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Thread: Need powering advice!

  1. #1
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Need powering advice!

    So I have been playing with how i can power my setup, but have run into an issue. Originally I was going to use three M4-ATXZ units, set in dumby mode. So basically my OPUS 320 triggers some relays and the units turn on. This was all based around using EWF and HORM on a standard 2.5 HDD. Turns out that even with EWF and HORM, it will still have slight data loss and eventual mechnical failure.

    So basically I have to come up with a way to power the 6 rear computers and allow them to shut down correctly. My idea is to maybe make some type of time delay system. Basically when a shut off signal is sent to the six units, they start to shut down. Problem is if the OPUS 320 is controlling them, its going to want to cut power 100%. I need a way so that maybe the OPUS sends a signal it triggers a timer that keeps the PSU units powered long enough for them to shut down.

    Does anyone have any idea of how I can do this?
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  2. #2
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    I dont understand why you are overcomplicating this... Each computer has an M4... Therefore each computer has an integrated start-up/shut-down controller already. Just wire them normally and be done with it. When the car turns off, the M4 pulses the mobo, which lets widows know through an ACPI call, and it shuts down gracefully. After the hard-off time elapses, it "pulls the plug".
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    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    I dont understand why you are overcomplicating this... Each computer has an M4... Therefore each computer has an integrated start-up/shut-down controller already. Just wire them normally and be done with it. When the car turns off, the M4 pulses the mobo, which lets widows know through an ACPI call, and it shuts down gracefully. After the hard-off time elapses, it "pulls the plug".
    No, these units basically are laptop based, so they have no connector for the mobo thingy. All it has is a 12V plug and built in PSU, which requires a regulated 12V source.. With saying that, one M4-ATX powers 2 units. Sorry for not explaining that.

    PS: So no i'm not over complicating things. Unless there is still a way to use the shut down controller? I don't see how that is possible though since the mobo has no way to communicate with the PSU.
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  4. #4
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    the rear units should have a power button right? just connect that to the m4..

  5. #5
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    the rear units should have a power button right? just connect that to the m4..
    Explain in detail, how will the M4 know that shut down has completed, then shut off? Here is the info on the Mobo.

    http://store.mp3car.com/D945GSEJT_In..._p/mtb-061.htm

    Maybe I should ask the Mp3car staff how they power their units based on this board.
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  6. #6
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    there's no feedback, it just assumes it happens. But the hard off ensures it. Ill check the actual board link when i get home, but it has to have an ACPI header, so just use that.

    Worst case is the computer is frozen or unresponsive. The ACPI event goes unnoticed and the computer stays on until the m4 pulls the plug after hardoff time.
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  7. #7
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    OK, I think using the Carnetix P1900 should solve the issue. Can you guys look at my diagram and see if it ok?

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  8. #8
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    what i understand the rear systems are for: they are for individual pc's for the rear seats right? what data resides on these systems that is usually going to be loaded into the ram, and would become critical to keep?

    from my understanding, you have the exact same unit for all 6, and have made a image of of a working setup(or will make one). so what is the concern of the system getting powered off abruptly?

    if it were my own car: if there is a problem, with that many computers, i would prefer to have it hard-power-off the unit that is hanging, then to risk draining my battery over it..

    again, if i remember right, you got the drives for those units for pretty cheap--maybe get some extra hdds(maybe 1-2), and image them, and so when one of the drives fails, it will only take a couple of minutes to replace...

    i really think that adding a carnetix, or other shutdown solution is just over complicating a already complex setup...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    i really think that adding a carnetix, or other shutdown solution is just over complicating a already complex setup...
    Unless over complication is the goal... Still, I agree, the M4 should be able to handle any of the startup/shutdown duties, even without the full ATX header connected. Wire the 'MB On/Off' pins to the power buttons on the laptops (would have to actually drive a relay i suppose to get it to trigger TWO laptops with one controller). You'll also have to jumper the ATX PS_ON to ground to have the M4 turn on.

    EDIT: In all actuality, it would seem that the M4 is really a waste, if all you are using it for is for a regulated 12V for the intel boards. You should be able to run them all from a single, high power, 12V only power supply, and then use a separate, simple startup/shutdown controller for the 'control' side (run the start button through a multi-contact relay to spread to all 6 motherboards).
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  10. #10
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    what i understand the rear systems are for: they are for individual pc's for the rear seats right? what data resides on these systems that is usually going to be loaded into the ram, and would become critical to keep?
    That is correct, all their data resides on the main pc's media drive, except for ROMS which are on each individual system. Other then that they are just dumby systems that will run CF. Nothing on them is critical. My concern is that after awhile, a short while, the constant improper shutdowns will not lead to data corruption, but physical damage instead. A lot of times when people use EWF its on a flash based drive. THe drives I have are standard 2.5 20GB drives.

    from my understanding, you have the exact same unit for all 6, and have made a image of of a working setup(or will make one). so what is the concern of the system getting powered off abruptly?
    That mechanically the HDD will die. I have never heard of a standard drive being used in this manner.

    if it were my own car: if there is a problem, with that many computers, i would prefer to have it hard-power-off the unit that is hanging, then to risk draining my battery over it..
    Well all the PSU units have battery protection, so I do not think its a concern.

    again, if i remember right, you got the drives for those units for pretty cheap--maybe get some extra hdds(maybe 1-2), and image them, and so when one of the drives fails, it will only take a couple of minutes to replace...

    i really think that adding a carnetix, or other shutdown solution is just over complicating a already complex setup...
    Yes, but one issue is that once these units are built, they are hidden in the rear case, which is very hard to get on and off for security purposes.

    I am starting to think that maybe I should CF card, or SSD. I think if I recall they make really small SSD for this board. They come in 2GB and 4GB versions. I am guessing I can use the 4GB version, but that may lead to an issue because from everything I read, EWF requires a full install of Windows XP Pro. Any clue on how much the OS will take up?

    Quote Originally Posted by CraziFuzzy View Post
    Unless over complication is the goal... Still, I agree, the M4 should be able to handle any of the startup/shutdown duties, even without the full ATX header connected. Wire the 'MB On/Off' pins to the power buttons on the laptops (would have to actually drive a relay i suppose to get it to trigger TWO laptops with one controller). You'll also have to jumper the ATX PS_ON to ground to have the M4 turn on.
    Over complication seems to be hardwired into my DNA. Its very hard for me to think simple.

    Well I didnt know that. i figured because the ATX connectors were not able to be used, that I would have to wire the M4 units in dumby mode so when power is applied, they simply turn on. I got this idea from the M4 manual that the PSU can not be run any other way without the ATX connector.

    Well I can just connect 2 buttons on the one header pins to turn them both on, that wouldnt be an issue.

    EDIT: In all actuality, it would seem that the M4 is really a waste, if all you are using it for is for a regulated 12V for the intel boards. You should be able to run them all from a single, high power, 12V only power supply, and then use a separate, simple startup/shutdown controller for the 'control' side (run the start button through a multi-contact relay to spread to all 6 motherboards).
    The reason I am trying to use the M4 units is because I have a lot of 12V devices. I have the motherboards, KVMP switches, and other items. Then I also have a cr@p load of 5V devices, like hubs, ethernet switch, access point, and a few others that the M4 will also be powering.
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