Inverter needed

Hi all
I need an inverter to charge Apple products off my 12v battery. What size inverter do I need? What does the wattage mean?
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Reply By: Louwai - Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 14:06

Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 14:06
Why not get a "Car Charger" for the item & just plug it in???

If the battery is not in a vehicle, get a cig lighter casing from a car electronics place & put aligator clips on it & attach to the battery.....

Would be cheaper than an inverter I think..
AnswerID: 549895

Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 14:24

Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 14:24
Yep good idea.
You can buy Cig lighter sockets already wired with alligator clips from most Auto spares shops.
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Follow Up By: Member - Cuppa - Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 16:15

Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 16:15
Believe it or not, car chargers are not available for some Apple products. Some daft means of protecting patent/copyright of the magnetically attached power cord. It’s possible they have become available more recently (I haven’t checked), but that’s the reason I’ve used an inverter together with a 240v charger.
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Saturday, Mar 14, 2015 at 10:29

Saturday, Mar 14, 2015 at 10:29
I have 12v USB chargers for iPhone and iPad, no probs.
Bought one of those cup holder charger units from Supercheap, plugs into ciggy socket, and the unit has 2 x ciggy outlets and 2 USB outlets, one high and other normal rating.
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Reply By: Member - Rosco from way back - Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 14:07

Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 14:07
Glenn

If you're only using it to charge small items as described I would suggest a 600W pure sine wave along the lines of Projecta. I have one of these and it seems to fit the bill quite well, whilst not being overly expensive + you can run 240V lights etc if the need arises..

What I did find though was that they need adequate wiring from the battery or they spit the dummy.

Heavy wiring with an "Anderson" plug and it will perform well.
AnswerID: 549896

Reply By: Bushranger1 - Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 14:20

Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 14:20
G'day Glenn,
I charge a number of Apple & Android products straight from Cig plug to USB socket adapters in my car & in my camp 12V Battery system.
No need for 240V however if you need 240V for something else get a Pure Sine Wave inverter rather than a Modified wave one. Worth the money knowing you can have as good or better power than you get at home.
Would not think you need more than 150W if you go down that path & make sure if you get one the fan is quiet as some tend to be noisy when it's a real quiet night.

Cheers
Stu
AnswerID: 549898

Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 14:22

Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 14:22
For items that we cannot get a 12V or USB charger for we use an Engel "Coke-can" inverter. Has a conventional 3-pin mains socket and a USB outlet.

Engel can inverter

Most personal electronic toys are USB-chargeable now. For those we use a couple of USB chargers. These suit iGadgets as well a Samsung's Galaxy range, some of which use a non-standard USB configuration. (Kinda defeats the "Universal", doesn't it? Fortunately Samsung have seen the light and now use standard USB in all their products.)

Cheers
FrankP

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Reply By: Member - Cuppa - Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 16:11

Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 16:11
I’ve used inverters to charge Apple laptops & an iPad for a number of years now. A 150w will suffice, I prefer to use a pure sine wave one. Some folk argue that a cheaper modified sine waveone is suitable, as all you are doing is charging a battery, but I prefer to err on the side of caution with our Macbook Pros’.

I have also had a couple of cheap inverters fail after relatively short times, & now prefer to use a Victron Phoenix one.
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Reply By: Stephen_L - Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 19:07

Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 19:07
Targus make the perfect product for this application. Its an inverter but only puts out 120volts at 100watts. all plugpack type chargers these days use switchmode technology that allows tem to work with voltages from about 100 to 250 volts.
The lower voltage makes them more efficient and safer (no 240volts in the car.)
they cost abot $55 so pretty cheap.
I got sick of having to get new 12v chargers every time i got a new or updated piece of technology So a great solution.
Cheers
Stephen
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Saturday, Mar 14, 2015 at 09:14

Saturday, Mar 14, 2015 at 09:14
Stephen,

120vAC is just as lethal as 240vAC, so the 120v ones are no safer than the 240v variety.

