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Pc power supply

Discussion in 'Home Power and Microgeneration' started by K, Dec 15, 2003.

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  1. K

    K Guest

    Any idea's how to power a PC (exlcluding monitor) from just a 12 volt
    battery?


    K
     
  2. Bughunter

    Bughunter Guest

    A cheap little inverter should do it. I'd look for one around 400watts and
    about $30.
     
  3. You can look in the archives of this newsgroup for details, but
    someone does make such a beast. However, it's extremely expensive
    compared to a normal PC supply and an inverter, and you don't lose a
    lot of efficiency with a decent small inverter, so that's really your
    best bet.
     
  4. Dennis Davis

    Dennis Davis Guest

    I've seen a site that was from homepower, a link possibly, where they
    modified the power supply to work from 12v or 24v. Try using homepower's
    site and google to search, its been done just gotta find it.
     
  5. I'd echo the other responses here. I ran a notebook-based office, with
    printer, scanner and external disk drives, from a refurbished
    Statpower 125W inverter, 5 days / week for a couple of months. This
    would probably run a desktop machine as well (they rarely draw
    anything like their sticker-plate ratings), but small inverters are so
    cheap now you'd be wise to get something larger.

    With enough inverter, you could easily run a monitor as well, though
    apparently that isn't part of your plan. Battery capacity is obviously
    an issue.

    If you value your time, this is the fastest and cheapest solution,
    with no significant disadvantages.

    Compared to a dedicated solution such as replacement PC supply
    (commercial or home-brew) with 12V input, you have additional
    advantages: the PC remains unmodified, and the inverter is also a
    standard item that can be used for other purposes - even if only to
    run a soldering iron for a couple of minutes. Finally, if something
    fails, you're not faced with trying to replace an oddball item;
    everything's "off-the-shelf."

    -=s
     
  6. Graybyrd

    Graybyrd Guest

    Thousands and thousands of big rig truck drivers are rolling over the
    highways today running satellite TV setups, personal PC gear, microwave
    ovens, and other off-the-shelf electronic stuff.

    All of them are using DC to AC inverters of various sizes, up to 3 KW
    rating.

    I did it for several years. Based on experience, I learned these
    valuable lessons:

    a. 12 VDC power is an extremely lossy affair, involving high currents
    and large drops across poor connections and underrated wiring. Thus, the
    most efficient solution was to use a single run of heavy cabling as a
    direct connect from the four-battery truck bank to the inverter. Most
    stuff made or converted to run directly from 12vdc is pure _crap_.

    b. Off the shelf DC to AC inverters are very efficient, cheap, and
    reliable, but _only_ if you use them at about half rated capacity for
    _long_ service periods. They will run fine at rated capacity for _short_
    periods.

    c. All of my gear ran flawlessly and reliably off the inverters. I did
    find one inverter that didn't like to run certain types of computer
    power supplies, but I found an easy startup sequence work-around for
    that.

    d. It is surprising what you can power up and run continuously from
    off-the-shelf inverters: in my case, I had a small office-type
    refrigerator in my truck cab that ran just fine. The starting current of
    the hi-efficiency compressor was well within the rating of my 1500 KW
    inverter.

    Just a few observations ...

    Gray
     
  7. Caleb Hess

    Caleb Hess Guest

    Uh, did you have room to haul anything else beside that inverter? ;)
     
  8. Graybyrd

    Graybyrd Guest

    Um sorry . that should have read 1.5 KW, or 1500 Watt .. small typo.

    The 1500 watt inverter was about the size of a carton of cigarettes, and
    was mounted on the forward wall of the bunk compartment, just behind the
    driver's seat. The #4 gauge cables ran straight from the inverter input
    posts to the battery bank under the cab floor.

    Solid state inverters are very compact, even with the ventilation case
    and internal fan.

    Truck stops sell 3500 watt inverters that are about the size of a
    compact laptop, but a bit thicker .. maybe 4 inches.

    Gray
     
  9. It is only good for computers using the VIA Mini ITX motherboard.
     
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