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Thread: Hi, I need help. First time Building a Car PC

  1. #1
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    Hi, I need help. First time Building a Car PC

    Hi, I checked the Videos on how to build and hook up a Car PC onto a car, and yet I still have trouble understanding it. Im not going to put an amplifier into my car, but just a PC. I have a Zotac Ion motherboard and an M2- 160 watt power supply. I just want to know what wires I should get, any fuses needed, and where to hook them up so that it does not draw power constantly. Any form of help, I would appreciate it. I may have more questions in mind, but these are the basic ones I need to know. Thank you.

    LHLXD

  2. #2
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    If you're not going to install an amplifier, how do you plan on hooking up the PC audio? The audio signal from the PC requires some amplification to sound decent.
    That amplification can be a standalone amplifier, a miniature amp (there's one sold int eh store here) or a headunit.

    I suggest spending some time reading int he FAQs. All your questions are answered there, including clarification of your audio dilemma.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  3. #3
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    My acura has an integrated Amplifier. That means I need to bypass it. Im just going to hook the PC audio into my auxillary port that I bought from Grom Audio. I did that to my netbook the same way, and the audio seemed just as fine. Im not one of those who care about audio quality. I just want to get the screen up and running so I can play a whole lot of songs and also use it as bluetooth, and navigation. I just wanted to know how to hook up the PC into the car. Ive watched the Car PC 101 tutorial, but i dont want to touch the integrated fuse box. Ive checked other PC builds, but none really gave me a clear diagram on where to hook up things other than naming the components that they bought and planning to install. Ive been checking the FAQs daily, hoping to find an answer, and I know someone would bound to tell me to check it either way. If I missed it, I apologize, but from the time i signed up to this forum until now, I am having a hard time find that right page to find that right answer.
    Last edited by LHLXD; 12-27-2011 at 04:15 PM.

  4. #4
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    the easiest way to locate info on connecting it to the car is to treat the carpc like a aftermarket amp. the power wires are run similarly, and either is usually mounted in similar locations.

    what year/make/model are we talking about?

  5. #5
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    I have an Acura TSX 2004 without Navigation. ive never hooked up an aftermarket amp before. I was just told that since my car was a premium sound, it had an integrated amp box located inside of the center console CD box under the Head unit.

  6. #6
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    sorry, are you planning on replacing the factory am/fm/cd deck, or are intending to add onto it? the rest of my post was begun thinking that you were pulling the factory deck, and only using the amp, though if you intend to use the factory deck with the factory amp, i think you should be alright..

    anyways...

    a integrated amp doesn't mean that it is specifically compatible with a source like a carpc(note-- the carpc audio is no different then a ipod, or other audio source). while there is a good chance that it will work, there is just as good of a chance that the guy engineering the amp was having a really bad day that day, and built it in a way that it requires stuff that aftermarket gear won't have.


    after searching crutchfield for your model car, and also checking metraonline.com(they supply the harnesses that crutchfield sells), it does not appear that your amp allows for aftermarket sources like a carpc.

    specifically, the adapter should have RCA-type speaker connections instead of multiple little wires. so because i don't see anything offered i don't believe that you can simply connect a source like a carpc directly to the amp..

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    Yes, I am going to leave the factory deck alone along with the factory amp. All I had changed was the ability to use USB, ipod, and AUX-input using the GROM-audio USB kit hooked up into the CD changer plug. If I did the Car PC, I was planning to hook the 3.5mm audio jack into my AUX input, if it is even possible because Ive tried it with my netbook, and it worked perfectly fine. I see no reason why a PC wont work.

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate nasa's Avatar
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    LHLXD,

    I have read your post a number of times and am not totally sure what you are trying to ask... So, let's get that part straight. Here is what I THINK you are asking...

    1. You want to know how to power your PC. Specifically what wires go from the car battery to the computer; what fuses are needed on those wires; how to convert power from battery to what is needed for the computer, and so on. If this is correct -- review the http://www.mp3car.com/blogs/jensen20...-car-computer/ videos, they cover all of this. BTW: your M2-atx is what keeps your battery from draining.

    2. The question of the amp clouded you original question... Since you mentioned the GROM device, which connects to your stock stereo -- you will NOT need a new amp. The discussion of the integrated amp isn't necessary based on what you have stated you want to do. Connect the GROM per instruction and feed the audio out from the computer to the GROM just as you did with your netbook. I am assuming this is the device you are referring too: http://gromaudio.com/store/usb_adapt...interface.html

    3. I am assuming you are going to use the GROM device for the Ipod and USB drives.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for your help but I've seen this video. It was quite confusing. Although he might of mentioned the gauges, I dont know if he mentioned what fuse he used 15A or 20A. I saw the opus power supply thread and thought it could be it. Other than the ground and power wires, I'm pretty sure there is an ign wire which explain in the Fido, booking into an amp. I don't have an aftermarket amp, so I don't know where to put that ign wire to.
    Thanks for answering my question about the grom, and yes, that's the one I have.

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate nasa's Avatar
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    LHLXD,

    All of you questions are in the FAQs... But to make this quicker; Let me do a little feeding...

    1. The fuse size is dictated by the size of your power supply, which you have said is a M2-atx 160 watt power supply. 160/12 = 13.33, so a 15A fuse should work.

    2. For your install, you don't need a distribution block as you will only going to one device (your PC).

    3. Not sure what you mean by Fido, however, if you read the instructions -- there are 3 lines that attach to the m2-atx. The three are power, ground, and ACC and/or IGN. The ACC and/or IGN line is used to tell the DC-DC adapter (your m2-atx) when to provide power and turn-on your PC. The m2-atx gives you a number of options on how to configure those options -- read the instructions for that.

    4. Finally, the gauge of wire used for taking the power from the battery to your PC depends on the distance between the two and how much power you plan on carrying on it. You don't say where you plan on installing it, so I will give a conservative answer of 4 gauge. Use the same gauge or larger for the gound wire.

    5. Extra: You can ground to either the battery or the chasis (sp?) I would suggest for you... the battery. That would reduce the effort in finding a good grounding spot in your car.

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