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  • Making My Own Power Supply, need suggestions.

    So since I am not quite willing to fork over $1500+ for Pioneer AVIC-N1, I decided to put in a computer in my car and have more functionality than the Pioneer for less. And while I am still being cheap, I really did not enjoy the prices for DC-DC power supplies that I was seeing...
    Since I am graduating with EE degree in June (Zeus willing ) I am in need of a senior project, so I thought making my own power supply could kill two birds with one stone. My idea so far is to have a modular design, where I can add components to power more PC parts as well as anything else (RF transmitters, PDA chargers... let your imagination run). Of course that will also mean that the power will be scalable as well, the more "modules" I put in, the more powerful the supply will be. So that's what the idea is at right now.
    If anyone has anything else to add to the power supply idea to make it even more interesting, or some ideas regarding the whole carputer setup, i will be VERY HAPPY to hear them out. Can't say I will be able to implement many, but who knows, may be we will have a new product on our hands =D
    I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you an understanding.

  • #2
    Search for Mastero Sproggy DIY PSU.
    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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    • #3
      Have you searched the forum at all? This has been kicked around many times in many different ways on here.

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      • #4
        I have not searched quite dedicated my life to the search, but yes, I did search. I might not have seen every single one of the posts, but I looked at all the threads in this forum.
        Now in case you were wondering why people get offended with you, just read my original post and see how your response fits in. You will find that it doesn't, the message is of no help and just serves as an insult to my intelligence. You probably heard it before, if you have nothing good to say, don't say anything. As I previously mentioned in my other post, I expect more from you as someone who claims to be an engineer. So may be you are a good engineer, but for damn sure you are not a very considerate one.
        If you decide to post a response, please let it be something regarding the original question, not you trying to defend your "character." The only way you can do it is by being helpful.
        I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you an understanding.

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        • #5
          Thanks, this should be quite good for the beginning, if you find anything else, please let me know
          I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you an understanding.

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          • #6
            Now in case you were wondering why people get offended with you, just read my original post and see how your response fits in. You will find that it doesn't, the message is of no help and just serves as an insult to my intelligence.
            For starters, two people are offended with me from another thread where I plainly and thouroughly lay out the information disproving bogus information. I can't help that you take offense to this.

            You are also defensive about my comment asking if you had searched already. This is a fair question to ask. About one new guy a week comes in ready to take on the world and build a new supply.

            Had you spent any real time searching the past month or so of threads you would see these things:

            A running thread about a tank supply and all the issues associated with it
            Threads about using the carnetix supply with a sdc
            Threads where people ask about using linear regulators and can they parallel lots of them.
            A thread where a guy is attempting to take a battery and hook it directly to his mobo without any regulation (this was mentioned in the other thread).
            Umm...various discussion about inverters + AC supplies with some users having no problems at all and some users have ground loop issues.
            Threads about the original old school Sproggy supply.
            Two threads about two different versions of the original Sproggy supply being spearheaded by Mastero and Matrix.
            A few other ideas have been mentioned also.
            A thread by presslabs (I think this was his name) where he took an AC supply and heavily modified it to work with 12V DC.

            So instead of you searching and saying you liked this idea or that idea, I have now had to waste my time regurgitating all this for you, yet you are offended that I asked the most basic question common to all message boards and that is...did you search?

            I do like your idea about a modular design but as much as you apparently hate me and as much as I have talked about this very topic in this forum I wouldn't be suprised if you have stole this idea from me. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say you came up with it on your own and it is just a coincidence.

            If you are wanting to do this yourself then tackle the 12V line because it is the most difficult. You are limited to either a 2 stage boost + linear/buck topology, sepic, or flyback if you want to use simple switching regulators available from national, maxim, linear, etc. These are limited to about 5A per 'phase' (per regulator) heavily dependent on how low you can tolerate your input voltage being. Going higher in current requires additional regulators which adds cost and complexity.

            You can accomplish much higher power with forward converters on a per unit basis as the energy is stored in the magnetics of a transformer is more easily utilized at the cost of a more complex circuit.

            If you try and contain the all the high power (>150W) in one 'box' then eventually the added complexity of multiple simple switchers start to be more complex than a single forward converter.

            Of course this kicked off my idea about modularity because I wanted to keep the circuits simple, low cost, and easily adaptable to different configurations.

            I'll write more later perhaps...i'm tired.

