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  • Inverter shuts down...need some help

    Hello.
    My carputer is 99% finished, all the modeling and stuff is done, the pc is in the rear (and don't misunderstand this).
    Everything works fine for more or less 10 mins but after this period the inverter shuts down.

    My setup includes:
    1x300W (600W peak) inverter

    Pentium 4 system with 2 hdd ata133 (big ones), 2 cooling fans (cpu & hdd), 1 wifi pci adapter, 1 tvfm card, 512mb ram, 1dvd-rom (notebook) on USB and also the lilliput is powered by the pc-PSU which is a 300W psu.

    I tried switching it on again after 10 minutes or so had passed and this time it lasted 3 minutes or so before shutting down again.
    I assume the shutdown occurs because the battery voltage goes too low; the inverter has a circuit protection that senses the battery voltage and turns off when it gets below 10v avoiding me to have to walk a long distance .

    What can I do to fix this?
    Would moving to a Pentium 3, only 1hdd, no pci cards solve the problem?
    Should i change alternator? If so how much does that cost (more or less)?

    My car is a vauxhall calibra 2000 16v with a 70Ah battery (which i hoped would hold such power-hunger) and the inverter is directly hooked to the battery with big cables (had to drill holes in my car argh!) - keep in mind that my car also powers my head unit which is a pioneer deh-p5100R (45Wx4)

    Please give us some idea!!
    -M
    My Carputer: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=48014

  • #2
    try a higher powered inverter, i thought a 300 watt inverter would work for a 300 watt PSU like you but after reading around it looks a 300 watt PSU actually draws a lot more but it only outputs 300 watts. my $150 retail (got it for a lot cheaper) monster 300 watt inverter kept dying with my PC but working with everything else...got a refurb Xanex or something 700 watt one at Fry's instead and its working great!

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    • #3
      humm... i think it is shutting down because the alternator can't provider the power, so increasing the power drainage wouldn't benefit it in any way...
      My Carputer: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=48014

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      • #4
        Inverter overheat protection shutdown????
        When it shutdown, did you check how hot it is?
        Some inverter will beep if low voltage is detect or overheated.
        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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        • #5
          tested, its just mildly warm.
          My Carputer: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=48014

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          • #6
            The inverter is most likely to small. I highly doubt that your alternator isn't putting out enough current. If you figure 60% efficency in the inverter it is still only pulling at max 35 amps. Which should be within what your alternator can generate, unless it's a classic VW Bus or something. Also, the inverter won't draw directly from the alternator, it will pull any extra power that it needs that the alternator can't generate from the battery until the battery is depleted to the point that it's on par with the alternator.

            Try a larger inverter. As your PSU is heating up, it starts to suck more power. Thats probably what is happening. It's pulling more than 300 watts because it's not 100% effecient. Thus your inverter going into protect mode.

            Hope this solves your problems.

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            • #7
              Good ideas here. Add to the list the possibility that the 12v power wires going to the inverter may also be overheating and lowering the voltage below the cutoff point.

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              • #8
                thanks for the suggestions, i will try a bigger inverter and then let you know.
                My Carputer: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=48014

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hey,

                  I have the same problem. My inverter shuts down after about 20-30 mins!

                  Its not the inverter as I have my computer running off a 75 watt inverter and it works no prob (its hardwired into my car, had it before the carputer), Except for when I come to a stop or if I slow down, it starts to "whine"

                  I installed a 400 watt inverter through a ghetto relay startup/shutdown controller, and im guessing its that.

                  I tihnk the relays get "hot" after 20 mins or so, is that possible? Or maybe its a grounding issue? I grounded it in the middle of the car close to my shift stick (there was a screw there, to hold the plastic covering)


                  Anyways, if anyone could give me some ideas it would be apprechiated

                  Thanks

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                  • #10
                    Again, the wires carrying the power to the inverter could be overheating and causing voltage drop due to increased resistance. This includes relays, terminal connectors, anything carrying power. Just measure the voltage at the inverter just before it shuts down, but not after (there will be no voltage drop after it shuts down because almost no current will be flowing) and if it is too low, you probably have wires overheating somewhere.

