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Old 06-14-2005, 06:05 PM   #1
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Stereo advice?

I am going to use a computer for a media center and internet platform in my bus. My brother is donating a computer that he is going to put together (he's a computer whiz -- works with DNA sequencers and stuff, and wrote what was once the most popular free-ware e-mail anonymizing program in the world.)

I have a Soundblaster Gold soundcard, that's not the latest thing, but is good quality. The video card will be donated, so I don't know what it will be. Eventually I may put some kind of TV/Video production card in it. I need to get a GOOD RF card, because I mostly listen to a local bluegrass station, and my current clock radio won't even pick up the local repeater for that station...and it's located within 25 miles! Grrrr...

I'm stumped on how to go with speakers. If I recall, car speakers are a different impedence from home speakers. I would prefer to mount the speakers permanently, but can't decide where. Over the driver's area would look good, but how would it be accoustically? (Listen to me....worrying about accoustics in a sheet-metal school bus! HA!) I will feed some kind of amplifier from the computer output, and then the speakers from there. What kind of speakers and amp should I get, car equipment or home equipment? I'd like to have 4 speakers in the front of the bus, and maybe two in the back (thinking in terms of car speakers), and maybe a small sub-woofer somewhere (low frequency, doesn't matter much where it goes --- see sound deadening experiment post).

Any suggestions?

Oh, yeah, and of course, money IS a consideration...
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Old 06-14-2005, 08:55 PM   #2
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Here's what I did:



The receiver and speakers came from the trash and the receiver works well from the 1500 watt inverter (but not so well from an older 300 watt inverter). I haven't tried it on the road yet.

Impedance is only a problem if it's lower then what the amp is rated for. If the amp is built for 8 ohm speakers and you connect 4 ohm speakers you can melt the amps output, but really only if you crank it, for most practical listening situations (assuming you're not some crazed metal-head) you'll be able to run into 4 ohm speakers with no problem.
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Old 06-14-2005, 10:58 PM   #3
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personaly I plan on useing car stuff in mine..as I plan on useing 12v as much as I can it only makes since (ugh, my spelling bytes) to use car equipment. I also have a laptop that will be doing triple duty, it has all the mp3's on it, gps maps and it will keep my 4 year old out of my hair watching dvds wile on the road or while stopped.
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Old 06-15-2005, 07:56 PM   #4
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Still lots to figure out

Hmmm... Nice set-up in the forward overhead compartment. Boy, do I wish I had a window like that. I have a panel, but no glass in the front. There is a security camera box mounted in it that will have to go sometime. I doubt that the security camera is still inside. I am going to take the panel out and use the space since the security camera mounting ruined the panel for leaving it blank.

I'm going to cruise the thrift shops and see if I can find some stereo speakers. My babysmamma wouldn't mind if I took our home stereo, but those speakers are too big, and so is the amp and receiver (which is why I'm going to use a computer.)
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Old 06-16-2005, 09:31 AM   #5
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You should permanently mount your speakers and connect them to an amplifier. Then you can easily connect the computer to the amp using a sterio mini plug to RCA adapter cable.
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Old 06-17-2005, 12:34 PM   #6
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I have a rockford fosgate car amp connected to 2 bose home stereo speakers, it rocks.
I use an Ipod connected directly to the amplifier to play music.
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Old 06-17-2005, 10:00 PM   #7
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Amps and Speakers

I went to Circuit City tonight and looked at amps and speakers, and I need to do more research. I'm just confused.
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Old 06-18-2005, 04:54 PM   #8
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I haven't done that yet as I consider that WAY down the road for TCD. Nevertheless, I do want a nice sound system for my wheels. I'm not so much a TV watcher as I am a lover of music. My thought is to rig up two sets of speakers for front and back near the same spot the old speakers were.

A BOSE system would be most excellent. Even the little set ups sound like huge system.
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Old 11-21-2005, 05:19 PM   #9
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I am planning on doing a computer surround sound system real soon. I'll be using 7.1 surround computer speakers powered by a pretty good soundcard in the computer. Havn't picked either out yet.

My question to everyone is about how to power my computer. The speakers will have to run off 110V, but the computer is natively 12V. Thus the purpos of a power supply is to turn 110 down to 12 so the computer components can run. But it's pretty pointless to go from 12V Battery bank up to 110 through an inverter then back down to 12 through a computer power supply.

So, does anyone know of a computer power supply out there that is powered from 12V rather than 110?

They're doing it in those damn rice rockets, but maybe they are hotwireing the computer. I'd like to stay away from that and get a product if possible... Do I make any sense? Any ideas???
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Old 11-21-2005, 06:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
So, does anyone know of a computer power supply out there that is powered from 12V rather than 110?
This is on my hotlist too. I agree, 12vdc->110vac->12vdc seems kinda silly.
I plan on doing research soon & will post what I find.
Thx for the reminder.

