12 volt laptop charger

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 29, 2008 at 16:01

Member - William B (The Shire)

Hi, tried a search on this site but the site keeps on playing up.
Can any one tell me the way that they use to power up their laptops while away from 240v.
12v to laptop converters, inverters etc.
Thanks in advance,
William
Always planning the next trip. VKS-737 mobile 1619
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AnswerID: 312871   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 29, 2008 at 16:11

Philip A replied:

I bought a Projecta Laptop charger at Repco. It blew up the first time I used it so I got a refund.
Now I use a 300W Pure Sine Wave inverter that I bought from Jaycar. No problems so far.
Jaycar also do a 12v charger but theirs did not have a plug that fitted my NEC P7200.
Regards Philip A
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FollowupID: 578886   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 29, 2008 at 16:24

Member - Elizabeth M (NSW) posted:

Try Leading Edge electronics, they got me sorted out with my DELL.
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FollowupID: 578897   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 29, 2008 at 17:32

Member - Russnic [NZ] posted:

Got one of those to, works great.
When all else fails read the directions, better still read the directions before all else fails.
Also have a 300 inverter works great for what I use it for.
Russ
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FollowupID: 578899   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 29, 2008 at 17:38

Member - Russnic [NZ] posted:

That is Projecta from Repco
Russ
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AnswerID: 312877   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 29, 2008 at 16:35

Affordable Batteries & Radiators replied:

I recommend an inverter. You can use it on many other items as well as the laptop.

Regards

Derek.

ABR - SIDEWINDER
Business Member: My Profile  My Blog  Send Message
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Reply 2 of 9
AnswerID: 312879   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 29, 2008 at 16:41

Cap'tn Davo replied:

G'day Mate, "Deals Direct" have a new product for $70.00 bucks including frieght. details below: Cheers Davo

This FSP Universal Notebook Car Power Supply will charge your notebook up in no time! Only using your car's ciggerette lighter to do the work! All you need to do is find the correct attachment, plug it into your notebook and off you go! Great for inbetween client/business trips... and best of all - it works worldwide!! As long as you have a car, you will have power!

Features:

FSP Universal Notebook Car Power Supply
Universal car DC input 12V voltage.
Compatible to 19V input notebooks.
Up to a current of 3.42A, 65W maximum.
High efficiency 83%
Total output protection solution.
6 Convertible DC output plug tips.
MTBF: > 50000 hours.
Compatible with most notebooks.
Worldwide safety approved by E-mark.
Package Includes:
65W adapter.
6 Convertible DC output plug tips.
Cigarette-lighter plug.
Velcro Cable Tie.
Travel Bag.
Specifications:

Input:
- Voltage: DC 10.5Vdc - 15Vdc
- Current: 8.2A - 5.2A
- Efficiency: 83% typical
Output:
- Maximum power: 65Watts
- Output rating: Nominal +19.0Vdc
Protection:
- Over voltage protection.
- Over current protection.
- Short circuit protection.
- Overshoot.
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Reply 3 of 9
AnswerID: 312887   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 29, 2008 at 17:16

MEMBER - Darian (SA) replied:

This is one application that has been directly catered for by the electronic industry - about time somebody though of us struggling motorists ? - I bought a "Power Tech Plus - Notebook Power Supply" from Jaycay about a year back - 12VDC in - 7 selectable DC voltages out (15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24 / up to 6A on the first five - up to 5A on the last two) - about $70 - simple - easy.
Palm Valley campground, Northern Territory.
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AnswerID: 312888   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 29, 2008 at 17:16

MEMBER - Darian (SA) replied:

This is one application that has been directly catered for by the electronic industry - about time somebody though of us struggling motorists ? - I bought a "Power Tech Plus - Notebook Power Supply" from Jaycay about a year back - 12VDC in - 7 selectable DC voltages out (15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24 / up to 6A on the first five - up to 5A on the last two) - about $70 - simple - easy.
Palm Valley campground, Northern Territory.
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FollowupID: 578901   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 29, 2008 at 17:56

Member - Graham H (QLD) posted:

An equally good product is the Projecta 6000ma unit which gives a bit of headroom for startup etc
I got mine from Battery world for $69
If you are worried about your battery when using these just take it out. The machine will work without it, only when the power is on obviously.
I have an inverter for it also but am a bit reluctant to have 240 volts floating around in the vehicle. ( spilt drinks, deep creeks etc)
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AnswerID: 312896   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 29, 2008 at 17:57

Member - Andrew (QLD) replied:

It might help to tell us what brand and voltage of laptop you own, and possibly its intended use (i assume for on the road travelling, however it may just be for "at the camp" use).....some of these recommendations do not cater for some laptops eg. My Dell Precision requires 19.5v (~3.5A) and a special connector not normally found in all power supplies.

BTW, i run a Dell PA-12 dual voltage (240V or 12V) power adapter which means i can change between 240V and 12V by simply unplugging the short lead and plugging the other one in....suits my needs perfectly, better than an inverter.

