12V DC Converter for Laptop

Submitted: Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 22:38
ThreadID: 58076 Views:5867 Replies:11 FollowUps:7
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I am looking for a power solution for my Laptop whilst camping. I was thinking of an inverter but after researching the subject it seems more efficient to just use a converter from 12V to 19V.
I have found many devices that will convert from 12V to 19V but my laptop powerpack supplies 19V - 4.74 A (90W Max) to the laptop. The converters i've looked at supply 19V - 3.5A. Is the amp diference going to be an issue? How close to the 4.74A do I need to be?
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 23:35

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 23:35
Have a good look at the Kerio adapter, available from Dick Smiths stores. They have an adjustable power range via a plug in bridgie.

They will suit most Laptops. Just look up your brand/model to confirm if the Kerio will suit it.

Kerio adapter

Bill.
Bill


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Reply By: Member - Matt & Julie (VIC) - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 07:24

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 07:24
Hi Browncoat
Have a look at Targus power adaptor I have one everyone on trips that I go on charge up using my charger it has never failed just google Targus this should help
Cheers

Matt & Julie


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Reply By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 07:57

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 07:57
I have the jaycar/dick smith type. Selectable output voltage.
When I picked it up, there were two models. One put out 3.5amps, the other 6 amps. Newer laptops may need the higher output.
I have an Asus laptop about 12 months old, and the 6 amp charger.
Found if the engine is running all is great. If I am running of the cigarette lighter, with no engine running, the charger only just keeps up if the laptop is running hard. Does double the life of of the laptop battery though under those circumstances.
If the laptop is not doing any serious work, such as converting maps of doing a lot of hard disk/CD access, it runs fine.
AnswerID: 306247

Reply By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 07:58

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 07:58
I'd be very surprised if your laptop actually uses 4.7 amps to run or charge. Have had a look at a few around the office and none even come close to that, although some of the really big "desktop replacement" laptops do use a lot.

If you want a high power job try this one from Jaycar.
AnswerID: 306248

Follow Up By: Redeye - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 09:38

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 09:38
The power supply for my ACER Extensa 2000 is 19V / 7.1 Amps. That is not to say that the computer consumes that amount though but it must be close.

Redeye
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Reply By: Browncoat - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 08:48

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 08:48
Thanks all for the replies.

My Laptop is a newer one (dual cores and a grunting video card) so maybe thats why it seems to use more amps.

One further question about those chargers mentioned that have a max of 6 amps. Does that mean they will supply the amps needed by my laptop upto a maximum of 6 amps? Or will they try pump 6 amps into my laptop regardless of its lesser requirement? I dont really know alot about this stuff so sorry if the questions seem silly.
AnswerID: 306252

Follow Up By: Member -Dodger - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 09:07

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 09:07
This is the lap top charger to get.
No the laptop will only use the power it wants. And the 6amps supply will do the job with some to spare.
For the others.
Hint, If your laptop seems to struggle on the power supply from 12v then take the battery out and it will still run fine. Reason = if the battery is low then most of the power is used to charge the battery and the rest to run the laptop.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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Reply By: Member - Douglas M (SA) - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 08:52

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 08:52
Hi Browncoat,
Oldplodder is on the right track. We had a Kerio adaptor which would charge the laptop while driving but if we had a long session (watching a DVD or a long photo session) would not supply enough current to run the machine, which would shut down and refuse to start until the battery was charged. We bought the 6 amp one from Jaycar which doesn't have a problem running the Acer desktop replacement. I just checked, the current rating is 4.74 amps.
Doug
AnswerID: 306253

Reply By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 08:59

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 08:59
Hi Browncoat

There are two common models 3.5amp and 6amp at most places like dick smith as per other posts above.

Also Jaycar/Altronics and many other places.

If you already purchased a 3.5amp unit which is marginal you can just set it to 18v or less, the pc will still work and the convertor will work a little better.
Robin Miller

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Reply By: Browncoat - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 09:23

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 09:23
OK Great.

Thanks to all.
AnswerID: 306257

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 09:33

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 09:33
Just to add - bought my Power Tech Plus MP-3467 from Dick - 6 selectable voltages including 19 - 4 voltages to 6A and the two higher voltages to 5A. Input requirements are 12-13.8V. Used it on my Asus - been great so far.
AnswerID: 306261

Follow Up By: Browncoat - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 09:53

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 09:53
Heya Darian, How much did you pay? I havent been able to find anything below 100 bucks..
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Follow Up By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 10:20

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 10:20
Found the receipt (was Jaycar - not Dick Smith) - April 07 - $47.95 - 1 year warranty. I don't recall it being on a special. As with much of the gear these people sell, when brands come and go rapidly and specials are in permanent turmoil ("yes sir, that is on special but we are out of them right now - you could have this one but it is $50 more" :-o) ........who knows what is available now ?

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Follow Up By: Browncoat - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 10:25

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 10:25
Heh, I rang Jaycar. They are out of stock until end of next month and they quoted me $129.00 . Might not have been the exact same model but it was the only 6A model they had.. apparently. Looks like I am a year too late on that one :)
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Follow Up By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 10:58

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 10:58
If you check my link above, Jaycar have a 6A model for $59.95
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Follow Up By: Browncoat - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 12:40

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 12:40
Thanks MrBitchi, I did see your link to the $59.95 6A model. It is also out of stock though. I'm not sure why the jaycar salesman didnt tell me about that one.. he quoted me $129.95 for a 6A one which was also out of stock...

Anyways, thanks again I have found 6A models online for around $50 so I think all will end well :)
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Reply By: Neil & Pauline - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 11:18

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 11:18
If you use a 3.5a then it will get hot and burn out. I followed the advise when I purchased the laptop which turned out to be wrong. Not only did I need a new power source but also a new laptop as it blew that up as well.
AnswerID: 306284

Reply By: Member - Chris & Debbie (QLD) - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 11:31

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 11:31
Browncoat

I will go different to what others have said. I originally had a converter to run the laptop but had trouble with it running hot. It was probably too small, but by the specs it should have been ok, mainly if the laptop had a flat battery, yes you can take the battery out but then you run the risk of loosing power to the laptop if the lead is pulled out or the ignition is switched off etc.
I now use a 300w pure sinewave inverter, which easily runs the laptop plus has the extra advantage of being able to be used to charge cameras, torches etc.

Chris
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