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Thread: do you neeed more than one 12v source?

  1. #1
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    do you neeed more than one 12v source?

    ok so im gonna run an inverter, FM transmitter, lilliput and a laptop car charger. they all run on 12v sources can they hook up to the same one? like can i hook them all up to the same cigarette lighter? or do i need to find a different source for each one. im thinking it wont make a difference but im new at this.

    also where else can i tap into a 12v source? the only i know about is the lighter socket. thanks!

  2. #2
    Raw Wave god_of_cpu's Avatar
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    The reason why it wouldn't be good to run all that stuff directly from the cigarette lighter is if the wire guage used for the lighter is too high. You can figure this out by adding the maximum amp load that all those devices carry together and seeing if its less then the tolerances of your cigarette lighter which you can figure out by looking either in the owners manual or possibly written somewhere on the socket itself. You may be safe with all that if you don't run a lot off the inverter, most cigarette lighters shoudl be able to handle a max amp load under 7 amps ok, but its starting to push it then and it might not be wise to continue to use your cigarette lighter to power other devices through the socket, if you can avoid it, you should.

    The best way to hook up all your devices is run your own wire (fused of at least 10 guage, 8 if running a long distance or higher amp load) directly from the battery and have it triggered on and off directly by a relay tied to the igition or ACC line. You generally don't want to tap into any other power line thats hooked up to another device used by the car and draw large amounts of current from it as you may take the power needed away from those other devices. The cigarette lighter is your second best choice, but not recommended for a permenant install.
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  3. #3
    See me in my wet t-shirt. stevieg's Avatar
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    A good, easy way of getting a good enough power source is to go down to your local auto store and get an amp wiring kit - a kit will run one wire from your battery to your car PC and devices, god_of_cpu says you need to make sure you work out how much power everything will draw and buy one which will supply enough power.

    Once you have that, your auto store will also stock a power distribution board for you to split this single feed to supply all your components. You do need to make sure you have a common, good ground though. The amp kit will probably have a short ground wire and instruct you to wire this to your chassis - but it needs to be a good contact (use a multimeter to check the resistance is a low as possible, and if neccessary clean the contacts first)
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  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate
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    Both god of cpu and stevieg hit it right on. Good rule of thumb is if you're going to even remotely have the possibility of running more than 100W through your cigarette lighter... Don't do it.

    Cigarette lighters were never designed to handle a 'real' load. Think of those screw-in AC receptacle adapters for floor and table-lamps. Same deal.

  5. #5
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    hmm makes sense, i will be using a 300W inverter. the inverter will power a 120W PSU and a Playstation 2.

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate fantomas's Avatar
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    for the right gauge wire...
    http://www.crutchfield.com/installgu...ble_gauge.html
    looks like 8 gauge will be ok for you
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  7. #7
    See me in my wet t-shirt. stevieg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dannn
    hmm makes sense, i will be using a 300W inverter. the inverter will power a 120W PSU and a Playstation 2.
    If I were you I would seriously consider ditching any Invertor and getting an Opus or ITPS and a DC-DC mod for the PS2. Save you lots of trouble in the long run
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  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate
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    can you go a little more into how to add a relay to the ACC with the distributor?

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