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  • Power Options for a Noob

    Hi,
    I am looking for power options for a car pc. I would rather not plug into the car's power as I already have quite a bit running through the cigarette lighter - PDA Sat Nav, phone charger and hands free kit.

    I had an idea of using one or two of those solar powered battery chargers and a second battery in the boot. I have also read on hear about split charging which could also possible be a solution.

    could anybody give me some information on whether either of these options are feasible and any more information or advice you may have.

    thanks

  • #2
    Do a search for "tank circuit"
    EPIA Nehemiah M10k, M1-ATX, 20GB 4200 RPM 2.5", 256MB RAM, Win XP Home, Gyration RF Keyboard & Mouse, Zoltrix Nightingale Optical 4.1 PCI Sound Card, Lilliput 619GL-70NP, XM-PCR w/ optical upgrade, Garmin GPS-25LVS, Microsoft MN-710 USB Wireless NIC

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    • #3
      will do - sounds cool!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Gillas
        Hi,
        I am looking for power options for a car pc. I would rather not plug into the car's power as I already have quite a bit running through the cigarette lighter - PDA Sat Nav, phone charger and hands free kit.

        I had an idea of using one or two of those solar powered battery chargers and a second battery in the boot. I have also read on hear about split charging which could also possible be a solution.

        could anybody give me some information on whether either of these options are feasible and any more information or advice you may have.

        thanks
        What the hell do you mean by "rather not plug into the cars power" Where the hell else are you gonna get power for your computer from. Yes, I would not take power from the cigarette lighter plug (which appears to be overloaded already in your car) but the alternator is more the capable of providing the power you need for everything. You must get power from the battery. A carputer will PROBABLY not be able to run off of solar power with out a lot of panels, and lots of cash, solar panels are not cheap at all.

        A second battery is possible, though not needed at all. And, the circuit for a second battery is NOT a tank circuit, it is a battery isolator. A tank circuit was used int he past to keep the computer from rebooting when the voltage dropped in the car from cranking.

        P.S. Read this

        http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=51039
        Then this
        http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ighlight=power
        and of course, this one is always nice
        http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=51489
        ...I love the French language...especially to curse with...Nom de Dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperies de connards d'enculés de ta mère. You see, it's like wiping your *** with silk, I love it.

        Comment


        • #5
          well if and when you put your carpc in you wont need your pda satnav and handsfree kit - if you do your setup right the pc will do everything you need.

          Comment


          • #6
            Ok, after chatting to a guy at work it seems that what I need is a split charger like those used in motor homes and caravans (RV's and trailers). he also mentioned that since I have a towbar on my car that I already have one of these.

            Now my question focuses around this does anybody know whethet the split charger here would be able to charge something like a small car or scooter battery and then I can just run the PC from that? as far as I can see it should, as you can charge a large car battery in your caravan and run fridges, lights and tv's etc. which is surely more of a power drain than a mini-itx PC!

            once again thanks for all the info.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Gillas
              Ok, after chatting to a guy at work it seems that what I need is a split charger like those used in motor homes and caravans (RV's and trailers). he also mentioned that since I have a towbar on my car that I already have one of these.

              Now my question focuses around this does anybody know whethet the split charger here would be able to charge something like a small car or scooter battery and then I can just run the PC from that? as far as I can see it should, as you can charge a large car battery in your caravan and run fridges, lights and tv's etc. which is surely more of a power drain than a mini-itx PC!

              once again thanks for all the info.

              First of all, just because you have a tow bar doesn't mean you have a 'split charger"

              Next, you are totally missing the point about powering your computer. WHY DO YOU NEED/WANT A SECOND BATTERY. You don't need it. you need a DC-DC computer power supply, or an AC-DC computer power supply with an inverter, connected to the alternator in your car. NOT AN EXTRA BATTERY.

              Michael
              ...I love the French language...especially to curse with...Nom de Dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperies de connards d'enculés de ta mère. You see, it's like wiping your *** with silk, I love it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hey, I know why I want a second battery!

