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FAQ/ Newbies guide to Power supplies.

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  • FAQ/ Newbies guide to Power supplies.

    Okay so just what are the issues that need to be considered here?
    Normal PC all you have to worry about is will your PSU kick out enough current at the various voltages to keep all your random bits of kit running.

    With a carputer things are more complicated. I know there's the voltage srop when the starter motor fires your engine up and all sorts of other messy voltage drops/spikes to deal with.

    Then there's the issue of running out of battery power and having the thing go flat on you. People have suggested all sorts for this like shutting the carputer down or auto switching to a backup.

    Which PSUs offer what options for these?
    Are there more complications I've missed?
    At the risk of starting a holy war is there a clear 'best' PSU out there at the moment?

  • #2
    This has been rehashed over and over and over. Use the search tool.
    The Opus 150w unit is the p0referred power supply around, but there are others that have been used with great success as well.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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    • #3
      My opinion


      Garry
      Co-Developer of A.I.M.E.E
      www.aimee.cc

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      • #4
        I was hoping to gather the information into one stickyable thread. With hopes of saving it being rehashed again.

        EDIT:
        Almost exactly as has been done by Confused.

        Shutting up now.

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        • #5
          I don't agree with Confused with everything he said about the inverter for the following reasons:
          1) Many inverters survive crank
          2) Not everyone has noise problems from an inverter
          3) DC-DC are limited in usage
          4) The SDC in the Opus and other PSUs are not very flexible
          5) Having 120v is useful for other things than just the PC
          6) While it's true an inverter doesn't have a shutdown controller, one can be added and the whole setup is cheaper and more versitale and more flixible than an Opus or other DC-DC PSU.
          7) Everything is now available to make a setup more than equal to an Opus using an inverter-based setup, at lower cost, and highly reliable.

          Just my opinion , And just providing a different point of view, as I use an inverter and our own CarPC Pro v2.4 Power Controller and wouldn't trade it for an Opus - it couldn't power my PC or give me the options I want/need.

          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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          • #6
            Hi KyferEz.

            I agree with you that Inverters are the way to go if you want lots of power and to be sure everything will work as expected.

            However, using an inverter setup wastes far more power than a DC-DC setup. In a vehicle, that is unacceptable for a long term solution.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Blinky13
              Hi KyferEz.

              I agree with you that Inverters are the way to go if you want lots of power and to be sure everything will work as expected.

              However, using an inverter setup wastes far more power than a DC-DC setup. In a vehicle, that is unacceptable for a long term solution.
              I agree that an inverter setup wastes power, however I argue that for most people it is a non-issue.

              And here's why:
              Your altenator is, in most cases, generating excess power. You might as well use it. It's not like it is going to cost you money to use that power. Ok, it may cost you a few cents a month or less when compared with running an Opus in gas mileage, but that is negligable.

              When considering a large power hungry setup, and an inverter setup is compared with the Opus, the biggest consideration is constantly worrying about not having enough power in the PSU to turn on that last USB device, or worrying about frying it because you are trying to power too much off it. That considered, I'll keep my inverter. It keeps running and running .

              Don't get me wrong, Opus is great for small systems, albeit expensive. I just don't have a small system, and won't recommend it for a P4, Athlon 64, or anything over a Athlon XP 2000+. And I won't recommend it for an Athlon XP / MP if they want things like CDRW, more than 2USB devices, more than 1 HD, etc.

              IMHO, the Opus is best suited for P3, AMD Slot A CPUs, and the VIA Eden and similar setups.

              If you want to go DC-DC for more powerful systems, try the Keypower 250, or build the Sproggy. I don't because inefficience in the inverter doesn't bother me. I like having 120v, it's useful for more than my PC.

              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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              • #8
                I like the idea of an inverter as well, but why hasn't anyone suggested using a UPS yet? Simple, cheap, and a good way to avoid the engine shutdown woes.
                Pick up a 350Va unit for like $25 off of ebay and you're set - give you like 10-15 mins of battery backup, and act like a line filter for your voltage too.

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                • #9
                  Well, prolly because running most UPS units off a standard inverter (which outputs a modified sine wave) is not feasible. In most instances, to run a UPS off an inverter, you must use a pure sine wave inverter (quite a bit more expensive). However, that said, some inverters will work off a modified sine wave inverter, but they must have a sensitivity setting that can be changed.

                  You can do it the other way - allowing the ups to always run off the battery backup circuit (which would be hooked up to your car's battery instead of a small backup battery), but this doesn't work with all UPS's, as some require AC to be present and then removed before they will activate the battery backup circuit.

                  All this makes it an uncommon solution, but yes, it is another possibility.

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

                  Comment

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