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Thread: DSATX review / Shuttle PSU mod

  1. #1
    FLAC alti's Avatar
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    DSATX review / Shuttle PSU mod

    This first post will be an overall review of the DSATX. The second post will contain photos of it in my setup and pictures of how I fit it into a shuttle sized PSU casing.

    As others have mentioned it came packed very well and the build quality and components look excellent.

    Operation : As mentioned in the main beta test thread I have tested the PSU in it's out-of-box stock condition on both the Biostar M7NCG 400 rev 7.2 and the Biostar Ideq 200N. Both are Nforce2 chipset motherboards. The M7NCG is a very popular motherboard for use with the Athlon XP-M mobile processors and had an issue with the opus power supply until a fix was implemented on the opus. It seems that the same the DSATX does not suffer from the same problem as it fired up both boards on the first try.

    More on my hardware

    Setup 1:
    Biostar M7ncg 400 rev 7.2 Nforce2 MCP
    Athlon XP-Mobile 2400+ 35 watt model @ 200 x 9 (1.8 ghz) and 1.35v
    Kingston 512 MB (1 stick) DDR 333 valueram
    Onboard video GeForce4 MX
    Onboard sound realtek ALC665
    Seagate Barracuda 120GB ATA 7200 8MB

    Setup 2:
    Biostar Ideq 200N Nforce2 IGP + MCP-T
    Athlon XP-M 2400+ 35 watt model @ 166 x11 (1.83) and 1.35v
    Kingston 512 MB (1 stick) DDR 333 valueram
    Onboard video GeForce4 MX
    Aureal vortex monster sound PCI (oldie but goodie)
    Seagate Barracuda 120GB ATA 7200 8MB

    Both setups shared the same usb devices:
    All powered by the DSATX
    Panasonic DVD/CDRW 8125 slim slot
    Linksys USBBT100 BlueTooth antenna
    Linksys Wireless-G Portable USB Adapter WUSB54GP
    Holux 210 GPS receiver
    4 wire 10.4” Touchscreen
    XM direct receiver connected with serial-usb adapter
    Scantools OBD II connected with serial-usb adapter
    USB charger/data cable for sony ericsson s710a

    My display is a 10.4” Allbrite that is not powered by the PSU


    Notes:
    The PSU runs very well right out of the box. The ability to adjust the shutdown timings via the pot on the board is very nice. I prefer the operation over the opus that I was using prior. Without modification to the settings it starts up about a second after the acc line powers up as opposed to the 5 second delay on the opus. I have had no speaker “pop” issues and my amp (Kicker 4ch 350.4) is run off the same acc line. And I am sure the amp has its own soft on technology as well. Shutdown seems to be going gracefully; I have yet to be surprised finding my system still running after leaving the car. My screen shuts off when I remove the key so I have not been able to actually watch it shut the computer down to make sure that it is graceful, but I have not received any windows error loading back indicating everything is going well. The ability to have the computer left on for 20 minutes before shutdown is great. I can run my errands and come back out turn the key and the computer is still up and running, un like the opus where the computer was shutdown right after removing the key. The lcd light on the PSU is pretty informative, solid in normal operation flashes when the acc line power is lost until it shuts the computer down and then it shuts off.

    Dislikes:
    The only real gripe I have and it is minor is the power connection. I much preferred the opus’s quick connector. I am sure Jeff had a good reason for designing it this way, but I personally am finding it annoying from a usability / installation viewpoint. I am going to rig up my own quick disconnect in the near future.

    Overall:
    WOW, operation is smooth, survives cranks, powerful, and configurable. I think it’s a winner and could easily take most of the current DC-DC PSU market, the hardy 12v rail is going to open up the doors to many more DC-DC powered setups.
    My Install

    Software:
    CFiG v1
    iGuidance Plugin for CF

    CarShell
    Working shell for a CarPC

    StopWatch
    StopWatch plugin remade for centrafuse RC1

  2. #2
    FLAC alti's Avatar
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    Here are some pics showing the PSU and how I installed into my new system.



