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Thread: Everything You need to know about your M4 ATX

  1. #281
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by settra View Post
    hey guys. i have resently bought one of those. it seems pretty good. but io have a problem. i have only connected + and ground ( no ignition).
    The deep discharge pevention dosent seem to work... battery went down to 6volt, but the PSU didint shut down (funny, the pc was still working, even though the car couldent start.)
    does it have to do with the PC working, at the time the voltage droped? or with there is no ignition? Also, what is the message you have to send, in the software , to set, the voltage cut off for deep discharge? any help would be much appriciated!!
    I think the problem is that theres no ignition signal, and your using it in psu mode.

    How i'm about to set up my m4 is a bit different, but after testing it in a few hours now, i should be able to answer your question.

    How i understand it, if you put the jumper settings in psu mode, its just an atx module that does nothing other than provide dc when its there in spec (6-i don't remember the high rating off the top of my head). It will just run till the voltage is too low to power the device, then hard off.

    What my application for the board is, is a graceful dc ups shutdown, normally powered by a 16v 150w meanwell smps, with a 12v18ah agm pwm floating at 14.2v. Using a y-pwr adapter from the same company to provide a ideal diode switch that connects the highest voltage, and autoswitches to the other in the event one drops below the other. For a low wattage htpc server.

    So with my meanwell @ 16v when ac is on, and the vlra (12v18ah) floating at 14.2 pwm'd (agm with a morningstar sg-4 pwm charger, thats the right float voltage, its only getting very short pulses of dc when fully charged), its pulling power from the meanwell. When ac drops out, it switches over to the vrla. Could set the low cutoff fairly high if you just want to gracefully power down the load.

    This is with mode p1, dip1 (down) the rest up. Basically just dip switch one down. IF i understand this correctly, wiring the ignition terminal to the + out on the meanwell (or your ignition terminal) would turn on the supply after 5 sec of ignition closing, and kept closed to keep on. Then power up and stay on. When you switch the igniton dc lead from the smps/alternator off, and the v+ from the ignition is opened, no voltage flowing, it waits 5 sec before doing a soft shutdown trigger, then 1 min later, when it sould be off, 5vdc out shutdown.

    So how you want to do this, is set your deep discharge to whatever you want, in my case about 11.4v. But when the ignition terminal is closed (higher voltage ran directly from meanwell, or in your case the ignition switch, since if i ran it to the ypwr it would remain on as its getting a voltage on trigger. So ac drops, igniton is 0v, device enters shutdown procedure.

    Then, assuming i want to power it on when ac is down, or browning out (happens alot at 5k elevation in the sierra nevadas (lots of brutal snow storms), with brutal wildfires in our hyrdo electric canyons in the summer being an issue with ac reliability as well), just wire an appropriately rated relay (12v, 10a) to open up the ignition signal from the battery powered off a 5v cheap ebay 12v-5v regulator and a low rated toggle switch to trigger the relay 5v control low amp closed. When ac goes back on, the y-pwr should switch back over to the higher voltage dc supply, in my case a meanwell, or for you a fla car battery @ ~13-14v being charged by the alternator. Could also do this with a regulator and solar panels, for an off the grid system without using a car alternator, or ac/dc supply. or a heavy duty switch just opening the ignition terminal to the battery positive. This should switch on the pc, so long as that toggle lets the + battery voltage get to the ignition terminal. Then toggle off when your done, and it will gracefully shut down. Just remember to get a beefy (i'd say 15a min spdt to be safe fused at that amperage, slas have can have dangerous short potential.

    If i understand that correctly, you get over-discharge protection for your vrla/sla, either automotive;ac/dc or ups sourced power switching, and auto switching between the higher voltage when the car is alternator charging the battery, or being hit with 16v dc from an ac/dc adapter in my case. All automatic, and it saves your vlra capacity since it only using it for 3m max to shut down. But you need a y-pwr adapter from the same supplier you got your m4 from. They aren't expensive though. And can handle 30v 10a max. Series 2x12v lead acids if you need the extra wattage. A 120w 12v regulator is a good idea if not.

    When i need to actually run this ~120w load (could be more less, need to run it through my kill a watt for ac/watt meter for dc (23" led (30w), foxcon R30-a1 with a 120gb ssd (i'd imagine under 70w), and a 4 bay 7.5 tb enclosure (2x 5400k, 2x 7200k SATAS) ~50 watt, the i just will switch over to my 1kwh vlra bank floating at 14.2 pwm. Since i mechanically isolate the charge/discharge circuits on that bigboy. All from dc of course, so you save a bit of waste in DC/AC/DC rectificaton.

