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Thread: Newb Placement Question and others

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate
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    Newb Placement Question and others

    Hey everyone,

    So tonight i've finally taken the first tiny step in getting my car pc on the road. I figure since i don't currently have the money to buy the PC and screen i might as well get the smaller components together. so the first thing on the chopping block is going to be a switch panel. On the panel is going to be a valet switch, and a free switch, just becuse i know during install i'll think of something i want on a switch and don't feel like redoing it. I've decided to put the switch panel under my center arm rest where there is a small space for CDs to go, but in this day and age who seriously carries CD's. It's about a 6.5" x 6" x 3" space (just small enough a mac mini wouldn't fit ) So i've decided to install into this space the switch panel, and an external Slim line DVD player. The reason for the DVD player, if not obvious, is simply this. I'm staying w/ a head unit (mainly for radio and those 5 minute commutes), but I'm also going to have it so when my friends want to play one of their Cds I can import it to my itunes (sorry all you win-amp fans, I'm a mac boy through and through, and it's killing me to revert to PC for this install) that way they don't have to bring their CD the next time and their music is there waiting for their listening pleasure.

    My question about the switch panel is this though, I'm using 18 gauge wire w/ 2 20 Amp rated switches, but is there a way to test my switch inside before getting it into my car, I'm not sure that i want to splice a regular cable just because I'm not sure i 18g cable would handle 120v all that well.

    Last question, just thought of this one. For those of you who installed your computer under your passenger chair, did you choose to run the cables below the carpet and make a cut in? Right now i'm still doing the age old debate, where should i put it. the idea of pulling out my backseat, both front seats, and carpet for a trunk install is not my favorite idea.

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate
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    120v? Your external DVD drive uses 120v? Are you sure about that? I'm a bit confused at what you'll be running through the 18 gauge wire.

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate
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    No, the 120 is if i test it inside. i'm using 18 gauge because i'm only planning on running at most 12 amps through it for under 25 feet, which by the grid i use in my backstage handbook suggests 18 gauge.

  4. #4
    Newbie
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    I've never done it for a carPC, but I've done my fair share of cable running in stereo system. If you think you can run the cables under the carpet, and you think it will look better, Do it.

    One solid afternoon on a weekend will get the job done, get a mate to come help. Basic tool kit should do most things. If you can, just follow the exisiting wiring in the car, should be on the passenger side close to the doors.

    Dispite what people say they'll do "later", most times it's a one-time thing. Do it properly, and people won't ask you "why there are cables running everywhere?"

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate
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    Any one else have opinions on this, i'm trying to get a wide spectrum of opinions.

  6. #6
    Low Bitrate vtecfelon23's Avatar
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    remember that carpet is not always so easy to deal with. make sure there is no interfence in signals between cables.. and make sure once everything is wired, you will be satisfied for a while. i have torn my car apart sooo many times... blast.. oo yeah, while your at it, might as well do a nice detail clean. pull out those seats and get every last crumb, though.. be careful for those srs wires if you have side airbags..

  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate
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    Well right now I'm sitting here having never pulled my car apart trying to figure out the best way. Is it possible to run cables to the trunk under the backseat, or is the trunk of most cars a separate piece? I totally plan on doing this as clean as possible because i don't want anything to seem easy to grab and go. Also another question that i've been wondering about is power, a lot of laptops have AC/DC adapters... how well do they work for this use.

  8. #8
    Newbie
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    There's one tried and true method to find out.

    Dedicate a weekend, or just one day (preferably on a clear day, plenty of sunlight) where you can just go at it at your own pace.
    If you don't know how to pull your car to pieces, Learn.

  9. #9
    Maximum Bitrate FusionFanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickwell24 View Post
    My question about the switch panel is this though, I'm using 18 gauge wire w/ 2 20 Amp rated switches, but is there a way to test my switch inside before getting it into my car, I'm not sure that i want to splice a regular cable just because I'm not sure i 18g cable would handle 120v all that well.
    based on your "valet switch help" thread, it appears that you are using a lighted 12v automotive switch. if you hook that directly up to 120VAC, you'll blow the bulb inside the switch.

    if you have a 12vdc power supply then you can test it with that. if you don't have one then you can use a 9v battery.


  10. #10
    Low Bitrate vtecfelon23's Avatar
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    usually the back seats fold down to reveal the trunk. i know with my car, the carpet runs underneth the bottom portion of the rear seat and ends there.. then the backportion of the rear seat is the divider between the trunk. i just gave my seat a good tug and it lifts up. ... run the wires through the carpet up under the seat and into the trunk. If you are using a laptop, get an additional power brick. that way if u take it out you can just unplug it, take it with you and then plug it back in. Most of the time the power brick cords are divided. soo if u dont want a nice lump in your super clean carpet, hack one of the cords and extend it to fit. But then im assuming you are using an inverter. which is another cord u need to consider placement.. if this is true.. the inverter can be in the trunk and then you dont have to worry about feeding your lappy cable under and around everything-- and you can take it with you.

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