    Here is a shot of the AC-DC PSU that I extracted from my new Biostar iDeq 200n Shuttle sized barebones pc.




    I took out the PSU’s AC-DC inards to replace them with my DSATX PSU




    The case is not wide enough for the DSATX so I had to leave one wall of the PSU folded down like so, this did not cause any space or clearance issues in the 200N



    DSATX in the case, I was only able to mount it with one screw without modification, but it is secure.




    I removed the fan that came with the PSU in favor of the one that was shipped with the DSATX, even though it is smaller in size, it is a ball baring fan.




    How the case closes up




    Mounted in the ideq.




    power cables
    My Install

    Software:
    CFiG v1
    iGuidance Plugin for CF

    CarShell
    Working shell for a CarPC

    StopWatch
    StopWatch plugin remade for centrafuse RC1

  3. #3
    Fusion Brain Creator
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    Great review.

  4. #4
    Raw Wave tj!2k4's Avatar
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    alti, you may find this post of use if you are a fan of the opus-style connector..

    FAQ: How to Wire an OPUS PSU

  5. #5
    FLAC alti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tj!2k4
    alti, you may find this post of use if you are a fan of the opus-style connector..

    FAQ: How to Wire an OPUS PSU
    awsome, thanks!
    My Install

    Software:
    CFiG v1
    iGuidance Plugin for CF

    CarShell
    Working shell for a CarPC

    StopWatch
    StopWatch plugin remade for centrafuse RC1

  6. #6
    FLAC
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    Quote Originally Posted by alti
    The only real gripe I have and it is minor is the power connection. I much preferred the opus’s quick connector. I am sure Jeff had a good reason for designing it this way, but I personally am finding it annoying from a usability / installation viewpoint. I am going to rig up my own quick disconnect in the near future.

    About the quick connects:

    The problem with the connector OPUS used was that it is only rated up to 13 amps per pin. If you are going to use the full potential of the DSATX, it won't cut it. The Screw Lug terminals I used are rated up to 25 amps. (and the DSATX can peak at 22 amps fully loaded, which won't blow 20 amp fuse for short peaks) Also, I suggest using 10 or 12 gauge wire. The Opus connector is only rated for down to 14 gauge, although you may be able to cram a 12 gauge in it.

    You can certianly make your own quick connect and hook it up to the DSATX, but I would suggest doubling it up on the power and ground so that you don't have to worry about the max current capability..

    www.mouser.com has these 6 connection quick connect, I'd put in 2 powers, 2 grounds and one ACC into this connector. You have to buy the inserts too, you'll need 5 of each males and females. Here is the part numbers for everything:

    538-50-84-1060
    538-50-84-2060
    538-02-08-1002
    538-02-08-2004


    Also, Alti, the DSATX can come with the faston 0.25" blade connectors instead of that screw terminal block. If you look on the bottome of the board you'll see the PCB holes for the .25" fastons. Do you think you'd prefer that method over the screws? It might make more sense if I'm going to bundle a power cable.


    -Jeff
    MPEGBOX - Plexiglass Computer
    www.mpegbox.com

  7. #7
    Newbie
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    Jeff, thats exactly what I did as connectors for 110 guage are impossible to find. I used 14 guage to the connector doubled for Vin and gnd after splicing into the 10 guage runs.....works well.

  8. #8
    FLAC alti's Avatar
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    The blade connectors seem like they would help, ideally what I would be looking for would be a connector that i can easily disconnect a few inches from the PSU that i can mount where the AC plug used to reside in my PSU case. This way I have a disconect and do not have to take the computer apart in the car to remove it.

    Thanks so much for the part numbers from mouser, I had not thought about the connectors not handleing enough current, that makes sense. It looks like i can use these to create what i need with out restricting the current.

    And just wanted to take a second to note that I am also VERY pleased with the DSATX, the connector is just a minor detail. Great work Jeff!
    My Install

    Software:
    CFiG v1
    iGuidance Plugin for CF

    CarShell
    Working shell for a CarPC

    StopWatch
    StopWatch plugin remade for centrafuse RC1

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