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  • Power Supply Options?

    I am planning out my car computer and need some advice on power supply. I will need to power an Asus nForce2 Motherboard (onboard video/sound/lan), Athlon 2000+, 7200RPM 80gb 3.5" harddrive, desktop dvd-rom drive, 4 fans, and some miscellaneous USB devices.

    From what I've read it seems I have 3 main options:

    A) Use the Opus 150W DC->DC power supply. This costs about $200

    B) Use this 250W DC->DC power supply: http://www.orbitmicro.com/products/p...2/KPDX250H.htm $180

    C) Use an inverter plus a regular ATX power supply. If I go this route I was thinking of getting the Coleman PowerMate 400/800 inverter.


    I have a few questions:

    1) Will the Opus 150W be enough power to run all my equipment. The guy at my local computer shop (who is fairly knowledgable) doesn't think it will be enough power.

    2) If I go option B or C I will need a separate shutdown/startup controller correct? I believe the Opus has one built-in. If so I was looking at this one: http://www.soltronixstore.com/Detail.bok?no=7 Has anybody used this before or know of any issues I should be aware of?

    3) Has anybody used the Coleman PowerMate Inverter before? Are there any issues I should be aware of?

    4) Will all the options survive cranking without rebooting the computer?

    Option A is $200
    Option B is $180 + $30 for shutdown controller
    Option C is $30 off eBay + $30 for shutdown controller + $25 for regular PSU

    Option B is only $10 more than the Opus and seems to be a better choice seeing how it puts out 100W more.

    Option C is less than half the price of options A or B, provides up to 400W of power, and the only downside I know of is its less efficient. Are there any other pro's/con's I'm overlooking.

  • #2
    bump, does anybody have any answers/info about this?

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    • #3
      1) 150W should be enough, although your not going to be far off.
      2) Havent tried that particular SDC, but the ITPS sold in mp3car.com/sore certainly works well.
      3) Nope, but generally speaking most inverters are prety simple bits of kit, you shouldnt have a problem.
      4) Opus will, B should do unless your voltage drops unusually low, C may do depending on your inverters lowest allowable voltage, if not, tank circuits are pretty easy to use and will only cost you around $30 to survive crank.

      TBH, i would go for the inverter route, its the best value and despite all the bad press ive heard and seen a lot f good things from inverter based setups.

      Inefficiency is true, but your alternator should be able to handle it and as long as you use 1 of your 4 fans for inverter cooling you shouldnt have a problem.

      HTH
      Mods: 18" Boss rims,Twin custom stainless exhaust,cold air induction.
      Sound: Pioneer 7400 HU & 6x9's,12" Vibe Sub,600W Kenwood amp.
      CarPC: MicroATX, Inverter, WinTV, Lilliput 7", USB GPS
      http://www.no1knows.com/galleries/

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      • #4
        no1knows is probably right, I would say you would be just about OK with an Opus - though you might want to swap a few items for lower-power to be on the safe side, and spec everything properly and find the average/max power consumption for your devices first and add them up.

        Personally the invertor was a period in my life I would rather forget. Beeping, buzzing, fuses going, ****ing around with circuits for switching on/off - it's a lot of trouble unless you are just looking for a PC that sits there and does nothing more.

        the opus does make it easy to get the Car PC to work 'properly' - Mine spends all day in standby mode and when i turn the key it's there within a second or two playing my music - when I turn the ignition off it goes into standby. (am using a Mini-ITX tho) but it is down to what you're after - A PC unit that works in the car, or a 'car-puter' that works with the car, or of course somewhere in between. The PSU is one part of that balance.
        Ford Focus MP3 : www.stevieg.org/carpc Blog Updated 29 January 2009!
        Car PC Status: Complete - Undergoing Software Redevelopment

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        • #5
          beeping, buzzing, fuses going, ****ing arround.... These are a common occurence only with a poor inverter setup. this is not a flame- it took me many tries to get my setup perfected.

          On that note, optical, I have the 400/800 watt coleman. It's been banished to powering the mini fridge. It's crap for powering electronics- 'square wave'. There's nothing wrong with the inverter route, and it can be cheaper. if you want to learn more, there was a long thread about it that will surely turn up in a search. Do not use the coleman! this doesn't mean do not use an inverter.

          If money's no object, take the opus. I would choose inverter over PW any day, though.
          car computer rev 5: 8" lilliput and usual suspects

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          • #6
            robbiepw - that's why I got the Opus - just too much messing around to get things right - I didn't even know what a square wave was until after I'd ditched invertors!

            I'd recommend anyone who does go down the invertor route - do you're research first - as I didn't and ended up getting annoyed again and again!
            Ford Focus MP3 : www.stevieg.org/carpc Blog Updated 29 January 2009!
            Car PC Status: Complete - Undergoing Software Redevelopment

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by robiewp
              beeping, buzzing, fuses going, ****ing arround.... These are a common occurence only with a poor inverter setup. this is not a flame- it took me many tries to get my setup perfected.

              On that note, optical, I have the 400/800 watt coleman. It's been banished to powering the mini fridge. It's crap for powering electronics- 'square wave'. There's nothing wrong with the inverter route, and it can be cheaper. if you want to learn more, there was a long thread about it that will surely turn up in a search. Do not use the coleman! this doesn't mean do not use an inverter.

              If money's no object, take the opus. I would choose inverter over PW any day, though.
              Which inverter do you use for your computer? Also, if you happen to have a link to the thread you mentioned I would be grateful. Searching for 'inverter" produces WAY too many results to go through them all.

              Edit: My concern over the Opus is not the cost, but the power output. I am concerned that it will not be enough to power all my PC components (as I mentioned, a very knowledgable computer tech seemed quite certain it would not be enough to run my setup).

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              • #8
                I think he was referring to this thread:
                http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=28006

                Comment


                • #9
                  You may try to go with Athlon XP-M CPUs instead of regular XP. Those run lower power (45W) for XP-M 2500+ Barton core.
                  2004 Matrix XR A7N8X-VM/400 AMD XP-M 2500+, DS-ATX
                  89 Supra Turbo P3 [email protected]/Abit BE6 II, Alpine M-BUS Car2PC.
                  Y2K Accord Dell GX150
                  RoadRunner is the best FE PERIOD
                  EmoRebellion is a SCAMMER

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                  • #10
                    How about the Maestros PSU 145w
                    CarPC status: iPod, 3,456,217 songs so **** you

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