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Hardware Review: IEI 140W DC/DC Power Supply IDDV-6304140A

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  • Hardware Review: IEI 140W DC/DC Power Supply IDDV-6304140A

    The IDDV-6304140A is a 140-watt DC/DC Power Supply with intelligent power handling.

    The Verdict:

    The IDDV-6304140A is a solid competitor in a suddenly flourishing car PC power supply market. It attempts to add small and useful features to a tried and true form factor, and succeeds in powering a pretty power hungry setup effectively and efficiently.

    See this product on the mp3Car Store here.

    What’s in the box?

    The IDDV-6304140A comes neatly and securely packaged with the PSU, instruction manual, and cables for motherboard ON/OFF switch, external optional power switch, optional led and amplifier turn on delay.


    The IDDV-6304140A is a fully RoHS compliant DC/DC ATX converter module capable of powering computer systems with up to a 140-watt demand. Right out of the box, the IDDV appears identical to other PSUs already on the market with its similar form factor to the M2 and GP83 devices. It does however come with some original and interesting features, most notably the ability to control the PSU with an infrared remote control. Simply connect GND, VCC, and IRRX to the board’s 3-pin connector and you can turn your car PC on/off with the push of a button. This feature overrides ignition on/off status, but it does not ignore the built in thermal and voltage sensing kill switches programmed into the unit. The IDDV promises to shut down any power when then temp range exceeds -20°C – 85°C or when battery voltage sensed is <10.7v

    M2-ATX on the left, IDDV device on the right

    Small improvements have been made to the layout of the IDDV when compared to the M2-ATX which has similar power and customizable options. The IDDV smartly moves the smaller connectors away from the ATX connector and spreads them over the board. This greatly adds to the ease of installation, especially in small ITX cases. There are also more mounting options on the IDDV device. Each end of the board has 4 mounting holes, whereas the M2 and other devices of the same form factor only have 1 mounting option.

    Other components are nearly the same when compared to the m2; same 15-watt fuse, same blade-style connectors for 12v, ACC, and GND. The maximum power output on the IDDV is documented as 20-watts less than the m2, but the output voltage per line is nearly identical as well. The documentation for the IDDV suggests that a few connectors on the board are there for programming the microchip, but at the time of this review I was not able to test this feature. I was able to confirm that the IDDV will indeed kill power to 5v power rail if the user sets the jumpers of the 6-option operation mode correctly. This is a big deal to people that fear having all their usb devices constantly powered may end up killing their battery

    So how does the IDDV perform? My testing hardware consisted of the Intel DG45FC motherboard mated to a 3.06 GHz core 2 duo chip, 2GB of Ram, a 500GB 2.5” hard drive, a 7” 629 lilliput, morex 5677 ITX case, and a host of usb devices. Windows XP was the OS of choice. I ran a series of 3 tests. The first test which consisted solely of connecting the IDDV and running the computer at idle for 12 hours passed with flying colors as expected. The second test was run by playing DVD video through Centrafuse 3 via an externally powered DVD-ROM for 12 hours. To make it interesting I also opened up iGuidance and plotted a trip. Again, then IDDV showed no problems with the task. The final test was the only one to give the IDDV problems. I ran a DVD burner utility while running GPS through Centrafuse. The test was set to run a total of 6 hours, but somewhere around 4 hours 15 minutes the IDDV quit on me resulting in the computer to crash and reboot. I would still give the IDDV a passing grade, because in a car PC there will seldom be a time where you’re pushing the power of your PSU for that amount of time.

    The Positive:

    • Installation flexibility
    • Successfully powers a pretty heavy duty ITX system
    • IR control of PSU, an industry first
    • Programmable microcontroller

    The Negative:

    • 20-watts less than older products

    The Verdict:

    The IDDV-6304140A is a solid competitor in a suddenly flourishing car PC power supply market. It attempts to add small and useful features to a tried and true form factor, and succeeds in powering a pretty power hungry setup effectively and efficiently.


    Dimensions: 160x45mm
    Weight: 118g
    Efficiency Rating: up to 90%
    5v Output: 10A Max, 50mV ripple
    3.3v Output: 10A Max. 50mV ripple
    12v Output: 4A Max, 50mV ripple
    -12v Output: .15A Max, 150mV
    5VSB Output: 1.5A Max, 150mV
    Input Voltage Range: 6VDC to 30VDC
    Min. Power Up Voltage: 8V
    Deep Discharge Shut Down: 10.6V
    Operating Temperature Range: -20°C to 85°C
    Operation Modes:
    -10 Seconds soft off, 10 seconds Hard Off and Cut 5VSB
    -15 Seconds soft off, 45 seconds cut 5VSB
    -15 Seconds soft off, 1 hour cut 5VSB
    -40 Seconds soft off, 1 hour cut 5VSB
    -30 Minutes soft off, Never cut 5VSB

    See this product on the mp3Car Store here. Senior Tech Blogger (Want a product reviewed? Contact me.)
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  • #2
    What is its standby current? (ie PS_ON grounded etc but no loads)

    And is it no-load stable or does it need a minimum load on +5V & +12V?

