Car battery and buck converter common ground

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by quietplace, May 28, 2016.

  1. quietplace

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 23, 2016
    10
    0
    Hi,
    I am adding a 1200W buck converter before the fuse box on my car to add LEDs to every light source (stable 12V). It is an old car, so I have completely redone the harness with new wires, relays, fuse box etc.
    I am grounding the battery, buck converter and every other electrical ground to the chassis. Will the 13v+ from the battery, and the stable 12v from the buck converter sharing the chassis as a ground cause any interferance with each other, or other problems? The starter gets its power directly from the battery, so it's the only reason why the battery ground is connected to chassis. I could run a cable directly to it if it would improve the setup.
    Cheers,
    Howard
     
  2. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
    13,000
    3,229
    Grounding the converter to the chassis should not be a problem.
    But why do you feel it necessary to regulate the voltage to the LED? Typically they are quite tolerant of voltage variations.
     
  3. quietplace

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 23, 2016
    10
    0
    I soldered 3mm LEDs to PCBs to get the exact light sources that I wanted. Just hoping to prolong the life of all the LED assemblies as I have put quite a lot of time into them. And the buck converter is a simple addition to the system for some peace of mind. You can get up to 14V from a car battery, which seems like a bit of a strain on the LEDs in the long run.
     
  4. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
    2,034
    1,639
    If you have a current limiting resistor in series with your LED's like they are supposed to have the difference in current between 12 volts and 14.4 volts is about 1 - 2 ma which is way below the threshold for severely diminishing the service life of an LED that is rated for say 20 ma service.

    Also factor in the realistic run time of the LED's for the life of the vehicle and it's unlikely you will ever wear one out from run-time aging. Especially if it's an older vehicle that does not see hours of day in and day out driving use.:rolleyes:

    Also, why do you feel you need a 1200 watt converter to run a few watts of LED's? That makes even less sense.o_O
     
  5. quietplace

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 23, 2016
    10
    0
    the 1200W part is because I am running everything besides the starter motor through the converter since it is connected to the fuse box, so the fan draws a few amps, wiper, stereo etc.
     
  6. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
    13,000
    3,229
    What is the minimum input voltage for the converter?
    Will it run at 12.6V input from the battery when the engine is not running?
    Or don't you need anything to run when stopped?
     
  7. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
    1,957
    1,215
    You have now added a complex electronic device (buck converter) into a system that does not need it to function reliably. None of the LEDs, lights, fans or radio needs a regulated voltage to operate reliably. The mean time between failure for a resistor limited LED is much much longer then a 100 amp buck converter. If an LED stops working, it stops working. If the buck converter stops working, everything stops including your car.

    Buck Converter = bad idea
     
  8. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
    2,034
    1,639
    That makes no sense at all being your vehicles electrical devices are designed to work in an environment where when the engine is running the system voltage is between 14 - 15 volts not 12.

    To me this sounds like nothing more than over-engineering a solution to a problem that does not exist due to poor understandings of what is normal for the system to function in and at.
     
  9. quietplace

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 23, 2016
    10
    0
    Fine, I will remove the buck converter, problem solved, thank you
     
Loading...