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New battery, HO alt, Big 3 or all of the above?

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  • New battery, HO alt, Big 3 or all of the above?

    First: I hope this is in the right forum area; if not - I apologize.

    O.K. I give up. I've been trying to muddle through my first CarPC install and have been doing O.K., learning as I go, but now I'm stuck. I'm running an M2-ATX PSU, VIA mainboard, a TIS-Audio 700W amplifier and want to also run a 400W Black and Decker power inverter (hard-wired). The amp, carpc and inverter are running through a fused power distribution block, which is in turn wired to the battery with 8-ga wire and grounded to the chassis. The car is a stock 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer ES.

    My problem is this: the first time I had everything hooked up, it all powered on, but shortly thereafter my alternator light came on. Now, the inverter won't power up at all (and even with everything unplugged the alternator light stays on). The battery seems to charge fine, as I've not had to push-start my car (yet). All other electrical systems in the car run.

    I tried buying an inexpensive 100W cigarette-lighter type inverter to see what would happen with that. If it is plugged in when I start the car, it will not power up. I can plug it in after the car is started, and it will run and power external devices.

    I'm trying to figure out (as I'm on a budget) where I should go to from here. I don't think a deep discharge battery will help, since the problems seem to stem from starting. A new HO alternator will run me about $300. If I do a "Big-3" upgrade, do you think using 4-GA wire will do it, or should I go bigger? What kind of difference can I expect from a big-3 upgrade?

    Thanks for any advice!
    Da**, now where did this wire go? And how do you fix a hole that was cut too big?

  • #2
    well you are essentially running less power than most of us and your having a voltage problem so I would suggest having your alternator and battery checked at autozone. i bet your have a weak or faulty Cell in the battery. I did! your PC is only using a max of 7A @ 12V your amp is setting under 10A in normal music listening so lets figure you got 30 extra amp draw at best.. if it's crapping out it's not normal your car should have reserve power. I would certainly have bettery checked. just because the voltage is 12-14.4 don't mean the AMper's are there for more than 1 device.. *** far as thickness of guage wire check the requirements for what you need there are many guides. So you have a general idea my car PC is run to the stock wiring harness which in turn runs off the stock 10A fuse. my JL Audio 1000/1, Pioneer 600W (75x4) runs on 4-AWG and I can turn my heat all the way with high beams and rear defrost with 4, 7"'s+10.4" monitors and not flicker with a Deepcell MARINE and a 1000uF cap. I have a 300Watt inverter too. I would say battery, maybe it's just a loose or corroded terminal.. thats very common.. use Coca Cola and a wire brush clean it nice and then retighten before you take to autozone for checking (free) let me know how it turns out boss-
    Did it.. Done it... now I got to keep the neighbors kids away!!

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    • #3
      be very careful man, it really sounds like you cooked your alternator. maybe its just a blown fuse though.. i would get that dash light checked out, a problem with your alternator will eventually leave you stranded.

      120amp alternator is what you need for all that stuff. it wouldnt hut adding an accessory battery for the power inverter and computer too... that way your alternator has a fighting chance if you do overload its output again...

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      • #4
        battery light would suggest a alternator failure but it would have stranded him if it was;nt charging as soon as he shut off veichle. he could have a weak voltage regulator on it...
        Did it.. Done it... now I got to keep the neighbors kids away!!

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        • #5
          it could be pumping out just enough to get the car started again though. ive seen every sort of weird problem under the sun from a faulty alternator. but you could still be right too- the battery could be just weak enough to put a crazy load on the alternator and make the whole system fail....

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          • #6
            yeah faulty batt or alt.

            No need to upgrade yet like me.
            hehe
            Core duo
            1tb harddrive
            256 ddr
            8 lilliput
            bu-353

            still installing...

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            • #7
              "I'm running an M2-ATX PSU, VIA mainboard, a TIS-Audio 700W amplifier and want to also run a 400W Black and Decker power inverter (hard-wired)."

              Do yourself a favor and stay away from that B&D inverter. It's a piece of junk. If you ever get a chance to open one up, you'd see why.
              Check out my CARPC: Project Diamond Plate

              Quick Reference:
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