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Thread: PLEASE HELP! Inverter proffesionaly installed, just faults...am I missing something?

  1. #1
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    PLEASE HELP! Inverter proffesionaly installed, just faults...am I missing something?

    Hey all,
    Long story short I just droped off my car this morning at 8 am, and waited until 7:30pm for the guy to get it done. It was worth the wait because at first glance he seemed to have done a super job. He used a relay, thick *** wire, a very nice rockford fosgage fuse block and is all very nice. When I turn the key to ACC or Run, the inverter turns on perfectly, when I turn off the car, it turns off. However, as soon as I plug in the AC plug to the carputer PSU the red light on the inverter comes on (fault) and wont start the CPU up. The battery is perfet at about 13.5 Volts, and the guy who did it looked to have done a bang up job. What at all am I missing. The Power supply is a small 200 watt max E-machine PSU and the computer parts combined probably draw no more than 170 watts (probably more like 150). Heres my stupid thought, do I have to ground the PSU for the computer aswell? The computer wont start with the engine running or anything. Its a 225watt Vector invertor that I had a less powerful power PS2 without a problem in the world. I've also read some stuff about ground the motherboard, should I do that? Please help me out, hundreds of dollars, and dozens of hours later and I am still without a working carputer. Any ideas at all would be helpful.

  2. #2
    I'm sorry, and you are....? frodobaggins's Avatar
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    You spent hundreds of dollars to get an invertor installed ?


    First things first, plug something else besides the carputer into the invertor and see if it works.
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  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate freestyler's Avatar
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    inverter's are worthless for a carputer, i ran one for awhile but it was sketchy.

    mine would over draw the minute i left off the accelerator, then i got a new batt and it worked a little better but still had a lot of issues.

    grounding the mobo is used to help get rid of buzz, not make it work.

    i would have spent all that money on a dc-dc power supply.

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  4. #4
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    For starters, if it says FAULT it's entirely possible that there is, indeed, a fault with your PSU or cable.

    in the UK... do you use polarized plugs with ground? You might be plugging it in backward? (I'm not familiar with your plugs). The inverter might not like this.

    As was mentioned, try to plug something else into it and see if it works. I assume that the carputer works when plugged directly into AC?
    IN DEVELOPMENT -- '96 Mustang, lilliput with PII/450 laptop, custom DC-DC power supply, 60GB; Garmin GPS; 802.11g; compact keyboard, small graphical LCDs, OBDII.

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    dude, i had the same problem..other things worked but the comptuer tripped the red light....reason???my inverter, even though is should have been strong enought...wasn't...reason?? they aren't 100 percent efficient...if you are lucky, more like 90 at optimum levels...which is basically never...so anyway, i bought a stronger inverter and it solved the problem....

    if you have signal noise through the stereo, buy an rf modulater from circuit city and bypass your aux outs...works like a charm...

    jmm

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    Some people don't like the quality of fm-modulators, so caveat emptor.

    I think that inverters are supposed to be rated for what they can output, not what they input. So a 400W inverter can handle a sustained output of 400W.

    The specs for his inverter (I think) are rated at a "Maximum Continuous Power of 225 Watts"

    So I don't think that the problem is capacity, because as soon as you plug your computer in, the fault light comes on? That's not a good sign. Or is it that the fault light comes on only after you try to turn the computer on? i.e. if the computer is turned off, and you plug it in, will the fault light come on?

    You shouldn't need to ground the computer or motherboard to make anything work.
    IN DEVELOPMENT -- '96 Mustang, lilliput with PII/450 laptop, custom DC-DC power supply, 60GB; Garmin GPS; 802.11g; compact keyboard, small graphical LCDs, OBDII.

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    Telek,
    Correct, I was under the assumption that the light never came on until he tried to turn on the computer...also, the fm modulater I bought (audiovox) measures only a 1 db. drop......sounds awesome...and definitly worth it to eliminate the 20+ hours I put in trying to fix my problem of the floating ground...

    JMM

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    The issue with the FM modulator is the loss in fidelity, not volume.

    This has to do with the way that FM is broadcasted... FM stereo broadcasts in 2 channels, but instead of separating L and R like a CD, it broadcasts L+R and L-R so that you can pick up either channel and get the entire broadcast in mono, or pick up both and add them to get the left channel, subtract them to get the right channel. The problem is that this reduces the overall quality of each channel in favor of allowing full reception with only one of two channels being received.

    In most cases however this will probably go unnoticed because the quality of the MP3s isn't high to begin with, so although you're subtracting from the quality it's less noticeable than if you were starting out with CD quality audio, then you'd definitely notice it. Also if you don't have a good ear and a high quality car stereo system you most likely won't get the full quality of CD anyway. Even if you can tell if you listen carefully, this might not concern you in favour of ease-of-setup.

    If you want to use an FM modulator however, it's almost necessary to get one that plugs into the antenna input on the back of the radio, otherwise you'll just add to the problem because the broadcaster won't be very strong and is susceptible to interference before it gets to the radio. That will be noticeable by most people with most systems.
    IN DEVELOPMENT -- '96 Mustang, lilliput with PII/450 laptop, custom DC-DC power supply, 60GB; Garmin GPS; 802.11g; compact keyboard, small graphical LCDs, OBDII.

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    YEs, you are correct and I did buy one with the stereo adapter...

    now here is a question..I have seen people spend so much on VGA screens...why not buy the Kryocera off ebay for $15 after shipping and then get a controller for like $100...touch screen kit for a $100...wouldn't that be the smartets thing...even though not the easiest?

    MikeinSanMarcos spent like $470 for his touch screen 6.5"
    setup...I mean, heck, he could have bought a Xenarc for that much.

    What do you think?

    JMM

  10. #10
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    Although I do appreciate everyones input, I cant really say that I enjoy being ritaculed for spending money on having an inverter installed. I spent 90 on labor and 30 on parts for him to wire up the inverter and screen. Now that I've grounded the PSU everything works perfect, and I still didn't spend as much money as if I would have gone opus. I know and realize that everyone maybe all gung-ho and how opus is the best decision, but I also know that for people who are not willing to blow 200 on an incredibly overpriced power supply when an inverter will do the exact same thing for 24.99, its our decision. Clearly there are two groups, one being "powered by opus" and one being "powered by other". As long as opus is the only reasonable alternative to powering a carputer, their prices will continue to be incredibly high, so the least people could do is not bag on me for going the inverter route until prices come down. Neither group in this matter is truely correct and until you can go buy Dc-dc power supplies at staples for 3-60 bucks then it will continue to be a debatable topic. Currently my car works absolutely perfect, and yes I did pay someone money to wire an inverter up with a relay, so what, thats my decision. I still saved another 30 or so from buying a startup controler, and the insane amount that an opus costs. I'm not bagging on opus, or the people that buy, but freekin bag on me for having someone install an inverter and not going opus because that is the way you would have gone or did go.

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