                I want to keep my carputer running while I go shopping in and out of stores for a couple hours. At 35/40 watts, I don't know if the battery will last. Besides, it's hard on the battery. I need to replace my battery, and I've only had it two years, just from leaving my MP3 player and radar detector plugged in overnight. Right now, it barely cranks when it's cold.

                Also, I want to be able to suspend to RAM overnight, which also pulls a little electricity.

                So, I plan on putting an auxiliary deep-cycle battery in the trunk, running off a battery isolator circuit relayed through the ignition switch.

                However, since I don't really know how to do it or what to buy, I'm watching this thread with a great deal of interest.

                Christopher Jastram
                cej102937

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by cjastram
                  Hey, I know why I want a second battery!

                  I want to keep my carputer running while I go shopping in and out of stores for a couple hours. At 35/40 watts, I don't know if the battery will last. Besides, it's hard on the battery. I need to replace my battery, and I've only had it two years, just from leaving my MP3 player and radar detector plugged in overnight. Right now, it barely cranks when it's cold.

                  Also, I want to be able to suspend to RAM overnight, which also pulls a little electricity.

                  So, I plan on putting an auxiliary deep-cycle battery in the trunk, running off a battery isolator circuit relayed through the ignition switch.

                  However, since I don't really know how to do it or what to buy, I'm watching this thread with a great deal of interest.

                  Christopher Jastram
                  cej102937
                  For what reason do you want top keep your computer running while you are shopping?

                  I understand the suspend to RAM, though I personaly think it is a bad idea and not needed, but keeping it running while shopping, that makes no sense.

                  A second battery is very simple to add, though it adds wheight to a car, requires additional wiring and componenets.

                  First, go to an RV shop, or shop online at an RV supply site, and purchase a battery isolator. Then, mount your secondary battery. Then, connect the second battery to the first battery through the isolator. The isolator should have instructions. Then, connect your carputer DC-DC or inverter and AC-DC PS to the second battery.

                  Am I missing something, because I just don't see why this is a difficult concept. Connecting a carputer to a second battery is just like connecting it to a cars battery when there is only one, except it requires an isolator (which has been mentioned on this site many times, and in this thread)

                  Michael
                  ...I love the French language...especially to curse with...Nom de Dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperies de connards d'enculés de ta mère. You see, it's like wiping your *** with silk, I love it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I just don't want a potential flat battery just because the PC stalled on shutdown or something. if I had the PC on its own seperate battery all I would have to worry about would be the second battery going flat. and after I found out that the second (grey) socket on the towbar wiring was for split charging a second battery I thought why not use it?

                    Since I will not be fitting a touchscreen to the pc yet I will have limited control over the PC and for the first few months it will simply be set up to run MP3's.

                    perhaps this will help explain my point and question

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gillas
                      I just don't want a potential flat battery just because the PC stalled on shutdown or something. if I had the PC on its own seperate battery all I would have to worry about would be the second battery going flat. and after I found out that the second (grey) socket on the towbar wiring was for split charging a second battery I thought why not use it?

                      Since I will not be fitting a touchscreen to the pc yet I will have limited control over the PC and for the first few months it will simply be set up to run MP3's.

                      perhaps this will help explain my point and question
                      Okay, I understand your point and concern now. Just so you know, Most DC-DC PS's have a voltage sense that turns off ALL POWER to the computer when the battery voltage reaches a voltage that you set, and/or they do a "hard" shutdown, cutting all power after X amount of seconds or minutes. Both of those features are also built into MOST if not all Shutdown controlers.

                      Since your fear is a flat battery, you have other options then a second battery, which I might add, will add much more qeight to your car, and probably be as expensive as a Shut Down Controller (SDC).

                      Do a search on the forums for SDC and you should find loads of info, and also check out the MP3CAR.com store for SDCs, there are several choices.

                      With out more information about your particular setup, specifically, how you plan to power your carputer, this one will work very well for your needs, and is surely cheaper and easier to install then a second battery. http://www.mp3car.com/store/product_...products_id=58

                      Michael
                      ...I love the French language...especially to curse with...Nom de Dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperies de connards d'enculés de ta mère. You see, it's like wiping your *** with silk, I love it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        thanks for the info. maybe I am going over the top a little but as I know very little expereince of car electrics I would prefer to be safe than sorry. I was looking at this power supply http://www.mp3car.com/store/product_...products_id=32 for the project as it has all the regulated voltage and shutdown type features. unless of course there is a cheaper and perhaps lower wattage alternative that would be better. I was looking to use a moped or very small car battery and as I drive a family saloon weight should not be too much of a problem.

