the lamp probably can't carry the current needed to power an inverter.

    as for the cables, running them in one flexible tube should be fine.

    BoB

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    • #3
      Just run a 4-8 guage wire from the battery, (cig lighter or lamp will not work) there should be plastic strips running between your door and carpet, unscrew them and run the wire under them. Usually you can run the wire behind the back seats through holes already made. Connect the cable to your inverter, then ground the inverter to your car chassis (unpainted) with the same guage wire. Then you are all set!
      http://www.mp3car.com/usersites/Maveric/ M.A.V.I.C. System
      Asus MB, PII 266, 192 MB Ram, 6.8" LCD, 6 Disk CD-ROM, 21 Gig HD, All-in-Wonder Video w/ TV Tuner, Irman, Windows ME, Winamp, Cobra III -- All in a custom acrylic case.

      http://www.mp3car.com/usersites/listings/ MP3car Listings - Please add to it! :)

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      • #4
        4 - 8 gauge is probably a bit overkill for this application.. I use 10 gauge to my inverter (Until I get my Arise) and 8 gauge to my amp. All's well. I did plug the PC in to a Watt's Up load meter, and it's only pulling like 40 watts of AC.. probably not taxing the the 10 gauge at all.
        I cheat, I own an empeg.
        Meskimen's Law: There's never time to do it right, but there's always time to do it over.
        http://civic.mp3car.com

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        • #5
          I wouldn't reccommend running the computer from the light. It may not connect directly to the battery/igniton switch. If it runs through the dimmer switch or something, you will cause quite a few problems.

          And 4-8 AWG wire is insanely large for running an inverter. 10 or 12AWG is more than sufficient. Of course, if you are planning to put amps in the trunk, then running that large wire might not be a bad idea...
          Player: Pentium 166MMX, Amptron 598LMR MB w/onboard Sound, Video, LAN, 10.2 Gig Fujitsu Laptop HD, Arise 865 DC-DC Converter, Lexan Case, Custom Software w/Voice Interface, MS Access Based Playlists
          Car: 1986 Mazda RX-7 Turbo (highly modded), 1978 RX-7 Beater (Dead, parting out), 2001 Honda Insight
          "If one more body-kitted, cut-spring-lowered, farty-exhausted Civic revs on me at an intersection, I swear I'm going to get out of my car and cram their ridiculous double-decker aluminium wing firmly up their rump."

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          • #6
            I reccomended the 4-8 guage because the draw from the battery when the car is started. A thicker guage wire will help the inverter maintain the current needed to run the computer when the car is started.
            http://www.mp3car.com/usersites/Maveric/ M.A.V.I.C. System
            Asus MB, PII 266, 192 MB Ram, 6.8" LCD, 6 Disk CD-ROM, 21 Gig HD, All-in-Wonder Video w/ TV Tuner, Irman, Windows ME, Winamp, Cobra III -- All in a custom acrylic case.

            http://www.mp3car.com/usersites/listings/ MP3car Listings - Please add to it! :)

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            • #7
              The size of the cable has nothing to do with supplying enough current while the car is starting....the starter puts a tremendous drain on the battery. The power cable won't be able to draw any more current than the battery can supply regardless of its size.

              Catlas

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Maveric:
                <STRONG>I reccomended the 4-8 guage because the draw from the battery when the car is started. A thicker guage wire will help the inverter maintain the current needed to run the computer when the car is started.</STRONG>
                I thought that we've already covered this. The size of cable has nothing to do with keeping the inverter running when the car is started. If the battery voltage drops below the cut off voltage of the inverter (due to a bad battery, bad connection, etc.) then larger cable will have no effect.
                Player: Pentium 166MMX, Amptron 598LMR MB w/onboard Sound, Video, LAN, 10.2 Gig Fujitsu Laptop HD, Arise 865 DC-DC Converter, Lexan Case, Custom Software w/Voice Interface, MS Access Based Playlists
                Car: 1986 Mazda RX-7 Turbo (highly modded), 1978 RX-7 Beater (Dead, parting out), 2001 Honda Insight
                "If one more body-kitted, cut-spring-lowered, farty-exhausted Civic revs on me at an intersection, I swear I'm going to get out of my car and cram their ridiculous double-decker aluminium wing firmly up their rump."

