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Thread: Powering my Computer in the Vehicle

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Powering my Computer in the Vehicle

    So I've got my PC built, tested, and ready to install into my truck (2004 Toyota Tundra Dbl Cab). This is where I have very little experience, so I'm hoping to find some information as to how to go about running new FUSED power to my computer and monitor. I have the following primary parts for my system:

    Power Supply: M4-ATX 250W Intelligent DC-DC PSU
    System: Intel BLKD945GCLF2 Mini-ITX Motherboard with Integrated Atomô Processor
    Monitor: Xenarc 700TSV 7" TFT LCD Touchscreen Monitor

    I'm purchasing a PIE TOY03-AUX device that will allow me to create an aux input to my existing radio (JBL OEM) in my tundra... so the audio (although not perfect) is handled.

    What I need to figure out, is exactly how to run a fused 12v wire from my battery to the computer, and then another to the monitor (do I cut the lighter adapter and splice that wire to power the monitor?).

    Any help or direction would be appreciated.


  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate jpinkerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    You're going to want to run fresh lines from the battery.

    From the store I'm looking at buying new positive and negative lines.

    What you'll need to do is lookup the specs on your parts and everything that you need to pull power. You'll want to figure out watts & amps. You already have your powersupply, the M4, so you'll want to make sure the watts you're pulling off that M4 matches up.

    The AMPs you'll want so you can figure out the gauge and the fuse size you'll need.

    Read through this guide, it will talk about wiring the computer in your car. It also has charts so you can figure out the wire gauge and the fuse size you'll need.

    I'm now leaning towards 4 gauge from the battery to a distribution block. From the distro to the M4 I'm going to run 8 gauge. Here's a link to the advanced FAQ that you might want to read through. All my bookmarks for this are on my computer at home, but these are the ones I had handy from my worklogs.

    I've just recently been working through all these issues on my journey with this project so I hope these links help.

    Edit: You'll also want to see if your truck has an accessory slot, or a way for you to tap into the ignition. My Chrysler has an available accessory slot in the fuse box inside the cabin. I don't have the link for it with me that explains it but there are ways to find an ignition line so that you can have the computer turn on with the car.

    The reason for running fresh lines is so that you don't overheat the smaller lines, burn out the insulation, and spark a fire with a bare line.

    Final Edit: I forgot to mention you'll want to give yourself extra space. The chart says I could run 10 gauge with a 50amp fuse, and I rounded up already on that. It was suggested to me that I run 4 gauge from the battery to the distribution block and 8 gauge to the M4, with a 125amp fuse a foot within the battery. This will allow for greater power draw without the worry of whether or not I'd need bigger lines.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Awesome, thanks for the links as they seem to be what I am looking for. I'll need to figure out how to connect it to the ignition, on my workbench I just had a 12v wire going straight into to the m4, so as soon as I turned on the PSU, it started the 5 second countdown.

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