Laptop; inverter or?

Submitted: Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 16:15
ThreadID: 44052 Views:2884 Replies:11 FollowUps:4
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Looking at 300W inverter to power our laptop whilst travelling and an on the cusp of buying one when my workmate told me not to bother and simply go to Dick Smith and to buy a 12v to 19v inverter. Rather than stepping up to a full 240 volt and then your laptop lead stepping that down to 19v, this just steps it from 12 to 19 straight up.
Seems a lot simpler on the face of it. Am I missing something? Are they not as reliable? We don't really have a need to run any other 240 v appliances at the minute. Look forward to your replies,
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Reply By: Mike Harding - Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 16:36

Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 16:36

If you don't need 240V then go the 12V to 19V.

Do a search - there are a few threads on this site regarding this question and many pious and serious people who lack humour who will "advise" you :)

Mike Harding
AnswerID: 232011

Reply By: Mikee5 (QLD) - Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 16:39

Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 16:39
Kerio is the name. Input 11 to 15 vdc output 15 to 24 vdc. Output power of mine is 75 w, I think there is a 90 w model too. Output voltage can be set to suit your laptop. Just check that the power plug fits your computer, they come with several different interchangable ones in the box. I have used on on my Compaq for 8 months no worries. Sounds too simple doesn't it.
AnswerID: 232012

Reply By: Mikee5 (QLD) - Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 16:40

Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 16:40
Forgot to say that yes, Dick Smith sells them!!!
AnswerID: 232013

Reply By: Member - Paul S (VIC) - Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 16:43

Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 16:43
G'day 93 Navara,

The system your mate is referring to is probably a DC-DC adapter. I use a Kerio which I bought from Dick Smiths a couple of years ago for about $80 and it serves me well; possibly cheaper now.

Like you, I only needed it for my laptop so an inverter would use considerably more power than required by stepping from DC -AC then plugging into the laptop transformer to convert back to DC.

The adapter I have can switch to a number of DC voltages, just in case I change my laptop and require a different voltage input.

My laptop is a vital tool when touring as I use it for navigation by linking it to my GPS. Also, I have NextG Wireless which allows me to surf the net on the move and make phone calls through SKYPE to anywhere in the western world for $0.027 cents per minute. Beats getting ripped-off by mobile phone rates.

AnswerID: 232014

Follow Up By: 93 Navara - Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 17:10

Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 17:10
Thanks for being so quick in the replies. I'll pass on the inverter Ithink. Thanks again,
FollowupID: 492934

Follow Up By: obee - Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 18:18

Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 18:18
If I may ask, how much do you pay for the next g service?


FollowupID: 492948

Follow Up By: Member - Paul S (VIC) - Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 19:51

Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 19:51
Hi Obee,

NextG Wireless USB modem cost around $200 and I started on the 200MB plan @ $50/month. Currently on 1GB plan @$80/month. I believe the system will operate anywhere there is a mobile digital or CDMA signal.

I also purchased a modem antenna which improves performance in fringe signal areas.

No complaints about the system although Bigpond seem to have frequent 'downtimes' of an hour or so.

FollowupID: 492961

Follow Up By: Member - lyndon K (SA) - Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 20:11

Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 20:11
Hi Shep
What type of mobile card did you go for, the usb connection? Did you buy it from telstra? What do you mean by a mobile antenna?. We have just bought a new laptop and are due to upgrade our cdma phone, will be spending a year on the road. I know sype but had not realised you could call that cheap. Is that the rate for calling home phones?
Thanks for your help.
Regards Lyndon & Bernadette
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FollowupID: 492965

Reply By: Member - Doug T (W.A) - Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 17:23

Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 17:23
An Inverter would also be handy for re-charging Camera and Torch batteries, also could run 5w mozzie repellants, fluero lights, and if you went up to a 600w or 800w then your into running drills, angle grinders, could be handy out in the desert . here on the forum is a great site for Inverters

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AnswerID: 232016

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 17:23

Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 17:23
DC fom DC makes good sense to me - a timely query here - I have an inverter 240 gennie and was about to employ that for my puta, on an upcoming trip - might get the dc-dc option (and choose between the two) ! My Asus laptop requires 19V up to 4.8A
AnswerID: 232017

Reply By: Granpa Joe - Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 17:38

Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 17:38
This is just one of few different 12 laptop power supplies that Jaycar sell:

Site Link
I will be getting the 5 amp model.
AnswerID: 232019

Reply By: Member - Clive G (NZ) - Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 18:28

Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 18:28
93 Narvara
I use a "Targus" adaptor on my Acer laptop (came with it, supplied by the store), made in the US for a change, not that other country. It is 11-16v DC input and 3-24v DC output, not user switchable. Most if not all laptops are self regulating on their input nowdays. It came with a variety of adaptors for various laptops as well as a plug for airline seats. Being a 6amp output it charges the laptop in quick time, about 2 hrs. Draws up to 11 amps out of your battery though.
CliveG (NZ)
AnswerID: 232033

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 22:51

Friday, Apr 06, 2007 at 22:51
The 19volt converter is fine for your laptop, but do you want to run anything else? Like Doug, I run battery chargers for camera, and other stuff so prefer to use a 300 watt inverter - I've used a 300watt Jaycar (not sine wave) without any probs - cost $80.
AnswerID: 232080

Reply By: Member - Russell H (WA) - Saturday, Apr 07, 2007 at 00:25

Saturday, Apr 07, 2007 at 00:25
Just remember that the output from a 240V inverter can kill you. In a vehicle there is a greater likelihood of chaffed cords and hence an increased risk of shock. I'd stick with a DC-DC converter if I only needed to power a laptop.
AnswerID: 232095

Reply By: joc45 - Saturday, Apr 07, 2007 at 17:50

Saturday, Apr 07, 2007 at 17:50
Hi Ben,
Jaycar were selling two types of DC-DC conveters, but they only seem to currently selling the 3.5A version on their online catalogue for less than $35.
Jaycar Link
Perhaps I've missed it, but the other one they were selling had a higher output, along the lines of the Kerio version, and for a good price; about $10 dearer than the one above. Might pay to check the shop personally.
I use the one above on a Compaq Presario V2000 series, and it works fine. Comes with a range of DC adaptors to fit your lappie.
Even if you own an AC inverter, the DC-DC converter is the better way to go with a lappie, as the overall conversion is more efficient (only one conversion instead of two)
AnswerID: 232155

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