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Thread: Intelligent Newb here, looking for some insight...

  1. #1
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    Intelligent Newb here, looking for some insight...

    So I came across a Dell OptiPlex GX240 computer for free and figured why not make a Carputer! The computer runs great as is, and i don't need to change anything. Now the issue of me getting a Dc-Dc power supply or a AC-DC power supply. I plan on running a decent audio system with a couple amps so I figure what the use of doing that If i'm going to get a annoying humming sound. So i'm almost passed the idea of an inverter, but the fact that this computer has such a small case makes me think twice about messing with a dc-ac inverter.

    I took a look inside and read on the power supply and it said 160W DC output. Any recommendations on what I should do? If someone knows of a DC-AC inverter that will not make noise, I would love to go that route...but if not, i suck it up and go dc-dc.

    Also, I saw a 150watt DC-DC power supply....is it possible that I will be ok with that? The only thing im using is a 10.4" monitor....everything else will be a factory dell setup.

    All input will be greatly appreciated.

    Oh, heres a pic of the computer so U can see where im coming from:





    factory power supply



  2. #2
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    This is most likely in the FAQs but you're always better off going DC-DC. If you really want to keep the case, you could remove the PSU and put a dc-dc on in it's place.

  3. #3
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    one of the carnetix models might be what your looking for for your solution
    for your monitor if you don't have enough power you could probably pull some power from somewhere else or maybe add another battery which i doubt you'll need though

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiODi View Post
    This is most likely in the FAQs but you're always better off going DC-DC. If you really want to keep the case, you could remove the PSU and put a dc-dc on in it's place.

    Well theres not really enough room to do a DC-DC in its place....its a much smaller case than it looks....

  5. #5
    Variable Bitrate dMand's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by evileagle17 View Post
    Well theres not really enough room to do a DC-DC in its place....its a much smaller case than it looks....
    GiODi is giving you good advice. There are DC-DC psu's that can easily fit inside your case.

    DC to DC solutions produce much less heat, and are 35% more efficient than using an inverter. Efficiency= longer run time without starting the car.

  6. #6
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    I think an ATX DC-DC is the best solution.

    However, I'm going to caution you. Dell is one company that is notorious for using standard ATX connectors but having non-ATX-standard wiring in those connectors.
    I don't know if the GX240 is one of these "not=quite-ATX" types, but you should find out.

    As far as space, the DC-DC ATX power supplies aren't exactly large. The odd form factor of the PSU in your photos looks like an M2 may fit in the same space with minimal hassle. Do some measuring and compare to the dimensions that are posted on these forums somewhere.
    You may need to fabricate some bracketry, but that's not particularly difficult.... Cut and bend some sheet steel and drill some holes for mounting.

    A Carnetix is NOT a good solution for this unit. A Carnetix unit is ideal only for systems that use "power brick" of some sort such as mini PCs and laptops.
    Your GX240 doesn't qualify.


    As far as noiseless inverters, you're going to be hard pressed to get a recommendation. We all recommend a DC-DC PSU for a vehicle PC, simply because the inverter adds a layer of complexity and inefficiency into the equation that you really don't need.
    The PC's stock PSU converts AC to DC. With an inverter, you convert DC to AC, then back to DC. A DC-DC PSU only needs to convert fluctuating DC to stable DC voltages. That generates less heat and is far more efficient than most stock PC PSUs.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarquePervert View Post
    I think an ATX DC-DC is the best solution.

    However, I'm going to caution you. Dell is one company that is notorious for using standard ATX connectors but having non-ATX-standard wiring in those connectors.
    I don't know if the GX240 is one of these "not=quite-ATX" types, but you should find out.

    As far as space, the DC-DC ATX power supplies aren't exactly large. The odd form factor of the PSU in your photos looks like an M2 may fit in the same space with minimal hassle. Do some measuring and compare to the dimensions that are posted on these forums somewhere.
    You may need to fabricate some bracketry, but that's not particularly difficult.... Cut and bend some sheet steel and drill some holes for mounting.

    A Carnetix is NOT a good solution for this unit. A Carnetix unit is ideal only for systems that use "power brick" of some sort such as mini PCs and laptops.
    Your GX240 doesn't qualify.


    As far as noiseless inverters, you're going to be hard pressed to get a recommendation. We all recommend a DC-DC PSU for a vehicle PC, simply because the inverter adds a layer of complexity and inefficiency into the equation that you really don't need.
    The PC's stock PSU converts AC to DC. With an inverter, you convert DC to AC, then back to DC. A DC-DC PSU only needs to convert fluctuating DC to stable DC voltages. That generates less heat and is far more efficient than most stock PC PSUs.
    So what do you think about this intelligent DC-DC... http://store.mp3car.com/M4_ATX_250W_..._p/pwr-031.htm

    It looks like it would be good power wise, and its decently priced. Will this work with the GX240?

    thanks!

  8. #8
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    I have a GX260 in my room and it has the same case: An M4-ATX would be a really snug fit, but an M2 easily fit. No modding necessary, just some double-sided tape.

    If you you'd like, I can take my M4 out of my car and see if it'll fit in there.

  9. #9
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    The Dell PS is fully ATX compatible- I have one I'm using in a SFF unit

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiODi View Post
    I have a GX260 in my room and it has the same case: An M4-ATX would be a really snug fit, but an M2 easily fit. No modding necessary, just some double-sided tape.

    If you you'd like, I can take my M4 out of my car and see if it'll fit in there.
    That would be AWESOME cause I think thats the DC-DC im looking to get. I was thinking of taking out the existing power supplt, and mounting the dc-dc against the opening lid so that it would sit right next to the video card when closed.

    If you could check if that fits, I would be so thankful...........

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