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Thread: Power Options

  1. #1
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    Power Options

    Hey folks,

    I've done plenty of reading and searching on this site, and now I'm ready to ask some questions.

    First, I'm not an electronics guru or car stereo guru. I am a computer guru however (software developer actually). Because of this, I don't feel comfortable connecting wires to the car battery, or soldering wires to motherboards, or any other kind of custom stuff involving soldering irons. So, what options do I have for getting this thing installed? Can I:

    a) Get a professional installation and trust they'll do it the right way (and not get charged an arm and a leg for it)

    b) Connect it to the same power connectors a standard radio head unit uses (*most preferred method if possible*)

    c) Trust an inverter that uses the cigarette lighter (would need it for both the monitor and computer though).


    This would be for a mini itx board and a 7" touchscreen monitor.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate rickster's Avatar
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    You can connect it to the wires behind your head unit! You will need a permanent 12V, ACC (or ignition live) and ground. You will need to use a dc-dc power supply like an opus or carnetix.

    Have a look in the forum topics for power supplies

  3. #3
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    This is great to hear. So, that's how the DC-DC power supplies work. So, I can connect it directly to the cable connector that would normally go into the car stereo head unit? That is sweet! And then I can connect the Monitor and PC to the PSU? Awesome! That's what I was hoping for.

    Ok, the only part I didn't understand was:

    Quote Originally Posted by rickster
    You will need a permanent 12V, ACC (or ignition live) and ground.
    Could you elaborate on this, and give more details?

    Thanks. I've been reading the forums like crazy, but when you don't speak the speak, it's hard to understand much of it.

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate dan__wright's Avatar
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    he means you will need the following three things:
    a permanent 12V to power it,
    the acc to tell the psu that the ignitions on,
    and a ground to complete the circuit.

    hope this helps.

  5. #5
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    OK. I understand ya on that. (Let me preface that I'm sorry for my stupidy and lack of knowledge)

    Question is, does the car have the ACC, and ground as standard connectors? I.E., Are those normally connected to a stock stereo head unit? Or, do I have to splice or solder wires here?

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate rickster's Avatar
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    you will not be able to plug straight into the stereo connector. You would need to tap into the appropriate cables. The cables you will need to tap into are the permanent 12V, Ignition Live and Ground. You could find these by using a volt meter.

    You haven't mentioned it but have you read up on the audio sections of this site. You will need to route the audio from the pc to an amp or head unit. The pc output voltage on the audio is very low so it will need to be amplified somehow.

    edit: sorry for the confusion

  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate dan__wright's Avatar
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    nope, the acc is on the headunit connector, that why it will turn on when the ignition gets turned on, as for the ground, you could connect it to the headunit ground, but if you connect it to bare metal on the chasis of the car that will work.

  8. #8
    Variable Bitrate rickster's Avatar
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    You will be better of to use 8 or 12 gauge power cable and run the Permanent 12V straight to the Car Battery with an inline 15A fuse. You should also do this without the fuse for the ground but connect the other end to the vehicles chassis.

    You should also put an inline 15A fuse on the ignition live aswell.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickster
    You will be better of to use 8 or 12 gauge power cable and run the Permanent 12V straight to the Car Battery with an inline 15A fuse. You should also do this without the fuse for the ground but connect the other end to the vehicles chassis.

    You should also put an inline 15A fuse on the ignition live aswell.
    Ok...That's when I get scared I'll probably try to avoid that if there are easier (and still safe) ways around it(like Dan_Wright's suggestion to connect it to bare metal on the chasis of the car). Thanks though.

    By the way. I have read about the amp and sound part and I think I'm totally cool on that.

    Thanks a lot everyone. Big help! Seems like the only relatively annoying part is the ground.

  10. #10
    Variable Bitrate rickster's Avatar
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    I said that because Opus who makes the power supplies recommend it. Depending on what you want to run, you might be pulling too many amps over the factory wiring.

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