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Thread: dell desktop, how to power?

  1. #1
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    Unhappy dell desktop, how to power?

    Ok, I've just recently started thinking about putting a computer in my car, but have yet to even get past selecting how to power it.

    I have a dell Dimension 4100, pentium 3, that is the most likely candidate. However it has a non-standard 20-pin connector + a 6-pin connector (I love how dell just sticks with the standards...).

    so my question is how the heck do i go about powering this thing? I've read alot about it, but most of the time all the variations make my head spin. Should I get a dc-dc psu? but then how do I connect it to the mobo? will I have to play with the wires? or is it easier to get a regulator?


    Then my next, less important, question is: How much power should I be looking at? I've tried alot of psu calculators, but they all rate my system as needing 170+W, which I highly doubt considering its a low-end desktop from 2001 with a Pentium 3 processor, and I've seen others on here claim the calculators are innacurate as well...

  2. #2
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    An DC-AC converter is your easiest route. Maybe search ebay for a PIII mobo on the cheap that uses standard connectors that are easier to hack to a DC-DC
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  3. #3
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    Converter, that was the other word I was looking for.

    I think I might be going that route but then I have to make sure there is a regulator, and a shutdown controller right? And is there any downside to all this conversion? I mean it seems like switching back forth DC to AC must have some downside, or just the space it'll require?

    Also does anyone know of any reputable sites for buying converters, regulators, etc. with adequate specs? mp3car store is lacking in these products...

  4. #4
    Low Bitrate
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    Dirty power is your biggest problem. Switching back and forth between AC and DC isnt great, but you can do it. Also, most DC-DC boxes will survive cranking, DC-AC wont. And most DC-DC boxes have the shutdown controller built in. I cant help you find a good converter, for I only have one to power the occasional laptop or what have you; I use a P1900 DC-DC for my mac mini
    CarPC status:

    [XXXXXXXXXX] 100% Complete
    [XXXXXXXXXX] 100% Installed
    [XXXXXXXXXX] 100% Software

    CarPC v1.2 is now in effect. Software updates and hardware additions to come.

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