laptop charging while away

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 12:19
ThreadID: 55582 Views:2267 Replies:11 FollowUps:11
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Hi again,

was wondering what others use to charge a laptop while they are travelling. Am tossing up between a small inverter ( to charge laptop and camera batteries) or should I get a 12v laptop charger ( if they exist) and a 12v charger for the camera batteries???


thanks

Mick T
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Reply By: Patrolman Pat - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 12:22

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 12:22
I use a 150W modifed sine wave inverter for charging duties. Comes in handy for the laptops, cameras, gameboys, mobiles and all the other necessities of life.
AnswerID: 292900

Reply By: garrycol - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 12:29

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 12:29
If it is just for the laptop - get a regulated charger from Jaycar or Dick Smiths that plugs in the cigarette socket - converts 12v to the required laptop voltage (variable) - cost less than $50.

I run my laptop on one of these as my GPS - so it is running constantly.

Garry
AnswerID: 292902

Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 20:32

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 20:32
I use the same and it works well except that the plugs it comes with do not fit my Toshiba tablet very well . I am going to get a plug from Toshiba and put it on the wire .

Cheers ,

Willie
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FollowupID: 558599

Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 13:08

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 13:08
I use a 300w pure sine wave inverter.

I had a 12v charger catch fire in the cab. The inverter maybe overkill for the laptop but it allows me to have 240V for other items as well.

Alan
AnswerID: 292908

Follow Up By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 19:08

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 19:08
My inverter is hard wired and lives under the driver's seat. A power board tucked under the seat gives multiple 240V power outlets.
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FollowupID: 558574

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 13:16

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 13:16
IMO, the advantage of the inverter is that it is multi function and will suit any laptop (or other device that can run on 240 V). Once you go down the road of 12 V adapters, you end up needing heaps of them for different devices. Also if you change laptops you might need to change adapters as well.

We carry 2 laptops, 2 digital cameras, hand held UHFs, phones, rechargable batteries etc. One inverter (a 150W modified sine wave) does the lot while we are driving. If I have the gennie going while camped, we take the 240V from that.

Norm C
AnswerID: 292911

Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 20:41

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 20:41
Norm the J Car one has a variable voltage output for various items / laptops and comes with all sorts of plugs .

With the inverter , you still have to carry all the transformers / chargers for each item .

I think it is six of one and half a dozen of the other .

I have the Jaycar supply for my tablet and an inverter for charging batteries for the camera , drill , phone etc .

Willie .
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FollowupID: 558603

Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 20:56

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 20:56
Fair point Mike. But we carry the power supplies for all our stuff anyway to run / charge off the gennie if we have it going. So short term camping and travel we use the inverter. Longer term camping and running the gennie a couple of hours a day, we use the gennie.

Not suggesting my system is best for everyone or even better than anyone elses. But it is my system and it it works well for us. I will eventually improve it when I copy you and upgrade to a caravan. We'll then use solar as much as possible and reduce the use of the gennie.

We head off tomorrow for NT, so I'll give a few more of those lures a work out.

Norm C
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FollowupID: 558608

Reply By: Member - Mick T (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 13:25

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 13:25
Thanks all,

looks like a 150w inverter is the way to go.....any particular brands to look at or stay away from...saw a 150w at Dick smith on special for about $40...not sure what wave it is....what is the difference?????
AnswerID: 292913

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 13:36

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 13:36
May I suggest you go for a 300W interver? Only a little more expensive but quite a bit more useful for powering those things you don't yet know about :)

Mike Harding
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FollowupID: 558533

Follow Up By: Member - Mick T (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 13:56

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 13:56
Thanks Mike,

will look into it,


do you have to hardwire a 300w in or can you use a hella style plug.....only need to use it occasionally.

Cheers Mick T
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FollowupID: 558535

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 14:10

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 14:10
Not sure what a Hella plug is - cig socket?

If you were using the full 300W the inverter would require 25A and you would need to seriously look at the wiring but it looks as if you'll be using around 120W so decent alligator clips would do for that - a cig socket may struggle? If, further down the track, you need the extra power you can look again at the wiring but at least you won't have to buy another inverter.

Mike Harding
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FollowupID: 558540

Follow Up By: Member - Mick T (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 14:55

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 14:55
Hi Mike,

I think some people call them a merit socket..think they'll be ok for about 20A..not sure....have one in the dash with large power feed off remote post for aux battery...so will shut power when drains battery too low. have Rotronics RDC12 system with 2 aux AGM 90 A/H batteries
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FollowupID: 558546

Reply By: stevesub - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 15:06

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 15:06
Inverter is the only way to go. I used a 150W Dicky Smith job and a laptop once (big screen and 120W power pack) and it could not hack the pace (kept on overheating and cutting out) so I now use 300W ones from eBay - cheap as $30 from memory delivered. Have one in the boat, one in the Troopy and one for when I travel overseas - great when we were in Europe with a car for 3 months a couple of years ago, kept everything charged and did not worry about local mains power adapters.

Stevesub
AnswerID: 292926

Reply By: Dunaruna - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 15:34

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 15:34
If it's a dell, check to make sure a modified sinewave inverter will do the job. On mine it did not, I needed to get a true sinewave.

AnswerID: 292930

Follow Up By: Member - Mick T (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 15:59

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 15:59
Hi Dunaruna,

How do I tell which one to use....mine is a dell laptop about 2yrs old

Cheers

Mick T
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FollowupID: 558554

Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 16:11

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 16:11
Interesting. We have run two Dells on modified sine wave for a couple of years without probems.

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FollowupID: 558556

Follow Up By: Dunaruna - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 16:29

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 16:29
I was surprised and disappointed. My 2000w modified runs everything without a problem, until the dell charger was plugged in - ziltch, nada.

I walked into jaycar ringwood with the dell under one arm and a battery under the other. We tried a few before we struck gold with a little 150w pure. The people at jaycar said that I was not the first to have charging problems with a dell/modified inverter.

Dell were no help at all.

We live and learn.
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FollowupID: 558557

Reply By: Member - Mick O (VIC) - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 16:22

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 16:22
I carry a 300 W pure sine wave inverter to power a large Dell laptop. It's a pain in the backside to set up all the time. The kerio adapter from dick smith is the best option for powering laptops. There is a similar unit available from Jaycar that is also good. We've used them extensively on tablet computers at work over the past 6 months and they are great. Simpky plug into a cigarette lighter attachment.
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AnswerID: 292935

Reply By: Member - Derek L (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 23:39

Sunday, Mar 16, 2008 at 23:39
Mick go to Dick Smiths or even Harvey Norm and you can get a simple 12v charger. They come in a pack with the lot, even different adaptors to suit most of the common brand laptops on the market. They are about 20 bucks. I am a rep selling eathmoving equipment in western Qld and I run my laptop for gps use and emails and it is never off charges perfectly.

Good Luck

Derek.L
AnswerID: 293040

Reply By: Richard W (NSW) - Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 06:04

Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 06:04
I bought the 12v charger/cable with the current Dell.
Used a 300W inverter with the old laptop.
AnswerID: 293051

Reply By: Robin Miller - Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 12:57

Monday, Mar 17, 2008 at 12:57
Hi Mick

My Laptops are Toshia a couple of years old and all use a 14-15vdc from mains supply , hence I need no charger and just have a direct connect cable from cars 12v supply to it.

Great if you can do it.

I would not use a device to up convert to 240vac then down convert with the normal laptop charger unless there was no other choice as its inefficent , leaves un-necessary l high voltages
and contributes to radio interference.

The $39 12vdc to whatever volts dc you want, converters are the second best choice.
Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 293098

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