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  • Another Newb Build... give me a hand here.

    Alright, this will be going into my 03 Grand Am and designed for show. How I want the motherboard / subs / amps displayed I already have figured out. But, the CarPC setup itself...

    Motherboard - Don't know the specifics, my old desktop... believe it has a 1.8 Pentium 3, retired it for the 3.4 P4 I'm using now.
    HD - Grabbin a solid state for the OS / software.
    Power Supply - Help me out here
    Monitor - Lilliput 8" touch screen in dash / Larger in trunk lid
    Soundcard - Help me here, requirement is great audio quality
    4-Port USB hub in front+rear
    GPS, Bluetooth, etc will be added on too... My main things that i'm unclear on are the audio and the power. What gauge wire would be run to the PSU?

  • #2
    Originally posted by rickhigginshtbr View Post
    Alright, this will be going into my 03 Grand Am and designed for show. How I want the motherboard / subs / amps displayed I already have figured out. But, the CarPC setup itself...

    Motherboard - Don't know the specifics, my old desktop... believe it has a 1.8 Pentium 3, retired it for the 3.4 P4 I'm using now.
    HD - Grabbin a solid state for the OS / software.
    Power Supply - Help me out here
    Monitor - Lilliput 8" touch screen in dash / Larger in trunk lid
    Soundcard - Help me here, requirement is great audio quality
    4-Port USB hub in front+rear
    GPS, Bluetooth, etc will be added on too... My main things that i'm unclear on are the audio and the power. What gauge wire would be run to the PSU?
    PSU is going to depend on some more specific details of your system. Each little component, even a GPS will add to the power draw. I personally used and M-2ATX a while back, moved to an M4-ATX and had trouble. I sue and Opus 360W and it's great. As far as gauged to the PSU I would run 4-8 GA to a dist. block. You will see the gauge of the PSU wires to be hooked up is rather small, 16-18G I believe.

    Sound is a whole other department. Personally I sue and OLD soundblaster live 5.1 card ($10-20) on ebay and the KX Custom Audio Drivers. I delivers some incredible sound. Some use onboard sound, some use large PCI Digital cards, I would search.

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    • #3
      Definitely going to want to use a PCI-based card for aesthetic purposes if possible.... And I may have that same card floatin around too.

      The PSU is only going to need 16-18 gauge wiring? Wow, would of expected more... Maybe I can run new power wire back from the front since my 0/1 gauge is going to be split between the 2 amps. 1 amp that i'm running now is an older 1600-watt Boss 4-channel that's powering my front components and 2 12's, but I want that to run all the speakers and add another amp for just the subs.

      Other items would be a slot drive dvd, wireless keyboard and mouse for tailgates with the regular monitor in the trunk. I may considering adding the fusion brain for more function as well, plus the odb2 goodies. 360 watt should be fine, right?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by rickhigginshtbr View Post
        Alright, this will be going into my 03 Grand Am and designed for show. How I want the motherboard / subs / amps displayed I already have figured out. But, the CarPC setup itself...

        Motherboard - Don't know the specifics, my old desktop... believe it has a 1.8 Pentium 3, retired it for the 3.4 P4 I'm using now.
        Find out exact specs. You need to know to choose an appropriate PSU.

        HD - Grabbin a solid state for the OS / software.
        Power Supply - Help me out here
        Read the PSU-related FAQs: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/advfaq.php

        First off, I suggest at least trying your onboard sound (assuming your system has onboard sound) and see if it meets your needs for audio.
        If it does not, then purchase a sound card. If you don't need a sound card, then you've saved some coin.

        PCI cards need to be secured in a vehicle installation, as the vibrations & bumps from normal driving can cause expansion cards to work themselves loose. If that happens while the PC is on, it can damage hardware, which I'm sure you don't want.


        If you're running 0awg for the amps, you might consider a distro block (if you haven't already) with a suitable wire (8-12awg is typical, depending on the setup) running to the PC.
        Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
        How about the Wiki?



        Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DarquePervert View Post
          First off, I suggest at least trying your onboard sound (assuming your system has onboard sound) and see if it meets your needs for audio.
          If it does not, then purchase a sound card. If you don't need a sound card, then you've saved some coin.

          PCI cards need to be secured in a vehicle installation, as the vibrations & bumps from normal driving can cause expansion cards to work themselves loose. If that happens while the PC is on, it can damage hardware, which I'm sure you don't want.


          If you're running 0awg for the amps, you might consider a distro block (if you haven't already) with a suitable wire (8-12awg is typical, depending on the setup) running to the PC.


          while some of the smaller power supplies could probably run off 16 gauge, i would never run any smaller than 12ga for a m1-m3, or no smaller than 10ga for m4/dsatx(i ran 8ga for my dsatx). you can always fuse a larger line to take less current, so it really isn't hurting anything (except your wallet) to run 4/8ga to the power supply-- it just gves you room to expand later, without having to re-run power wire.

          for the sound cards, i had a sb audigy(i think?), and loved the kx project drivers, but ended up having issues with the pci extension it was connected with not allowing the system to boot(my install location had a max clearance of 2"). i ended up moving over to a usb sound card.
          My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
          "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


          next project? subaru brz
          carpc undecided

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          • #6
            might wanna take a look here:
            http://www.offroaders.com/tech/12-vo...gauge-amps.htm
            openMobile - An open source C# Front End (why choose openMobile?)
            - Always Recruiting Developers -
            Like what you see? Donations are always welcome

