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Thread: Carnetix or relay'ed Auto Adapter?

  1. #11
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    The PS2 will be in a later install, like a year later, so there's no good reason to have the inverter in before that.
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  2. #12
    Constant Bitrate FockMasterDan's Avatar
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    What kind of laptop are you using? I'm working on a similar setup but got a real power adapter made for my line of laptops.

    Right now I'm struggling with how I want to achieve regulated power sources for my devices. I've got a couple options but I just don't know enough yet to pick one and go with it.
    Computer is in the car, but in a very "raw" install right now.

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  3. #13
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    I've got an HP DV5234US, and I bought this adapter:

    Ebay Adapter

    It has been working just fine so far. I didn't feel like paying that much for a charger I am just going to end up cutting up. If I start to see issues with it, I will invest in the money, but the carnetix PSU's seem to be a good way to go as well.

    You have a dell, and they take a special charger, so the cheapo's wouldn't work too well for you, my HP is a pretty standard charger.
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  4. #14
    Variable Bitrate
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    FWIW, I'm running my laptop off a 120v inverter and the power supply that came with the laptop. The inverter gets hot but it hasn't been a problem. I have a 12v power supply for the laptop en route, so I can get rid of the inverter (and also bring the 120v supply back inside, so I can sit down with the laptop if I want to hack on it).

    The screen (Xenarc) is powered from my cigarette lighter (which had to be removed anyway). I have a 4-port USB hub that is getting power from the laptop alone. The USB hub is only used for the touchscreen, an OBD2 cable, and a bluetooth radio, so it doesn't need much power.

    And I'm using the webmaster auto-on module.

    It's all been in my car for about two weeks and it's working pretty well. I was originally planning to get a Carnetix but I don't think I will bother.

  5. #15
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    i am at the same point as most in this thread.. if i may give my $.02:

    i was given a great laptop with a broken screen- with the original power adapter. just pick up a 400W inverter from Autozone (the one with a modular connection, that comes in a case) for $50. you will have to hardwire it with 8 gauge wire, but you'll have enough power for powered usb hub, usb hd, etc. d/l Shutcontrol 2.21 from HERE and buy a good usb DAC (Silverstone EB01-B Premium) for $90, so you won't have any audio noise from the charger.

  6. #16
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    I bought a car adapter, and it's working out fine, I've got shutcontrol (waiting on v3) and I will get the laptop auto-turn on module. I'm not worried about USB power just yet, IF I have issues, I'll look into a solution for that. The screen will get an OPUS 12v POL. The car adapter, and the OPUS will both be relayed on the ACC line, and fused separately to the battery. I have no issues with noise, so I won't need a DAC either.

    I really don't like inverters, I'm only putting one in when I get the PS2 in there, but that is still pretty far away. I think it's so ineffecient to go from DC to AC, just to go back to DC.
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  7. #17
    One Sharp Cheddar ThunderStick's Avatar
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    Personally I think you went the wrong route. The carnetix would have been your best bet. For a few reasons.
    (1) They run about 90-95% efficient
    (2) There not too much money
    (3) There stable
    (4) They handle huge voltage fluctuations up to 30 volts dc for input
    (5) Auto switching, which means if you car spikes above its normal operating voltage (which happens quite often) it will be able to recognize those changes and adjust as needed. I can testify to this with my car, it had a failing voltage regulator and would jump from 13.5 volts up to 18 volts pretty quickly and the carnetix took it like a champ.
    (6) The p2140 also offers the secondary output. Your screen should allways connected to a regulated power source. I would not trust your car to do this. Most of the screens being sold can not handle power flucuations or power above 14 volts. Yes your car will get above that. I assume this is what most of the screen failures reported on this site are from. I learned this after a few years ago when I lost two screens in one year. I monitored my voltage on the car and compared to what the screen is supposed to handle according to the manufacturer. Lilliputs only handle up to 13volts according to there website. Your car will get above that gauranteed.

    I used to run an HP e-pc with a series of relays and a tank circuit. It worked well but there was no real shutdown sequence. The computer would get the signal to shutdown then it would only cut off the power to the computer once the 12v rail on the pc was discharged. Needless to say if the computer hung, my tank battery would die. Of course it was kept seperate from the car battery, but after killing and recharging the tank all the time that battery had to be replaced every few months.

    I guess all I can say is, speaking from experience if you cut corners on your install just to save money you will end up not as satisfied and will eventually end up doing what you were trying to avoid in the first place. Spending a little extra money for the higher quality components.

    JUST MY 2 pennies
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  8. #18
    One Sharp Cheddar ThunderStick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeyracer View Post
    I bought a car adapter, and it's working out fine, I've got shutcontrol (waiting on v3) and I will get the laptop auto-turn on module. I'm not worried about USB power just yet, IF I have issues, I'll look into a solution for that. The screen will get an OPUS 12v POL. The car adapter, and the OPUS will both be relayed on the ACC line, and fused separately to the battery. I have no issues with noise, so I won't need a DAC either.

