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  • Budget Jeep Install

    Hey guys, first post.

    So anyways, I am soon going to "inherit' my dad's 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee and would like to carputerize it. I have an extensive background in computers, so i'm not worried about the computer part, but i am a noob when it comes to car electronics, so i have a few questions.

    Ok so my first project will be to replace all the speakers in the Jeep, because the original ones are cardboard replicas of speakers. (at least that's what they sound like )

    Is every correctly-sized speaker out there going to work with my Jeep? I'm kind of confused about the stock setup i have. Is the amp built into the casette/radio player? If i replace it with a new cd player, will I also need to get a new amp? What are the advantages of having an amp?


    Next, power questions-

    What i was thinking is, why the hell do people buy opus power supplies for like $150 when all you need is one of those cigarette jack-to-120V outlet things? Then i thought, well that would mean that the computer would turn off whenever the car did. BUT THEN i thought, why not hook up the two wires in the 12v jack directly to the battery? Isn't that essentialyl the same as an opus?


    Next, wiring questions.

    Is there enough room in the paneling to accomodate for a few new vga, usb, ps2 wires? Also, are there any length limitations or will the quality just decrease as the length increases?


    Thanks alot for all your help.

  • #2
    anyone?

    Comment


    • #3
      Ok first your question of the speakers. Pretty much you want to find the nicest set that will physically fit. The wattage of the speaker is important as well because it lets you know how much power you can apply to them.

      Unless you have a premium sound package you amp is built into the headunit. If you replace it you will prolly get a headunit with amplified output. When looking at them you should see a number like 50W x 4. This means it applies 50 watts to each speaker. The advantage you an amp is that you have more power and cleaner signal. Unless you are looking to disturb an entire neiborhood the head unit will prolly be good enough. I suggest you get one that has Auxillary input so you have hook your computer up that way.

      Now to the power. The reason people use opus is that it is more efficient. Going from 12V dc to 120 AC then back to 12V dc is not efficient and there are more losses. If you hook it up straight to the battery, you could possible drain your battery dead if you left it hooked up while your car is off. The opus has protection against that because when it starts to sense a low voltage it shuts itself off.

      You should have no problem fitting cables. Keep them as short as you can. Any more questions???

      Comment


      • #4
        thanks alot for your reply.

        as far as power goes, can i have a second battery dedicated to my computer that is recharged from the actual car battery?

        Comment


        • #5
          Ok I think I am following your logic....

          You wish to have a second battery so that way if you computer drains it till its dead, your car still starts correct?

          Can this be done? Yes, but its not as simple as hooking up one battery straight to the other. If you hooked one up to the other, the carputer would drain both batteries till they were dead. What you want to do is electrically isolate one battery from the other. However, you need it to charge when the car is on, so you don't want it to be isolated while the car is on.

          To do this you will need a relay, and it needs to be capable of carrying high current. Something like this
          http://cgi.ebay.com/STINGER-SR80-HIG...QQcmdZViewItem


          I will post a circuit diagram.

          Comment


          • #6
            if you need to know what fits your car try entering your vehicle into crutchfield
            the have a what fits my car section..

            http://www.crutchfieldadvisor.com/S-...akers_fit.html

            Comment


            • #7
              You're really belittling the OPUS here. It also includes startup/shutdown timers, which will cost you $50-$100 more to add to an inverter. If you *ever* have a question that starts with "well why the hell dont people just ... ?" then that means you need to search more. MP3Car people have thought of just about everything, and have tried pretty much every possible way to hook up their carputers.
              MII-12000 / Ampie / Lilliput 7" / BU-355 / PicoPSU / uSDC
              Currently: Enjoying the setup, but always contemplating my next move...

              Comment


              • #8
                If you own a Grand Cherokee please look under your rear seat. Perhaps you´ll find an Infinity amp down there.

                May I also suggest to register at JeepsUnlimited, you´ll learn a lots of things about your Jeep and there´s a audio/video-section as well.
                Regards,
                Jan

                It´s a JEEP thing...

                My toy

                Comment


                • #9
                  hmm.. no amp... :-)

                  stupid cheapo parents :-)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Here is that diagram:

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by psykopyro
                      hmm.. no amp... :-)

                      stupid cheapo parents :-)
                      wow, nice kid

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        no joke, you definitely need to search around...

                        and the comment about 50x4 written on the front of the radio meaning each speaker gets 50 watts...that's not all the info you need.
                        If it says 50x4 on the front, this is most likely PEAK power. Peak power is the most power a speaker will get in a short "burst" of highs or low notes. The amp in the headunit cannot provide this 50watts continously. PEAK power is arguable. More importantly, you should go by RMS power. RMS is the amount of continous power the headunit's amp can provide.

                        For example, take a Clarion radio and an Alpine. Both may list 50x4, but the Alpine could be much louder. Turns out a Clarion radio I purchased a couple of years ago had an RMS of 17x4. This was not loud at all compared to the Alpine's 26x4 RMS. I would look for mid to high 20s at the very least for your RMS power rating.

                        Oh yeah, and make sure you get an aux input- this will save you much trouble when integrating the audio from your carpc.



                        if you get a proper power supply such as an Opus, Carnetix, or M1-ATX, you won't need to lug around a second battery. These power supply not only provide 12V power with the AC conversion, they also regulate the power. Car power is a very rough environment for something as sensitive as a computer. Also, in these power supplies are startup and shutdown controllers. Not to mention that some of these, such as my M1-ATX, will monitor your battery level and cutoff power to the PC if the voltage drops below a certain level, say 11V.
                        CarPC #3: 99% Complete
                        Pentium M 1.7Ghz, 1GB DDR2 RAM
                        DVD/CD-RW installed in dash below monitor
                        OEM LCD relocated for 7" Touchscreen
                        Wi-Fi, GPS, PS2 controllers...
                        500+ full albums
                        4,000+ video games
                        music videos, movies, & more!
                        old carPC

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dmurray14
                          wow, nice kid
                          lol i was kidding, i'm very grateful i'm getting their car

                          but about that diagram, which one is the actual car battery under the hood?

                          so what you're saying, ITL, is that a second battery isn't really neccesary?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            that's exactly what I'm saying...I have my power supply set to the following:
                            -sends signal to mobo to turn off 5 seconds after ignition goes off
                            -leaves power to the 5V rail for 2 hours which keeps my USB devices alive for that long.
                            -I've never had a battery issue. Search around, most people here that have proper setups probably haven't had any issues either. As a matter of fact, I've left my car for a week on two separate occasions, and the battery was fine when I came back.

                            My buddy has his Mac mini in his 350z setup to where the power is never completely cut off...he left his car for 4 days and it still cranked when he got back.

                            Search around for more info...plenty of people use inverters to convert 12V to 120V and then just plug in like you would to the wall; however, there are more cons about doing this.

                            Do it right the first time. You won't have to worry about noise in your audio lines created by interference from the inverter. You won't have to worry about inefficiencies and noise created by the conversion of DC-AC-DC power. Plus, you'll get regulated voltage and startup/shutdown control. I picked up my PSU for about $80. It's well worth it, I promise you.
                            CarPC #3: 99% Complete
                            Pentium M 1.7Ghz, 1GB DDR2 RAM
                            DVD/CD-RW installed in dash below monitor
                            OEM LCD relocated for 7" Touchscreen
                            Wi-Fi, GPS, PS2 controllers...
                            500+ full albums
                            4,000+ video games
                            music videos, movies, & more!
                            old carPC

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              OK well thanks for all the help you've provided!

                              would you reccomend buying a used opus on ebay?

                              Comment

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