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Old 11-21-2005, 06:44 PM   #11
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I think I found the solution!

http://opussolutions.com/index.php?p=product&id=33

ATX Vehicle PC Case by OPUS Solutions. The case includes a 12vdc-12vdc power supply unit, as well as shock & vibration isolation mount for the hard drive(s). I believe you can get the power supply by its self too.

I am going to continue my research a little more, but I'm pretty sure this is what im going to get.
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Old 11-22-2005, 06:57 PM   #12
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Cool! I'll check it out...but the library's computer lab is about to close, so I can't do it now. Thanks for the update. That sounds perfect!
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Old 11-22-2005, 10:43 PM   #13
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I'm just going to use 12V automotive stereo stuff...dirt-common & dirt-cheap.
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Old 11-23-2005, 08:59 AM   #14
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re: stereo

I plan on using 12v car stereo components again. 1 large amp with 4 channels to control 6 by 9's and 1 sub. This will run off an in dash cd player. Then I will have a small fm transmiter for running either mp3 player or laptop. One could possibly run an input selector as well if you wanted to run your tv through the stereo.

I like the prices of car audio. Also it puts less pressure on the inverter. I went to a junk yard and found cars with aftermarket speakers that I got for cheap. Like $150 pioneer 5 by 8s for $5 each.

I did run ac stereo stuff in the bus on my first trip, but found there was a bit of electrical interferance.

Use what you've got.

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Old 11-23-2005, 09:22 AM   #15
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You can usually find head units with MP3 inputs, rather than the FM transmitter.
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Old 11-23-2005, 12:38 PM   #16
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Re: Amps and Speakers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric von Kleist
I went to Circuit City tonight and looked at amps and speakers, and I need to do more research. I'm just confused.

I consider myself an electrical genious. Wires and i get along very well, but i didn't really know much about sound systems. I had no problem hooking speakers to an amp and getting them to work, but didn't really understand the relationship of ohms and such.

Some guy gave me this link, which is an excellent source for all kinds of car stereo info.

http://www.bcae1.com/defhome.htm

In my bus i use a combination of 12 volt and 110 volt sound systems. My bus had 4 speakers mounted in the ceiling, so i utilized those with the 12 volt sony XPLOD car stereo. It has rca inputs/outputs which makes it easy to connect my XM satelite radio. I also have a set of 15" subwoofers that still need to get connected to an amp. I would like to add a couple 5x9's to the front like i did in the old bus (see photo)



For a 110 volt stereo setup, i stumbled upon this dj equipment on ebay for $180 bucks if memory serves me correctly



The amp is only rated for 150 watts per channell.....but this thing REALLY ROCKS! Only once did i turn it up all the way (well..to about 9, it gets distorted near 10) and i had both speakers outside the bus. At 4 on the volume dial it'll just about crush your chest. I've been super happy with this setup. This is connected via AV jacks to my car stereo. I also plug my laptop in occasionally when i need to hear some johnny cash

It's nice to have a combination of the two systems. I don't have to mess with the more complicated 110 volt system while i'm driving if i don't want. I can just use the car stereo. Since it's a partybus, i listen to mostly techno when we're out on the town.

that was a long post!
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Old 11-24-2005, 02:15 AM   #17
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Thanks for the links on the DC-DC computer power supply. I wish they made one bigger than 150 Watts though. I also want to have a computer in my bus. It would be an all purpost entertainment center.

If you have the problem with interference with home style audio equipment I know of a easy fix. Just email me and I will send you info on how to fix it.
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Old 11-26-2005, 11:04 AM   #18
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I found a couple more links for the computer solution.

http://www.mini-box.com
http://www.epiacenter.com

and how this guy made one, http://www.aros.net/~burnin/oggbox/

I am still wrestling around what I am going to do. I would love to keep everything 12V, but with a 7.1 surround computer sound card, that requires 120V Computer speakers, i think. So maybe car-audio is the way that I am going to go, I honestly dont know yet, I'm gonna keep researching.

No mater what, ill have a 120V 19" LCD screen to run...

Everyone, keep posting your ideas, I know a lot of us are really getting something out of it.
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Old 11-26-2005, 12:09 PM   #19
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I’ve been discussing computer stuff for awhile with this really nice guy who lives and travels around in his trailer….
He wanted a small PC to supplement his laptop and went for a Shuttle.
http://global.shuttle.com/Product/bareb ... sp?B_id=34

It’s a bare bones unit so you have to buy the processor and drive(s)… and you’d have to run it off an inverter, but even so it’s a sweet little unit.
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Old 11-29-2005, 09:16 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soused moose
I’ve been discussing computer stuff for awhile with this really nice guy who lives and travels around in his trailer….
He wanted a small PC to supplement his laptop and went for a Shuttle.
http://global.shuttle.com/Product/bareb ... sp?B_id=34
I have seen 12V power supplies for that case. They also have special low power main boards for it as well. However, speakers and a screen would have to run off an inverter. But still, its a little saved...

Here is another site, http://www.mp3car.com/
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