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Power Adapters: going mobile


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#1 toddlynn

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 06:21 AM

I have a Dell Inspiron laptop that has served me well for the last 2 years. It has a power adapter that functions perfectly. It outputs 19.5 volts at 3.34 mA. I also have a cord that has a car cigarette lighter plug in on one end and a jack that fits my Dell on the other end. Now, I know what y'all are thinking: "Don't plug that cord into your laptop and then into a car cigarette lighter!" To which I respond, "No kidding." The output voltage of most vehicle outlets is 12 volts, or in some cases 24, and the amps can sometimes vary based on the RPM's of the vehicle. So here's what i want to know: is it possible to design a device that will harness this variable amp, 12 0r 24 volt power, and convert it to an output that my computer will find slightly more yummy? I believe it could be done through the use of step-up or step-down transformers, (or both), capacitor based filters, etc. There's still a lot of homework to do- one thing I'd like to know is just how much that amperage can vary and what it's average is. But this is do-able! I would appreciate any thoughts y'all would have on this. Imagine it- no more bulky, power sucking inverters! (Or, does such a device already exist? I'm not talking about an inverter, I'm talking about a DC to DC converter.)



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#2 toddlynn

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 06:40 AM

By the way, I did find a compatible adapter on ebay for 10 bucks. I'm not interested in buying one, I'm interested in BUILDING one.



#3 mjd420nova

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 10:03 AM

The complex part is deriving 19-20 volts from a twelve volt supply.  Upping the voltage will increase the need for higher current than normal from the 12 volt supply.  A converter is best purchased but don't go for the cheapest, get one for around $60. USD and it will work properly.  Don't get anything BUT a Dell converter to assure the correct part.  Don't buy Chinese unless it has a Dell parts sticker.



#4 toddlynn

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 07:03 AM

Thank you for responding. As you implied, if you go cheap, you could damage your laptop. I agree- I'm not the trusting type when it comes to things that could damage my laptop. This is why I'm trying to  build my own power supply. as I understand it, this will require a step-up transformer, some kind of current filter or limiter, some surge protection circuitry, etc. What I'm looking for is a brainstorming session, and maybe some suggested schematic diagrams. BTW, if I do abandon the build-your-own idea, and purchase a converter, I will take your very sound advice and get one manufactured by Dell.






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