150 Watt power inverter

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 12:17
ThreadID: 34728 Views:1964 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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I want to plug my laptop into the car.
I have an IBM Thinkpad G40.
I check the bottom of the laptop and it says 16V and 7.5 amp.
I do a quick sum and calculate that is 120 Watt.
I guess that a 150 Watt Engel modified sine wave inverter will do the job.
Wrong. It doesn't work. As soon as I plug the laptop into the inverter the red shutdown light comes on at the front of the inverter.
I have tried another laptop as well as other equipment and they work fine with this inverter.
So why won't the IBM laptop work ? Is it trying to draw more than the inverter can handle ?
So would the 350 Watt Engel power inverter do the job ?
Thanks.
-Michael
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Reply By: Footloose - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 12:22

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 12:22
You would be much better off using a 12v to multiple voltage output supplies adaptor. I use one with my Thinkpad and its much more effecient. Leave the inverter for charging phones etc.
AnswerID: 177432

Reply By: Member - Sam (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 12:58

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 12:58
Michael, those figures on the laptop I would think are for the DC side of the circuit. What figures are written on the bottom of the power pack for the notebook or does the G40 have an inbuilt power supply?

You might find that the power pack for the note book draws a bit more than 150W at start up. Closer to 200W

cheers,
Sam.
AnswerID: 177441

Reply By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 13:02

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 13:02
I think you should buy a Waeco....
AnswerID: 177443

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 13:21

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 13:21
From Jaycar

500 Watt (1000W Surge) 12 VDC to 230 VAC Electrically Isolated Pure Sine wave Inverter

Techstore Special Only
Not available through stores
- Ex-Repaired Stock -
Very limited in quantity

Pure Sine Wave
This excellent inverter is rated at 500 watts continuous output and is electrically isolated between battery and secondary voltage. The unit is designed for fixed mounting and high performance. Housed in a strong aluminium case, the inverter features heavy- duty screw down input connectors, cooling fan, 3- pin 230VAC output socket, on/off switch and LEDs to indicate normal operation, overload condition and over temperature. The inverter output is fully protected against short circuits and overload. Typical applications are laptop computers, power tools, blenders, small refrigerators & microwave ovens etc.

Specifications:
- Output Power: 500 W continuous
- Surge Power: 1,000 W
- Standby Current: 1,400mA
- Input Voltage: 10 - 15V DC
- Output wave form: Sine wave
- Efficiency: >85%
- Output Regulation: +/- 3%
- Output Frequency: 50Hz
- Cooling: Internal fan

Protection:
- Output Short: Output short without blowing fuse
- Low Battery Alarm: <10.7 Volts
- Low Batt. Shut- off: <10 Volts
- Overload: Shutdown
- Battery reverse: Internal 40A Blade Fuses
- Input connector: 4 gauge
- Dimensions: 236 (W) x 83 (H) x 335 (L)mm
- Weight: 3Kg
QTY
1+ $179.95
AnswerID: 177444

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 13:43

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 13:43
3mth warranty
plenty in stock which is a worry - are they a problem thats why plenty in stock
0
FollowupID: 433526

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 13:46

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 13:46
My Thinkpad 600 runs OK off a 300 MSW Inverter, but I rarely use it for this.
The Kerio Adaptor is much more compact and is the Duck's Guts in my opinion.
Bill


I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

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AnswerID: 177451

Follow Up By: Member - Craig D (SA) - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 14:10

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 14:10
I'll second the Kerio, cheaper too.
0
FollowupID: 433537

Reply By: TerraFirma - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 15:05

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 15:05
Having been in the computer industry all my life the last thing I want to take away bush or camping is a laptop. They are exactly why I need a holiday..! LOL

Inverters are an inneficient way to recharge a laptop, if you can, buy a 2nd or even a 3rd spare battery if you need it, leave the inverter or the power that runs it etc for something else.
AnswerID: 177468

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 10:12

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 10:12
I can't agree with you there.

The last (OEM) battery I bought for the Thinkpad was about $400.00 so bugger carrying a spare.

The Kerio adaptor, or for that matter, an Inverter, will charge the battery as well as run the Laptop. (Well, unless it is a Dell, that is)

Efficiency doesn't come into calculations if your travelling anyway. The alternator is turning in any case, so using it for recharging the main, or auxiliary battery, which is in turn supplying power to the Inverter, or Adaptor, is just commonsense.

I have also been in the IT Industry most of my life and I kind of agree with you there.
However, I use the Laptop for different purposes when travelling. Have never connected to the Internet to check emails, or logged into work, or any crap like that.

The good ol' Thinkpad has served me well, but it's getting tired, doesn't have gigabytes of extra disk capacity, or a DVD Drive, so it's kind of at the end of it's life.
The Dell Latitude I bought to eventually replace it, has all the bells and whistles but the USB/Serial adaptor as an interface for the GPS is a PITA. This will NOT be a long term solution for running OziExplorer.
Bill


I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

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FollowupID: 433752

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 10:20

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 10:20
>but the USB/Serial adaptor as an interface for the GPS is a PITA.

You bet - doubled!!!

On my old Dell notebook my GPS12XL ran perfectly with my mapping prog via the RS232 port. My new IBM only has USB so I bought a RS232 to USB adaptor - NOTHING but bloody trouble. It'll work when it feels like it - no obvious reason, sometimes I'll zoom the map and loose the RS232, sometimes there's an "R' in the month and it doesn't like that! I've given up and am buying a GPS with USB output.

Mike Harding
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FollowupID: 433753

Reply By: Trevor M (SA) - Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 19:32

Thursday, Jun 08, 2006 at 19:32
I also have a G40. I used to run it off a 150W MSW inverter which used to cope when the battery was fully charged but wouldn't run if it was trying to run the laptop and charge the battery at the same time. I now use a 300W PSW inverter and have no problems.

The thinkpads have a much higher power draw than your average laptop (I had to replace the power supply and none of the generics would go near the required amps)

Cheers
Trevor
AnswerID: 177508

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