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  • Power setups that actually work...

    Reading this forum, it seems like everyone with a CarPC has trouble with powering it. I know I personally am having issues using a USDC/Inverter right now, and am looking at going with a DC-DC alternative. It seems like though, for the high price of the DC-DC power supplies (OPUS, DSATX), there is also a high failure rate using these.

    So, basically, if you have a power supply that is giving you no issues at all, please post it up here. Include how you have it wired (wire size/gage), if you have to manually switch the computer on, if you have and ground loop/alternator noise, etc. This way, we can sort of get a concensus as to what is working and what is not. Thanks!

  • #2
    Its posted bit by bit in almost every power thread. Also, it is kind of my thought that there aren't too many people with power issues, at least not after the initial steps!

    I use a M2-ATX and a M10k, and a 3.5" HD. I ran 4gauge (I think, it's thicker than my thumb with insulator) power from hood and then ran 8awg (I think, it's about just over half the width of the power cable) for about 3 inches to a bolt. I get some high pitched alternator whine with the AC on, but that is due to my lack of a powerful enough alternator. I'll probably kill it quickly at this rate. My PC turns on when the car starts, and usually when I see my car, I push the remote start, and when I get there windows is loaded and playing music.
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

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    • #3
      i wish i had a remote start.... >.>

      unfortunately they are a pain in the *** to install on rex's... and my car is manual, and i dont like to leave it out of gear...
      2004 Impreza WRX CarPC Install

      I am willing to host any legal downloads that may benefit the CarPC community - PM for info

      "When you go 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, you don't need a made up character called fast. Thats what makes a Subaru, a Subaru."

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      • #4
        I have no problems powering the PC in my truck whatsoever....
        I have a DSATX DC-DC PSU. See my worklog for more details. Link is in my sig line.


        I also have no idea where you're getting the high failure rate for DSATX or Opus units. They are, by far, the most reliable DC-DC power supplies on the market currently. I wouldn't say that about the M1 & M2 units, as they have had their share of failures.

        Frankly, I think it's silly to have the people who have had a PSU failure post about it again in a nother thread when you can search the forums to find what people have already said abut their PSU failures.
        What is the point of posting the same information over again?
        Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
        How about the Wiki?



        Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Redian
          i wish i had a remote start.... >.>

          unfortunately they are a pain in the *** to install on rex's... and my car is manual, and i dont like to leave it out of gear...
          Mine's a manual too, and believe me I know how hard it is to install!

          <hijack>With my Honda, there was some uber good stock alarm thing that I didn't know how to control. I bought the car used (1 previous owner), and didn't get the alarm remote. So I installed the remote start after cutting up all the wires under my dash (what a n00b!) and it only worked when the key was within a few feet of the ignition. I needed an immobilizer, so I put that in, and in the process, a computery voice came over the speakers telling me that the Honda immobilizer had been activated. Now my car wouldn't start! I had to call Honda, and have AAA tow me to the dealership where they reset it with some connector in my dash. I know now, that I probably could have just disconnected the battery for a while and it would have gone away, but I didn't know that then. So it works now, and it sucked putting it in, but that's how I learned about my car.</hijack>
          Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
          1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
          30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
          15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
          Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

          Comment


          • #6
            No offense, but what is the point of the forum if every answer is "search"? Compiling a large amount of information, which is scattered throughout the page, doesn't seem like a bad idea, or a waste of a post. Browse through the "power supply" thread - there are really no success stories in there, which is what I am looking for.

            I've been a long time reader, have installed my own CarPC a few times over, and am just trying to get a glimpse of what some succesful DC-DC setups are out there before I buy. Is it really going to hurt you to post your working setup here for others to see?

            Also, it seems like you assumed I was asking for PROBLEMS with power supplies, if you actually took the time to read my post, you'd realize I asked for succesful setups. I'm sure that was just a mistake, though.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by temposs
              No offense, but what is the point of the forum if every answer is "search"? Compiling a large amount of information, which is scattered throughout the page, doesn't seem like a bad idea, or a waste of a post. Browse through the "power supply" thread - there are really no success stories in there, which is what I am looking for.

              I've been a long time reader, have installed my own CarPC a few times over, and am just trying to get a glimpse of what some succesful DC-DC setups are out there before I buy. Is it really going to hurt you to post your working setup here for others to see?

              Also, it seems like you assumed I was asking for PROBLEMS with power supplies, if you actually took the time to read my post, you'd realize I asked for succesful setups. I'm sure that was just a mistake, though.
              I answered your question.
              Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
              1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
              30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
              15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
              Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes, you did, thank you. Was refering to DarquePervert's post.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Don't worry about DP - I think he has a default entry at the bottom of every one of his posts saying to search. jk

                  DP - what are you using to power your system in your truck? And no, I'm not searching your worklog or the forums to find out...

                  Anyway, I'm curious temp as to what problems you had with your inverter? Was it underpowered for your application? I have used an inverter for years and never had any problems. Seems best to ground it to a nice spot (paint sanded off, bare metal, etc...)

                  For one of my setups, I tapped into the power button on the computer, along with the power LED of the computer. Using Cat5, I ran them to the front of the car so I could power the machine on and off, and see (via the LED) if the computer was on/off.

                  This was before DC-DC's were mainstream. Also, it seems popular that people with inverters now tap into the on/off switch on the inverter itself, and run it to the front of the car. This seems to prevent battery drain down. Even tho inverters and other PS's claim to have low battery power protection, this isn't always the case.

