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CarPC keeps shutting down

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  • CarPC keeps shutting down

    Okay. I am fairly new to the carPC world, but I have been working on mine very slowly for the past year and doing a lot of reading, but I can't figure this one out. Most parts came from a used desktop that I re-housed just try out the carPC hobby (which I really enjoy). I am wondering if I should consider using a Via Epia board, and M1 or M2 ATX power supply. Anyways, the parts and problem follow.


    msi Micro-ATX board with a 2.66 GHz Celeron D
    256 RAM
    20 GB IDE 5 1/2" hard drive
    liliput touchscreen
    PS/2 wireless keyboard and mouse
    Vector 400w - 800w peak - inverter
    220w max stock psu

    The only thing connected to the inverter is the computer. The computer runs fine when it is plugged into an extension cord and stays on for a long time with no problems. It also works fine when running off the inverter without running any programs. When I have it running RoadRunner and playing music, it work sfine for anywhere from 2-10 minutes and then just shuts down without any warning, and it does not matter I am driving or stationary.

    Any help would be much appreciated.

  • #2
    sounds like an overload... is your inverter large enough to reliably power the supply?
    MY NEWEST INSTALL:modded infiniti fx with big screen

    first windows carpc liquid cooled LVDS screen :D


    • #3
      How is the inverter connected? Is it plugged into a cigarette lighter? If so, I'm willing to bet that's your problem.
      Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
      How about the Wiki?

      Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.


      • #4
        that can also cause an overload, or just not enough power delivery...
        MY NEWEST INSTALL:modded infiniti fx with big screen

        first windows carpc liquid cooled LVDS screen :D


        • #5
          Thank you for the replies.

          The inverter is connected directly to the car battery with an in-line fuse using 4 gauge cables. On top of that the inverter is rated at 400w continuous (of course there is some fluctuation, but it stays around 400w), and peak is 800w.

          I did some more testing, and it seems to occur primarily when I am in stop and go traffic, but has occurred occassionally in easy flowing traffic at highway speeds.

          Another bit of information is that when it shuts down, I can turn it back on immediately, but the computer shuts off at Windows startup screen, or shortly after Windows has turned on. If I leave the computer off for a few hours, I can turn it back on and run the computer, but only for about 10 minutes and then it shuts off.

          Today it stayed on for about 30 minutes on the freeway, but turned off shortly after I hit stop and go traffic.

          I am just confused because I should have more than enough power coming out of the inverter, and if I was only pulling about 180w continuous, the computer should still be okay.

          Thanks for the help, any more info would be grealy appreciated.


          • #6
            Maybe something is overheating and you have to wait for it to cool down before it'll stay on again (CPU or Hard Drive). Run SpeedFan and see how the temperature goes.
            Elantra GT 1.2GHz Duron, RoadRunner & LSX Void 3.2. Status: Stable...


            • #7
              See if you can monitor the voltage of your car's electrical system. If it cut's out when you stop at traffic lights, it might be that your inverter is dropping out because the voltage drops too low when you slow down. Just a thought.
              Never let the truth get in the way of a good story


              • #8
                get a DSATX or a OPUS 250w .... toss the inverter .....

                you are having issues supplying enough current to the inverter when your alternator is not spinning fast enough to provide a good charge...
                Pentium 4m 1.5GHz|MB896|Roadie Extreme|XM-Direct|Rikaline 6010|T-View 7"|Streetdeck|160gb Western Digital|1Gb DDR2-533 Ram


                • #9
                  one way or another, it seems that it's a power issue, since it works fine with the extension cord.... eliminating the inverter is an ideal situation & the best solution... the alternator checking is another good point... I ruled out issues of overheating or shorting on bumps by your original discription....
                  MY NEWEST INSTALL:modded infiniti fx with big screen

                  first windows carpc liquid cooled LVDS screen :D


                  • #10
                    I bet its an overvoltage problem, I had the same problem with a a PW70 power supply before my M1-ATX, and I checked my alternator voltage with an o'scope. It peaked sometiems over 18V when I reved the engine and then let it come back down. (Crappy Voltage regulator on my alternator)

                    Maybe your invertor has taken enough overvoltage and is starting to crap out. Do you know what it's rated for as far as input voltage?

                    Or your voltage regulator on your alternator is going bad. You will have to measure with an o'scope cause I don't think an DMM will display it quick enough to see.

                    I say think about investing in a good DC-DC PSU like another member suggested. One that takes a wide input voltage
                    System always under construction


                    • #11
                      Thanks for all of the help.

                      It does not appear to be an overheating heating issue. I believe that it it is rated at about 12.8 volt input. The inverter will shutdown when the voltage falls below 10.7 V or goes above 15 V. Output voltage is 115 volts AC, and 3.5 amp current max.

                      After going through all of this, I think my computer is consuming more power than the inverter can handle on a prolonged status. Most of the time the computer cuts off either at shutdown or startup, or shortly there after, because I can hear the inverter spool up, and then turn off with a fault signal. I originally went with an inverter because the power draw for my system is currently appoximately 160 watts max, and I figured a 400w inverter would do the trick, but I have a feeling that the efficiency of this inverter is poor.

                      So, if I am write and it is that the power consumption is too high for the inverter to handle, what can I do to decrease power consumption. I am thinking that if use a 2.5" hard drive instead of the large size one I have now, I will be okay.

                      I really don't want to shift to another power supply right now, because the inverter I have is only a few months old, and I have already wired it up to turn it on from the dash, but if I have to, I will change power supplies.

                      Any more ideas.


                      • #12
                        your solution is to toss the inverter get a good DC-DC power supply...

                        there are plenty of M2-ATX power supplies for sale here used all the time.. even some DSATX power supplies...

                        switching to a 2.5" drive only moves power consumption to the 5v rail from the 12v rail... there is little difference in overall power consumption...

                        EDIT: you can always sell the inverter you have now...
                        Pentium 4m 1.5GHz|MB896|Roadie Extreme|XM-Direct|Rikaline 6010|T-View 7"|Streetdeck|160gb Western Digital|1Gb DDR2-533 Ram