    And thanks for the review & pics. Excellent!

    It seems like a reasonably priced DC ATX PSU that solves inverter inefficiency problems.
    (And overcomes those modified sine versus pure-sine issues and costs.)


    • #3
      according to this the standby current is about 1.5mW. And if you're asking if you can use only 5+ or 12v lines from it successfully then i wouldnt have the answer for ya. I would bet it'd be fine though Senior Tech Blogger (Want a product reviewed? Contact me.)
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      • #4
        shame it's double the price of the M2, because even if mini-box can't bother to tell us about the polarity sensitivity of the mobo on/off switch, i can still blow 2 M2's before spending the same kind of money on this unit.....


        • #5
          Thanks Xtacy!
          I was doubting your 1.5mW thinking instead you had confused W for A (ie - the review above said "same 15-watt fuse" - it should be 15A (Amp) fuse, but that should be obvious; besides thanks to the great pics, the common blue 15A blade fuse is clearly visible).

          But no, it appears to be a measly 1.5mW - ie, 125uA or 0.125mA at 12V.
          That can be left on anything without being a concern! (Solar installations come to mind.)

          Its input voltage range is also impressive - 6V upwards.

          And thanks for the brochure link. I had its 1st page from elsewhere, but not its all important 2nd page (though I'm not keen on their "reason" for transients, but transients of 200V or higher are common an most vehicles anyhow....)

          To clarify my second question - it wasn't to use either 5 or 12V - but to remove the fear that if unloaded, it wouldn't have some damaging voltage. Many older ATX & PC supplies needed a load for regulation. This load was sometimes large (say 10W), they would omit it hence reducing their heat etc and instead rely on the MB etc to be connected.

          Alas I'm not that familiar with the M2 and its standby current etc, though I have read of some alleged problems (which I think since have been solved).

          However I only bother with DC supplies when they are economical or essential for efficiency. I have had no problems with inverters which have provided a simple universal solution. And my spare/redundant inverter (which has still not been required) was cheaper than spare shaver, video, dvd, phone, etc etc DC chargers.
          And these days, inverters are as common as an product's "standard AC supply".
          (Granted, pure-sine inverters were once expensive, but most loads tolerate the cheaper modified square-wave without major lifetime impact. And despite what some think, I do not see safety as an issue - especially if the AC output is floating. But whatever the case, a tested RCD (Residual Current Device - aka earth leak detector or switch) can be fitted to the inverter output...)

          Thanks again!


          • #6
            Anyone know of a compatible IR receiver/transmitter for this?

            I called IEI and they did not have an immediate answer, but they will hopefully call me back.


            • #7
              Why do you guys not include the ATX power cable with this (part # CB-ATX20PIO-RS)? For a $136 power supply, that should be included - or at least have the decency to mention on the product page that it would have to be ordered elsewhere. I spent almost $100 in extra shipping costs to get my various car PC parts here by the weekend (maybe crazy, but this is the time I have to work on it), and just realized I'm screwed because of this one missing cable. Thanks.


              • #8
                Hi John,

                Please contact me at the store. I would be happy to help you with the ATX cable.

                Have a product you would like to sell on the mp3Car Store? PM me for more information.

                Have a car computer question? Ask me by emailing the store.


                • #9
                  Thanks - I definitely appreciate the customer service! Sorry if I was a bit overly harsh... just frustrated. I'm gonna use an old ATX case to power my new car PC this weekend, so I can still get most of it set up after all.


                  • #10
                    I replaced this with an M3-ATX, which I should have bought in the first place (I didn't realize the M3 was as small as it was... I thought the picture was just of a plug).

                    I had some serious problems with the IEI IDDV-6304140A:
                    - Has *awful* power timing options. The minimum time at which it will start powering the PC is 10 seconds. So you have to wait 10 seconds PLUS whatever your car PC's bootup is. Are they insane?
                    - The minimum time to start shutdown is 10 seconds. The M3 allows 5 seconds. Again, what is IEI smoking?
                    - When I cut the ignition power, it won't let the PC just go to standy - it shuts down completely (the PC state is saved, but when the PC boots back up it has to go through all the BIOS screens, so it takes about 15-20 seconds instead of the 1 second from normal standby). I don't think I did anything wrong, since I have it working fine with the M3.

                    In summary: Unless you are a glutton for punishment and want to waste a lot of money, DO NOT BUY THIS!!!!