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                    • #11
                      my 800/1600W inverter is doing this with my setup....which is really kind of scaring me. Either I'm using the least efficient power supply (generic 300W currently) known to man, or I have a really crappy inverter...or both

                      I'm not sure if i wanna go to a 250W PSU and inverter, or just break down and try an opus. i don't wanna spend $160+ though if my celeron4-based system is going to draw more. I've read that a typical system will draw less than 150....but I'm not sure if whoever said that is using a full-powered PC and motherboard in those calculations...
                      Celeron 2.4, MSI i865 mobo, 512MB RAM, AIW 9100 Pro, SB Live 24bit, Netgear 802.11b/g, 80GB WD 7.2k 8MB, DVD/CD-RW, FDD/card reader, 2 80mm fans, USB KB+Mouse, MS GPS, ATi remote, 300W PSU, custom Lexan case, Dynamix 7" touchscreen LCD, XP Home

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                      • #12
                        I've said something like that many times and I base it on a full desktop system. I run a full sized nf7-s mobo, gig of 3200, 2500 running at 200 fsb, gf4, 80 gig hdd, wifi, lilliput, and gps on a 350 watt psu. Power consumption stays under 10 amps at 12.5 volts. That's 125 watts, and a celeron will have a fraction of the performance and draw a fraction of the power. However, it seems that the problem that most run in to with the opus is not going over the max watts, but going over on the 5v rail. At least that's what I've seen and speculated...

                        Anyway, there's no reason for you to not have your inverter setup working well. It's probably not your inverter or your power supply. Check your setup. Something overheating is the most likely suspect. (don't forget to check wires 'n stuff...) If you find no problems, exchange the inverter for a new one just to be sure.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by numbers
                          Again, the wires carrying the power to the inverter could be overheating and causing voltage drop due to increased resistance. This includes relays, terminal connectors, anything carrying power. Just measure the voltage at the inverter just before it shuts down, but not after (there will be no voltage drop after it shuts down because almost no current will be flowing) and if it is too low, you probably have wires overheating somewhere.
                          Thanks for your help. I bought some 8 guage wire for the inverter, but its going into the relays (probably around 16 guage) im guessing that is the problem.... Im going to have to take everything out of my Shutdown controller "box" and take a look.

                          Thanks again!

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                          • #14
                            i join the ranks of these dudes w/inverter shutting down....

                            i currently run 4g to a distro box under my seat. 8g goes to the cargo area in the suv, which splits 8gauge to relays/inverter etc etc.

                            my problem is when i have the a/c running at a good push for about 40 minutes with the pc on. the thing crashes/faults/etc. Is this still the same issue? i can rev the engine and that sometimes resolves the problem.

                            sometimes the voltage isnt enough when i turn the car on, and the inverter freaks the hell out... i just increased the delay on my sdc, that helped that problem.
                            [4Runna]

                            next - wifi

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                            • #15
                              heh I just decided an opus is a better fit anyway and ordered one...

                              i probably should start a new thread about it, but if I need to, would I be able to run 2 power supplies, like the opus 150 and maybe an opus 80 (the +12 and +5 one)? I dunno if there's more to it than just running the remote wire for the 80w one, or if i'd need to split a cable for the turn-on signal, or what...I dunno...

                              As for cooling, i haven't had a problem with it in a desktop that was designed long before P4's were out, with horrible cooling, with the celeron at the time overclocked an extra 500MHz and running almost constantly for months under full 100% load. My case, while very large compared to some of what I see here, is open and has i feel pretty good airflow. I'll double-check the cables, but they all were fine before...but i should just wait for the opus to come in and do testing from there. i've got a 13.8VDC adaptor in my room for powering my car amps on my home PC (Gotta have some real subs (1x 12", 2x10"), not those wimpy little computer subs)...anyway, that'll let me test with the opus at home....without going to the car all the time to test...

                              ok I know I hijacked this...sorry...
                              Celeron 2.4, MSI i865 mobo, 512MB RAM, AIW 9100 Pro, SB Live 24bit, Netgear 802.11b/g, 80GB WD 7.2k 8MB, DVD/CD-RW, FDD/card reader, 2 80mm fans, USB KB+Mouse, MS GPS, ATi remote, 300W PSU, custom Lexan case, Dynamix 7" touchscreen LCD, XP Home

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