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Best/safest way to use car radio as a garage radio

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Arthur2017, Jun 22, 2017.

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  1. Arthur2017

    Arthur2017

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    Jun 22, 2017
    Did a search on this forum and elsewhere to find the best way to hook up a car radio to a power supply that runs off of a power supply I can plug into the wall. I've seen videos of people using PSUs from PCs, but wonder if that is safe.

    I want to shop around for a bluetooth capable car stereo to use in my garage. Just concerned about how safe the whole thing will be once the juice is turned on. I don't plan on powering any massive speaker system, just a right speaker and a left speaker.
     
  2. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

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    Nov 17, 2011
    I wonder why you're heading for a car radio when you're going to buy one. You know you could buy a mains powered radio instead?

    Anyway, As you are going that way: You can use any power supply with a 12 V output and sufficient ampere rating to power the radio. The power supply's ampere rating doesn't habe to match the readio's rating exactly. The power supply needs to be rated for the amperage of the radio or more (more doesn't hurt, less will cause trouble).
    Any 12 V power supply that meets the applicable safety standards can be used. A PC power supply is probably not safe as it is intended to be used within a closed housing. PC power supplies often have holes to allow the flow of air. When used without a closed housing, there is a risk that part fall throigh the holes or someone deliberately pokes through a hole while mains is applied. This poses a risk of electric shock.

    A 12 V wall wart on the other hand is designed to be handled by laypeople and should be safe.
     
  3. Arthur2017

    Arthur2017

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    Jun 22, 2017
    Hello,

    Thank you for the fast reply. I have limited shelf space in my garage, plus I was hoping to pick up a used car stereo for cheap on craigslist.

    Can you tell me more about this "wall wart"? Where do I find one?
     
  4. Robert_fay

    Robert_fay

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    Jun 15, 2017
    You can find them many places. Here is a link to some I found at Digi-Key for example. You would just need to know the current that you need to run your radio. https://www.digikey.com/short/30p9nw
     
  5. Arthur2017

    Arthur2017

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    0
    Jun 22, 2017
    From what I can tell, none of these will work. The amps are to low. It seems many car stereos use a minimum of 5 amps. It seems many people use computer PSUs for power. I was hoping there would be something else. I do plan on lasercutting a cabinet for the car stereo. Maybe I could enclose the PSU within that as well.
     
  6. Robert_fay

    Robert_fay

    124
    34
    Jun 15, 2017
  7. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    10,999
    2,502
    Nov 17, 2011
    A used computer PSU will work technically. For safety put it into a closed housing (enclosure :D). You may even put the PSU and the radio into the same enclosure, provided it is either non-conducting (wood, plastic) or it should be grounded if conducting (metal).
     
  8. FuZZ1L0G1C

    FuZZ1L0G1C

    368
    117
    Mar 25, 2014
    The 12VDC (Yellow&Black) of a spare computer-P.S.U. rated 180 W will supply 10 amps so easily handles 5 A.
    Just house it in a expanded mesh cage, earthed, with a roof to prevent liquids spilling in.
    Or a switched power-pack I have is rated 12V DC @ 5A and is sold for small LCD TV's, PVR's, etc.
    Better to over-rate higher though, as 5A driving 5A is stretching it.
     
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