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Thread: In Car Xbox Projects - Few Questions

  1. #1
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    In Car Xbox Projects - Few Questions

    hey guys

    ive been browsing these forums for a while as a guest and decided to register and see if i could get some questions answered.

    firstly, my proposal
    - im looking to install my original xbox into the car (VN Commodore Wagon)
    - i currently have a 150 watt modified sine wave inverter
    - i have the xbox dismantled and am custom modifying my centre console to house it.
    - i also have an in dash fold out screen (7") that im using for the display

    Now, My Questions

    - i am looking to hardwire the inverter through the power wire of the cigarette lighter (as it is unhooked as ive modified the cigarette lighter as my sub on/off switch) as it is 150 watt (the highest you can get from a cigarette lighter i believe?) would this be ok?

    - i was then going to run the negative to the same ground point as my amp to reduce expected noise, is this a good or bad idea?

    - also, whilst browsing, i havent really found any clue as to how expected this noise (from the inverter) is, is it a 100% expectancy rate? or otherwise?

    - if wired up to the cig lighter, the power wire would run down the left side of the dash/centre console, under the carpet to under the passenger seat to to inverter, would this be likely to induce noise?

    - would running an AUX cable near this power wire cause noise?

    - also, do i need to run a new length of power and ground wire as well as acc wire for the in dash screen, or can i piggyback it from another source?

    answers to these q's would be greatly helpful to my project

    cheers

  2. #2
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    koolkid,

    I think the answer you're going people telling you to avoid doing this more than helping. But I'll suggest some things.

    Max power draw you can get from a cigarette lighter would depend on a few things, including the gauge of the wire ran to it, and the size of the fuse. I know mine lists it at 10 amps, of 120W max. So I wouldn't recommend using your 150W inverter off of it.

    You would want to ground the inverter as close to itself as possible (to the chassis).

    How much noise you get probably depends on the quality of your inverter, but you're almost guaranteed to get some. I used a 100W inverter for a while and did get the occasional whine more than other times.

    Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but you won't really get noise on the DC line, at least not audible noise.

    Running an AUX next to a power is going to increase noise.

    If you're removing your indash, the existing wires should suffice for powering the screen. If not, you probably need to run new.

    Have you thought about how you're going to control the XBox? Safety should be utmost importance in the car, that's why most people have a touchscreen in addition to steering wheel controls, but I don't know of any touchscreens working with the XBox. That, and the user interface should be simple and easy to use. I use XBMC on my XBox at home, but I don't think it would be friendly in the car without some serious new skinning.

  3. #3
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    thx for the reply

    i have MOST of the problems sorted

    i have rewired the inverter, and have it hardwired (with inline fuse) to the battery itself as the cigarette lighter saw the inverter shut itself down as it couldnt provide enough power to the xbox. however, it is now powering the xbox + 3 additional fans with no trouble

    so far i dont appear to have noise? strange, but i have no idea why not? HOWEVER i have a slight "buzzing/crackling" coming from the xbox PSU. now i have tested it off of normal 240v (inside) and this is non existent...its barely there, and very tolerable, but i dont know why its there. i also HAVE NOT yet grounded the xbox case to the car, im taking a wild stab and thinking this may reduce that buzzing?

    i have the inverter under the passenger seat, i have the stock ground + the case of the inverter grounded to the same point as my amp.

    the control isnt really a biggy as of yet, as its not really for music, only dvd's and games for the passengers. so its currently got the dvd dongle hardwired into the dash, and controller ports ready for control via a controller.

    future plans are to turn the screen into a touch screen and have a car pc hooked up to the second AV input, so i can switch to that and control music and other things. but so far its pretty successful

    cheers

  4. #4
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    why not just run a dc-dc converter? an xbox is essential a PC with even a standard mobo connector so a little dismantle of the xbox would save you a bunch of time and money in the form of power as inverters are inefficient. also a dc to dc convertor can control the on-off state of an xbox so it will auto power on everytime (although the same effect can be had by shorting out the power switch)

    keeping a common ground is a very good idea else you get ground loops in the form of humming and buzzing through the speakers on a crappy amp. also LCD screens will freak in regards to refresh and keeping a constant phase.

  5. #5
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    thx for all the help

    well ive installed everything and hardwired the inverter today

    everything runs fine!

    no noise in the sound system - no funny lines across the screen - no screen issues at all!

    however i have one issue.

    i rigged up the 5A fuse for the inverter in the engine bay, and it blew almost instantly when the xbox powered on (IT HAS NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE)

    so foolishly i removed the fuse from the power line (hardwired directly to the battery) and the xbox ran fine, so did the inverter, there were no problems after a little while of playing around.

    so whats the go? i bought "fast blow" fuses, is there a difference between these and slow blow ones?

    i know i need a fuse in the line, for protection and safety purposes, but what rated fuse should i put in the line?

    cheers

  6. #6
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    If you are still using the 150W inverter, then it looks like the current draw of it will be 150/12= 12.5A, which is why you blew the fuse. (I can't remember if the 150W is input, or output). See if the inverter has a fuse on it, and if it does, get the same size one.

  7. #7
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    yes i am still using that inverter

    from memory the fuse had a 5 on one end although thinking back it may have been a "15" would a 15 amp fuse protect me from any danger?

    cheers

  8. #8
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    a fuse is in place to stop direct grounding of the battery causing major damage to electrical components and the battery.
    a slow blow fuse can handle minor spikes in amperes for short amount of time, ie when starting inverters or other electrics which usually spike when first turned on.
    a fast blow fuse will blow once the rated amperes have been meet, no good for stuff like this.

    putting a 15 amp slow blow fuse, or 20 amp fast blow in place will be no harm to your system. putting a fuse rated for the system will help eliminate the system from over exerting itself.

    if you want you can place a multi meter inline with the system, if it has the function set it to max and start the inverter watching the meter, use a fuse slightly higher than the recorded value.

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