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                • #9
                  Just run a 4-8 guage wire from the battery, (cig lighter or lamp will not work)
                  Why would 12V cigarette socket not work? I am about to install my computer in the trunk, and I wil planning on running the inverter (Portawatz 150) to the cigarette socket (since the plug is designed to go into a cigarette lighter socket).
                  I am fortunate in that the cigarette socket in my car is only active when the ignition is on, so this is a perfect solution for me.

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                  • #10
                    You can not run the power from your Cig Lighter because it does not have thick enough wires going to your battery. and MTMSOL, yours probably goes throught a relay, which is nowhere near the specs that you need to carry the current.
                    Just get some 6 gauge wire at a hardware store, run it to your battery, and be done with it, no big deal.

                    And to turn you Inverter on and off, get inside it, splice into the wires running to the on switch, and run them to a switch on your dash.
                    Clarion 200watt head unit w/ Aux in.
                    Kicker 800watt 4 channel amp
                    In a 96 Grand Prix SE.

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                    • #11
                      I thought that we've already covered this. The size of cable has nothing to do with keeping the inverter running when the car is started.
                      Careful here, that isn't entirely true. Remember that wire has resistance and if the wire is small enough it could cause a high enough voltage drop to where an inverter couldn't turn on. It would have to be some pretty small wire to provide enough resistance, but it is possible so I wouldn't say it has nothing to do nothing to do with keeping the inverter running when the car is started.

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                      • #12
                        dont inverters come with clips to put on your battery,or are these insuffiecint for a computer, or am i just lost and thinking of something else

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PaulzY:
                          <STRONG>dont inverters come with clips to put on your battery,or are these insuffiecint for a computer, or am i just lost and thinking of something else</STRONG>

                          Some might. It depends on what kind of computer you are running. If you have a pentium 120 you probably only need a 75 watt inverter. But if you are running something like a 600mhz pentium 3 with a good video card, dvd, tv tuner, and other stuff then you will need like 200 to 300 watts. Make sure you look at the continuous wattage to make sure it will supply enought current for your application. Also look at the peak wattage because when a computer starts up it takes a little more current then normal.

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                          • #14
                            You can not run the power from your Cig Lighter because it does not have thick enough wires going to your battery.
                            This is not necessarily true. Plenty of vehicles have thick enough wires on the cig lighter.

                            I run my PC system, powered off an inverter, via the cigarette lighter circuit (spliced in). It works great. Haven't had any issues with high resistance or heat.

                            Each car is different. There's a good chance his cigarette lighter circuit is fine for a small computer.
                            Player: Celeron II 633MHz, 256MB RAM, 20GB IBM 9mm 2.5" Laptop HD (180G/2ms), onboard ethernet/sound/video/tvout, 10"11"x3" case, MPBS1 70W DC-DC PS w/auto-shutdown controller, in-dash lighted switches, 7" NTSC TFT widescreen in-dash LCD, touchscreen, rear-window brake light installed Garmin GPS35 GPS, credit card sized IR remote w/IRMan, mini-wireless keyboard/mouse (sits under seat), PowerMate black knob, MP3s and GPS Navigation (Winamp, CoPilot, SA8.0).
                            Car: 1993 Nissan Maxima, Black Emerald

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                            • #15
                              I would agree with Adam. It all depends on: a).how much of continue current do you really need and b.)the lenght of the wire over predetermined distance.

                              Use this formula to calculate the proper gauge wire:
                              I=WATT/VOLTS; WATT= AmpsXVolts.
                              Example: 500WATT load/12 V= 41.7 Amps.

                              Therefore, you need a wire that would safely carry 41.7 Amps. Make sure you choose a proper fuse to protect that wire. No guessing games, please. Remember you are carrying a large load (Amps) across a metal frame of the car. You household outlets carry only 10-30 Amps/120 volts.

                              In addition, donít forget about a Voltage Drop in your wire. It will also determine the proper wire gauge for your setup.

                              Additional Information:
                              Wire Gauge Table

                              Good luck!
                              Maestro MP3 player: MIS K7T Pro-2A, AMD 1.2GHz, RAM 640MB, 80G HD; Screen: Datalux 10.4 VGA; Head Unit: Kenwood Z727; RF control ON/OFF/RESET

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