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Power Inverter Help I'm Lost!!

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  • Power Inverter Help I'm Lost!!

    Ok newbie here to this carputer stuff. I plan on using a pc I have lying around, celey600,128 or 256mb, radeon 7500 to run the video, 40 gig hdd, sound card built into the board. its an IBM small case and small power supply, built to save desk space etc.I dont have all the infor about the power supply from the puer case in front of me but can get them later if you guys need them

    I was planning on getting a new power inverter that you plug into a cigerette lighter. My explorer has what looks to be a cig lighter and an accesory plug that takes cig. accessories.

    I heard using the cig. lighter wasn't a good idea. I have no problem cutting the inverter plug off and running the wires....

    The tip of the inverter i have now has a fuse in it, but i cant really tell which is positive, I'll have to I'll have to break it down futher and see, I think the new one I was looking at has a blade fuse on the inverter itself I'll have to look at it again. I know I need to place a fuse close to the batt. would it hurt to add a 2nd fuse right before the inverter? Also does the fuse need to be the same as the one in the cig, adapter end. Can I just ground the negative to the batt also?

    The carputer will run mp3's,dvd's and gps software and the reciever.... plugged into the power inverter, the LCD will be spliced into the radio 12v and grnd for its power

    Would getting a 300w or a 600w be over kill? Which one would be best?

    the battery and altenator in the car are stock.
    Am I good to go?

    I want one of those cases that do power up and shutdown becausei it's gonna suck having to power off ahead of time to give the system time to shut down but $$$$ is tight now....

    Sorry for asking what is probably some dumb questions.....

  • #2
    A few months ago I was in your position... had the computer all done, but when it comes to power in the car, I was clueless.

    Not really a dumb question, but seraching for 'inverter' would have shown a boatload topics.

    Anyway, you need to figure out first how to correctly wire the inverter to the battery ... I have a Statpower 300 that has a great diagram and pictures on how to do it. (I haven't done that yet as I just ordered a shutdown controller from Maestro and will do all the wiring at once)

    This brings us to the Shutdown Controller. (Use the search feature to learn more about it) ... It is attached between the inverter and car battery. It sees the ignition to the car is cut. It will keep the inverter powered and send a shutdown command to the PC. You know it takes 10 seconds to shut the PC down, so a timer on the SC is set to 10 seconds. After 10 seconds, the power to the inverter is cut and everything is off.

    I could be wrond about a few of the SC details, but I haven't received mine yet, just going from what I read on postings.

    What kind of power supply you got running? You need nothing more than 150 watts. Even a standard 150W PS is less than $10. Use the instead of a 250W or 300W PS that's standard in most PCs.

    Search the forums for words like 'inverter' 'power supply' 'shutdown controller' and I assure you all questions will be answered.

    Hope this helps,
    5.6" Indash LCD | Sony MDX-610 HU | Sony XA-300 (USB Audio!)
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    • #3

      I did do a search and still came up with more questions
      This stuff is confusing a little

      The power supply i have in the pc now is a HiPro
      it says max 95W so I'm guessing I'm good to go with that one

      The type of inverter I'm talking is like the one at radio shack

      Can't I just attach it to my battery or do I need relays etc.

      I know I need to fuse the line, which I plan to do right at the battery and right before the inverter

      I'll add a shutdown controller later
      I just want to make sure I dont blow something up hahah