12V studio monitors
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Old 22-04-2013, 09:25 AM   #1
mibix
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12V studio monitors

Hi guys,

I'm going to be spending a lot of time soon on a canal boat soon. I was wondering if anyone knew of a way of powering some studio monitors from the 12V line.

I've weighed up my options....

1) Get an inverter to power my stuff (Will probably drain the juice with my 8" monitors and mega PC)
2) Get a laptop that will charge from 12V and use headphones (nice and compact but not the best)
3) Use some crappy 12V iPhone-type speakers (can't find any decent ones)
4) Build my own speakers from car speaker equipment (probably get best bang for buck, but a bit of an effort)

Any thoughts on the best way to go round this? Have I missed any options? Anyone got any good ideas?

Cheers

Last edited by mibix; 22-04-2013 at 03:25 PM..

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Old 22-04-2013, 05:47 PM   #2
charlton1
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Re: 12V studio monitors

Using an inverter is the option I would use, doubt the inverters are that inefficient that it will drain any more than just directly driving speakers from a 12V supply. You'll be upping the voltage but the current draw will be less. P=VxI so........ If you have 500w requirement with a 12V system then current is I=P/V which here is 500/12 so that's 41.6 A which is a lot...obviously if that's amp and speakers then that sort of current will be drawn only when the system is at its max.

If you have 500w power requirement in a 230V AC system then that's obviously 500/230 which is now 2.17 amps..... Providing you have a pure power factor.

I have no idea if you have a separate Genny or if you would just run the engine. Maybe you could get another battery and charge them both with the engine and use only one for driving your equipment, I have no idea what the batteries are like in a canal boat so i Don't know what you have to work with but if its anything like a car battery they are designed for delivering high current over short periods. You would be better of with a seperate deep cycle battery.

Anyway I have waffled enough
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Old 22-04-2013, 07:05 PM   #3
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Re: 12V studio monitors

Hi charlton,

Thanks for a good reply.

The boats generally have a few leisure (deep cycle) batteries (maybe 3).

I really should know and have already considered what you have posted seeing as though I've just spent the past year doing an electronics project....

To sum it up... It's going to be much better in the long run to use an inverter as it would take longer to flatten the batteries due to less current? I'm definitely going to also exchange my mammoth PC, monitors and sound-card for smaller, less power hungry alternatives - not much room on the boats!

Cheers

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Old 22-04-2013, 07:30 PM   #4
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Re: 12V studio monitors

Quote:
Originally Posted by mibix View Post
Hi charlton,

Thanks for a good reply.

The boats generally have a few leisure (deep cycle) batteries (maybe 3).

I really should know and have already considered what you have posted seeing as though I've just spent the past year doing an electronics project....

To sum it up... It's going to be much better in the long run to use an inverter as it would take longer to flatten the batteries due to less current? I'm definitely going to also exchange my mammoth PC, monitors and sound-card for smaller, less power hungry alternatives - not much room on the boats!

Cheers
No probs mate, I wasnt saying it would take longer to flatten the batteries, because the inverter would still need to pull 41.6 Amps into it, i was just saying that the inverter probably ( and i say probably because i don't know for sure ) wont be so inefficient as to drain the batteries any faster than just using 12V....obviously the inverter will use some power itself so you should check out its specs to know exactly what to expect. I hope that makes some kind of sense.

It would be good to find out exactly what bateries they have, how much they can hold, how much they can deliver and then consider exactly what are the requirements for the devices you want to power. Would be good if you could hook up something to indicate the battery power remaining. you could always add a UPS incase the power cuts out and you loose a few hours production work

atom base pC's are very very efficient but i dont know how much grunt they have when it comes to music production...probably not suitable.

if you like electronics then you could look at making your own super efficient lighting using and arduino to drive an high power led using a constant current source, hell thats exactly what i would do in your situation where every Wh should be saved
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Old 22-04-2013, 07:40 PM   #5
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Re: 12V studio monitors

Looks like most inverters are around 90% efficient at best.
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Old 22-04-2013, 11:59 PM   #6
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Re: 12V studio monitors

I've no idea what the batteries are TBH. I've not found THE boat yet

I have got plans for it though - if the batteries aren't up to par, I'm going to install my own array of them. As for lighting etc. I'm on that too - I imagine it can get gloomy in winter. I'm also going to add a solar array to the roof (built by myself - keeping the ol' costs down!). I've done a bit of digging around and I'm probably going to create my own panel with an Arduino for checking battery levels and controlling the on board electronics.

As I don't have much money, I plan to get a boat that could do with some TLC. That way I won't feel bad about ripping it up to do it up to my specs (and I can get a bigger boat for the money!) Now I've wrote it all down, I'm not sure how the missus is going to react to living on a floating project!

Back on topic....

I suppose even at 90% efficiency, Its better to have some half decent speakers than trying to botch some 12V solution. My original thought was that inverters were ridiculously inefficient (like 50% or something).

Good point - I might get one of them power usage meters and see how much power the computer takes at full pelt. I would ideally like to take my computer rather than a laptop.

Thanks again charlton! Legend!

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