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My half-finished carputer - some questions

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  • My half-finished carputer - some questions

    I've built the following for my Ford Focus:

    Epia 1200 Mini-itx
    256MB RAM
    60GB HDD

    M1 ATX PSU

    The computer is in a small mini-itx case under the passenger seat.

    I've installed a flip out touchscreen in the dash connected to the computer by USB and powered by the lines at the back of the headunit. I have a double ISO slot i the dash so i also have a Pioneer headunit installed.

    i also have a Kenwood amp and a sub in the back of the car powered by the battery and controlled when i start the car.

    Few questions.

    1. I want to install a second amp to power the four speakers in the car.

    What is the best placement for it and what is the best way to send the output to the speakers?

    Should i attach the speaker outputs from the amp to ISO connector at the back of the headunit or directly to the speakers? I would imagine the latter would take a lot more wiring work.

    2. Is it possible to use the computer and pioneer headunit together? Ie when i want to listen to the radio I mute the PC and turn on the headunit and vice versa. Note both outputs are going to the same speakers.

    3. Where is the best point to get power for the computer?
    A. The battery directly, through a fuse
    B. 12v at ISO connection
    C. back of Cigarrette lighter

    i was thinking the cigarrette lighter so as to keep the headunit and computer power separate. Also since i already have a power lead running off the battery to the amplifier i don't really want to run another to the computer.

    4. Can i chain the 12v power from the battery from one amp onto another?

    I'll add more questions as i think of them. thanks in advance.

    great site,

  • #2
    Most of this has been covered in greater detail within the forums. If you search using a few nouns from each question I imagine the answers will be better and more in-depth than mine below but you asked so here goes.

    1) I would place the AMP either under the driver's seat or in the boot.
    Use new speaker cables, follow the path of the existing speaker wiring as much as possible. I wouldn't use the existing wiring, it's likely to be to thin.

    2) This is easier if your headunit has an aux in, just connect the soundcard out to the aux in. If not, you could use either an audio line-level switch box or a mixer on the line levels from the headunit and the soundcard.


    4)Yes if the total current is less than the power cable is rated at.

    I'm afraid that the easiest solution is often not the best.
    Good luck, and check other opinions on the above, it may give you more ideas.