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Laptop Car Adapter


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#1 nforce

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 11:02 PM

I have Dell Inspiron 1501 laptop. My family is going on a trip soon and I want to be able to work and game on the way. (I will not be the driver :thumbsup: )

There are a few options I know I have and want advice on which to get.

The first and probably the most practical is a dc to dc (12v to 19.5v) for the lappy. I could either get it in a $100 travel pack thing through dell or $30 new on ebay.

There is also the 12v dc to 115v ac car adapters and I know I would have to get one rated over 75watts (I was looking at 150w ones) But It seems kinda redundant to convert 12v dc to 115v ac then back to 19.5v dc through my lappy cord. I think It would generate more heat, have more risk of failing, use more car battery, but be more compatible with other things and it can be way cheaper.

Has anyone used the dc to ac car power inverter?
Is if safe and fine to use?
Should I just stay with the dc to dc converter?

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#2 stevealmighty

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 12:55 PM

I've seen both in use (on lap tops) and the owners both said that they worked great. I've never used one personally though. On a trip to Georgia, we had a 12v-115v ac car adapter for the cigarette lighter and it had a playstation 2 running off it. The other accessory (extra cig lighter outlets) had a portable dvd player and a cell phone plugged into it at the same time...no issues at all.

As for the drain on the car battery, don't worry about it. Once the engine is running, the electricity for the entire vehicle comes from the alternator, which is powered via a belt by the engine itself, so there's really no load on the battery.

Your biggest concern should come from a power surge, so be sure to be protected from that :huh: If it were me, I'd just go with the 12v-115v adapter, that way you can use it for anything that gets plugged into a wall! :thumbsup:
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#3 nforce

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 10:46 AM

Thanks for the input! I'll take that into consideration. If I did get a 115v adapter one, it would be at least 150watt and high quality. The last thing I want to do is explode my new laptop.
And yes, I knew about the alternator. Just trying to keep into account that we may not be driving the entire time... And I heard somewhere that the battery can only go for about an hour when the engine is not on. My laptops battery usually lasts around 2-3hours so I would still probably be fine. I guess it depends mostly on the price now.

And to protect from power surges, could I hook up a power surge protected power strip?(nothing else plugged in so I won't go over wattage)

Edited by nforce, 10 March 2007 - 10:48 AM.





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