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Thread: Noob here.... nearly ready to start build!!!

  1. #1
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    Noob here.... nearly ready to start build!!!

    Hi chaps!

    Just stumbled on this site while trying to find out about power switches!!

    I've got most of the hardware sorted with a few final bits and pieces to arrive...

    I'm going to use an old Dell Inspiron 1525 with 4gb ram and dual core 1.2ghz processor as the main PC...

    For the moment it's going to just be for music but contemplating gps and a rear view camera (maybee.... very undecided about that!!)

    thinking of using Linuxice/openice/nghosts or whatever it's called these days, and installing to a 2gb compact flash with a removable usb hd for storage...

    Gonna run it using a 7" monitor which i got for 28 and spent another 5 on a touch panel and 7 on a usb module... just so if anything goes I can get replacements easy enough...

    Gonna get a 12v power brick from ebay to run it all and possibly attach a battery as a back up...

    Planning to put it in the boot of my primera, along with a phillips DAP 600 that I picked up from a car booty for 10... just have a few extra bit's of info to work out before I can get cracking...

    If this needs moving feel free... wasn;t sure where else to put it!

    The Questions i have are :

    1) Power Button - Can I wire 1 power button to turn on both the Monitor AND the laptop? I know i need a momentary button but does it need to be normally open or normally closed?
    2) How close can I put the laptop & Amp? will there be interference from the amp to the computer or vice versa?
    3) Am I right in thinking using the headphone out of the laptop will mean 2 channels? I'll go into amp wiring later...
    4) Can I use a slot load DVD drive and stretch the cable to the laptop in the boot? or should I run a long usb cable to a hub towards the front of the car?
    5) If i use shielded speaker cable can i run them at the same place as the power wires for the amp etc?

    If bits need moving I'll shift them to the relevent sections of the forum...

    Ta peeps...

  2. #2
    Advanced Member joshnosh's Avatar
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    firstly welcome
    secondly where did you get a screen that cheep lol

    1) i dont see why you couldn't do this. most people use dc-dc power supply's that are designed for car pcs to do the turning on off the computer automaticly but since your running a laptop like im planing to do there arnt meny options for turning on laptops. you might be able to use usb wake or wake on lan. ill come back to this when iv found the relevant links ect ect

    2) in theory they can be as close as you like but both the pc and the amp will likely give off and be susceptible to interference. if there side buy side then it should be fine but if there on top off each other i would suggest leaving at least and inch to be safe.

    3)yes a headphone out will give you 2 channels but headphone outs tend to give quite poor audio quality which becomes very obvious once amplifyed. most people use usb sound cards for much better audio quality and you can get more outputs. iv only ever seen one laptop headphone port that didn't produced large amounts off distortion and whine when amped and that was on a rather expensive laptop. usb sound cards are highly recommended for most installs

    4)that depends on what the cable is. chances are its ether sata or ide and iirc neither will go long enough to get to the back off your car so usb is probably going to be needed. but worry not usb is cheap and using a hub means you get some spare usb ports. you will probably have to run a cable for your screen anyway you might as well run 2. or you could just run both off one cable through a hub. if you go to buy a hub always get a powered one

    5) you can but its much better to run them separate. i have some speaker cables running near a power cable on one side but not the other. it runs about 2 feet next to the cable and it makes no difference. in other words (cable<shielded cable<grounded cable<cable running a different route)

    also how are you going to turn the 12v power brick on and off
    if its broke, fix it......if it ant broke, mod it!
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  3. #3
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    Sorry... I was going to use something like this to power it and push the cigarette lighter behind the install... I've been meaning to quit smoking... lol

    The monitor was from hong kong via ebay... it has no attachments for power other than a red black and blue wires.... obv red = +ve black = -VE but I've no idea about the blue one... 0.o

    As I say it was cheap cause i bought the touch panel separately...

    I was just going to power it on by pushing a button after starting the engine... I was also planning to buy a new battery to attach to it so it doesn't fry through sudden electrical failure but was thinking that the cigarette lighter in my car only works when the keys on the 1st bit of the ignition, i.e. when the engine is off but electrics like windows work... so i might not bother... but then if i had the battery then i wouldn't need the engine on at all... hmmmm....

  4. #4
    Advanced Member ~Rob's Avatar
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    They're not the best source of power, but it's a means to an end.