Using an inverter may be practical in many cases, but the "efficiency" rate drops, as the inverter itself consumes extra power.


Glenn,

When charging the devices whilst driving, efficiency is not really a factor, as the alternator is putting in far more current than the devices and inverter together, consume.

From a battery supply source while at camp, a 150 watt inverter, suitable for most items, will draw minimal current for the duration of the charging process. Just be aware of the total power (wattage) requirements of all the devices you wish to charge, to avoid flattening the supply battery.

Personally, I have a 300 watt pure sine wave inverter, which covers anything I am likely to require charging, using the device's AC power pack. I use this primarily for my camera charger to recharge the spare battery, usually while on the move.
For any device, (phone, etc.) that uses a USB cable to power and recharge it, a simple USB adapter, plugged into the vehicle's cigarette socket is the most efficient and effective. You can buy dual port USB adapters to run more than a single device concurrently.



Bill


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Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Saturday, Mar 14, 2015 at 11:01

Saturday, Mar 14, 2015 at 11:01
Like others I simply use 12V USB chargers for my iThingies and it all works very well.

I would caution against AC in the car if you don't absolutely need it. I used to use it extensively but after my second close call at electrocuting myself and a near miss with someone else's child one day, decided it was (a) unnecessarily dangerous, (b) not foolproof enough to be safe enough, (c) not an efficient use of scarce battery power when the alternator was not charging and (d) there are much better and far cheaper options with 12V DC.

I used to run a laptop in the car and found a DC charger was much cheaper than an inverter and worked really well with the engine switched off.

Good luck with your decision.
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Follow Up By: Stephen_L - Saturday, Mar 14, 2015 at 14:45

Saturday, Mar 14, 2015 at 14:45
All true but if as has been said that there are no 12volt chargers options available for the particular products he wants to charge then what do you do?

I was never able to find a 12volt charger for my SLR camera hence the inverter. 120volt AC at 100 watts is certainly safer that the same power rating at double the voltage. Yes even a significantly lower AC voltage can be lethal but if I had to choose because I didn't have a choice in the mater then, it would be safer and it would be more efficient.
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 20:42

Friday, Mar 13, 2015 at 20:42
We've only got a couple of iPads in our house, but I've never had a problem charging them in ute or truck. Always use a USB to Lightning cable plugged into one of these below:



Know iPads need a couple of amps to charge properly........anything lower anf they're not happy.

Bob

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Reply By: Member - Terry W4 - Saturday, Mar 14, 2015 at 17:25

Saturday, Mar 14, 2015 at 17:25
Like many others I have a dual battery system and in the back of the Prado had dual USB connector installed. This is used to charge phones, iPad, iPod and a laptop.

However one word of caution. It recently stopped working so I took it back to the auto electrician who advised that the diode had blown. Apparently the device is rated at 2 amps. Two phones can be charged at once as they only draw 1 amp each but the iPad/laptop draws 2 amps on their own. I blew the diode when I loaded up 1 phone and the iPad at the same time.
AnswerID: 549965

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Mar 14, 2015 at 17:38

Saturday, Mar 14, 2015 at 17:38
The USB charger that I linked to in Reply #4 has 3.1 amp capacity. We have two and load them up with never a problem. Recommended.

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Reply By: TerraFirma - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 00:08

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 00:08
You do NOT need an inverter to charge Apple products. A 12v usb charger via cigarette socket is perfect. Even an Apple Store sell them. To generate 240vac to charge something that uses 5v is simply silly.
AnswerID: 550086

Follow Up By: Member - Cuppa - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 08:21

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 08:21
I suspect you are only thinking of iPads, iPods, & iPhones.
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Reply By: TomH - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 09:27

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 09:27
In his Op he mentions magnetic connections which come on a MAC laptop, therefore a ciggy socket would be a bit underpowered to charge that.
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