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Wiring the Car - Power to the CarPC / Display - Considerations?

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  • Wiring the Car - Power to the CarPC / Display - Considerations?

    Hi guys,

    This is my first Post, however I've been following the forum for some time.

    Currently I'm focusing on wiring the car up, to power the CarPC setup. Would a 40A (480W) Amplifier Wiring Kit (6mm2 gauge) be ample, from the car battery? This live + feed will be routed through the car to the rear/boot, where the CarPC will be installed.

    Are there other considerations I should take into account while adding the power wiring into the car at this point?
    Dont want to put this in only to find I've not factored in an additional lead here or there for some other critical component!

    For example, whats going to be the most appropriate way to power the dash mounted (Lilliput) touch screen? Switched live feed from somewhere?

    Look forward to feedback. Great to be onboard.

  • #2
    Providing an Ignition / Switched live...

    In addition to the above - the Switched/Ignition Live feed...

    I'm planning to take a (switched) power feed from a vacant fuse holder in the Fuse box of my car.
    I can then split this feed using a power 'distribution block' so one feed goes to the Touch screen (in the dash) with the other feed routed through the car to the rear / CarPC.

    Does this sound like a good way of doing it?

    Should I add a Fuse AFTER the power line coming off the Fuse Holder, or have 2 seperate Fuses after the power distribution block?
    I think I'm capable of doing this myself (save ALOT of money on labour for a 'stereo installer' to do it for me), but I dont want to make a mistake that melts something!


    • #3
      Many would add a second battery with an isolator (see UIBI - a relay controlled by the charge light circuit).

      Running a 480W RMS amp at full is like 2 to 6 sets of hibeams. How long will your main battery last until you can't crank? (Assuming it isn't charging?)

      IMHO, 6mm2 seems a bit low - unless it is not 480W RMS rating. (6mm2 ~10G. That's ~3mΩ per meter or a 3x40 = 120mV drop per meter at 40A.)
      If "music power", it's 240W. If "wank factor" power, the relationship to real power is arbitrary.
      However, I tend to use thicker gauges than others for common power wiring (HUs, lights, etc) - probably because I tend to design for less than a 0.5V drop, whereas many consider up to a 3V drop acceptable. (3V!!! Lose 1/4 the voltage and power in the wiring alone? And even a 0.5V drop in an inter-battery connection can be trouble...)


      • #4
        Hi OldSpark.

        All of your info above is great, very informative, I've been taking notes.

        I actually wont be incorporating an audio Amp initially (sorry if my initial post appeared that way), I was just referring to the gauge of wire to use to power the CarPC (looking at buying the wiring kit (aka "Amp wiring kit") to go from battery to boot/trunk.

        But saying the above, I would probably like to still incorporate an Amplifier at a later stage.
        At this point I just want to install a 'capable' gauge wiring kit into the car to power the CarPC.

        Looking at the M2 Power Supplies (140or 160W), it looks like a 200W wiring kit should be sufficient?

        Also, for the Ignition/Switched live, taken from the Fuse Box, I will split the feed using a power 'distribution block' so one + goes to the Touch screen (in the dash) with the other feed routed through the car to the rear / CarPC. Does this sound the usual way of doing things?


        • #5
          sounds kind of normal.. there are really 3 different ways to power the screen-- the first method is off the switched wire in the car, then there is connecting it to a constantly-powered wire(most screens will go into a ultra-low power standby mode when there is no signal), and the last, and most preferred method is to run the screen off the 12v line of the dc-dc power supply.
          My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
          "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"

          next project? subaru brz
          carpc undecided