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Old 1st November 2004, 06:37 PM   #1
jschen is offline jschen  United States
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Default Creating Power Supply for Computer in Car Environment

I know they sell these type of units for the car environment. I have decided to try DIY project on this and need some advise. What I want to do is build a power supply for a computer. I understand that when the car is off the voltage comes from the battery (12V) and when the car is on the volts jump up to 13-14 volts. I can't remember what all the rail voltages a Motherboard needs (I need to look it up) but how would one keep the voltages stable or working voltage for a computer? Especially for an audio system that will cause voltage drops and such?
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Old 2nd November 2004, 07:47 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: england
I did a quick search on google and found this link its not for a pc its for audio but it has lots of background info in it hope it helps

And keep us posted on any progress you make
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Old 2nd November 2004, 09:48 AM   #3
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I got bored once,and decided to make a 12V input PC supply,I slapped it together in a day,and it's nothing fancy...but,it does work..

Just a couple simple linear (inefficient) regulators.. with a small dc-dc converter for the -V rails. This is for an AT motherboard.For ATX,you just need to add a +3.3V regulator,and a constant source of +5V(standby).
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Old 2nd November 2004, 02:26 PM   #4
jschen is offline jschen  United States
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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Thanks for the help so far. This project probably won't be started for quite some time but getting the background info so when I get started it won't be so hard.
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Old 3rd November 2004, 12:46 AM   #5
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Vancouver Island
The forums at are about the best place for in-car computer information.

What kind of motherboard are you planning to use? There are very compact industrial PC boards that only require 5 volts; Pentium-class boards can be had for less than $100 on Ebay, and are fast enough for MP3 playback.

I'm going to use a switching regulator to get +5V and use a laptop drive which doesn't need 12V. Maybe add a DC-DC converter for +/-12V to run the audio circuits on the motherboard for better sound quality.
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