dc-dc too complicated? It is the simplest of the lot, and many are designed for car voltages (not so for dc-ac inverters).
And what's an ac-dc inverter - an AC UPS (ac-dc-ac)?.
An inverter is dc-ac (as far as we are concerned), an ac-dc inverter is a rectifier plus inverter.
And don't get confused by dc-dc converters. Although they are actually dc-ac-dc, that "middle ac" is an operationally transparent technicality (except for MickZ, me, and a few others...).
As far as we are concerned, that "ac" does not exist. It cannot be used or tapped as a source of AC power etc.
And its "ac conversion" inefficiency cannot be compared to 60Hz etc conversions (ie, dc-dc converters are often >95% efficient, a dc-ac 50/60Hz inverter would be amazing if it ever exceeded 90% efficiency).
Appropriate dc conversion is the ideal for vehicles.
Inverters are only used as a short term or cheap but inefficient solution for ac-plugpack type devices.
But I'm off for a few days so I'll leave you in the capable hands already hereon. Besides, they have the actual experience with these setups and devices...
I will help you with the dc to dc. You are right that simply plugging an ac inverter into the cigarette lighter then plugging all of your stuff into that is easier. If you are looking for something for a weekend trip once a year... ok, inverter it up. If this is your daily driver and the stuff will be "permanently" in there, the inverter is a bad idea is what we are saying.
As for guides... There are tons of articles on this site and in the wikis. I'll dig some up later when it isn't past my bedtime. Like I said in my previous post, grab the voltages off of the devices and post them here. I will help you figure out what you need from there.
software and hardware but would have a seriously hard time doing a car pc install. Everybody has different talents, knowledge and aptitudes.
Laptop info: http://www.mp3car.com/showwiki.php?t...let+as+a+CarPC
General Power info: http://www.mp3car.com/showwiki.php?title=Power
DC-DC regulator info: http://www.mp3car.com/showwiki.php?t...+DC+Regulators
Carnetix info: http://www.mp3car.com/showwiki.php?title=CarNetix
"how to pick a power supply" http://www.mp3car.com/showwiki.php?t...a+Power+Supply
There are tons more... just follow links in the text around and read. We are happy to help but we do prefer to not spoon feed. Let me know on the voltage.
Anyway, in theory everything could be DC powered but will require some custom wiring on your part. Also consider that this equipment is generally sensitive to power fluctuations. You're used to steady 110V AC coming out of a plug. But we're talking 7-20V variances or worse, nevermind cranking voltage. If you go the DC-AC-DC inverter route, you will almost certainly run into problems, either powering all of your devices, premature failures, or possibly even cooking the electrical system in your car. You need your power source to be rock solid, and if something fails, this isn't like opening a case and popping something out, you have to tear your car apart to get to it. Unless you were just going to leave it sitting on the passenger seat...
Most, if not all, of your equipment has a barrel plug connector to get power via a brick or large plug that converts AC-DC. Like the others have said, you have two main problems:
1. A DC regulator/power supply that can output the voltages your eq needs.
2. Said regulator needs to be able to handle voltage fluctuations and spikes from crank etc.
The safest, easiest route will be the Carnetix or Mini-Box type power supplies. You wire power/ground/acc to it, then wire your devices to the power supply. You will have to do some wire stripping and crimping/soldering, but you will have a way better power source than any inverter on the market.
Netbook: 19v 2.1a
Router: 12v 1a
AppleTv: Not sure.. Google isn't much help.. I would of guessed 12v, but one source says 3.3v
Xbox: 12v 16.5a
Ok. Wiring it into power (battery) ground (also battery or car ground?) and acc (this is the turn on wire as such right? So could tap into head units one that goes to the amp?) I can figure out thats fairly simple.
As for wiring my devices to it; this is where I'm dropping the ball..
Say it's the laptop.. I'd get the power cable for it at the moment, snip the cable where it connects to the brick so I'm left with 1 end that fits into laptop and one bare cable? Then wire that bit into the Dc-Dc box?
Again, thanks for the help in getting me understanding this guys :-)
With the help of some knowledgable people and some care taken when selecting the pieces/parts, I have installed all this in my truck, and am very content with my setup.
And I have the added skillset of being able to do a more advanced car audio installation, to boot.
Honestly, it's not all that difficult. The key is learning what you're doing and having people show you how to do it properly and not half-*** anything.
As far as the M4? It connects to the PC just like any other ATX power supply. The difference is that it gets power from the vehicle's electrical system.
Carnetix CNX-p2140 which is the biggest will only do 11.3A and would need to be spread to all of your devices. It doesn't do 19v either. The P1900 will do what you need voltage wise but doesn't have the amperage you are looking for. The xbox is a powerful computer... as such, it will be tough to power in the car. I know people do it so perhaps somebody else will chime in.
Unfortunately, for that amount of equipment you might be looking at 2 or more power supplies. I'll poke around and see what I can find when I get a few minutes.