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  • Car battery -> computer

    So basically I got thinking that I'd like to record guitar, drums, vocals etc. out in the desert. This way I don't need to mess with getting a sound-proof room, property, etc. Anyway, basically I am just wondering if anyone has any ideas on how I could power my computer and monitor from my car, either with it's own battery or the car's battery. I am just worried about battery life if I were to use my car's battery.

    Any help is appreciated!

  • #2
    Your everyday carpc geek and tech guru at your service. *bow*

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    • #3
      Woah, this a very interesting application. Yes, please look around. Search for DC-DC power supplies, invertors (bad!!! especially if you're doing recording of audio!), just search man

      Also, good lucky getting a screen you can read in sun that bright. A lilliput or xenarc is not gonna cut it. (those are brands of screens)
      CarPC install is starting to come along again...

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      • #4
        Believe me I have, but due to my crappy understanding of cars it is hard for me to figure out. I figured posting in the newbie area would get this point across, I am looking for some person to person help.

        Oh ok thanks Grayscale.

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        • #5
          grayscale is right... search... inverter... dc - dc.... or a generator lol

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          • #6
            abandon the idea.

            Not sure that it would sound right without actually being in a recording room.
            I do not profess to know about audio, but I do think you do need to be in a confined space to get the best sound. For practicing only though, it may be good enough to be "out there".
            Iwill ZPCgx 2.4ghz cel, 256mb pc2700, external combo drive, 80gb 2.5 laptop drive, xp pro, usb gps, 7 in Lilliput TS , carnetix CNX1900. All mounted ghetto- still experimenting and tweaking.

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            • #7
              pick up a fairly large invertor, run a regular computer... be prepared for sunlight issues and reading the monitor... I would think you could get away with a 400watt (continuous) inverter for a standard PC and LCD panel... might need to go bigger if you use a CRT (tube) type monitor...

              run the computer as needed to do the recording, but shut the computer down before attempting to start the car, the starter will rob the computer of juice and you'll screw up the computer... be prepared to run the car for 10 minutes of every hour (or so??)... to recharge and you'll be safe...

              you could consider just getting another battery to run it all off of... just recharge it at the house... battery might run ya $50 to 70??
              EPIA SP13000, 512 DDR400, Seagate 300GB, Belkin PCI 802.11g w/external antenna, Holux GM-210 GPS, XM Direct w/ serial, Dlink FM, Opus 120 p\s, Rockford P4004 amp, Xenarc 7" VGA touchscreen custom mounted in double din spot -- see pics and write up here!!

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              • #8
                Yeah, get a deep cycle battery.
                CarPC install is starting to come along again...

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                • #9
                  havn't tried it "yet", but it's been talked about here lately.

                  we've been talking about running the digit io panel (echo) off a power conditioner plugged into the inverter.

                  400W inverter
                  - PC Running Sonar 3
                  - Lala Echo digital io panel

                  that's for vocals only. if you're running a "real" guitar amp, rather than a cabinet emulator, you are probably not going to want to power it off the same inverter. from what i hear, those things generate alot of noise on the line. i've also head that you need a 1500W inverter for most guiltar amps.

                  my2cents

                  - skellum
                  3g Eclipse - VIA M10000/512M Ram
                  7"WideScreen - XM SkyFi1 - ipod - LinksysWiFi
                  NetStumbler / Delorme GPS+Maps / Itunes
                  05 Magnum - AVIC-N2 - xbox

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                  • #10
                    Thanks guys, all very helpful.

                    crazymadbastard, I am not 100% positive on the acoustics and stuff yet. I just figured either way I'll get a unique sound at a cheap(er) price. My computer is music ready, all I need is a place to record etc. I also was thinking about recording sounds out there in the desert, random effects.

                    I will look up some stuff tonight, thank you!

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                    • #11
                      Running a current desktop system and a CRT monitor for even half an hour will drain a regular car battery significantly (unless the car is running but I doubt you want the sound of a car running in the background of your recording). The battery will stop holding charge if you were to drain it this way multiple times. Your best bet is to get a deep cycle battery and use that, then charge it when you get home: either hook it up to your car and charge it that way or buy a charger that you can plug into an outlet at home.

                      In terms of hooking this battery up to your computer, your two options are:
                      a) use a DC-AC inverter which provides a regular house-type AC outlet so you can plug your computer into it
                      b) change the power supply inside your computer to a DC-DC power supply so that it can be connnected directly to a battery's positve and negetive terminals

                      I would suggest you go with option a) because it's simpler, cheaper, and it seems you want to be able to use this computer at home as well (you don't have a dedicated computer for this project).

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                      • #12
                        Ah yes, I forgot to mention this isn't permanent. It would be my computer from "home" that I bring along temporarily...nothing built into my car. Great information.

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                        • #13
                          My only concern is the inverter. Those generate lots of noise like I said.
                          CarPC install is starting to come along again...

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                          • #14
                            I wasn't ever even thinking that you would want an amp out there... drums I understand, but running an amp?? what for?? don't you just need a head??
                            EPIA SP13000, 512 DDR400, Seagate 300GB, Belkin PCI 802.11g w/external antenna, Holux GM-210 GPS, XM Direct w/ serial, Dlink FM, Opus 120 p\s, Rockford P4004 amp, Xenarc 7" VGA touchscreen custom mounted in double din spot -- see pics and write up here!!

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