                  Regardless, if you plan of every needing to rely on the low battery protection - I think it's best (whether you have an inverter or DC-DC) to test this feature ahead of time. Nothing worse than coming out to your car when you're out somewhere to find a dead battery.
                  www.mobile-effects.com

                  Free file hosting, picture gallery hosting for installs, PM me.

                  Internet's first Front End Skin browser, featured installs, downloads, links, informative articles - all free to registered users.

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                  • #10
                    My main problem is just with the noise being introduced into the system, through what I suspect is the inverter. I've tried many ground connections (common, uncommon, all cleaned with a wire wheel, 4ga wire). For awhile I fixed the noise completely by grounding the outside of the RCA shield to the chasis, but now I get a terrible loop and no audible music when attempting to run it, and when I remove the cable that is grounding the RCA shield, I'm getting no sound whatsoever. Odd though, since the mobo still works indoors fine. The noise the inverter itself makes is another minor problem.

                    System specs are AMD 2400+ Sempron, Gigabyte mATX board, onboard video/sound, 3.5" HDD. I'm using a 220watt power supply to power the computer, which is running of a 400 watt Vector inverter. At this point, I just want to simplify the entire thing, eliminate the inverter all together and go towards DC-DC. I also have a spare Optima Yellow Top sitting around, I may run that in the back of the vehicle as well.

                    I just wanted to get a concensus as to what really works. The M2ATX seems to have a lot of posts bringing up various issues with it. The OPUS is more in my price range when compared to the DSATX, but it sounds like the DSATX has more features (USB 5v turn off). Before dropping close to $200 dollars on it though, I want to make sure a lot of other people are having success with it.

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                    • #11
                      Well my successful setup is my HP laptop, my Laptop Auto Power On module (see sig), and a M2-ATX. Actually two M2-ATXs. One in the back for the laptop and peripherals back there, and one up front for the 10.4" TS and other peripherals up there. Works great with no problems. I did the battery relocation to the trunk (handling), so I already have easy access to my battery. I've had no problems, whine, failure, anything...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by temposs
                        No offense, but what is the point of the forum if every answer is "search"? Compiling a large amount of information, which is scattered throughout the page, doesn't seem like a bad idea, or a waste of a post. Browse through the "power supply" thread - there are really no success stories in there, which is what I am looking for.
                        Better yet, why don't you go through the Show Off Your Project and Worklog areas and see what people have posted witht heir setups.
                        If someone actually DOES search the forums for some information about working DC-DC PSU setups, does it matter whether they locate it in someone's worklog or in this thread?

                        I've been a long time reader, have installed my own CarPC a few times over, and am just trying to get a glimpse of what some succesful DC-DC setups are out there before I buy. Is it really going to hurt you to post your working setup here for others to see?
                        I didn't say it would hurt anything. I just think it's pointless to post the same information repeatedly.

                        Also, it seems like you assumed I was asking for PROBLEMS with power supplies, if you actually took the time to read my post, you'd realize I asked for succesful setups. I'm sure that was just a mistake, though.
                        Originally posted by SnyperBob
                        DP - what are you using to power your system in your truck? And no, I'm not searching your worklog or the forums to find out...
                        Heh. It was the result of not getting home from the race until nearly midnight.
                        Edited my previous post. Bob, you're going to have to at least work the scroll wheel on your mouse, buddy.
                        I gotta make you do SOME work.
                        Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
                        How about the Wiki?



                        Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Redian
                          i wish i had a remote start.... >.>

                          unfortunately they are a pain in the *** to install on rex's... and my car is manual, and i dont like to leave it out of gear...
                          There was a guy developing a device that could use the keyless entry to power on the PC.
                          username is Evolution VIII and here is the thread:
                          http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ghlight=remote

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by temposs
                            I just wanted to get a concensus as to what really works. The M2ATX seems to have a lot of posts bringing up various issues with it. The OPUS is more in my price range when compared to the DSATX, but it sounds like the DSATX has more features (USB 5v turn off). Before dropping close to $200 dollars on it though, I want to make sure a lot of other people are having success with it.
                            The DSATX had a firmware issue for about the first 50 production units produced. The problem is an internal setting on the MCU was overlooked and the unit would get corrupted. This problem has been addressed and now just about all of the other problems have been user error. I have only seen 1 out of about 300 units come back that was fried, and that was because someone shorted 12 volts to one of the MCU signals. No fires or burnt up components. The only other issue with the DSATX is the motherboard switch polarity. It can only pull a signal low. It can't drive it high without a relay or a transistor hooked up.
                            MPEGBOX - Plexiglass Computer
                            www.mpegbox.com

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                            • #15
                              I have two computers in my car and have no problems at all powering them.

                              Computer 1 is an Epia M10000. I use a Carnetix 1260 60 watt regulated power supply and it works like a champ. It connects to a PW120 PSU that is plugged into the M10000. Two years, no issues.

                              Computer 2 is a Mac Mini on a Carnetix P1900 power supply. It works great, too with one exception. There is a situation that can cause the P1900 to not shut down the Mac, which leaves it running and will drain your battery. It seems to be related to energizing the ignition while the lockout is active on the P1900 (like if you shut the car off, forgot to roll up the windows, turn the key to accessory, roll up the windows, turn it off again).

                              I'd still recommend it, though. Both units have never failed to supply clean power as necssary.
                              Originally posted by ghettocruzer
                              I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
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