View Poll Results: Has your car pc ever caused your car's battery to go dead?

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  • Yes

    26 59.09%
  • No

    18 40.91%
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Thread: Poll: Has your car pc ever killed your battery?

  1. #21
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    on the border of northern IL/IN
    Quote Originally Posted by trader007 View Post
    you wait around for your pc to shutdown and then use a main disconnect to kill all power to the pc? that would be terribly inconvenient.
    depends on your perspective-- the switch, and a couple of minutes is a whole lot more convenient then a dead battery in a dark, empty parking lot...

    but back to the OQ: my battery has been drained all the way while the computer was on, but most of the drain was accomplished by the fog lights i left on...

    i have run it my carpc, and audio equipment(quietly) for 3-4 hours without affecting the start-ability of my car...the battery will only drop about 0.5 of a volt..

  2. #22
    Variable Bitrate Zogg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Plano, TX
    Yes, but only because I had my M2-ATX's ignition line switch in the bypass position while doing some work on the computer, then I forgot and left it running overnight.

    I even have a bi-color LED to remind me if I leave it bypassed and I still forgot about it.
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  3. #23
    Raw Wave
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    People usually don't leave things on deliberately.

    But if forgotten, that's where the LVCOs (Low volt cut outs) are handy.
    Either fit headlight and device reminder buzzers etc, or power them via Ign keys or timers.

    But even for clearance lights etc, the only battery saver is an LVCO. (Whether you are delayed, or the battery has lost capacity.)

    I often use the MW728 10A LVCO (~$20) and use external relays to increase power handling (to 200A, 400A etc) and add input diodes for higher cut-off voltages (than its standard 11.2V).
    Then there is a great adjustable LVCO or HVConnect (aka smart isolator) kit for $25 with 80A latching relay and only 4uA standby current.

    Incidentally, my interpretation of "killing" the battery was "flatening", not destruction.
    I wrote my AGM quip to highlight that they are far less tolerant of flattening than are flooded cells, and they need to be recharged ASAP. (Unlike floodeds, they can not be reconditioned as well - eg, high current/voltage to desulphate plates etc.)
    AGMs are great, but offer no extra capacity per se, will not tolerate overvoltage....

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    lvco was the way i was going to go for a long time... but now that my m2-atx just loves to turn itself off when the engine is cranking, ive decided once again that you cant get any better then a dedicated 2nd battery. a 100a lvco would be nice though as extra measure, because there are weekends where i leave my phone plugged in and maybe a dome light on and that can flatten a battery in a decently short amount of time too.

  5. #25
    Self proclaimed spoon feeder TruckinMP3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Quote Originally Posted by trader007 View Post
    you wait around for your pc to shutdown and then use a main disconnect to kill all power to the pc? that would be terribly inconvenient.
    No, I just shut off the main... no shut down.

    Doing that for years (8+), no issues at all.
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  6. #26
    Raw Wave
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Trader - FYI....

    A rebadged MW729 LVCO is sold by ABR-Sidewinder (Derek Bester) for typically AUD$17.95 +P&P (Australia) - eg: Battery Protector Cut Out.
    But they are available elsewhere. They are of German origin but sell in the yUK, stateside etc.

    It has a 10A capacity; off at 11.2V; reconnects at 12.5V.

    It is fairly versatile and has been used in latching & self resetting setups supplying hundreds of Amps.

    Skip this textblock if too complicated. It really isn't difficult - it just needs a good teacher.... or diagrams.
    Use the MW728 to power external relays for extra capacity, or if you want it disconnected after it drops out (ie, use a push button to reconnect).
    Or add combinations of 0.2V - 0.7V diodes to its input increase its disconnect voltage - probably then using it to drive external relays for the loads, and maybe a NC "diode shorting" relay for when it cuts out (so that it switches back on ot or above 12.5V as desired (ie, short out some or all diodes).
    The MW728 uses an LM3900 or similar quad OpAmp which could be modified for various voltages and delays.

    If you're ok with kits & electronics, see the 4uA 80A kit K227 from Oatley Electronics in Sydney Australia K227: 12-24V Dual Battery Adapter For A Vehicle and is AUD$22 +P&P. (I'd suggest to buy a spare latching relay... ~$6.50??)

    It's good for LVCOs where low current is important - ie, it only ever uses 4uA except when actually toggling the latching 80A relay.
    Changing one resistor changes it from high-voltage turn on to an LVCO.
    I used a the HVTO as a "smart battery isolator" for my aux battery, and then the LVCO version from the aux battery to its loads (fridge etc). Hence the fridge was on whenever possible but without wrecking the aux battery.
    (Don't need the LVCO because the car is charging? LOL! - That's when you learn that inter-battery fuses can often blow. Once you have auto-resetting circuit breakers you only need the LVCO if you forget to turn the fridge or PC off.)

    If 80A isn't enough, its relay could power a heavier relay (but the add that relay's power consumption of a few 100mA to the 4uA).

    Later I replaced the front HVTO "smart isolator" with the best and ultimate solution - a plain cheap relay controlled by the alternator's charge light. No more problems with "smart isolator" switching delays, dip dropouts, hysteresis cycling, voltage thresholds, surface charge, etc etc.

    But as an HVTO, it's better than ones I've seen at over five times its price.
    And not many voltage sensors match its low consumption of 4uA.
    (The only mod I made was to add a diode for reverse polarity protection. That took the place of an optional resistor used for 24V operation.)

    And the beauty of the K227 is that its design is detailed so that you could change the various switching delays if required. (I'm not saying it is easy to follow - those Oatley dudes use novel techiques in their designs - but you can spot which RC controls which delay even if the "component logic" is way above me, ...I mean, the reader.)
    EG - the K227 will cycle slower than the MW728 if a battery cycles between 12.5V and 11.2V (eg, weaker or stored batteries).

    If only I could find my ruddy car keys!
    Actually I just realised - I've been using the MW728 instead of the K227 LVCO. That's because the my K227 box (NOT supplied with the kit) is having Merit sockets installed (in addition to cig socket and Anderson input & outputs).

  7. #27
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Norton, MA
    pc has been installed for about 2 years maybe and I have yet to have a dead battery from it or anything else. Most I have tested battery power is watching a movie with low-medium volume for the entire length on accessory power and the truck fires up fine after that, I haven't tried running the pc any longer than that though.
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