    TLDR, though theres some good info in there-

    Put it in p1 mode and confiig the cutoff to whatever you want, stay above 11.3v for all lead acid cells, wire ignition terminal to the cars ignition switch, fuse to be safe, and if you want to config it to not power off right away, set your lvd to 11.3, and add a toggle switch/relay powered by a 5v regulator, to switch on a 8a fused 10a relay, or 10a fused 15a relay, whose trigger is switched on/off with a low amp toggle, that closes a power signal to switch the relays without using big *** toggles without relays, to get that ignition signal required to power the supply on.

    Then the pc shuts down gracefully, instead of hard-off with ac mains outages, gives your under voltage protection on your lead acids, and allows dc power triggering to the ignition from your battery or smps supply from the lead acid, or a simple large toggle switch. I'd opt for a relay/regulator trigger, so you don't have to fiddle with switches. But you lose wh's in a sla backup bank, and you want to squeeze all you can get out of it when the power goes out for days at time where i live at least 3-6 times a year for on average 24hrs at a time.

    And i take care of my 5tb+ media collection . Those 2tb's aren't cheap.

  2. #282
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    I really like all the features and power of the M4 ATX but i have been reading that it can generate all kinds of noise to the sound and video of your setup. Also interrupting fm signal completely and gps signal to some degree at least. Are there new units out that dont do this anymore? or have you found a way around this. Are these valid issue? I really want to start getting this install together but the PS is the only thing holding me up.

  3. #283
    Confusion Master
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    Enforcer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    If you go down to the woods today, You're sure of
    the m4-atx is an open PSU, ie it has no shielding. You can get a metal case for it, this will help shield any interference it puts out.

  4. #284
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Herákleion, Iraklion, Greece, Greece
    .so... any idea about the deep discharge prevenation? i am still trying to figure it out!!
    Last edited by settra; 08-17-2013 at 02:24 PM.

  5. #285
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Well, I tried to make the programmer, checked and double-checked everything, still no responce.
    The LED blinked once when I connected it to the J5 header but I can't read or write.

    Will have to check it again tomorrow, desolder all connections and resolder them.
    Or am I missing somethink else like COM port settings?

    Is there a way to test the interface?

    And another question: Can I program a PIC16F88 with this interface??
    I want to make a speedo healer for my motorcycle according to this schematic:


  6. #286
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    I'm doing all that is described in the first post to update the firmware.
    double checked my circuit and even rebuild it completely..

    The LED flashes shortly after connecting it to the M4, the WinPIC recognizes the programmer but I can't read the current configuration.
    It looks like it only reads 3FFF, not the actual data on the chip.

    I would like to perform a backup before burning and reading would seem to be a good test before writing and thus potentially f#kcing things up.

    Is there a way to test the programmer? Can I check resistance or voltage on the ICSP side of the circuit?
    The only thing I can think of is a broken component, but I soldered them like I did all of my little projects and never burned a component, keeping soldering time way under 4 seconds per component.
    All joints are clear/shiny, all connections are there (just triple checked it again) and the LED does what it's suppose to do.


  7. #287
    Raw Wave SNOtwistR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Keswick,On Canada
    Just a thought are you using the updated pinout for the usb connector on m4? Apparently it is wrong in the manual as stated in first post. SNO

  8. #288
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    I used the pinout stated in the first post of this thread. Where can I find the correct pinout??

    BTW: I'm not talking about the USB connector but the PIC chip interface on pins J5.
    USB is working fine, the programmer is not and I want to update the firmware to v2.4 instead of the 2.1 I currently have.
    Last edited by Enforcer; 08-31-2014 at 11:59 AM.

  9. #289
    Raw Wave SNOtwistR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Keswick,On Canada
    This is the correct pinout for the usb Name:  49414d1209658357-m4-atx-usb-connection-m4.jpg
Views: 121
Size:  34.5 KB SNO

  10. #290
    FLAC Mickz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Are you sure that the current PIC was not programmed with code protect enabled? That will cause it to read back 3FFF or 0 depending on the programmer. I don't think the ICSP port connections would have changed.
    Palm sized ainol MiniPC, 8" Transreflective PRO, Win10, Reverse camera, Dual 10HZ GPS RX's for Speed Display & Sat Nav, FM-DAB & Phone Modules, iDrive interface. T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, microcode and FE.

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