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Opus power wires very hot and computer shutting off

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  • Opus power wires very hot and computer shutting off

    After about thirty minutes of running my computer, the wires that lead into the Opus 150W PSU are VERY hot to touch. Could the wires be carrying too much current? Can I even make these bigger at all, the wires running into them are 12 gauge. That is my first issue, which I suspect may be causing my second issue. Once in a while, at random times, it seems like my hard drive will lose power one a second, and then spin back up. As a result of this, the screen turns black and there is no output, even if I hit the reset button. I must reboot the entire system after unplugging and plugging back in the OPUS power wires. Any suggestions as to what might be the problem(s)?

  • #2
    Yes, they could be. If they are, then you're runnign a risk of fire.
    What guage wire did you use to wire up your Opus?
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?

    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.


    • #3

      And what are you powering with the Opus? Do you know about how much power it should be using? How is your power system wired? (to battery?, how long are the wires?, etc.)

      If your definition of VERY hot is the same as mine, I wouldn't be using the computer until I knew what was causing it. Unless Opus was skimpy on the wires and you're running the supply at max rating constantly, I sure wouldn't think the wires should get even close to hot unless there is something else going on.


      • #4
        Well, I thought it was just getting very hot, by nature of it being summer now and the in car temperature is rising, but I"m not sure if that's the case. I've run this exact system in the past without any problems at all, but I did redo the connections to the OPUS recently, so maybe the connections aren't good there, I'll check on that. It's 12 gauge up to the OPUS, which should be more than fine. The thing is the wires aren't hot except RIGHT at the connection into the power supply. Anything further than 2 inches is not even warm to touch.

        As for the components in the computer, it's an Athlon XP 2100, 512MB DDR, Radeon 7000, Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic, and a ECS mATX motherboard (don't remember model off hand). I'm also powering my Lilliput 7in from the OPUS. Like I said, I've run this exact setup in the past without a problem EXCEPT for the XFI which I just recently added. I didn't think sound cards take too much power, but I could be wrong.

        The wiring from the battery is a 0guage wire connected to a distro block, which goes 4guage to a 750W kicker amp, 8 guage to a 400W polk amp, and 12 gauge to the opus. My acc wire is blocked also to go to each unit.

        I still think 12gauge should be fine for 150W, no matter what the current is, and it's only hot immediately at the connection. What do you guys think?


        • #5

          High temperature right at the connection sounds like some problem at the connector. (I think your Opus is like mine with a connector on the PCB and a pigtail with matching connector supplied by Opus.) If it was too small of a wire, the entire wire should be hot.

          Heat will be generated at the connector if the contact between the pins and sockets in the connector isn't good so the resistance is a bit high there (W=I*2xR). Each pin is rated for a certain amount of current as well. Its naturally going to get hotter as you get near the limit of what they're rated for. Without knowing or guestimating the amount of current and the specs of the pins its hard to tell exactly how hot they should get. The connector datasheet probably would have enough information to tell once you know the current - assuming everything is in good condition. With two pins for + and - on my Opus, I'm fairly certain each pin by itself can't handle the current that supply might draw. Any signs of poor contact, dirt, corrosion, pins bent out of shape, loose in the connector housing? I don't know how to quantify it, but when you insert or remove the connector it should feel like there is some resistance there as the pins fit into the sockets. I'd think off the top of my head that one wire would be hotter than the other, but if there was a poor solder connection or something like that on the PCB, it could also cause one pin to carry more current than it should.


          • #6
            Well, I've used this same power supply before and I don't recall it ever being this hot, even last summer, but that was a year ago and I had other technical difficulties back then as well. The connectors seemed fine when I inspected them, fit pretty snuggly into one another. I did add my subwoofer recently for this new upgrade along with the XFi...but here's another thing. I changed out the hard drive and instead of shutting off after about half an hour or so, it's only done it twice in the last few days. So maybe there was a pre-existing problem with the old hard drive causing it to shut off easier? Only thing I can really think of is a voltage motherboard is dumb and I can't find a monitor to measure voltage correctly, and all the BIOS has is vdimm and core which are fine. I used a DMM and measured the voltage at the molexes and they seemed ok, but that wouldn't be able to detect a drop after extended period of use...
            I don't know this problem is really weird.


            • #7
              When you measured the voltage was that with the other equipment (like your amps) on at the same time with volume at a level you'd typically use?

              Current through resistance is what is going to generate the heat so one or both of those must have changed if its getting hotter than it used to.

              I guess you could try going back to the way things were before you made some of the recent changes to see what happens. It isn't always true that recent changes cause problems, but that's where I would start if you don't have another way to isolate the problem. If you can, change one thing at a time to see if the problem goes away or things get any better.