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IX III 08-31-2009 01:45 PM

5 Volt source needed
I'm just wondering if anyone knows of an easily accessible 5V source in the dash or under the hood.

its part of a top secret project... jaykay.
pics/videos/explanation to come after I hook it all up.


dan-the-kid 08-31-2009 02:44 PM

Doubtful you'll find may need to make/buy a step down transformer.

Tboy 08-31-2009 02:45 PM

car pc project? They make good powersupplies for that sort of thing. Head over to and you can find one there.

PoisonBeef 08-31-2009 08:06 PM

something with USB I bets.

CarPC takes 12 volts...

Smaart Aas Saabr 08-31-2009 08:13 PM

Just put a resistor

Tboy 09-01-2009 02:36 AM


Originally Posted by PoisonBeef (Post 664286)
something with USB I bets.

CarPC takes 12 volts...

computers need 5 volts too. I suppose there are some computers that don't require it, but 5 volts is standard output on all computer power supplies.

You made me think of a cheap 5V solution though, you can buy an adapter to power USB devices from the cigarette lighter. I bought one that is really small, plugs into the lighter, and has two USB ports on it. You can plug any two usb devices into it.

Only cost 13 dollars at wally world.

fong 09-01-2009 10:06 AM

Current demand?

you can use a 5 volt regulator from radioshack. they have three pins on them input (batt probably), common (0v ground), and output. They have current limitations though, commonly 1 Amp, but that is a lot in microelectronic terms. They work by shedding energy so it may be advisable to put them on a heatsink (the make small ones for to-220 package ic's or you can do as i did and get a piece of aluminum with thermal interface tape).

If you need a lot of power, get a DC-DC converter from, as mentioned.

Don't just use a resistor...the voltage drop across a resistor changes with current.

I don't believe you can use a step down transformer...those only work with ac currents.

IX III 09-01-2009 12:20 PM

hahaha wow I am not doing anything crazy like a carpc, I am just looking for a way to actuate a small 5v solenoid in a projector lens. The solenoid controls the cutoff shield, allowing it to move, providing a full beam of light vs. a cut-off beam of light.

i'm guessing i could drop voltage via a resistor, but i'd prefer not to.

a dedicated power supply is excessive for this application, thanks for the good ideas though.

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