    I really don't like inverters, I'm only putting one in when I get the PS2 in there, but that is still pretty far away. I think it's so ineffecient to go from DC to AC, just to go back to DC.
    I think you just covered the cost of the carnetix. Car adapter, auto control module and the opus 12v POL.
    This could have all been handled from one component. Oh yeah and the carnetix is only 4.6" x 3.25" x 1.75" this would probably save you a little space as well as floating wires all over.
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  9. #19
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThunderStick View Post
    Personally I think you went the wrong route. The carnetix would have been your best bet. For a few reasons.
    (1) They run about 90-95% efficient
    (2) There not too much money
    (3) There stable
    (4) They handle huge voltage fluctuations up to 30 volts dc for input
    (5) Auto switching, which means if you car spikes above its normal operating voltage (which happens quite often) it will be able to recognize those changes and adjust as needed. I can testify to this with my car, it had a failing voltage regulator and would jump from 13.5 volts up to 18 volts pretty quickly and the carnetix took it like a champ.
    (6) The p2140 also offers the secondary output. Your screen should allways connected to a regulated power source. I would not trust your car to do this. Most of the screens being sold can not handle power flucuations or power above 14 volts. Yes your car will get above that. I assume this is what most of the screen failures reported on this site are from. I learned this after a few years ago when I lost two screens in one year. I monitored my voltage on the car and compared to what the screen is supposed to handle according to the manufacturer. Lilliputs only handle up to 13volts according to there website. Your car will get above that gauranteed.

    I used to run an HP e-pc with a series of relays and a tank circuit. It worked well but there was no real shutdown sequence. The computer would get the signal to shutdown then it would only cut off the power to the computer once the 12v rail on the pc was discharged. Needless to say if the computer hung, my tank battery would die. Of course it was kept seperate from the car battery, but after killing and recharging the tank all the time that battery had to be replaced every few months.

    I guess all I can say is, speaking from experience if you cut corners on your install just to save money you will end up not as satisfied and will eventually end up doing what you were trying to avoid in the first place. Spending a little extra money for the higher quality components.

    JUST MY 2 pennies
    I have a lot of the issues you brought up covered already. You have a jag. Jag's are known for electrical ghosts, so it's not surprising to see a voltage regulator have issues (not that chrysler is infallible though.) And I have yet to have any kind of voltage issues. The auto adapter is supposed to be able to handle 10-15V, and the screen can handle 11-24V according to manufacturer specs. Regardless of that, I know it's really not a good idea to run anything that high, and the screen would get regulated 12V from the opus 12v Point Of Load dc-dc regulator.

    Shutcontrol handles the hibernate. There's not a chance it can hang on something like the normal windows hibernate trigger can, and so far, it's worked every time without a hiccup. I can even set pre-hib apps to close RR safely, and on resume RR will come right back up.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThunderStick View Post
    I think you just covered the cost of the carnetix. Car adapter, auto control module and the opus 12v POL.
    This could have all been handled from one component. Oh yeah and the carnetix is only 4.6" x 3.25" x 1.75" this would probably save you a little space as well as floating wires all over.
    Saying that though, and taking another look at it, I think I might go with the 2140, for pretty much the reasons you are talking about. I at first thought that I'd also need the auto turn on module, so I was instantly calculating it wrong. The instructions aren't clear on that, and I am still not sure what wire(s) to use for that.

    I also didn't realize that with the auto adapter and the POL, I'd have to get more relays, fuses, wires, etc. Small price, but added up the whole total is probably more than just a carnetix and it's appropriate wiring.

    Size is not an issue for me. The car adapter is pretty much the same size as the CNX, and the POL would have been behind the dash anyways. Wiring isn't either, because it would all be hidden and planned out anyway. I think what is going to sell me on the CNX is the more intelligent control of it all. I'll be making my purchase in the next few days, so I'll report back with what I do.
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  10. #20
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    more info I've found that will sell me on the 2140:

    according to this thread

    I won't even have to mess with soldering the power button, the USB link will send the acpi commands, and the computer can be set to wake on link, with the acpi pulse wired to the ethernet cable (need help with that part.)
    The way the power button is on the laptop now makes it a little hard to fit any wires between the switch and everything else.

    I saw your thread where you asked the question about how to wire it:

    Quote Originally Posted by ThunderStick View Post
    Never mind after a little research and a little risk I fuigured it out. The ACPI wires refer to the power button on control. Hook them up right and you have no problem. Green and White connected to your computers power button.
    I soldered wires on to the power button on the mother board
    It would be nice if that were more clear in the manual. Mike was talking about making a WOL cable, but nothing I've seen yet.

    Also, I don't think anyone has skinned the PSUmoni app for RR yet, there's an SDK available, but I'm not that savvy with coding, But, it would be nice to have that look like the skins we use.
    2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser TE
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