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New Carputer Install - Advise needed

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  • New Carputer Install - Advise needed

    Let me start out by saying that this forum has been a life saver. Before I started in here, I was thinking I could just through in a LCD and an old computer and be off. So after many hours of searching I am finally ready to start ordering parts and would like to see if any of you can see if I have gone wrong somewhere.

    I have a 2005 Nissan Frontier that has a double DIN slot. I will be removing the factory stereo and replacing it with a VMI70 (SP-716) 7" in-dash LCD and stereo (something used from ebay with a audio in for the carputer). I went with the stereo because up here in Edmonton temperatures in the winter can average -20(its already dropped to -33 once) in January-Feburary and I would actually like to have audio if my car has been sitting outside.

    For my Carputer I plan to dissect an old 1GHZ AMD, Asus A7V ATX, computer with a 40gig HD and build a custom box that will blend into my cab. Space isn't an issue at this time, maybe when I get more money I can buy a new ITX and have that installed later. I plan on buying a Carnetix CNX-P2140 (165Watts) to power the LCD and the computer. The question I have is will I have a problem with power if I plan to install in the future a USB GPS, DVD drive and OBD-II on that system? I couldn't find any power specs for the mobo and processor.

    For wiring I will run a 4 gauge wire direct from the battery with a either a Fast acting circuit breaker or fuse (AMPS still to be determined). The LCD will be powered from the CNX-P2140.

    So in closing, I will be using both in-dash LCD and CD deck with the factory speakers, an old 1 ghz AMD processor/asus AV7 mobo/40 gig HD and a custom box with the thought of installing GPS/DVD/OBD-II for the carputer, direct wiring from the battery with a fuse/circuit breaker in under the hood to a Carnetix CNX-P2140 for powering the pc and LCD.

    Can anyone see anything I am doing wrong or could be doing better with my set-up? Giving the cold do I need to worry about my electronics by installing a sensor of some type or will the PSU take car of that?

    Any advise you guys can give would be great.

    Thanks again!

  • #2
    You're going to have a much easier time using an ATX-compatible DC-DC PSU like an M2-ATX, DSATX or Opus model.
    The Carnetix doesn't have any way to feed into your motherboard and power it. It will only provide a regulated voltage for a PSU that requires a specific voltage input, such as the ones for the small form-factor Dell, HP, Aopen, mac Mini, and other models that use an external "power brick" for power.
    Since you're planning on using an ATX motherboard, using an ATX-compatible power supply only makes sense.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?

    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.


    • #3
      what about adding a picoPSU-120?
      Yay for Carputers
      Work log


      • #4
        You could certainly use a Carnetix and a PicoPSU...
        But WHY?

        You could either get one unit to do all the chores, or get two units. That makes no sense to me, although it would work, and there are many who have used a setup like that.
        Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
        How about the Wiki?

        Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.


        • #5
          I don't think that 165 watts is enough for all of that. If it is, it will be very close. Do you know how many watts the processor alone drains? Check here: They say a standard athlon (non mobile of course) uses 55 watts, and that doesn't include the hard drive, the video card, sound card, etc. By the calculations done from (found using google), you need a MINIMUM of 175 watts if you want minimal memory, a hard drive, a BASIC low power video card, and a DVD-ROM (not dvd or cd writer, these draw even more). Most desktops since the late 90s came with minimal of 300 watt power supplys. now they are coming with even more (400 or more), so you see where this puts you. Don't skimp on the psu, or you'll be licking that cat again in the near future. You risk reliability issues among other things. It will hold up much better if you get more than you need. You really need some room to grow anyways, right? It shouldn't cost much more to get the psu you need. I was considering this route myself with a p4 3.0 board, but decided not to b/c I didn't want that much draw off my alternator and battery not to mention the additional cost of the psu. I used an old laptop (1.1 ghz amd duron) paired with the carnetix p1900 psu. You lose a lot of upgradablitly and such though when you go this route. ITX is too expensive for me to justify to myself. A lot of people go that route though.
          Celeron 2.53 Ghz Processor
          512M ddr memory
          Mimo 7" USB Display
          XM Direct Tuner
 XM Direct USB interface box

          1999 Mustang GT Convertible Supercharged