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Thread: Is my PC not getting enough power?

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate vairu's Avatar
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    Is my PC not getting enough power?

    Ok well, i've had my same CarPC running since last September. Spec are:

    -Full ATX Shuttle An35N Ultra
    -Atholon Barton 2500+ | Cooled by a Volcano 12 HSF
    -512mb DDR Geil with heatshield
    -Nvidia GeForce 4200 (something like this, cheap) [Used to run an ATI 9600xt]
    -120GB Samsung 7200rpm IDE
    -GPS USB antenna
    -OPUS 150w DC-DC
    -Liliput 7" TS [Runs off the OPUS as well]

    Now i have my audio going out from the PC to the back of a Sony HU. Since about a month ago my PC has been acting up though. Sometimes it would just straight up shut-down after running for any given amount of time. I'd be cruising along the highway and it just pops off and doesn't come back on. However the green LCD in the OPUS would blink normally as if the ACC wire is off (as it does when my car is off), but it wouldn't come back on unless i unplugged the opus for like 30 seconds then plugged it back in.

    Then the PC would start to boot up and just completely shut off before booting, or right as my front-end loaded. When i would unplug the OPUS's white plug i noticed it was very very hot, and today i looked at it and the main 12v (red, postive) pin on the male end (with the wires coming from the battery and my ACC) is brownish, not white like the others. I'm guessing it started burning a little bit or something. It's not melted, and the PC will still boot up but either completely shut down in 1 second (doesn't normally shut-down through windows) or lock-up. I have 8-gauge wire running from my battery to the Opus and 8-gauge for the GND wire as well, and even my ACC wire is 8-gauge to the Opus.

    I have my stock battery in my car, which is very weak i'm guessing. It could only run the PC at shows and stuff for like 30 minuted then i'd have to start the car to recharge it. I don't know why this has recently started happening though, cause i had 0 problems up until this. Around the time i installed a 17" Dell LCD roof-mounted this kind of started happening. The LCD is ran off it's own 130w(I think) inverter, but i have a VGA Y-cable coming out of my PC to the Lili and this Dell. This is why i think it's a power issue.

    What should i do?

    also, ever since i started running GPS on my CarPC i've had a wierd problem with it. Sometimes i'd be running on the highway and it would have a perfect signal on a clear day, and all of the sudden it would loose it and my PC would say that there is no GPS device attached to it. But the GPS was still plugged in and the red LED was solid on it (meaning no signal). Could this be a power issue as well? Like 5 minutes would go by and it would get a signal again. Thanks

  2. #2
    FLAC
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    I would say that it could possible be a heat issue. Dont take me up on that thought. Have you checked the voltage of the power and ground when you say when you start it up it shuts off after a min. Well get a multimeter and check the voltage when the pc is turning of. If it drops then it is prolly your battery.
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  3. #3
    And then I was mod. Tidder's Avatar
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    I had a similar problem with my Opus. I would be cruisin along, and then my PC would just power off for no reason. My opus would blink as well. Dunno if it was an opus thing or what, but I got rid of that and got an M2-ATX and everything seems good so far.
    Tidder

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  4. #4
    MySQL Error MatrixPC's Avatar
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    Difinitely, your setup need more juice on 5V rail. 10A (13A peak) is NOT enough.
    Solution: buy or build a 5V POL to help it out.
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  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate vairu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatrixPC View Post
    Difinitely, your setup need more juice on 5V rail. 10A (13A peak) is NOT enough.
    Solution: buy or build a 5V POL to help it out.
    Ok, lost me here lol ... last year i would've know what your talking about but my air suspension project erased all my CarPC knowledge

    What is a POL? Where can i get one or how do i build one? What all runs off the "5V rail"? I forget that one but i remember reading about what runs off the 12v and 5v rails. Thank you!

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate vairu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheekz185 View Post
    I would say that it could possible be a heat issue. Dont take me up on that thought. Have you checked the voltage of the power and ground when you say when you start it up it shuts off after a min. Well get a multimeter and check the voltage when the pc is turning of. If it drops then it is prolly your battery.
    I'd imagine it is a heat issue but i have a Volcano 12 (5500 rpm fan i believe?) with copper heatsink and Artic Silver 5 paste on my CPU. Not to mention that during the summer i'm always running with windows up (15% tint all around) and AC on, and i have my floor vents on which my PC is right up against under the passenger seat. My case is a standard full ATX tower that i chopped up to fit under the seat .. so it's like 40% of a case lol, and just the metal work .. so ventilation is not an issue.

  7. #7
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    Wiredwrx's Avatar
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    First, ventilation could still be a problem, and the heat may not be just as it relates to your CPU, there are lots of chips on the board that when/if they get hot, you will crash the computer. Are there fans venting the pc case?

    Also, did you run a power calculator on your system. Check the faq section for various sites. You need to confirm that you are not overloading ANY of the power supply rails, not just being under the total wattage.

    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.

  8. #8
    FLAC
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    POL is a Point of Load deves that supplys a 5v line. All you need to do is input a 12v +/- and ACC and then it outputs 5v. So it takes a drain off of your PSU.

    http://store.mp3car.com/ProductDetai...Code=PWR%2D022
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  9. #9
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Actually, the Opus 150w PSU is likely underpowered for that setup.
    The Barton 2500+ has a max potential draw of 53.7w. The Opus 150w only has 60w available on the 12v rail.
    Add in the video card and a 3.5" HDD, and you're definitely taxing the 12v rail of the Opus.

    Options:
    1 - Underclock the CPU or use a comatible CPU witha lower power draw, possibly a mobile version of the CPU.
    2 - use onboard video (if available)
    3 - Switch to a 2.5" HDD

    Read this to understand how I arrive at this conclusion: FAQ: Will <insert PSU model> Power Supply work with my system?
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate vairu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiredwrx View Post
    First, ventilation could still be a problem, and the heat may not be just as it relates to your CPU, there are lots of chips on the board that when/if they get hot, you will crash the computer. Are there fans venting the pc case?

    Also, did you run a power calculator on your system. Check the faq section for various sites. You need to confirm that you are not overloading ANY of the power supply rails, not just being under the total wattage.

    Michael
    Thanks for the calculator info, i'll check that. I can't really run any case fans because there's not enough case to put a fan on lol ... this is how open it is:

    From back seat shot:



    From side (ouside of passenger-front side):



    Front view (under front-passenger seat):




    Now the 5.25" DvD drive was only used at one show, so that's not connected and hasn't been for a long time, and my HDD was only like that for a couple of weeks ... since then i mounted it vertically along the wall in the third pic where 2 case fans *could* go. This setup has been running fine for several months up until now ... but granted it was during the Fall, Winter, and spring time ... since the summer it's become an issue. I guess i need to build a mini-ITX system with a mobile CPU

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