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Thread: Everything You need to know about your M4 ATX

  1. #211
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Just a bit of info for anyone trying to get a car PC running in “Suspend to ram” state with an M4 supply.

    The M4 will kick the PC back to “Hard Off” (+5v line is dropped) if the IGN line is connected then interrupted, as in turning the ignition to accessory and then to start on some cars.

    The solution is to feed the M4 IGN wire via a 1A diode with a 47uf 50v cap from the M4 IGN lead to ground.

    I bought this M4 a week ago and apart from the glitch above, it works perfectly. It’s annoying that you have to disconnect the power from the M4 after making a timing change via the USB line.

    Some software changes will not be read until power is removed (This would reset the Micro and cause the new settings to be initialised) I would have programmed it differently.

  2. #212
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    GA-H55N -USB3 Mother board, INTEL i3 540 3.33GHZ CPU, 4GB of memory, OCZ SSD and
    8" OPEN-FRAME (LED backlight) -TRANSFLECTIVE PRO Touch Screen from CARTFT.
    M4-ATX PSU. Mini TrackBall wireless keyboard if needed.

    The total current draw is 3A to 4A ( 36 to 48 watts) with peaks of 6A on start-up.

    Standby draw is 270ma.

    Runs a small isolated 12v 12AH sealed battery for standby.

    Suspend from Ram to running in 2 seconds. Cold Boot - Bios 15 seconds then Win7 12 seconds. Total 27 seconds.

    Shutdown time: 2 seconds Suspend to Ram, 3 seconds normal shutdown.


  3. #213
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    Very cool info, thanks. So you just put the diode in series with the IGN line? What if we use the ACC line (I don't recall if it does get interruped, but I'm afraid so). And then connect to ground?

    Very cool setup, can you give us more pictures, or info on the screen? First time I heard of an 8" transflective.

  4. #214
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Hi, the screen info at http://cartft.com/catalog/il/1158

    This is a rough layout of the system. You can see the 1A 200v diode and 47uf in circuit.



    This is in a Honda Accord, the HVAC (Climate control) is integrated with the radio display board, and they could not be removed or separated – until now.

    I programmed a PIC micro interface to decode the data from the HVAC and control and convert the system to full PC control from the touch screen. The old Radio-CD has been removed and the HVAC display PCB has been relocated and fitted in small case. It’s behind the M4 supply in the picture.

    It’s controlled via a USB port from software I wrote for Win7.

    I have found another bug in the timer code in the M4 under long Hard off settings.
    Waiting for a reply from Mini-Box but not holding my breath.

  5. #215
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    The 2nd battery makes it a little confusing for me at first sight. I'm trying to imagine the same thing with only the car battery in it, but then the 3 position (?) auto st on/off going into the M4 ign line does not make sense...I would just put the 1A 200V diode in series with the IGN line and then the capacitor connection which now looks simple enough (one side IGN the other GND). Is that right?

  6. #216
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    Yes, correct. It makes a big difference in some installations as any noise or glitch on this line into the M4 causes all manner strange conditions.

    The 3 pos switch is for when I dont want the PC to start.

    1 Auto On - Auto Off
    2. Off
    3. Manual ON

  7. #217
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    Got it. Thanks a lot!

  8. #218
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    I got a m4-atx from someone else a few months back. When I received it, I just checked to see if the motherboard turned on and off via standard psu mode. I was finishing my carpc stuff this weekend, when I came to realize that it was not sending a motherboard on pulse if it was on p1 mode. Here is what happens:

    1. Give power to m4-atx
    2. Then ignition power
    3. The motherboard does turn on for maybe 3-4 seconds
    4. Then it turns off.

    After it turns off, if I short the on/off pins on the motherboard while keeping it in P1 mode, the motherboard turns on just fine, which leads me to believe that it does supply all power on all rails, just has an issue with the on/off pulse. I have one of the earliest versions, it doesn't even have those screw on connections that the new versions I have, just a connect header soldered on the board. I also did update its firmware to 1.1, which was supplied on the first page of this sticky. Please help me, thanks.

  9. #219
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
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    You could try pulling the On/Off pulse lead between the m4 and the MB off, the instant the
    motherboard starts. Just to be sure it not locking closed. That would be the only way the m4
    could shut the MB down using the on/off pins in that time.

    Have you tried another mode like P3 to see if there is any difference?
    Assuming it’s not an m4 fault then it sounds like a spike or voltage sag.
    I find from looking through the forums, and my own tests, that the IGN line timing and the
    start-up process that functions around this can be flaky if there is any noise or disturbance on the DC supply or IGN line.

  10. #220
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mickz View Post
    You could try pulling the On/Off pulse lead between the m4 and the MB off, the instant the
    motherboard starts. Just to be sure it not locking closed. That would be the only way the m4
    could shut the MB down using the on/off pins in that time.

    Have you tried another mode like P3 to see if there is any difference?
    Assuming it’s not an m4 fault then it sounds like a spike or voltage sag.
    I find from looking through the forums, and my own tests, that the IGN line timing and the
    start-up process that functions around this can be flaky if there is any noise or disturbance on the DC supply or IGN line.
    Well, i did more probing and I discovered the problem. The on/off headers come on but they are on for too long. So from the computer side, the computer receives the pulse to turn on and it turns on, but the "on" moment lasts forever, thus the computer shuts off. Its kind of like pressing the on button on a computer and holding the button. The computer will turn on, but then turn off as well.

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