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Power Inverter and Computer Remote Switch

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  • Power Inverter and Computer Remote Switch

    Hey guys, my computer company, AZ Comps (, is putting a computer in my personal vehicle. We are hoping to be able to demo the system at various car shows and show people the awesome world of car computerization! I have the computer, wireless keyboard/mouse combo, media remote, and the various hookup cables needed. I'm just anxiously waiting for the 7" Xenarc widescreen LCD with VGA input to come in that I ordered from (Chris over there is great!). Current features of our car pc are: DVD, MP3, Wireless Internet (through Sprint), and GPS Navigation (using Copilot 2003 software). I'll be sure to get a page up with tons of pics within a few weeks after everything is installed.

    - Anyways, now to my 2 questions!!! (#1) I have a 400w power inverter that can be run straight off a battery. I don't want to run this off a line that is tied to the ignition because there will be times when I will want to run the computer for a short time without having to have the car running. Is the power inverter going to be drawing power constantly if I have it hard-wired to the battery or will it be okay as long as I don't have anything turned on thats connected to the inverter?

    (#2) I'll be mounting the pc in the trunk of my vehicle so I will need a way to turn the pc on from the front of my car. Can I just run a long wire off of the leads on the motherboard and connect it to a button at the front of my car? It seems like that would work, but it sounds a little too easy with all these forum posts about sproggies, shutdown controllers, etc.

    Thanks you in advance and let me know if you guys have any suggestions to improve what I'm doing :-)

  • #2
    the power inverters tht are made to be wired to the battery usually have a on/off switch on them.

    I have the same setup as you do.. botht eh inverter and computer are in back. So what I did was buy a 20-30 amp switch at radio shack and put that in between the positive from the inverter to the battery. That is right up close to my dash. i just keep the inverter on so when I flip the switch in fron the inverter and computer turn on. Hope it helps.
    '98 Explorer Sport (down atm)
    AMD 800mhz 192megs RAM 60gig hard drive 9 inch widescreen VGA
    80% done


    • #3
      I really don't mean this to be harsh, as the MP3Car community is really a jovial bunch (except for a few ), and I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but search, or even browse, and those questions have been discussed, the pwr_on header extension being discussed the other dat (problems with the added resistance of 15ft of cat5). The forum really is a wealth of knowledge. And a relay is a common solution to the inverter, put the relay on the runs from the battery, and then use just a small spst switch to turn it on or off from your dash, that way you dont have to be messing with running low gague (8) wire carring 30amps around your car. Welcome to the community, and have fun with it, just be careful, its addicting ./

      Since when is insanity a bad thing?


      • #4
        if i was going to be using a car to demo the world of mp3 carputing i would do it right from a-z--that includes using a dc/dc power supply for starters. and just for kicks you should throw in masteros shutdown controller.
        99.9% complete.


        • #5
          yeah i agree if i was gonna have my company who i am assuming is footing the bill to do all this i would go with a dc-dc psu as well

          granted i use a inverter but thats cause at the time its all i could afford
          run-on sentance comp 2002!!


          • #6
            i used cat 5 cable to extend the power switch, reset and kill switches and power and hard drive led's to the dash and they work fine.
            99.9% complete.