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Has anyone ever had a good sounding carputer yet?

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  • Has anyone ever had a good sounding carputer yet?

    I have installed 3 carputers using all different high quality sounds cards. I have yet to get good sound out of any of the 3 and removed them for standard decks. I was just curious if anyone has really been able to get good sound out off their carputer or if they all sound like crap with lots of random noise and static?

  • #2
    when i had a carputer (i took it out to upgrade motherboards in the fall, and haven't found the motivation to reinstall)....

    i had audio that was just as good as a head unit, and processing options that no head unit could match.
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    • #3
      Yes.
      Originally posted by ghettocruzer
      I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
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      • #4
        You need to follow the same rules with a carPC that you would with a high end sound system.
        * Quality shielded cables
        * physically isolated signal/amplified signal/power
        * Short and separate grounding points
        * power supply and audio card as far apart as possible....sometimes even shielded
        etc...
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        • #5
          The only time I've ever had sound issues was when using an inverter. I've always had nothing but great sound out of my CarPCs.
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          • #6
            Ok, thanks guys. this gives me some hope. I must be doing something wrong here. All my RCA cables are expensive shielded monster cables. I am using a USB soundblaster Xfi sound card and have heard that's a good card to be using so I am really lost. On both carputers I have I can hear the computers hard drive spinning through my speakers and it drives me insane, that and the loud pop I always get when starting the cars. As for wire length, I have a BMW M3 E46 so the battery in in my trunk along with the factory speakers wires that where there for the CD changer and factory nav unit so everything is really short (Not longer then 2 or 3 feet).

            getting hella frustrated with all the money and time spent on these things and the crappy sound I get.

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            • #7
              One thing that is long however and I didn't spend that much money on is the VGA extension cable for the lilput monitor in the dash. I also have a USB extension cable running to it for the touch screen. Could these be collecting interference?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by justchat_1 View Post
                You need to follow the same rules with a carPC that you would with a high end sound system.
                * Quality shielded cables
                * physically isolated signal/amplified signal/power
                * Short and separate grounding points
                * power supply and audio card as far apart as possible....sometimes even shielded
                etc...
                About the ground. Since my carputer is literally right next to my battery, could I just run it directly to the ground on the battery and eliminate and ground loop? Would that be safe?

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                • #9
                  sounds like you may have something not grounding properly. I'm under the assumption that a high end USB sound card that is separated physically from the pc would be better than something inside the same case. PC components are noisy. I haven't heard a pop in my setup for a long time when starting, i think the m1-atx solved that.
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                  • #10
                    I've got superclean sound

                    pc in trunk to maudio fw 410 ($200) -> zapco balanced transmiters -> 3ft balanced symbilink to zapco amps...

                    Even if it wasn't balanced I'm pretty sure it would be clean as my rca runs would be extremely short....with external cards you can run the usb/fw right to the amp and hookup with 6" rca if you want...

                    needless to say grounding is extremely important, as well as not using an inverter..big no no...

                    I had some hd noise and slight fizzing interference sound that was not coming from the audio signal...I got rid of it by grounding my motherboard real well and powering my Xenarc touchscreen from unregulated car 12v...YMMV
                    Sig, smig...

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                    • #11
                      Is the noise your hearing from the hard drive or the alternator (does it change when you rev the engine)?

                      Most likely its a floating ground on the PC power supply side since theres no ground filtering between the 5v bus and the usb hub on most mobos. What power supply did you go with?
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                      • #12
                        I've got a Carnetix P2140...when I had the fszfsz sounds from my tweeters it did seem to escalate with the HD spinning....it also mostly/completely went away when i stoped powering my xenarc from the Carnetix..

                        It definately wasn't from alternator as it was still there when engine was off...

                        it wasn't from audio signal as it was still there when i unplugged the rca (symbilink in my case) cables...

                        what really made it go away was when i powered off my xenarc...so I rewired it to get power from my cig adapter and it is good now...

                        the hd would also introduce some static when it got busy...I screwed the motherboard on a metal plate and grounded that real good...almost can't tell the diff now from when my amp is powered on or off...
                        Sig, smig...

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                        • #13
                          Just a note on monster rcas- compared to lower end cables, they are junk. All of monsters recent RCA cable offerings use twisted pair constuction, which would work fine in balanced audio setups(twisted pair simply subjects the noise to both pairs of the cable, which should in theory cancel it out). Most audio equipment doesn't have it though.

                          IMO, the best cables in any price range are home theater grade cables that have a negative shield surrounding a center positive wire- these shield the most important part of the signal.


                          Ok, I will go on for a little longer... I tried a x-fi for a little while and also had turn on popping and driver issues with it, so it got scrapped in favor of a differently branded card(esi gigaporthd) that I do not have any of the same issues with.

                          Sometimes you will need to put some money into audio cards that fit your install. I went through 3 trying to find the best one for me.
                          My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
                          "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


                          next project? subaru brz
                          carpc undecided

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by justchat_1 View Post
                            Is the noise your hearing from the hard drive or the alternator (does it change when you rev the engine)?

                            Most likely its a floating ground on the PC power supply side since theres no ground filtering between the 5v bus and the usb hub on most mobos. What power supply did you go with?
                            I got the D945GCLF2 motherboard with a M2-ATX PS. Would you just run a ground to the case from a negative pin on the USB or from a ground wire directly form the power supply?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by soundman98 View Post
                              Just a note on monster rcas- compared to lower end cables, they are junk. All of monsters recent RCA cable offerings use twisted pair constuction, which would work fine in balanced audio setups(twisted pair simply subjects the noise to both pairs of the cable, which should in theory cancel it out). Most audio equipment doesn't have it though.

                              IMO, the best cables in any price range are home theater grade cables that have a negative shield surrounding a center positive wire- these shield the most important part of the signal.


                              Ok, I will go on for a little longer... I tried a x-fi for a little while and also had turn on popping and driver issues with it, so it got scrapped in favor of a differently branded card(esi gigaporthd) that I do not have any of the same issues with.

                              Sometimes you will need to put some money into audio cards that fit your install. I went through 3 trying to find the best one for me.
                              You think I should give that sound card a try? I will check new egg right now and give it a shot. I also have a bunch of high end home audio RCAs I will try out too. Thanks for the advice.

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