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            • #7
              Originally posted by soundman98 View Post


              while some of the smaller power supplies could probably run off 16 gauge, i would never run any smaller than 12ga for a m1-m3, or no smaller than 10ga for m4/dsatx(i ran 8ga for my dsatx). you can always fuse a larger line to take less current, so it really isn't hurting anything (except your wallet) to run 4/8ga to the power supply-- it just gves you room to expand later, without having to re-run power wire.

              for the sound cards, i had a sb audigy(i think?), and loved the kx project drivers, but ended up having issues with the pci extension it was connected with not allowing the system to boot(my install location had a max clearance of 2"). i ended up moving over to a usb sound card.
              You guys missed what I said. I would run 4-9 to the the Distro block and then if you ever look at the Ground, ign, and acc wire coming off these PSU's the wires are tiny. I wasn't talking about the main supply from the battery.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Dougw133 View Post
                You guys missed what I said. I would run 4-9 to the the Distro block and then if you ever look at the Ground, ign, and acc wire coming off these PSU's the wires are tiny. I wasn't talking about the main supply from the battery.
                Ground should always be the exact same size as your power wire.

                Ignition and accessory is only drawing a few mA so pretty much any gauge wire is fine.
                openMobile - An open source C# Front End (why choose openMobile?)
                - Always Recruiting Developers -
                Like what you see? Donations are always welcome

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                • #9
                  if you're using a p3 motherboard, chances are there isn't any sata port and 99% of ssd out there is ide, better watch out for that.

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                  • #10
                    You can power those PSUs with, say, an ATX PSU, from the 12v molex connectors. Those molex wires are what, 16awg? And they work fine, for about 10"-15".

                    In the car it's a different story, it depends on the PSU you're going to use. But it's impossible to run a 4 gauge wire to any of those PSU (for those who say you should use the same gauge for the ground) or anything bigger than 6 (make that 8) gauge from a dist. block. A connector for those huge wires would probably damage the PSU connectors.
                    Worklogs: 08 Sequoia Platinum Carputer (In Progress!)
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                    07 Infiniti Fx35 (done!) & 06 Infiniti M35 (gone...)

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                    • #11
                      People tend to really overdue it when it comes to wire gauge selection. Huge cables may be necessary for high powered amps...but your average car pc draws a fraction of that.

                      Take a look here:
                      http://www.rbeelectronics.com/wtable.htm

                      12 gauge wiring could easily suffice for even an m4 sized power supply. Smaller power supplies or distances <15ft can use 14-16 gauge without problems.

                      Probably should have explained it above but the reason to use the same size power and ground or a larger ground then supply is to ensure equal power flow. If less current can flow through the ground then the supply you can cause some serious damage to your equipment. Same thing for ensuring the ground is a true ground.

                      if you're using a p3 motherboard, chances are there isn't any sata port and 99% of ssd out there is ide, better watch out for that.
                      I assume you meant to write isn't IDE. Good point...luckily ebay has quite a few listed if you remember to search for it:
                      http://cgi.ebay.com/OFF-10-Super-Tal...item2c51104eaf
                      openMobile - An open source C# Front End (why choose openMobile?)
                      - Always Recruiting Developers -
                      Like what you see? Donations are always welcome

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Punky View Post
                        if you're using a p3 motherboard, chances are there isn't any sata port and 99% of ssd out there is ide, better watch out for that.
                        Dont know why, but that thought popped in my head while watching the Phillies last night Debating buying my dad a new comp for christmas, may have to pop his comp open to see if it has IDE or SATA... I bought it for him probably 4 years ago new.

                        Originally posted by Dougw133 View Post
                        You guys missed what I said. I would run 4-9 to the the Distro block and then if you ever look at the Ground, ign, and acc wire coming off these PSU's the wires are tiny. I wasn't talking about the main supply from the battery.
                        Already have 0 gauge running back there for the amp, I'll probably run new wiring back off the fuse box in the dash since I'm going to need a constant and switch + anyway, correct?

                        Originally posted by justchat_1 View Post
                        Ground should always be the exact same size as your power wire.

                        Ignition and accessory is only drawing a few mA so pretty much any gauge wire is fine.
                        sweet, I'll probably run 16 back first since I have a ton of it and see how well it works.

                        Should I also be considering a voltage regulator or no? I've seen people running with and without them.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rickhigginshtbr View Post
                          Should I also be considering a voltage regulator or no? I've seen people running with and without them.
                          it depends on the dc-dc power supply you decide to use-- some require one, others have it built in.
                          My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
                          "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


                          next project? subaru brz
                          carpc undecided

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by soundman98 View Post
                            it depends on the dc-dc power supply you decide to use-- some require one, others have it built in.
                            Having one built in would probably be easiest, does the FAQ show which ones do/don't?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rickhigginshtbr View Post
                              Having one built in would probably be easiest, does the FAQ show which ones do/don't?
                              Why don't you go look for yourself?
                              Some helpful chap posted a link to the FAQs in post #4, above.
                              Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
                              How about the Wiki?



                              Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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