ok my english isn't the best.. but Bruce, are you using those things that you connect into the cigarette thing and get a power plug on the other side? .. do you have pictures of what you have?
not necessarily... you can't go by wattage alone. older CPUs draw their power from the 5v rail, newer CPUs draw their power from the 12v rail. you need to check how much power is drawn from each power rail to determine if the power supply will be sufficient. use a PSU calculator to find out your system's power needs.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
No, I definitely do not power my carpc from the cigarette lighter jack. I DO plug in my cel phone charger or mp3 player charger...only low current draws (although a cigarette lighter is a resistance heater, and thus draws a lot of current - mine has a 10 amp fuse)
I ran a 4 gage multi-strand cable directly from my battery, fused with a 100 amp fuse. The carpc is located about 11 feet away form the battery, in the rear of my station wagon. I have a power distribution block back there that splits the 4 gage cable into four 8 gage cables - to feed the audio amplifiers basically, also powers a small relay switchbox I bulit for other purposes.
The carpc is powered from 120 volts ac, supplied from a Vector 1000 watt modified sine wave inverter. Obviously, 1kw is a lot, but I sometimes plug lighting and power tools into the inverter.
Remember that many, if not most, carpc installtions are powered not by an inverter, but a dc/dc power supply. Look in the FAQ section, which discusses power options:
Keep reading - keep learning. The english idiom is 'the light will go on", meaning that you will begin to have a fuller understanding if you work at it.
but I CAN do the DC/DC power supply? with a huge Desktop?. .i'm really sorry, I not that high tech like everyone else here, and I read these things but I cant really understand much.. do you have pictures of what YOU have?
In the FAQ section, look for 'Will xxxxx Power Supply Work with My System?"
I've never used that, but they say it allows a person to determine how many watts PSU (power supply unit) is needed, based on which processor their mother board is running.
I don't have the experience to tell you if a particular wattage dc/dc psu will work for the particular pc you want to use in your car.
I was reminded and corrected that even though the psu in my desktop pc that I am using in my car is nameplate rated at 250 watts, I really need to know how many watts are being used on each of the voltage rails:
>did I forget any?
Add up the wattage from each of those voltages, and that should be the total wattage of the psu.
A lot of guys on this forum expect a newbie to do a lot of reading and research before they will answer certain questions. That way, we become educated, not just a question asker, that has people taking care of their needs. But, you might give all the specifics you can on the particular pc you want to install, and perhaps someone who knows might tell you what wattage psu is needed.
In meantime, r e a l l y read those FAQ's carefully - then ask.
Oh, no pictures as yet, but I sent you the inverter info.
My carpc is just a regular ol' Compaq desktop unit, just like any other desktop, except that it is new with Vista, large HD, 2gb memory...
bruce your being REAL helpful man,.. but I really have no clue about what you said, I feel like a pain... How do I figure out that "voltage rails" thing, which I have no idea what It means... is that like power drawn from different things within the computer or something?... hard drive, dvd drive, etc.? I have no clue, man. lol, is my best bet just using one of those inverter things you sent me info about? ... (do I need to do anything with my battery with that?)
Let's try it this way: take a look at the mp3car Store. Check out the ready-to-go computers that they have for sale. They are intended for a mobile installation, and usually come with psu, or at least tell the wattage of psu needed. They are (generally) pretty low wattage, from 90 to say, 250 watts.
But, our desktop pc's have a larger wattage draw, and a larger psu installed. For example, when I open the case on my desktop carpc, the nameplate on the psu says 250 watts. The psu supplies several voltages to the pc: 12 volts, 5 volts, 3.3 volts. Each of these voltages have a certain amount of current that they supply to the pc, and if you total all of the currents associated with those voltages, you have the TOTAL watts being drawn by the pc. That's a pretty simple picture, and not complete, but it is a good starting point. The 'rails' that are being referred to are each of the voltages...
Before I forget, why don't you look into a book or more than one book, either in english or (Dutch?) on carpc's or mobile pc's? Nothing like pictures and explanations from an expert to really introduce you to this hobby.
There is some level of expertise in pc's, wiring, constructing, planning...that I think that a person should have to get started in carpc's. You probably know someone who doesn'tknow how to connect their speakers, cd player, cassette, dvd player at home for their home entertainment system, yet you know that it is actually very simple. But there are certain concepts (such as inputs and outputs) that must be understood before someone can hook up their stereo.
Did you say that you have a dektop pc that you want to try to install in car?
If so, what make is it? Exactly what model no? have you slid the case open to have a look at the psu to determine what wattage? These are easy things that you can do to get started.
It's late. Talk to you later.