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  • Have a question about wiring

    I just bought my first car pc and am currently looking into how I want to wire it up. I would like to know if I can use the current aftermarket cd players harness wires and connect them to the power wires (M2-ATX - wires are 18 Gauge). I am not sure if this will work considering the amount of power the computer needs, but I just thought I would ask. I want to mount the computer under the passenger seat, so the wire length at most would be about 10 feet if I had to run the wires to the distribution block. Any help would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Don't do it.
    The PC will dar a lot more power than the headunit.

    Be safe and run an adequate power line to the battery, complete with a fuse.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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    • #3
      Yea DarquePervert is right. It's too risky. But you can connect your M2-ATX ignition wire to the factory harness. I believe there is very little power draw and it shouldn't pose a fire risk (please correct me if I'm wrong DarquePervert).

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      • #4
        There is 16 Gauge wire coming out of the power connector from the CarPC. Can I run 16 Gauge approximately 15ft to my 99 Honda Civic's Distribution Block, connect the ground anywhere to the car's chassis, and connect the ignition wire to the car stereos ignition wire? Thanks.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by hornet28610 View Post
          There is 16 Gauge wire coming out of the power connector from the CarPC. Can I run 16 Gauge approximately 15ft to my 99 Honda Civic's Distribution Block, connect the ground anywhere to the car's chassis, and connect the ignition wire to the car stereos ignition wire? Thanks.
          That sounds like a good plan. Just a few tips:

          1) When grounding, make sure it's to the actual chassis. Do not ground using a seat bolt. Also, shave off the paint when grounding (if there is paint). All of these things are to ensure a true and proper ground. And one last tip, try to make your ground wire as short as possible.

          2) Let's focus on the power connection from your (a)distro block to the (b)M2-ATX. Connecting these two points with a 16 guage wire that's 15ft shouldn't be a problem. However, you should add an in-line fuse close to the distro block. I understand that your distro block has a fuse, but the rating of that fuse may be too high. I think the M2-ATX uses a 15 amp fuse on the actual board. So adding an in-line 15 amp fuse will give you some added protection. The whole point is to prevent a fire and to prevent damage to your M2-ATX, carPC, etc.

          If you already know this, I apologize. I just want to make sure nothing bad happens.

          EDIT: Now that I think about it, you should be able to switch your distro block fuse for a 15 Amp fuse. In my install I didn't do this because I had an in-line fuse laying around so I added it after the distro block. So maybe you don't need the in-line fuse if you can simply change the distro block fuse. Can anyone confirm this?

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          • #6
            Could you recommend an inline 15 amp fuse with fuse holder? I was thinking about skipping this step, but seems like everyone else is doing it and it will keep my investment pretty well protected.

            Well Nevermind I see a couple online that I might have a go with. Thanks for your help.

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            • #7
              Take a trip to any car parts shop, they're like 2 dollars with those mini car fuses already installed.
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              • #8
                Yep, went to Radio Shack today and bought an in-line fuse holder with 3-15 amp fuses and paid a couple of bucks. So I can just basically hook a 16 Guage wire directly to the battery terminal and get power?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by hornet28610 View Post
                  Yep, went to Radio Shack today and bought an in-line fuse holder with 3-15 amp fuses and paid a couple of bucks. So I can just basically hook a 16 Guage wire directly to the battery terminal and get power?
                  What happened to the distro block?

                  This is a good way to go for your 12V power:

                  Car Battery --> Distribution block w/ fuse --> in-line fuse from RadioShack --> M2-ATX

                  Were you thinking about going a different way?

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                  • #10
                    First of all, I wouldn't use 16awg for the entire run. It's risky.
                    Second, why don't you go to the distro block, as matt said?
                    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
                    How about the Wiki?



                    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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                    • #11
                      Could I tap into my amplifiers power line (I'll still use a in-line fuse, it would just be a shorter wire length), if not I'll look into using the distro block?

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                      • #12
                        Here is the issue with using 16 gauge to hook up the M2-ATX and I was tricked by it when I did my first installation, too. The longer the wire, the more resistance. Resistance makes wires heat up and if you don't use the proper gauge wire, you could end up with a fire hazard, worst case.

                        The M2 has smaller gauge wires going into because they are SHORT. This leads people to believe that they can extend them with the same gauge wire. Untrue, for the reason above.

                        To figure the proper gauge wire, you should use a power calculator and the anticipated load on the wire. That will tell you the right gauge to use. If you don't feel like doing that, then at least look at the table in the FAQ that advises on the right gauge to use.

                        You will need to know how many amps your system will draw, but since you are using the M2-ATX, it is a 160 watt device. For safety, assume 200 watts. Using Watts = volts X amps, you can solve 200 = 12 X amps or 16.6 or 17 amps. According to that table, you can run up to 30 feet with 8 gauge wire but only 4 feet with 16 gauge wire.
                        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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                        • #13
                          So could I still hook it into my amps power wire. Its only about 2ft. distance from the computer. I'll still put a 15 Amp fuse in to help. Thanks again for the help.

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                          • #14
                            You could, IF your amp has a power wire that is overrated by at least 20 amps. If you have, say, a 4-gauge wire going into a 400 watt amp, then sure. If you're running 8-gauge or something, then I wouldn't risk it.
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                            • #15
                              Its definitely 4-Gauge Wire, so I'll do that and see how much stuff I blow up, just kidding.

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