I hope that helps.

Andrew
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FollowupID: 578948   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 29, 2008 at 19:57

Member - William B (The Shire) posted:

Hi Andrew,
model is Acer TravelMate 270 series.
Model BY25.
DC rating 19V. 3.42A.
Not used for navigation but as a method of downloading photos from camera to computer and for diary entries.
Cheers,
William
Always planning the next trip. VKS-737 mobile 1619
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AnswerID: 312939   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 29, 2008 at 20:01

Sand Man (SA) replied:

An inverter is one solution, but it may depend on how much room you have in your vehicle and the quantity of various cables for "other gear" you have as well.
Using an inverter, you also use the same power adaptor you normally use for 240v. Therefore you need to fit both of them under the seat, or somewhere else within the vehicle.

A purpose designed 12 volt Laptop Adaptor takes up very little room at all. Something like the Kerio Laptop Adaptor (available from Dick Smith) is a very good solution, unless you have a Dell. You can still use it to power the Laptop but it will not charge the internal battery because Dell uses its own unique wiring configuration. I was fortunate in that I purchased a Dell auto/air adaptor which is the same as the original power pack, but takes either a 240 volt input lead, or a 12 volt input lead.

Actually, I don't use any of them that often now, as I prefer a PDA for navigation use and only take the Laptop for occasional extra capacity to transfer photos from the still camera.

I use an inverter to power the charger for the camera batteries, (still and video) and also to charge AA and AAA batteries.

If you can only afford to buy one product, the inverter (about a 300 watt unit) is probably the most practical solution, but again, some Laptops will require a pure sign wave inverter to run successfully.

Bill.
Bill


I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!
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Reply 7 of 9
AnswerID: 312995   Submitted: Sunday, Jun 29, 2008 at 22:45

Member - Phil G (SA) replied:

If you own an older 15V Tosh laptop, you don't need anything - they work fine just plugged into a 12V socket.
2012 VDJ200 Landcruiser
2003 TVan
2008 VW Tiguan TDi
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Reply 8 of 9
FollowupID: 579004   Submitted: Monday, Jun 30, 2008 at 06:15

Mike Harding posted:

A word of caution; car electrical systems are _nasty_ - spikes up to 100V+ are not uncommon, the electronics in the Toshiba notebook probably assume these have been filtered by the external power supply. I suggest you unplug the notebook before starting/stopping the engine or switching on/off the lights and other heavy loads.

It's one of those things... you might do it for 20 years with no problems or you might kill the notebook the first time you use it.

I would build a small filter network and include a Transzorb if it were me.

Mike Harding
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FollowupID: 579022   Submitted: Monday, Jun 30, 2008 at 09:09

Member - Phil G (SA) posted:

Gday Mike,
I acknowledge your warning, but wondered whether you could explain the issue a little more to me. Does the laptop's battery absorb spikes? Come to think of it, doesn't the vehicle's battery absorb spikes? And why doesn't everything we plug into 12V, and everything in the car suffer this fate?

Cheers
Phil
2012 VDJ200 Landcruiser
2003 TVan
2008 VW Tiguan TDi
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FollowupID: 579039   Submitted: Monday, Jun 30, 2008 at 11:19

Mike Harding posted:

Hi Phil

>Does the laptop's battery absorb spikes?

Not really, although it may… a bit… sometimes… but probably won’t :) Once we start to talk about high frequencies (and transients, invariably, contain high frequency components) two devices connected by a piece of wire or circuit board track no longer have zero ohms between them – at high frequencies a piece of wire is not a short circuit – so even if the battery did absorb some of the energy other components a few inches away on the same pcb track may still see the full force of the transient.

>Come to think of it, doesn't the vehicle's
>battery absorb spikes?

See above.

>And why doesn't everything we plug into 12V,
>and everything in the car suffer this fate?

It would – except when we design electronics for vehicle use we go to _a lot_ of trouble to ensure they are properly protected against such conditions. I recently glanced over the circuits for a major module in the Holden VE Commodore and about 50% of the components were dedicated to electrical protection.

Rather than me re-write existing knowledge take a look at this application note by Harris Semiconductors – it gets a bit technical but gives a good explanation of the issue:

Suppression of Transients in an Automotive Environment

Mike Harding
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FollowupID: 579061   Submitted: Monday, Jun 30, 2008 at 15:24

Member - Phil G (SA) posted:

Mike, Thanks for the detailed explanation and the link - a bit of bedtime reading there!

Cheers
phil
2012 VDJ200 Landcruiser
2003 TVan
2008 VW Tiguan TDi
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AnswerID: 313016   Submitted: Monday, Jun 30, 2008 at 06:19

Mike Harding replied:

Search e-bay for "notebook car power" or your computer make model and "car" or similar.

This one looks _exactly_ like the one Jaycar sell for a much larger sum:
Jaycar PSU?

I have one on order for my new Eee PC, about $15.

Mike Harding
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