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Low power PC - non mains powered

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I was just wondering if this would be possible, I know that there are carputers that run on 12Vs from the onboard car alternator etc am I correct to say that there is a transformer that is used to increase this to 240v to then use normal components?

I am just wondering what I would need to run a low powered PC on just a standard 12V battery, I know that the PSU converts the 240V to 12V for the system, would there be anyway to just wire in 12Vs to the system, of course there would need to be someway to make the input voltage stable etc.

This will just be a basic 'will it work' sort of project to see what can be done with these lower powered components etc. Replacing the spinning hard drive with a SSD or CF to reduce the power etc

I do own an Acer Revo, but im not going to be using that, might see if I can power an old school laptop I have as that has a screen etc
Edited by m1tch - 2/23/11 at 10:06am
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post #2 of 13
You would kill the pc. Also there are other voltages (3.3/5/etc) you need to supply as well.
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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Would there be anyway to tweek a normal PSU to accept a 12V input? I guess that the direct 12V feed would go directly into where the transformer inside the PSU went to?
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post #4 of 13
You will not be able to convert a standard PSU to run on an input of 12v dc.

You will need to buy a dc input PSU designed for this sort of application. First thing you need to do is figure out your wattage requirement.
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post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Would it be easier to run a 12V transformer with a standard socket that then plugs directly into the normal PSU then? Im not sure how much extra this would drain the battery etc
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post #6 of 13
I don't think you understand how transformers work. You cant just give a steady dc current into a transformer and get a (insert random voltage here) output.

A DC to DC PSU will not even have a transformer since its not converting AC to DC, instead it will consist of mostly voltage regulators, caps and chokes for output smoothing and noise filtering.
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post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
What I mean is, would it be easier to run one these:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/DC-AC-Power-Inverter-12v-230v-150W-240v-300w-peak-/110645552369?pt=UK_Campervan_Caravan_Accessories&hash=item19c2fd24f1

On the battery and just plug in a standard PSU?
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post #8 of 13
Depends on your wattage requirement.

The inverter you linked is only rated at 150W, at that low of a wattage requirement a straight DC - DC PSU would be better.

Something like this. http://www.mini-box.com/picoPSU-160-XT

However if you were needing say, 400W then a high wattage inverter/AC input PSU combo might be a better choice
Edited by Tw34k - 2/23/11 at 11:12am
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post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Wow cool! I didn't know they went that small! I wouldn't have known to look for a PicoPSU, thats crazy small! Almost like those bluetooth or wireless mouse dongles that are about 90% USB connector.

Ironically I have just spotted this:

http://www.mini-box.com/M3-ATX-DC-DC-ATX-Automotive-Computer-car-PC-Power-Supply?sc=8&category=981

Which seems spot on for what I am looking for!
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post #10 of 13
Yep, not much required when your already suppling a steady high amperage DC current. All it really does (Simplified) is smooth out noise and step down the input voltage to outputs of 12v,5v,3.3v,ect.
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