piclist 2002\08\30\101730a >
Thread: Why does a PC need 12V?
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I need to build a power-supply to run a PC in a car, so I'm
trying to figure out why I really need +/- 12V, which may be
tough to produce with the ignition off (not enough overhead
for the regulator).  I could build a DC-to-DC coverter that
would raise the voltage, but that means $$$.

Thinking of a regular desktop PC with a MB, audio card, video
card, fan, and IDE drive only (no floppy or CD)...

   - 5V around board, which may be regulated to lower for
     processor, etc, but that should not affect me.
   - The motherboard has a 12V requirement (standard ATX
     PS), but does it really need it, or does it pass on
     the 12V to other devices?
   - AFAIK, the parallel port does not require 12V.
   - AFAIK, USB does not require 12V.
   - Does the built-in serial require a +/-12V supply?  Or
     does it generate +/-12V (like a MAX232 for example)?
     If I need to supply it, and decide not to use serial
     comms, then can I just ignore it?  Or can I just supply
     it with +/-5V (as an RS423 device) and make sure the
     other end handles that level?

   - I can always get or modify the fan for 5V use, or I
     could generate 10-ish volts for that.  So no prob

   - I believe line-out sound levels go to 10V, so +/-12V
     is probably needed there.  Any way around this?

   - No idea?  Anyone know anything about these?  Or would
     it vary by manufacturer?  (Which I doubt).

   - Have an IDE laptop drive which says 5V at 500ma, so I
     should be okay here.

Anything else I'm missing?


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See also: www.piclist.com/techref/power/batterys.htm?key=12v
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