I am looking to install a home PC computer for the car. I am concerned about voltage regulation. The car voltage can range from 10 - 14V, so would the standard PC power supply have voltage regulation built into it for powering the PC components or would I have to find a voltage regulation circuit board to take the PC power supply out put and feed it to the PC? Or have the voltage regulation circuit board placed before the PC power supply? Ultimately I want a touch screen display, wireless internet, solid state hard drive, keyboard and mouse, sound ran through the stereo. I've been looking at raspberry pi setups or iPad mounting kits, but think I want to do this since the car's wireless internet would link up with the home network and download my iTunes podcasts and latest movies and tv shows.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You can buy a replacement power supply for your PC that has a 12V input intended to be directly connected to an automotive electrical system. No engineering required. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    Mar 9, 2016 at 17:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Auto 12 volt is noisy as hell. And can spike during ignition way past 25 volts. You need a supply that can deal with both. \$\endgroup\$
    – Passerby
    Mar 9, 2016 at 17:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ A standard home PC power supply will not work when connected directly to a 12 volt source. You could use a 12 VDC->120VAC inverter to power it, however (watch power ratings!) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 9, 2016 at 20:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Whatever you do, the voltage of 12V is "nominal" for a vehicle -- it's generally slightly higher in normal operation, and load dumps can cause transient voltages of nearly 100V. A hefty snubber / protection diode at the input is a very good idea. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 9, 2016 at 20:15

1 Answer 1


I don't know well how one can connect a pc hardware in the car 12V supply but, instead of connecting it wich has multiple voltage input and a high power consumption, you can use the new rapsberry pi (pi 3) witch has integrated wireless, high processing capacity, lots of gadgets available and is powered only by a 5V rail;

For the power regulator, you can use a cheap DC-DC step-down buck converter like this: http://pt.aliexpress.com/store/product/DC-DC-Buck-Converter-5-25V-to-3-24V-Step-down-charger-Module-Adjustable-Constant-Current/715925_854284130.html

This devices usually have closed loop system that assure that the calibrated voltage on the output do not change, no matter the input (while its level is greater than the output). They have great power efficiency and robustness. If you want to use a common router instead of the built in wireless, you may use one of this DC-DC to power it. By my experience, it works fine;

However, RPI do not have sata connections and therefore use it with a SSD its an ugly work.

An alternative is the orangepi (http://www.orangepi.org/).

Keyboard, mouse and audio signal have low consumptions, however look carefully to your SSD, display and SOC consumption before buying the DC-DC converter;


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