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  • Fuse Panel Question

    Hello,

    Assuming that all the components in my carputer project requires 12VDC could I just use the accessorie line in my fuse block to power these components? I would also have inline fuses to each accessorie for added protection. I.e. Do I need to worry about power regulation, etc? My system also doesn't require to be started with the ignition.

    Thanks,
    Aero

  • #2
    If you are referring to computer accessories, you definitely want them on a regulated 12vdc, not straight from the car's electrical system (which fluctuates wildly). If these are non-pc accessories, the fuse box is a good place to get constant and switched 12v from. HOWEVER... When connecting a wire, make sure you put it on the hot side of the fuse holder. In other words, take the fuse out and see which contact has the juice. Connect to that one. Otherwise, whatever you connect is going to add to the circuit that fuse is protecting and likely blow that fuse. Example: you need a constant power source, you find your headlights fuse always has power and has a 20amp fuse. If you connect on the fused side, when your component is on, it's current (say, 5amps) + the headlights' current (say 15amps) is what will go through the fuse. You may blow the fuse and lose your headlights. But connect the component to the side wired to the battery and it will have constant power but NOT add to the draw in the fuse. Since you said you would have inline fuses, you'll still be protected no matter what.

    Also, consider using the 12vdc provided by your power supply as your regulated 12v for other things. A good example is many people on here connect the power wire of their lcd monitors to the computer power supply. This way the monitor is turned off with the pc, plus it gets a regulated 12vdc. Food for thought.

    -Chosen1
    I think it's wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the info. I'd like to add some more details to my particular setup and get your thoughts on that. The computer I'm using is small form factor computer the size of a video cassette and it doesn't have a power supply that I can tap into. It takes 5VDC and I have an adaptor for it that was meant to be plugged into the cig lighter. I feel I can safely wire that device to the accessory line (correct me if I'm wrong). Now, the LCD is the other device that needs power and I thought since its input can be from 11 - 36 VDC (something like that) I could power it directly from the accessory line. I have two reversed video cameras that take 12VDC aswell but I think they need to be protected from seeing more then 12VDC. Those are really the only parts of the system that needs power. Any of my other devices are USB powered.

      By the sounds of it and to be on the safe side, I should purchase something that specifically takes power from a car system and provides a constant 12VDC. I've seen some people making there own on this board. What I've been working on is like a wiring harness of sorts. I have a terminal block that I planned on bringing the 12V from the acc line to and then have my devices wired to the terminal block. It sounds like it would be simple and best if I put a regulator between my acc line and my terminal block. That way I protect all of the devices, with out buying an adapter for each one.

      Does anyone have any recommendations on what would be best for my setup?

      Thanks Again,
      Aero

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      • #4
        I'm not an electrical guy so I'm not sure if I need a regulator, power supply or a filter (if that makes sense). Or any combinations of those.

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        • #5
          For the 12 V devices, a DC-DC converter may be needed. Look for one that takes 9-18 volts as an input and provides 12V output.
          Simple power regulator chips require a 3Volt drop, so they are out of the question.
          The monitor might as well be powered from an ACC wire.

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          • #6
            there is also no need to go off the fuse panel.. you can.. or you can just buy an inline fuse
            '98 Explorer Sport
            http://mp3car.zcentric.com (down atm)
            AMD 800mhz 192megs RAM 60gig hard drive 9 inch widescreen VGA
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            • #7
              I planned on using one of those Add-a-circuits for making it simple. There would be no splicing etc.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by King_Aero
                The computer I'm using is small form factor computer the size of a video cassette and it doesn't have a power supply that I can tap into. It takes 5VDC and I have an adaptor for it that was meant to be plugged into the cig lighter. I feel I can safely wire that device to the accessory line (correct me if I'm wrong).
                Sure, just cut off the Cig Lighter adapter, strip the ends of the wires, and connect the leads to your accessory line.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by P4_2.66GHz
                  For the 12 V devices, a DC-DC converter may be needed. Look for one that takes 9-18 volts as an input and provides 12V output.
                  Simple power regulator chips require a 3Volt drop, so they are out of the question.
                  The monitor might as well be powered from an ACC wire.
                  So I could have a DC-DC converter between my Add-a-circuit and my terminal block and that would provide 12VDC to my system. Now how would a tank circuit fit into this picture?

                  Aero

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                  • #10
                    What's a tank circuit?
                    Sorry, I am not sure what the term is used for.

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                    • #11
                      I've heard the term used when describing how to survive "the crank". I've gotten the impression that its a battery, which is why it sounds funny to call it a circuit.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by King_Aero
                        I've heard the term used when describing how to survive "the crank". I've gotten the impression that its a battery, which is why it sounds funny to call it a circuit.
                        So, we both don't know what we're talking about.

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                        • #13
                          naw i tank circuit is not a battery. It is a large capacitor that has some diodes in it. The goal is to charge the cap with enough juice so your inverter can survive the crack of your car.. Ie when you start the car. If you have an inverter hooked up to your batter and start the car the voltage drops because your car needs all the amps the battery can give to start up the car. So most inverters have a low voltage shutoff.. so thats why inverters do not survive a crank
                          '98 Explorer Sport
                          http://mp3car.zcentric.com (down atm)
                          AMD 800mhz 192megs RAM 60gig hard drive 9 inch widescreen VGA
                          80% done

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                          • #14
                            What I would do is add a 5V relay that would trigger power to a DC-DC converter when your PC turns on. Use the stabilized power to feed your 12V cameras.
                            That's a simple solution without going into too much into the details of your setup.

                            How do you plan to turn on/off your system? Power from the on/off controller may be used to run the DC-DC converter.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by hijinks21
                              naw i tank circuit is not a battery. It is a large capacitor that has some diodes in it. The goal is to charge the cap with enough juice so your inverter can survive the crack of your car.. Ie when you start the car. If you have an inverter hooked up to your batter and start the car the voltage drops because your car needs all the amps the battery can give to start up the car. So most inverters have a low voltage shutoff.. so thats why inverters do not survive a crank
                              Some serious diodes are needed to make it work. I tired it once, but with a battery, and the diodes were heating up.

                              I have found that using a 12V relay and a UPS battery does a similar trick. Since the voltage drops, relay releases the circuit and the alternative power is routed. My UPS battery is used to power my system when the car is off.

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