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Thread: 05 Camry want computer

  1. #11
    Maximum Bitrate FusionFanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paisa3o5 View Post
    ok I think this is the 3rd time me posting this (i dont kno y its not posting what I'm saying)
    you're still a new member, so all your posts have to be approved by a moderator first before they will show up in the foirum. I'm not sure if the restriction gets lifted automatically after a certain number of posts, or if a moderator has to manually lift the restriction from your account. you may want to PM a mod and ask about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by paisa3o5 View Post
    well I think what I'm going to do now is sale my head unit.. and get a stereo like the one I used to have with an AUX port, so I guess I can play my comp. thru there, and just buy one of those Lulliput touchscreen and connect it VGA and replace it where I have my head unit...
    good idea

    just an FYI, while I personally prefer to keep a head unit, it is not necessary. many carPC users hook their carPCs directly to an amplifier and control all audio functions through software. I don't like this method because I don't always need my carPC on, but many people want their carPC to do everything. if you think you'd rather control everything through the carPC then you should consider an amplifier instead of a head unit. If you are like me and would like to keep the head unit for audio control, where the computer is more of a novelty then a necessity then stick to your plan and get a new head unit with aux-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by paisa3o5 View Post
    (sorry if this has been answered).. So does the screen get connected thru a ciggarete socket or something like that...?. ... and should I just use one of those Power converter things to connect the computer (cigarete socket to outlet) ? thnaks
    yes it has been answered... many times before... the MP3car.com FAQ section will answer 90% of the carPC questions you may have.

    the short answer is; you can power your lilliput monitor from any 12v source. In my setup I use the cig lighter cable hardwired to the back of the car's cig lighter socket. many people power theirs off the PC's power supply or run a dedicated (fused) line from the battery.

    as for the computer itself, the short answer is; no, you shouldn't use a power inverter. (if you already have one sitting around that is powerful enough to run a computer, then you can use it, but it's not a good solution). generally, you should always use a DC-DC power supply in a permanently installed carPC setup.

    the type and model you will need will depend on what you're using as your carputer, what features you want, and how much money you're willing to spend. the power supply FAQs explain it very well.


  2. #12
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    thanks a lot for your reply man,.. really helping me out... really I pretty much only plan on spending money on the screen and the head unit , o and the DCDC thing (which I really have no idea what it is so far) ... (i can get the computer elsewhere for free),.., I'm not the MOST electrical oriented person... so Im not sure what this DC DC thing does

  3. #13
    Maximum Bitrate FusionFanatic's Avatar
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    well, your house electricity is AC, your car electricity is DC. all computers run on DC...

    in a desktop PC, the power supply is an AC > DC converter which changes your house's AC to your computer's required DC. there is a lot of electricity lost as heat during the conversion process. most home PSUs are around 75%-85% efficient, meaning 15%-25% of the electricity it consumes is lost as heat.

    the same efficiency rule applies in reverse if you use a DC > AC inverter to change your car's DC to your home PC power supply's required AC. (the PSU then has to convert it back to DC again for the computer). if you use an inverter then you're taking your car's DC and changing to AC only to have the PSU change it back to DC. the electricity has to go through a lot more steps than is necessary before it gets to the carputer. and a very significant amount of electricity is lost as heat during the two conversion/inversion processes. that heat buildup has to be removed so it doesn't damage the electronics. heat is not good, especially in a car.

    a DC > DC PSU simply changes the voltages, it doesn't have to invert the DC > AC or convert the AC > DC, it stays DC the whole time. it has a much shorter path to take, and it doesn't waste as much electricity as heat. this is why it is a much better solution. most DC > DC PSU models do not provide a lot of power but is sufficient for low-power systems common in the carPC world, if you plan on running a power hungry desktop PC in the car then you may have an issue getting enough current to it.

    also, many DC > DC PSU/regulator models that are built for carPC use feature a startup/shutdown controller to turn the carPC on and off with the car's ignition (if you want that feature)

  4. #14
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    o maan.. u just sent me back a whole lot... I see what your saying about the power thing now.... but I actually was planning on putting a desktop computer in there..

    so am I screwed now?

  5. #15
    Maximum Bitrate FusionFanatic's Avatar
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    don't know... as I said earlier it depends on what you'll be using as your carputer. simply saying it's a desktop does not give any information about it's power draw.

    check out this PSU FAQ. it will show you how to calculate your power needs.

  6. #16
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    o man.. you got me extremely confused... Ok, I picked up some old Dell Dimension 4100... how do I figure out what I can do with that?

  7. #17
    Maximum Bitrate FusionFanatic's Avatar
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    laptop power is easy... just look at the output specs on the AC power brick that came with it.

  8. #18
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    .. no, the Dimension 4100 is a desktop computer, how do i figure it out with this..

  9. #19
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    Mate by the sounds of things I think you should do a bit more reading up on this site.

    You can power a desktop from an inverter, but it is far from the best solution. As ComputerGeek said it won't have the auto power on/off that you will get with a system you build yourself using a DC-DC PSU like the M2-ATX. You *may* be able to use an M2-ATX or an OPUS with the Dell, but it will probably draw to much power.

    Another problem with using the Dell is heat. The PIII may overheat in a car environment. In the short time I have had my car PC, the Celeron 1.3Ghz in my system (it's integrated on the mobo) reached over 70C, which is the thermal limit of the PIII (http://www.heatsink-guide.com/conten...=maxtemp.shtml).

    Pick up a nice MiniITX board (I LOVE my Intel D201GLY, $70!), a DC-DC PSU (love my M2-ATX) and build the system yourself. Will save you pain, and you will have a better system in the end.

  10. #20
    Variable Bitrate brucedog's Avatar
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    Here's an example for desktop pc install:

    I have installed a Compaq SR5350F desktop pc in the cargo cmpt (= lotsa room...) of my Saturn wagon. Before I decided to go with an inverter, I opened the pc and looked at the power supply (PSU). Label says "250 watts." That doesn't mean that the pc currently draws 250 watts dc; it means that Compaq sized the psu so that I could add pci cards in spare slots, also usb power draws (of which there are many these days). You should now find out the power consumption/psu infor on YOUR proposed install.

    So, if I wanted to go w dc/dc supply, I could buy the Opus 320 watt, or even the 250 watt psu and be ok.

    My inverter is a 1000 watt Vector modified sine unit. When my pc runs, the power meter on the inverter barely registers. I have run my carpc for several hours sittin' in my driveway, and the batt voltage dropped no more than 0.5 vdc. Inverters have been called lots of nasty names, but I get very little heat coming off mine, and no problems such as buzz in audio (but I did at first - that's for another thread...)

    That's a bit of MY experience - hope it helps. Keep reading and askiing questions, but do your reading first; many questions/problems have already been addressed here...

    Happy carpc'ing!


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