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Discussion Starter #1
Since I'll be powering a number of things under my passenger seat, what the best way to grab a clean 12V power supply down there? Also if I stick my NavBox in the bottom of the middle console storage bin, where can I get clean power there?

One last thing...What are the best connectors to tap into the wiring without soldering? I used some nice Butt connectors for the mod where you can program the Nav while driving, so can I do something along those lines?
 

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For the center console, there is already a switched power source inside. Its only active when the car is on. For under the seat, you may want to splice into the power seat (if you have one). Be careful, though. Whatever you put under the seat should be centered and low enough not to interfere with the movement of the seat back and forth. Good luck.

JC
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I do have power seats for the front passenger...Anyone have wiring diagrams for the seat to tell me which wires are power? Also, would it be switched or whatever we call "always on"?
 

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MCowher said:
I do have power seats for the front passenger...Anyone have wiring diagrams for the seat to tell me which wires are power? Also, would it be switched or whatever we call "always on"?
Can the seat be moved when the ignition is off?

If so, it's always on.

Whatever you hook to that seat wire, better be fused.

Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Zebelkhan just told me in a PM he ran power all the way from the battery to power his carputer, so I may just go ahead and do that for my XBox and anything else I put under the seat...

Now I just need to find a discussion thread that talks about doing that, since I've never done that before...
 

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MCowher said:
Zebelkhan just told me in a PM he ran power all the way from the battery to power his carputer, so I may just go ahead and do that for my XBox and anything else I put under the seat...

Now I just need to find a discussion thread that talks about doing that, since I've never done that before...
YGPM...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well guys, Zebelkhan has been a lot of help, and after his consent, I'd like to share some advice he gave in some PM's to me...

Originally posted by zebelkhan
I think the decision to run power directly from the battery is a correct one. That way you don't touch any of the OEM wires and they cannot blame you later if something goes wrong with the wiring. Now, this calculator says that for the power and distance you want, you will need to use a minimum of 8 gauge wire size. You will need around 15 feet or so.

There is a rubber boot under the dash, above driver's left foot, where all the OEM wires enter or exit the engine compartment. On the engine side, it is burried behind the brake master cylinder. I ran a solid wire (from a coat hanger) from inside the car through the boot, but very carefully so it would not damage the other wires. Once I located the other end of it on the engine side taped the 8 guage wire to it and slowly pulled it back inside the car. That was the hardest part. The rest was easy. I just ran the wire alongside the center console on the inside, and used a plastic conduit in the engine side to run it to the battery. Make sure you put a fuse on it near the battery and use no more than a 10 amp fuse (unless you will be using 120 watts or more).
Originally posted by MCowher
Cool! A couple of questions...Where did you attach the ground wire under your seat? Where did you connect the Ignition Wire from the M1-ATX (J12 in the user guide)? Did you do anything with the Amp Enable (J2) connection? Did you attach anything else to your dedicated power wire? If so, did you just you wire taps, or some other approach?
Originally posted by zebelkhan
1- Ground Wire - I took off one of the nuts that hold the upper part of seat down and connected to it. For my application it works because I don't have a lot of power use. You may want to remove one of the nuts that holds the seat down and use it for your ground.
2-There is a couple of empty spots in the fuse box on the driver side (inside of the car) which become hot with ignition. I don't remember which one I used for the connection. I know one of them was powered only with ignition switch on, and the other one (which I used) was powered with ignition switch in both accessory and on modes. You may want to use a test lamp to find them. Make sure you fuse this wire.
3-I did not use "amp enable" connection.
4- I am not using anything else with the power line going to the PC.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok guys, need your input on this...Over the weekend I went to Radio Shack to get some supplies to finish my direct-to-battery power supply run to the front passenger seat/center console. One of the salesmen there told me it was a REALLY, REALLY bad idea to run power directly to the battery, and instead to find some sort of power distribution panel/box inside the engine compartment and run it from there. He said that modern-day auto electronics in newer cars will monitor battery usage and that by bypassing this with a direct battery connection, you could mess up these electronics?

Any validity to what he's saying?
 

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There is such box next to the battery (the one with relays) which has a place you can use to connect to (it is sort of deep inside of it and hard to see at first) but that terminal is directly connected to the battery anyway so the "usage monitoring system" does not apply to it. Also, the only way I could figure to connect there was by inserting a blade type connector sideways inside the groove. The problem I found was that over time there was corrosion and fatigue due to high amps passing through a small contact point. I was drawing nearly 20 amps of constant power from there for my fog lights and carputer system combined.

I stay away from using the inside fuse box as the source of constant power because the free slots are good only up to 10 amps each, and even with that rating I just don't feel comfortable to connect something to it that uses 100 watts or more continiously. If I understand it correctly, your power requirements may even be higher and will exceed what can be delivered through the OEM vehicle wires on a continious basis. So if you use the existing wires you may chance damaging them by overloading them. You also need to worry about voltage drop due to wire size and distance as your system will require a certain minimum which you may not be able to get when engine is off and you are using the battery only.

Running a direct wire to the battery would be the only alternative in my opinion. As long as it is done correctly and it is properly fused you should not have any issues. I have been running mine that way for quite some time with no problems.
 

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power and brackets

Folks,

I bought a DVD player setup .. about the size of a regular car radio. It has twin screens that attach to each headrest. It sounds as if I can get power from the center console 12V cigarette lighter. In another recent post here someone say that 12V source had a second connection upstream. Anyone know what type of connector or if we could buy another connector - wire - 12V source harness?

A bit off topic. I'm looking for a bracket to mount the DVD player under the passenger seat. Any suggestions on places / companies that might have them? I'm about to start searching around in a week or so. Did you folks mount your car'puters in any type of bracket to hold them in place?

Thanks,
Chuck
 

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Hey zebelkhan:
Ever since I saw your carputer question about how to keep it from booting on cranking, I have thought about it. Then, the other day, one of our graphics designers sent me this link. There it was, your question answered. There is a supply made for holding up the voltage during cranks....but you probably already knew that.
Thought I would leave you the link anyway. The supply is buried in the PDF.
http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/carpchks/
 

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Thanks for the link. That is good info. I did originally use a tank battery set up (a small sealed lead acid battery combined with a diod and resistor in parallel with the car battery) to hold the voltage up during engine crank but my new power supply has the built in capacitors and circuitry to hold the voltage up for a few seconds thus eliminating the need for the tank battery.
 
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