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Thread: Alpine / PC Challenges all around...

  1. #1
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    Nov 2000
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    Cambridge, MA
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    Red face Alpine / PC Challenges all around...

    I've just not been able to get the Alpine CVA-1005 to reliably sync with the video signal from my computer. Sometimes I get a signal and sometimes I don't... like I can boot the computer... and see on the Alpine the DOS screen, but then when it gets to Windows the screen goes black. Or I get NOTHING. Or I get no DOS boot screen, but I get the Windows screen when it comes up. Sometimes switching signals on the Alpine (like to Radio then back to AUX2) will get it to come up.

    It's set to 640/480/256.

    I've tried different cables, tried outputting the computer to a TV (works fine), tried running the cable differently, and the video input into the Alpine with the in-dash DVD works fine so it is unique to the Alpine-to-PC communication. I tried a super-duper-Monster-GOld cable, same problem.

    Tried a different video card (Diamond Viper2), then I just get NO signal ever.

    Hmm.. people on usenet are not much help.. and I haven't gotten responses to my posts here.. so I am starting to wonder if I'll ever get this to work. Also, Alpine and ATI are lost and have been NO help.

    I dug up a guy who was having the EXACT same problem and he said Alpine US was useless, but Alpine Australia told him that the CVA-1005 does an "auto-sync" and has a very hard time switching signals (so.. for example from the DOS boot screen to Windows desktop)

    Any thoughts welcome.

    Another issue -- when I plug my UPS into my inverter, it says "wiring fault" and it basically stays on battery.. totally hates the power. When I just plug the computer directly into the inverter, it works fine but boy is the video signal noisy. Also, I can HEAR my cd-rom spin up and my hard disk working through my SPEAKERS in the car... (no doubt the interference runs from the computer through the audio cable from the sound blaster and into the Alpine audio and out the speakers)... can we blame the inverter for some/all of this?

    Any suggestions welcome.

    /aac

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate
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    Jul 1999
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    Greensboro NC
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    Post

    You can blame the inverter for the UPS problme. My guess would be that the crappy psuedo sine-wave from the inverter is casuing the UPS to think that your getting a bad AC signal...

    Catlas

  3. #3
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    North Carolina
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    Are you using Windows 9x or ME? Do you have your monitor type set to "television"? (NT doesn't have a monitor type).

    Can you try a different video card, or is the video on the motherboard?
    Can you turn off the Alpine unit, boot into Windows, and then turn the Alpine back on; will that sync to the Windows video?

    On the power issue, sounds like you need to ground your computer to your car's chassis. Run a wire from the computer case to your car's ground (any unpainted metal should be okay). It could be a crappy inverter. Some are better than others...


  4. #4
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    Post

    Originally posted by Weston:
    Are you using Windows 9x or ME? Do you have your monitor type set to "television"? (NT doesn't have a monitor type).
    I'm using Windows 2000. I am able in settings to make sure it is set to TV and it's there (although it seems to think one is not connected, hmm..)

    Can you try a different video card, or is the video on the motherboard?
    Can you turn off the Alpine unit, boot into Windows, and then turn the Alpine back on; will that sync to the Windows video?


    A different video card produces NO signal (a 100% failure rate, while my current video card produces approximately a 50% failure rate). If I let the computer boot, then tune the Alpine to the AUX port, my success rate is more like 90%.

    On the power issue, sounds like you need to ground your computer to your car's chassis. Run a wire from the computer case to your car's ground (any unpainted metal should be okay). It could be a crappy inverter. Some are better than others...
    I am going to do the ground, but many have suggested getting a Dc-to-DC supply -- with the ATX connector and going to the PC directly to get cleaner power (of course also making sure to ground well). Further, there's LOTS of noise in the video signal, esp. when I REV the engine... <?>

    /aac



  5. #5
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    May 2000
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    Cary, NC, USA
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    Just a fix to a similar story. I Was having a very similar problem with my Parts Express 4" screen. Sometimes it would work, others it wouldn't. In one car it wouldnt work at all, hook it up to a TV, and it worked each and very time. I thought it might be Heat, Position, Car Voltage, Position of the inverter.

    The problem? I had gotton 3 different Video Cables from the Rat Shack. EACH and every one of the failed. I tried everything, but everything always included one of those three cables. When I would test it on my TV I needed to test it on my TV I used a completely different cable that did NOT come from the Rat Shack. I figured one cable might go, or even two, but three bad cables?

    So, Now that I have thrown those cables out, my Video is ROCK Solid. I know you said you tried swapping cables, but it might just be that you have more than one bad one.

    Chainsaw
    -Jason
    mp3it - MP3 Software for Small LCD Screens for use in the car.
    and
    <A HREF="http://www.mp3mystic.com" TARGET=_blank>
    MP3Mystic</A> - a personal MP3 Server software for windows.

  6. #6
    Bj
    Bj is online now
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    Post

    Noise, oh noise. I'm an electronics engineer by trade, and a lot of my jobs require fixing
    ground loops in audio systems.

    The reason an inverter causes noise is because it has a transformer in it. This isolates
    the 12V side of the inverter from the mains voltage (240 or 110V) side. So neither the
    active or neutral of the inverter's power socket are tied to ground (or negative of your
    car).
    The AT/X PSU also has a transformer in it which isolates the mains voltage side from the
    computer voltage side.

    So when you hook it up to your puter power supply, you get a double isolated effect,
    which means your 12V car ground is now two transformers away from your computer
    ground.

    By connecting a wire from the car 12V ground directly to the motherboard ground, you
    bypass all of the isolation and the car 12V ground is now the same as the computer
    ground.

    Now what you have is the equivelent to a DC DC power supply where the grounds are at
    the same potential.

    However this can still cause ground loop noise because the amplfier in your head unit, (or
    sub amp bolted in your boot) also suffers from this same effect. Because your amp has
    the same ground as your mp3 player, and they are not tied to the same ground point,
    you get a voltage potential across the ground wires which will be induced into the audio
    section of your head unit amp.

    The ONLY way to stop hum (either on DC DC or Inverter) is to isolate the RCA's from
    your sound card to the head unit input. The Kenwood head unit I have has isolated aux
    inputs already, so there is no hum, but If your's isn't isolated you will need a ground loop
    isolator.

    Putting a HUGE supressor on your positive rail isn't going to stop it, as the noise from
    your altenator or igntion is only induced into your car stereo because It shares the same
    audio ground as it's power ground. By isolating these, you fix the problem.

    Good amps like Alpine, have isolated audio inputs already to prevent this problem. That's
    why you won't get hum using a tape adaptor, as it's an isolated input.

    The moral of the story is.............

    ISOLATE YOUR AUDIO GROUNDS FROM YOUR POWER GROUNDS.

    This goes for video too. Make sure you video cable is earthed at one end. It will help the sync problem heaps if it has a stable ground.
    BjBlaster! Car MP3 & Carputer!
    bjblaster.com

    "The solution to one problem is only the beginning of another"

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