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CarPC Newbie, some questions

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  • CarPC Newbie, some questions


    My name is Dennis and I am new to the CarPC world. I however am not a newbie to cars or electronics, I've worked on cars my whole life, and professionally for 4 years, I also worked as a mobile installer, and studied Electronics in school, so I hope I can figure things out ok. Anyway, I have a few questions to get me started. I don't have a lot of funds to start with, so I was planning on using the guts from an HP Laptop with a busted screen and dead HDD. First question is: How would I go about directly wiring the laptop for power? I am going to be making a custom case that hides away and I don't want to use an inverter. Question 2: Is it possible to run an amplifier directly from the laptop? I've never looked into doing this, so I'm not sure if it can even be done, and if so, What is the best way, and what would I need? Thanks in advance


  • #2
    i'd really suggest you go read through some of the popular worklogs on here. that will answer a lot of these basic questions and give you plenty of more complicated ones to start pondering as well.

    1) you will need a DC power supply to convert 12v to whatever voltage your laptop requires. you will most likely end up wanting an intelligent PSU with an integrated startup/shutdown controller - check the "Store" on here for some options.

    2) certainly you can run a 3.5mm stereo to RCA cable from the laptop's line out to an aftermarket amp. you may need a ground loop isolator if you get noise. if you have a factory amp that only takes speaker-level inputs then you will probably need a line-driver, though i guess you might be able to run from the headphone output of the laptop if it's loud enough. something like a JL Audio CL-RLC might be useful as it will isolate noise due to it's differential inputs, can act as a line driver, and gives you a physical volume knob.
    Last edited by theksmith; 06-25-2013, 05:45 AM.


    • #3
      Originally posted by theksmith View Post
      you may need a ground loop isolator if you get noise.
      A GLI is more of a band-aid or a last resort and in most cases isn't necessary IF you go through your system and make sure all grounds are secure and the wiring is of sufficient gauge to accommodate the load.
      Upgrading the "big 3" is part of the equation, especially for systems with higher power.
      Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
      How about the Wiki?

      Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.