Today I paid a visit to Radio Crap and was rather astonished at the selection of items that they carry. I built a 3 switch box to use to perform control functions to my truckputer. The push-button momentary switch will serve as my accessory on/off control for the computer itself. This will run directly to my power supply, should I have problems with startup/shutdown functions on my OPUS 120. The middle button is a rocker switch which will be my valet switch which I can also use to cut off power to the PC. The ignition line will run through this switch and allow me to cut power to the PC as well as my M2-ATX PSU which will be providing power to monitors & USB hub. The third switch is an accessory switch that will turn my neon light mounted in the case on and off. All of the pieces including the box cost less then $10 and provides a very valuable interface, not to mention allows me to keep the PC from being powered ON if I do not wish to have it on for whatever reason (vehicle in for repairs, valet parking, friend borrows truck to move, etc).
Here you see my power distribution block which will provide 12V DC and my ground block. I will be running lines directly from my battery terminals to ensure maximum grounding and a safe distribution to both power supplies as well as my wireless headphones transmitter.
I thought that it would be a good idea to include wireless headphones in the mix in case I want to listen to my radio while others are watching a movie. The unit consumes a very low amount of current and switches off when there is no audio signal coming from the computer. I will be using a molex connector to tap the 5V rail of my M2-ATX and provide switched power to my USB hub. I have heard of others draining their battery when their hub continues to stay powered off of their battery and I would prefer that not to happen to me.
Here is a short mock-up of the breadbox (my comp) dropped into the console and gives me a good opportunity to look at how things will look and fit. Its tight in there, but I think that everything will work out great. Everyday is another checked off item on my to-do list. Tomorrow I will be tapping into my ignition wire and trying to get as much of my wiring in the truck done as possible. I will also be running my USB GPS as well as my wireless antennae which I will be mounting behind some trim next to my seatbelts. I don't know how great of a signal I will get with that plan but I think it will be decent. Onward and upward!!!!