                        In any case do you think I could get away with using the towbar power cable Idea or would I definitly need to run a bigger cable to the battery?

                        Thanks for all the info

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Gillas
                          thanks for the info. maybe I am going over the top a little but as I know very little expereince of car electrics I would prefer to be safe than sorry. I was looking at this power supply http://www.mp3car.com/store/product_...products_id=32 for the project as it has all the regulated voltage and shutdown type features. unless of course there is a cheaper and perhaps lower wattage alternative that would be better. I was looking to use a moped or very small car battery and as I drive a family saloon weight should not be too much of a problem.

                          In any case do you think I could get away with using the towbar power cable Idea or would I definitly need to run a bigger cable to the battery?

                          Thanks for all the info

                          First of all, the Opus150 right now, is the best DC-DC PS out there, in my opinion. You will not have any problems with flat batteries with that unit, as long as it is set correctly. Opus also has a 120 and a 90 I believe, and they are cheaper, but use of a lower wattage PS will depend on your particular carputer setup. Search the forum for "power calculator" or something to that affect, and you will find a link to determine the amount of wattage your system will work. Also keep in mind that the wattage per rail (5v, 12v, 3.3v) can not be exceeded, so even if say your system is under 90 watts, if it draws 80 watts on the 5 volt rail, it won't work (you will never have 80 watts on a 5 volt rail, but you can exceed the individual rails power if you are not careful).

                          Also realize that you will still need something to power your carputer, whether you use a second battery or not. The second battery WILL NOT replace the carputers PS, so, the battery and wire is not needed, and will just amount to extra wheight, complexity, and cost since the Opus, or if you choose an inverter, AC-DC PS, and an SDC is all you need to keep your battery from going flat.

                          As for the wire question, with out knowing more about the towbar, wiring, and the power splitter, I can;t answer that question.

                          Michael

                          EDIT: Here is a power calculator for you. Also keep in mind that the CPU and MB wattage must be taken into account, but this should get you very close to wattage requirement.
                          http://www.ohmygodmyarmfelloff.com/MP3Car/PSUpower.asp
                          ...I love the French language...especially to curse with...Nom de Dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperies de connards d'enculés de ta mère. You see, it's like wiping your *** with silk, I love it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks, that's great. so if I was to wire straight to the cars battery then into the opus is that all that is required and how does the opus connect to the cars ignition?. also for testing purposes with this opus PSU could I just connect straight to a car battery for testing that everything is connected and load software etc in my office?

                            many thanks.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gillas
                              Thanks, that's great. so if I was to wire straight to the cars battery then into the opus is that all that is required and how does the opus connect to the cars ignition?. also for testing purposes with this opus PSU could I just connect straight to a car battery for testing that everything is connected and load software etc in my office?

                              many thanks.

                              Your welcome.

                              Yes, the Opus goes straight to the car battery (through an appropriate sized fuse. Always fuse wires with in 1 foot of the battery). The opus has a connector on it with contacts for Battery +, Battery -, and for accessory/ignition. You take ignition/accessory from the fuse box from a fuse that has no power then the car is off, and power while the car is running. The Opus does the rest.

                              You can test the opus and your computer from a car battery, but it will run it down VERY quickly because it draws about 15 amps of power when running full steam. You can test the unit indoors either by connecting the Opus to an AD-DC computer PS (there are ways to do it, just search google or/and this forum) OR, you can just do all the SW install and system testing with a regular AC-DC Computer PS (with out using the OPUS) connected to your carputer MB in your office or home, and then take the carputer to the car, and connect it to the Opus to confirm everything works in the car. Trust me, the Opus is least likely to be a source of issues in the system.

                              Michael
                              ...I love the French language...especially to curse with...Nom de Dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperies de connards d'enculés de ta mère. You see, it's like wiping your *** with silk, I love it.

                              Comment

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