    Where are you planning of putting the laptop? In the boot? I would run a dedicated power cable from the battery, via a fuse < 6" from the battery, to the boot and use that to power the adaptor. If the laptop has no sentimental connection to you, you can hack the power button with some electronics so that it turns on with ignition too.

    you can split the 2 audio channels from the Laptop in to 4 channels for the amp easily with phono Y-Splitters and as long as you keep the lead short and don't run along side any power cables you will be fine. Laptop sound cards aren't known for being great so you might hear quite a bit of white noise so I'd suggest a USB soundcard if you've got the budget.

    Rob
    ~Rob - Proving more posts don't mean more knowledge

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    Will probs get a new battery then... then use the 12v adaptor to charge it...

    Need to start looking at fitting it soon! Found a USB sound card that does front and back for less than a Tenner so will give that a try...

    As to the laptop I was planning to sell the parts so its currently stripped anyway.... need to extend the power button and the wifi on off switch... I'll come up with something... need to wait for my cf adaptor to turn up the the real fun starts!!

    Sent from my Hero using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Advanced Member joshnosh's Avatar
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    probably worth installing a relay as well that's wired up to the cigarette lighter feed so that the charger only turns on once your cars on otherwise your battery will go flat quite quickly
    if its broke, fix it......if it ant broke, mod it!
    astra mk4 LS install home theatre/sever pc

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    Quote Originally Posted by joshnosh View Post
    probably worth installing a relay as well that's wired up to the cigarette lighter feed so that the charger only turns on once your cars on otherwise your battery will go flat quite quickly
    thats not the way to do a split charge, you need to switch the relay using the signal wire from the altinator to make sure the batteries are seperated untill after the engine has finished cranking. The ciggy lighter will either be permanent on or come on with the ignition, either way unless you have a massive relay your going to burn it out as you crank the engine and it tries to draw a lot of current from both batteries through that relay.

    alternatively use a voltage sensing relay, it doesn't need the altinator feed and only switches when the voltage on main battery indicates that the altinator is up and running. these get a good write up http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/SPLIT-CHARGE-R...item2a1096ece6 and should be fine for what your doing, but if you do find you need to be able to shunt more ampage then it will also work to energise a larger relay
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  8. #8
    Advanced Member joshnosh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazarus View Post
    thats not the way to do a split charge
    who said anythink about split charge ???
    if its broke, fix it......if it ant broke, mod it!
    astra mk4 LS install home theatre/sever pc

  9. #9
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    Well... I'm a bit lost now...

    Just to clear this up... I was planning to use a power brick for the laptop that has a cigarette lighter fitting rather than the normal 3 pin plug.... from what I'm gathering from these previous posts is that if I leave it plugged in then it will burn out both batteries? Can I not just put an extra power switch in so that it doesn't do that? Will the same thing happen when I turn the engine off?

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  10. #10
    Advanced Member joshnosh's Avatar
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    if you wire it into the cigarette lighter socket then it will turn off when you turn the engine off
    when you say both batterys do you mean the car one and the laptop one or do you have 2 in your car?
    is this all going to go in your boot?
    ignor what lazarus said for the moment. we might come back to that if it becomes relevant but as far as i know its not at the moment. (no offence lazarus)
    if its broke, fix it......if it ant broke, mod it!
    astra mk4 LS install home theatre/sever pc

  11. #11
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    Was meaning car battery and laptop... was just using the laptop power brick to fig lighter as a charging point so the attached laptop battery would be responsible for start up and shut down... well..that's what I'm hoping for anyway....

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  12. #12
    Advanced Member joshnosh's Avatar
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    that's, fine Lazarus was referring to a system where you have two car battery's.
    if its broke, fix it......if it ant broke, mod it!
    astra mk4 LS install home theatre/sever pc

  13. #13
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    So will i need relays and things or will it be ok as I've described it?

    Sent from my Hero using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Advanced Member stealthe's Avatar
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    Does your lighter socket switch off when the ignition is off? If not then a relay could be put in to switch it. On some cars the fuse can be moved to give permanent live or switched.

    I'll point out that my first install was laptop based, with lighter adaptors for power. It seemed to kill the adaptors about every six months.
    Nothing wrong with a laptop install though, looking forward to some pics.

    stealthe

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshnosh View Post
    who said anythink about split charge ???
    sorry my mistake, i was confusing the initial mention of a battery back up and your mention of switching a charger with the ciggy lighter feed. what you call a charger I'd call a DC power supply. its all just tomaytoes/tomarrrtos.
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