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Thread: Reluctant Newbie Hello

  1. #1
    Newbie
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    Nov 2004
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    Reluctant Newbie Hello

    The dream of a car PC is within reach! Right now I'm running it in a modded shoebox. Literally. I have the pieces...the mobo, HD, RAM and I even have a 7" LCD. The only thing I need now is a way to plug the damn thing into my car. The question is, how? I've been lurking for so long reading almost every entry into the power supply section it's making my head spin, so I have to now relent and say hello, I'm a newb.

    Here are stats, minus power outputs:

    - VIA EPIA PD 6000E Fanless Motherboard
    - Kingston 3200 256mhz RAM
    - Full sized Maxtor 80gig
    - Full sized 8X dvd-rom
    - Microsoft Wireless optical mouse 2.0

    And for the most important part, the PSU and LCD monitor....which I don't have the power specs on. Once I get all the necessary software on the 80 gig, I don't think I'll need the DVD player, so I can kick cash to a laptop conversion cd-rom player which will reduce watt usage.

    This computer will be my computer away from home. It'll be used as nav when I'm lost, entertainment when I'm stuck in traffic, internet access (using open 802.11g/b...legally, of course) and for movies and music when I'm relaxing at work. With that said, what would be the best bet for power: a seperate car battery, an inverter for my current battery or ? does someone else have a better idea? (and I've searched, but I don't know what I'm searching for! Comparison specs of seperate psu-s vs inverters and run times of each?) I haven't replaced my battery in a while (2-3 years or so), so I'm sure it's about time. Ultimately, all I want is to plug it in at this point and use the damn thing on the road.

    Any help would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks, and Hello All!

  2. #2
    Stank Cheese n8scstm's Avatar
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    Eastvale, Ca (Near Corona)
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    All depends on your budget. If you can afford a separate battery, do it. For everything it will run about $500. If you can't afford that you'll have to live with one battery. Then you have to choose between an OPUS and an inverter. I went with the inverter because I have the need for more watts than the 150 that the opus provides. If your only running what you said, I think you would be fine with an OPUS. But if you ever want to install a Beer Fridge and a microwave for pizza, you'll be screwed. Can't plug that into your OPUS.
    2.4 celeron
    150 watt OPUS
    micro atx
    xp pro
    tv/radio tuner card
    audigy
    Dual monitor Radeon
    802.11G Mimo
    xm pcr
    dvd
    gps
    8" Lilliput touch screen
    IGuidance
    dual optimas
    battery isolator
    15" screen
    My Truck

  3. #3
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    Little Elm, Texas
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    or...the M1-ATX....cheaper than the opus and IMO better due to all of the options....

    they sell it here on mp3car.com for $74.99.....

    http://www.mp3car.com/store/product_...products_id=67

    or

    http://www.logicsupply.com/product_i...roducts_id=285 (holy poop!!! they quit bleeping out logic supply!!!!)

    or

    http://www.mini-box.com/s.nl/sc.8/ca...it.A/id.356/.f

    =]
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

  4. #4
    Low Bitrate divinity's Avatar
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    shoebox carputers > *

    I've been running a shoebox carputer for close to a year now. Someday I'll go ahead and build my own case, but for now the shoebox suffices. I've got mine running off an inverter stuck in my glove. I have a bit of the engine whine people always talk about, and the fan on my inverter has gotten noisy. It's definitely time to go for an opus in my opinion. An inverter is a great quick and easy fix for power, and is also available for powering other things when needed. But from what I hear, an opus or similar power source is preferable.
    1997 Honda CR-V
    Audio::Custom Speaker Box:/:2x10" Rockford Fosgates:/:Sony Xplod amp
    Computer::Epia M10000:/:Deluo GPS:/:Lilliput 7":/:802.11g:/:In a shoebox
    Software::FrodoPlayer + Destinator3

  5. #5
    Newbie
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    Nov 2004
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    See N8scstm, leave it to a fellow Californian to try and put a beer fridge and microwave in their car. Actually, when I was transporting (mind you, not drinking) a couple beers from a friend's house to mine, I was contemplating how cool it would be to turn my little console cubby hole into a refridgerator...seeing as the space is already big enough to house 2-3 beer bottles. Then I thought, what the hell am I thinking? All I have to do is get pulled over once and have that damn thing open and BOOM, instant breathalizer.

