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Thread: Full Size Carputer..How to power it?

  1. #1
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    Full Size Carputer..How to power it?

    I read the numerous post here till my head hurt. Most say that inverters are not the way to go. I have only seen DC-DC powersupplys for the micros. I think, its all a blurr. Im babbling . Is there a way to power a full size unit with out the inverter?

    Thanx

    Otha
    2000 Daewoo Numbria CDX

  2. #2
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    What type of motherboard and/or system are you speaking of?? Be a little more detailed, what kind of motherboard, processor, memory, periph devices.
    New CarPC on the way again I think. I miss my old one!!!

  3. #3
    Variable Bitrate Batmanatthenewb's Avatar
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    Otha,

    This is is big issue on this site. You will find that both ways (invertor vs DCDC power supply) have merit. I personally use a full size pc with a full size DVD/CD-RW amd an 80gig 7200 rpm Hard Drive. My feeling was that with the invertor,you use a standard power supply. If your power supply goes out, you can pick one up anywhere and be back on the road a lot faster than having to order another opus (or whatever brand) and wait. The other factor is cost. While the Opus cost around $190 US, I can replace ATX Power Supplies all day long for $29 to $39 dollars. I have been using my system on a daily basis for approx. 3 months now. I have experienced no problems with the invertor. When I get in the car, I hit the invertor power button (in the dash), once I hear it come on (less than the time it takes to buckle my seat belt), I push the PC power button, and 15 seconds later I am listening to music. Shutdown is just as simple. When I am approaching my driveway, I hit Hibernate on my screen, by the time I get in the garage, the PC is off, and I shut off the inverter. The DC to DC Power Supply will automate some of this. It depends whether you feel the cost is woth it.

    Batman

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    I did something similar to Batman with the inverter, although I made a circuit to switch the inverter on automatically when I turn the key on. Then I just have a button to boot the pc. I've only been running it for a little over a week now, but its working great for me. I do the same with the hibernate when I get home too. I agree on cost though, thats what made me do it this way.

  5. #5
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    Look Here for a Power Usage Calculator

    I personally think that DC-AC-DC is a bit easier to go. Not really easier in the complexity but easier in the plug & play sorta bit. It's also cheaper. But remember do NOT cheap out on the Inverter.

    I myeslf have a 330W Power Inverter, a 450W Pure Sine Wave UPS (uninterruptable power supply) and then a 320PSU in the computer.

    The other advantage to having this kind of setup is if you ever give up on the car-pc idea you can use most of the pieces you had for the car-pc, or pawn/auction them off.

    ALSO, I can get more power (wattage wise) out of a DC-AC-DC system, (I'm currently able to get 300W rms) out of my system, and it's a bit cheaper. If you go with Opus 150 power supply, it's 190 dollars.

    For 190 dollars you can buy a Pure Sine Wave output Inverter, and just have to make sure you have a big enough charging system (alternator + battery) in your car.

    300WW rms Pure Sine Wave Inverter from Ebay Note: I'm not associated with that auction I just found it as a link for ya.

    You could also just buy them from the sellers site www.voltageconverters.com
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  6. #6
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    Thanx This is the info I was looking for. Lots to read but putting it all together is tough. I want to use a full size system beacuse I have all the parts just need a new MB and processor and im set. I think I will try the inverter option.
    2000 Daewoo Numbria CDX

  7. #7
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    I use an Opus 150W with my P4 2.4. Its specifically designed for in car use. Plug n play, built in start up circuit, built in shut down circuit, built in battery protection, standby/hibernate support, etc make it hard to even consider other alternatives.

    It's as simple as replacing your current AC-DC PSU with the Opus. Instead of plugging the PSU into an AC socket, hook it up to a 12V source from your battery. When you start your car, the PC turns on. When you turn off your car, it will standy/hibernate/shutdown after a configurable delay.

    Its very effiecient and will put a nominal load on your electrical system. It should run for a few hours with the engine off and still leave enough juice start your car.

    Although a 150W may seem pretty weak, the Opus can do alot with it. I think Kris has severly underrated its capabilities. I run a P4 2.4, 7200RPM drive, Radeon Graphics, Xenarc 7in TSV, Audigy 2, 8x DVD Rom, USB Wireless 802.11b, USB RF Keyboard, USB RF Mouse, USB Cell Phone data/charger, USB GPS, and more.

    The Opus is well worth the investment.

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate Altimat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tejesh83
    Although a 150W may seem pretty weak, the Opus can do alot with it. I think Kris has severly underrated its capabilities. I run a P4 2.4, 7200RPM drive, Radeon Graphics, Xenarc 7in TSV, Audigy 2, 8x DVD Rom, USB Wireless 802.11b, USB RF Keyboard, USB RF Mouse, USB Cell Phone data/charger, USB GPS, and more.

    The Opus is well worth the investment.
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    I started off with an inverter but ran into severe noise problems. I tried all the grounding tips offered here which reduced the noise slightly. The noise went away when I switched to the Opus - no fancy grounding needed.

    There's no harm trying the inverter route first - some people are able to get it to work without any noise problems. You can always switch to the Opus if needed - the inverter can be used for other stuff, eg running a mini-fridge, soldering iron or flourescent light while you're tinkering with the carputer at night.

  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate sabre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shchua
    I started off with an inverter but ran into severe noise problems. I tried all the grounding tips offered here which reduced the noise slightly. The noise went away when I switched to the Opus - no fancy grounding needed.

    There's no harm trying the inverter route first - some people are able to get it to work without any noise problems. You can always switch to the Opus if needed - the inverter can be used for other stuff, eg running a mini-fridge, soldering iron or flourescent light while you're tinkering with the carputer at night.
    This is what I was thinking. Start with an inverter to get up and running quickly. If problems arise then switch over to an Opus and you still have an inverter that can be used for many other purposes.

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