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Author Topic: Converting Monitor and desktop to 12 volt?  (Read 3281 times)

aggie_67

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Converting Monitor and desktop to 12 volt?
« on: March 23, 2008, 09:28:49 PM »
Working on my masterplan which is convert the indash TV to an LDC monitor + a small form desk top, etc. Thought is I can run Maps & Streets, have TV and a backup camera using my PC and monitor. Questions are:

Considering converting the Monitor and PC to 12 volt. Thought is with out the power unit the PC would run cooler and the base voltage for these electronics is DC so it should be more effecient and cooler to eliminate the 110 volt.

Can I convert my PC to 12 volt by simply bypassing the power supply?

Have seen auctions on ebay where they mention converting a 110 volt monitor to 12 volt by internal modifications? Somewhat electronic inclinded, have made and populated  PC boards for a CNC machine.

Know the M&S and TV program will be activated by an icon on the PC desktop, is this possible on the backup camera too?

Will PC stand up to rough ride od a MH or do you need a shock absorber system?

rbell

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Re: Converting Monitor and desktop to 12 volt?
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2008, 07:21:34 AM »
One of my first thoughts is electrical noise will be very hard on a PC without the power supply to filter it. Static electricity, voltage spikes, and such aren't good for PC electronics. I tried a setup with a GPS, laptop, inverter etc. Too many wires, took up too much room, & my dog stepped on the keyboard once in a while. So now I've got a newer GPS with everything in it. Things are simple now and they work well. I was very suprised how far GPS's have come in a few years.
Dick
2007 F150
2012 KZ Spree 323CSS

baadpuppy

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Re: Converting Monitor and desktop to 12 volt?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2008, 08:29:30 AM »
PCs use +12V, -12V +5V, and +3.3V.  picture of ATX power connector here.

The DC electrical system in an RV is unlikely to be clean enough for any direct connection.  However, if you do a search you can find there are ATX power supplies that take 12V input and clean it up and such.  Those power supplies need a lot of current though.

Consider also that most PC motherboards suck power at a huge rate.  It might be better to consider installing a system designed to run from 12V in the first place.  There are many options in the "car pc" market now that weren't there even 3 years ago.  Many of those systems are actually very low power and produce less heat, but of course that translates to somewhat less performance.

Some LCD monitors actually take DC power and have an external transformer to provide their power.  Mine are like that.

My personal plan is to use a system from karpc.com.

I want to use a touch screen monitor for the navigation machine, but the "desktop" computer in the house section will use a standard 17" LCD monitor that takes +12V as its power source.  I happen to have that already.  :)

Good luck with your project.  :)

jim

John From Detroit

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Re: Converting Monitor and desktop to 12 volt?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2008, 09:37:49 AM »
As Jim noted the PC uses multiple voltages both positive and negative so it is not as simple as bypassing the power supply, you need multiple supplies and different voltages,  IT can be done, by I've never researched where to go to find them.

An easier way would be to use a laptop.. Many laptops run on a single DC supply and for around $100 more or less you can get a 12 volt supply for a laptop.   Many laptops will work while closed, using an external keyboard, mouse and monitor.

To use the back-up monitor (Please do not call it a dash TV) as a computer monitor you will also need, in most cases, a device called a "Scan converter" and you may be limited to VGA video levels

Myself.. I use a laptop with S&T and use the back up monitor as a "Rear view mirror" save when I'm pulling into a gas station, then it's my "Pump view mirror" so I can line up on the pump.. I have plans for additional cameras to feed it.
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cougar3514v

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Re: Converting Monitor and desktop to 12 volt?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2008, 11:47:15 AM »
Converting an existing desktop to 12VDC could be a bit difficult. Putting together a system for 12VDC really requires starting with a system that is designed to do that.  I built my 12VDC system from scratch using a mini-ATX board (I got one from http://www.mini-itx.com), a M2-ATX 160W Intelligent DC-DC PSU (converts the 12VDC to voltages for the PC/note that it is only 160W), and a Lilliput 8" VGA Touch Screen.  The problem with converting a desktop is the power requirements.  My mini-ATX board runs fine with a single hard drive and DVD-ROM at under 160W. That said, I have begun to use my laptop more and more.  :)

-Dave
2005 F350/Crew Cab/Powerstroke/SRW
2006 Keystone Cougar 309EFS
Blessed with the perfect wife, kid, and dogs

judway

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Re: Converting Monitor and desktop to 12 volt?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2008, 01:07:40 PM »
Seems to me that it would be a lot easier to just get a small quasi-sinewave inverter and dedicate it to that purpose. The efficiency is pretty good on the small models.
Wayne
2003 Itasca Horizon 36LD
2012 Chevrolet Malibu
Retired Electrical Engineer
W4SRR

Karl

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Re: Converting Monitor and desktop to 12 volt?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2008, 04:39:27 PM »
Quote
Can I convert my PC to 12 volt by simply bypassing the power supply?
Absolutely NOT! Even if you were able to come up with the various required voltages at the proper current capacity, there is a sequence in which these voltages are applied to the motherboard and other components of the computer. If done incorrectly, you will be looking for a new motherboard, CPU, and possibly memory too. Get an inverter and forget about trying to convert.
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

baadpuppy

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Re: Converting Monitor and desktop to 12 volt?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2008, 04:57:42 PM »
one example of a "drop in" power supply replacement can be found here.

Not cheap.  But should be completely safe.

jim

Karl

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Re: Converting Monitor and desktop to 12 volt?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2008, 06:51:47 PM »
Jim,
Yes, it does appear that they would do the job but there are a few buts:

1) For the same money (or less) you could buy an inverter that would power devices other than just your computer.

2) At 65% efficiency, you're wasting a lot of power. I'm guessing they are using a 12VDC to 120VAC conversion which then powers a plain old 120VAC ATX power supply.   

3) Drop one of these in to your desktop and you are locked into using it on 12VDC - or you have to remove it and re-install the original p.s. if you want to plug into the 120VAC mains.

Yes, it's an option, but not a very practical one.
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

rbell

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Re: Converting Monitor and desktop to 12 volt?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2008, 07:28:11 AM »
Another thing you may want to do is nose around on the i-GO site. They make power adapters for many different uses. I have one that I use for cell phones in my vehicles. I know Radio Shack sells them in many locations. All you have to do is change the small adapter on the end for different applications. It's a nice well built product.
Dick
2007 F150
2012 KZ Spree 323CSS