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            • #7
              Alright, now this was rather helpful. I think you should reconsider about me "hating" you, since I was more taken aback by your tone than anything, this is not some kind of vendetta here, I am more than willing to listen to anyone's point of view, which is why I mentioned that I'd like to hear more from you. Also, I noticed that indeed there is someone that comes up with idea of building their own power supply all the time, the only differnce is that I am damn serious about it, I want to graduate and have some sort of working product that benefits me, not my professor.
              I've seen most of the threads you mentioned (MatrixPC pointed me in one of the directions) and found most of them either too simplistic or not exactly what I was going to do. So far my idea stands as mentioned in the original post, but I was wondering if anyone has some ideas they would like to voice (even if they have before) that I could implement in design of the power supply as well the whole carputer setup.
              Modularity is an idea that I got on my own, believe it or not, and apparently for EE's it is not that unusual of a thought, since my boss recommended that approach as well even before I told him my idea.
              I am as of yet barely familiar with forward converters and that's on my short list of things to learn, so I will need sometime to figure out how viable it is going to be for my design. I was hoping to start figuring out the basic setup before x-mas, but seems like my company decided to drop off all the late stuff in the next 3 weeks, so we will see how it goes.
              I appreciate the input, keep it coming
              I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you an understanding.

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              • #8
                I have to agree with MrP. As an owner of my own site with over 100,000 posts, we constantly remind people to use the search feature. And 99% of the time it's the newer board members that are told this. Generally the newer users do not know what topics have been discussed in the past, so it's natural that they ask some questions. When a user is told to do a search, it really means that the topic is not a new one and if you search you will find pleanty of answers to your questions. It's not meant to offend, but to inform.

                Anyhow, let's keep the thread on topic. I just wanted to say that being told to do a search is not meant to be offensive.

                I have an acquaintance that built a Mastero power supply, but it didn't go so well. From the sounds of it, he make a little popcorn when he plugged it in.
                Carputer progress meter: [-----|]
                Carputer gadget meter: [--|---]

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                • #9
                  How about a supply with better than 85 percent efficiency that can be built with common parts available at Radio Shack, or at least parts that are common enough that most electronics suppliers would carry them. Everyone who has come up with their own design has had to resort to using specialized components that one must beg for samples, or mail order. A supply with an option (module) with an adjustable output from say +3.3 to +19 Volts at a couple of amps to run peripheral devices would be nice too.

                  Best of luck with your design
                  Walt
                  Walts DC DC ATX Power Supply

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                  • #10
                    waltsongs, the components needed to properly build a PSU are simply not available at a radio shack, and many mid to small towns do not have any other source for electronic parts.

                    KyferEz
                    TheCarPCStore.com - Power Controllers (SDC), Inverters, Tank Circuit, GPS, OBDII, CarPCs, and more!
                    PSU Wattage Calculator
                    Electronics Calculators
                    Copper Wire Data

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                    • #11
                      I understand that, yet I was hoping that given the seriousness of the project (you know, I graduate or I do not) I would be given some credit that I searched prior to hitting people up with questions. Admitedly, I never found MrP's post on modular idea, I just have not got the time to search through every single thread, besides the idea on its own exists elsewhere, although strangely, not for PC enthusiasts. Apparently in computer world, "modular" power supply is one which has detachable wires.... Yes, I know, hard to get excited about.
                      As far as Mastero's power supply, I checked it out, and although it is informative, it is not quite what I was looking for.
                      I'd like to remind that I am looking not just for technical ideas, but conceptual ideas as well, whether it is the type of components used or the functions that will be available in it.
                      By the way, here is an idea that I have not seen yet, not fancy, but i like it. I was thinking that one of the modules can be built to accept Belkin charging connectors. Should make it a hell of a lot easier than buying a new charger for every phone/laptop/gadget that I or my friends get. I just paid $30 for by cell's car charger... I am bitter.
                      I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you an understanding.

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                      • #12
                        What role are the belkin connectors playing?

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                        • #13
                          The main feature that you need is auto shutdown, startup when car is turned off and on.
                          EPIA MII-1200, 512 MB Ram, Seagate 7200 RPM 160GB hard drive, Orinoco Gold with 5.5 dB external antenna, Lilliput 7" TS, DVD-ROM, M2-ATX, Rikaline 6010 GPS, Running Frodo Player
                          My Truckputer

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                          • #14
                            It's a very minor thing for the project, but Belkin has a Universal (more or less) adapter that can be used to charge a miriad different devices, and they sell a bunch of different tips to fit all these devices. http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProdu...duct_Id=168834
                            Just a silly add-on, but with my gadgetry multiplying, I might need something like that.
                            I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you an understanding.

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                            • #15
                              Yeah, I hope that in my pursuit for more features, I won't forget something like that...
                              I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you an understanding.

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