ITPS Power Sequence review
Disclaimer: This is a review of the ITPS Power Sequencer from iTuner.com. I received the unit as a free test unit with a request to post my review here.
Summary: This unit does exactly what it claims to do: it turns the computer on 5 seconds after I start my car; it turns the computer off shortly after I shut the car down; and it regulates the voltage going into my computer.
I got these reading from my car using a Fluke 87III Multimeter:
Unswitched, ignition off Ė 11.98
Unswitched, car running at idle Ė 12.45
Unswitched, car under load Ė 13.98
Switched, car running at idle Ė 12.45
Switched, car under load Ė 13.54
ITPS, ignition off Ė 0.00
ITPS, car running at idle Ė 12.00
ITPS, car under load Ė 12.00
After living with it for about a week, these are what I see as the pros and cons:
First, itís nice to know that the computer is getting exactly 12VDC, so I donít worry about my car frying my MB. In that regard, for $39, this is an inexpensive alternative to an Opus power supply, a product I, admittedly, have never used.
Second, the install was super easy. The instructions supplied were clear and accurate. It took about 10 minutes to crimp on some ends and run an unswitched line to the computerís location. I already had switched power running to the location from my now defunct Neo35, so I was 2/3 there already, but what the hey.
That said, there are some minor annoyances with the product. With the ignition shut off, you are getting 0.00VDC so the computer shuts down completely; no hibernation. I drive 3.5 miles to work. If I stop an get a cup of coffee on the way, I'm looking at booting when I leave the house, booting when I leave the coffee shop, and not much listening. Reprogramming the chip to get a longer shutdown delay won't do any good, though, because the unit cuts out while cranking the engine.
Sometimes, I donít want the computer to start up. Yet with the standard install, it starts every time. This weekend, Iím going to add an on/off switch. Given the short amount of time before shutdown, this will be the ideal situation for running in-town errands rather than letting the computer start, shut down, start, shut down, start....
Conclusion: For $39 this is a great way to control startup and shutdown and regulate voltage. For the price vs. an Opus, the annoyances are minor and completely livable. I donít always want the computer on, so weíll see what the on/off switch does. Iím still considering an Opus, though, with the ITPS in place, itís not a big priority. Iíll live with it for now, and maybe do the Opus in a couple months.
Finally: When Andrei posted he had a few test units available, I wrote him to request one. I didnít hear back from him, so a week later I ordered one for $39.00. The response was quick and I received my unit within a few days. About two weeks later, I received another unit with a note saying I was one of the 15 people selected to test a unit. Doh! So, I have two of these units, one still nice and shiny and untouched in the original box. $25 USPS Priority included to the 48.
You could try a basic stamp
I've got a basic stamp from Parallax that is directly connected to the battery via an LM350. It draws minimal current. I've also got a LM1084 tied to the battery which I can turn on and off via the stamp. Put a timer with the stamp and you can adjust your on off's as you see fit
www.parallax.com has a ton of information on this.