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Best way to hook computer to battery?

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  • Best way to hook computer to battery?

    Okay, so I want to start running the main wires for my computer, but am not sure of the best way to hook up the positive and negative wires to the battery. Does anyone have a picture or a link to a site or just general information about doing this?

  • #2
    what type of battery posts do you have? and are you using amplifiers for audio?

    for my carpc/audio install i went out and got a battery that had both post and side mount terminals (the vehicle used side mount while i went to walmart and picked up post style wire mounts for a few bucks) i then picked up an inline fuse for the wires running to the car pc/amps and installed it right next to the battery, that way if there is a short anywhere in the positive wire, the fuse will blow instead of cooking and possibly starting a fire

    another way is to run a completely new altinator wire to a battery isolator, then run 2 batteries, one for the car (the oem one which wont get drained) and one specificly for the car pc/amps (preferably a dual duty deep cycle marine style battery) which wont matter if goes dead, youll still be able to start the car and are great for taking a beating

    you can pick up a relatively inexpencive battery isolator for about 60 bucks, and a marine style dual duty deep cycle battery for about 75~120 bucks (well worth the investment)

    what you do is run a new wire from the altinator to the battery isolator, then post "A" or post 1 on the isolator would go to the primary cars battery, where as the post "B" or post 2 would go to the auxillary battery which would run all your accessory equipment

    again with this setup, you would put a fuse inline as close to the altinator as possible and still be able to access it easily (using split wire loom around the cable from the altinator to the fuse is reccomended) then find a location for the battery isolator and run your battery positive cables respectfully to the batteries

    in my 97 seville STS, i mounted the battery isolator in the trunk and ran a new wire upto the engine battery (basicly i used 4 gauge extra long jumper cables with heavy duty insulation to acheive this)

    dont worry about the length of the wire from the altinator to the battery isolator as most new vehicles by GM have the batteries in the trunk or under the back seat anyway using a lot smaller gauge wire than 4 gauge (like in my 09 HHR) which seem to be just fine in terms of starting the vehicle
    98 Chevy Astro AWD

    1969 Cadillac Deville

    2009 HHR LS.... DEAD PROJECT!!

    '97 Seville STS - SOLD ~_~

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    • #3
      no amps, and I'll take a picture of them I'm not sure of what they are... so hold on for a minute...

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      • #4
        Okay, here's my battery, the 2nd is the positive, and the 3rd is the negative.
        Attached Files

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        • #5
          sorry -- i edited this in your mid posting... see those nuts/bolts on your battery wires that are vertical *up/down*? goto radio shack or just about any automotive store and get wire connectors that will fit around those bolts, disconnect the ground wire then the positive wire, loosten those bolts/nuts and attach a connector to each one after youve installed the wire you are planning on using to power your pc... remember--- you want to install a fuse on the positive cable as close to that battery connection as possible so if anywhere in the cable there is a short, nothing will get burned

          edited* ommited
          98 Chevy Astro AWD

          1969 Cadillac Deville

          2009 HHR LS.... DEAD PROJECT!!

          '97 Seville STS - SOLD ~_~

          Comment


          • #6
            Okay. Now what gauge wire would you suggest for a 160w m2-atx psu, and what size fuse?

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            • #7
              well, the power supply comes with 14 gauge wire, so using longer wires than whats offered, depending on how long they are, should be OK, if your power wires are longer than 8-10FT, i would upgrade to 12 gauge wire and recrimp connectors for the power supply posts

              i have the m2 atx ps and in my seville i used UL 14 gauge wire (it has more copper strands than automotive wire does and carries more current) but none of the wire is exposed to outside elements or engine block heat, so the automotive wire is a MUST if you are going directly from your battery to the power supply-- ask the sales person at the auto store about high temperature wire insulation-- if they dont know the difference or seem a few brain cells short, an easy way to tell high temperature wire insulation is that it will have a dull almost 'flat primer' look to the plastic, where as standard wire will have a shiny almost glossy look to it, not only does high temperature wire withstand high temperatures (lol) it also is more durrable against abrasions and is relatively stronger (great for pulling through tight places under the dashboard against metal or sharp plastics)
              98 Chevy Astro AWD

              1969 Cadillac Deville

              2009 HHR LS.... DEAD PROJECT!!

              '97 Seville STS - SOLD ~_~

              Comment


              • #8
                this might help you be more specific in your wire selections:

                UL wire (specificly the UL 1028 stranded OR the UL 1015 stranded type which would be printed on the insulation or marked on the bulk package)
                http://www.huahao-wire.com/ul-csa_electric_wire.html
                which can be purchased at most hardware stores or electrical stores

                now for automotive class wireing (called SAE) the stranding of the wires are not as large and have less per wire which means they cannot carry as much power BUT are more rugged and are specificly designe to withstand the abuse that being in an automobile has to offer
                http://www.kayjayco.com/wiretables.htm

                for the automotive grade wire, you would want the SXL class wire which unfortunately, in most automotive stores, is not listed as SXL but rather as quite possibly "heavy duty" where as you would definately want the 14 to 12 gauge wire... the TXL, GXL and SXL are industry standards to reflect on the thickness of the wire insulation (T= thin, G= average, S= thick)

                hope this helps and doesnt confuse you ^_^
                98 Chevy Astro AWD

                1969 Cadillac Deville

                2009 HHR LS.... DEAD PROJECT!!

                '97 Seville STS - SOLD ~_~

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well what wire should I get. I will go with some sort of automotive, but why one over the other?

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                  • #10
                    ok well if you plan on hiding your wires in split wire loom, and taping the whole thing, the UL wire will work so long as you keep the wire far away from the engine or heat sources as possible, if you cannot or dont plan on using split loom then go with the automotive wire for sure. again, if your wire is going to be more than 8-10ft long, then go with the 12 gauge either way

                    *edit* sorry forgot to answer ur question "why one over the other"

                    answer:

                    power vs protection
                    power:
                    the UL wire will be able to supply more power but has a weaker insulation jacket, which should be protected with split loom

                    protection:
                    while automotive wire will still be able to supply enough power, automotive wire is by nature more durrable to withstand the elements due to its stronger insulation

                    so in a nutshell, UL wire= more amps but damages easily, SAE wire= stronger damage protection but less amps
                    98 Chevy Astro AWD

                    1969 Cadillac Deville

                    2009 HHR LS.... DEAD PROJECT!!

                    '97 Seville STS - SOLD ~_~

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      okay. well do you really see it being a big problem power wise with the automotive wire? Because after all this is a low power pc.

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                      • #12
                        not really... im just a firm beleiver in overkill when it comes to power distribution i spose its my own form of bragging rights LOL -- to be perfectly honest, the M2 ATX while powering an asus ITX motherboard with an nvidia 6150 chipset, 35W AMD processor, 3.5" western digital desktop hard drive, 3 80mm fans, 1 40mm fan, 1 120mm fan, 5 1/4" dvd rw drive, usb microsoft streets and trips 2005 w/GPS, usb wireless adapter and a 15" LCD monitor barely consumed 1.2Amps at full processor load with fans at full power playing music connected to 2 amplifiers

                        therefore the 14 gauge automotive wire is more than capable of sustaining the amperage rating for the M2 ATX


                        OH and btw... after you connect the wires for the car pc... get a little can of that battery terminal protectant spray--- it will keep your battery terminals from corroding and causing a low power brown out with your car pc (the M2 ATX has quite a large voltage curve that will obsorb a quick drop or spike, but constant operating of low voltage will damage it or your pc)
                        98 Chevy Astro AWD

                        1969 Cadillac Deville

                        2009 HHR LS.... DEAD PROJECT!!

                        '97 Seville STS - SOLD ~_~

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Okay so what fuse size do you suggest?

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                          • #14
                            well.... the lower value the easier it will blow, but the more protected your system will be-- go with a 15A fuse, power supplies for home PC's are usually 20-30A which are more than enough, so going with a 15A fuse will keep your system safer, even a 10A fuse will work for a low power pc, better yet, you can pick up a self resetting breaker from automotive part stores, if you get a self resetting breaker, get a 10A, if you go with a fuse, get a 15A, again make sure you put it to where its easy to get to, and out of the way
                            98 Chevy Astro AWD

                            1969 Cadillac Deville

                            2009 HHR LS.... DEAD PROJECT!!

                            '97 Seville STS - SOLD ~_~

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Okay. so I went to the store on my way to a friend's and they were out of red 12 gauge automotive... awesome.. and the lowest breaker they had was 15A. However, I didn't buy it because it looked just like a fuse, and don't you need like a fuse holder or something of that sort? how do you wire it?

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