    Thanks for the replies...the $75 m1-atx sounds interesting. Correct me if I'm wrong, and I'm sure I am, but isn't the m1-atx just a psu and won't I still have to worry about an inverter? It's not something I can automagically plug into my lighter and play with, right? Also, there's tons of worry about the computer itself and whether or not the PSU will survive cold starts from a car that's off, cranking and etc, but what about the other unit that you can't change the PSU of....what about the monitor? The monitor I got didn't have a car adaptor for it, so it's one of those fatty wall plugs. Does this sound like something just a straight inverter would be able to handle?

  6. #6
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    the M1 is a DC-DC power supply....

    meaning you just completely bypass the inverter and don't need it.....unless you want to have it for other purposes....

    your other questions are all answered in numerous placed around this forum AND on the descriptions of the M1....

    it can handle cranking since the m1 waits a few seconds before powering up...giving hte viltage in the car a chance to regulate before it sends a signal to turn the computer on...the monitor can just be wired into ignition - which is what we did in my car last time....the only way to turn the monitor on was to have the key in the ignition....I liked this because when I would remote start my car I wouldn't just have my monitor on and me not be around my car....

    the fatty wall plug should say 12v on it, if that's the case you should just hard wire it into your cars electrical system, since the car produces 12v....

    all of this sounds like something you don't even need an inverter for....

    since you are a noob you can get away with it for a while...hehehe

    but I'm serious when I say that ALL of your questions have already been discussed in great detail and answered throughly somewhere on this forum....many times....just be patient and take a look around for a bit.....you will be amazed what you find

    =]
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

  7. #7
    Stank Cheese n8scstm's Avatar
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    Eastvale, Ca (Near Corona)
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    If the ac adapter(aka wall thingy/power brick/etc.) says 12v then jsut cut it off and use the cars 12v. If it says 5v then you can use the power from your power supply. I have a question though. Im no pro on power supplies. How do you know how many watts each wire from the psu can handle? If it says the 12v can handle 10 watts, is that 10 watts per little plug, or 10 total? If 10 total, where do they get the 250 watt total from? Does most of that go to the motherboard? I want to power all my stuff off my psu since its cleaner power than the cars 12v, thats why I ask.
    2.4 celeron
    150 watt OPUS
    micro atx
    xp pro
    tv/radio tuner card
    audigy
    Dual monitor Radeon
    802.11G Mimo
    xm pcr
    dvd
    gps
    8" Lilliput touch screen
    IGuidance
    dual optimas
    battery isolator
    15" screen
    My Truck

  8. #8
    Stank Cheese n8scstm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Eastvale, Ca (Near Corona)
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeconIV
    See N8scstm, leave it to a fellow Californian to try and put a beer fridge and microwave in their car. Actually, when I was transporting (mind you, not drinking) a couple beers from a friend's house to mine, I was contemplating how cool it would be to turn my little console cubby hole into a refridgerator...seeing as the space is already big enough to house 2-3 beer bottles. Then I thought, what the hell am I thinking? All I have to do is get pulled over once and have that damn thing open and BOOM, instant breathalizer.

    Thanks for the replies...the $75 m1-atx sounds interesting. Correct me if I'm wrong, and I'm sure I am, but isn't the m1-atx just a psu and won't I still have to worry about an inverter? It's not something I can automagically plug into my lighter and play with, right? Also, there's tons of worry about the computer itself and whether or not the PSU will survive cold starts from a car that's off, cranking and etc, but what about the other unit that you can't change the PSU of....what about the monitor? The monitor I got didn't have a car adaptor for it, so it's one of those fatty wall plugs. Does this sound like something just a straight inverter would be able to handle?

    If your getting searched, you can rest assured that the cop will give you a breathalizer regardless of whether he finds the beer or not. But I've luckily never been searched, even when I did have an open container and looked nervous as can be due to the fact that I was under age. I wasnt drinking it either, just transporting to a party because I couldnt drink the entire bottle of Aftershock the night before. LOL
    2.4 celeron
    150 watt OPUS
    micro atx
    xp pro
    tv/radio tuner card
    audigy
    Dual monitor Radeon
    802.11G Mimo
    xm pcr
    dvd
    gps
    8" Lilliput touch screen
    IGuidance
    dual optimas
    battery isolator
    15" screen
    My Truck

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