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Posted: 11/20/2008 9:12:16 AM EDT
in their vehicles to power a laptop?
recommendations as to brand or size?
thanks,
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 9:17:40 AM EDT
You should be able to pick up a 400W compact model nearly anywhere, even Wal-Mart for about $25.

I just bought a couple of Xantrex 1000W constant, 2000W surge inverters at Costco for $29 each.

They started out at $70.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 9:20:15 AM EDT
Someone is going to call me a liar, but at one time I had a laptop that I could run directly off of the DC from the car.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 9:20:19 AM EDT
cheap walmart inverters work fine for low amp devices like laptops.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 9:21:07 AM EDT
Get the size that will power your laptop. My laptop required 130W so I got a 150W version. Works well in the car and on a plane.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 9:21:16 AM EDT
Google "power inverters"
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 9:25:18 AM EDT
... I have been working on a project here the last few days.

Being that this IS Florida and we have lots of sun, I have made a parabolic reflector that I intend to use to either heat a liquid to drive a small home made steam turbine, or a sterling engine to power an alternator to produce DC current to charge battery banks.. or run through inverters back to the grid and use the grid for storage.

i would love to be able to power my home off the grid using a system such as this.

 The expense of the inverters were my primary concern.


Link Posted: 11/20/2008 9:27:35 AM EDT
Why not just buy a DC power adapter for your laptop?


A power cube is just converting AC to DC anyway....
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 9:32:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2008 9:35:50 AM EDT by NoStockBikes]
Originally Posted By TinLeg:
Why not just buy a DC power adapter for your laptop?


A power cube is just converting AC to DC anyway....


Can they turn 12v DC into 15v DC?

ETA: I mean without changing it to AC and then back...

I found this accessory for mine: http://www.laptoptraveller.com/auto-air-adapter-aa-b20.html
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 9:33:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2008 9:34:51 AM EDT by Phiber0p]
Originally Posted By TinLeg:
Why not just buy a DC power adapter for your laptop?


A power cube is just converting AC to DC anyway....


Nevermind
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 9:35:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By preTex:
Google "power inverters"


I have most of them do not have any consumer reviews , that's why I resort to asking questions of a group of people I tend to listen to their experiences

Link Posted: 11/20/2008 9:40:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By TinLeg:
Why not just buy a DC power adapter for your laptop?


A power cube is just converting AC to DC anyway....


A car cord for a specific laptop is usually more expensive than a basic 200W inverter, and you can use the inverter to do more stuff.  I've used my inverter for laptops, running a neighbor's nebulizer during a power failure, charging multiple devices that didn't have car cords, etc...
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 9:41:03 AM EDT
Here's my question: Does an AC inverter running a 15v/5a laptop draw any more off the battery than a "direct" DC adapter? Just thinking that if I'm going to potentially be running mine off my vehicle battery for hours on end, which one would be more efficient, and allow me to start the car?
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 9:43:20 AM EDT
I've used this APC for two years solid with no problems whatsoever. There was one guy who was complaining that his Dell 90w power adapter would shut it off, but I have 90w and 110w Dell adapters and they run flawlessly. It even runs my older HP 150w adapter and 17" notebook just fine. It's only $25, and worth at least twice as much in my opinion. APC knows power.

http://www.amazon.com/APC-PNOTEAC150-150-Watt-Inverter/dp/B000C0MGO6
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 9:49:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By rexydg7:
... I have been working on a project here the last few days.

Being that this IS Florida and we have lots of sun, I have made a parabolic reflector that I intend to use to either heat a liquid to drive a small home made steam turbine, or a sterling engine to power an alternator to produce DC current to charge battery banks.. or run through inverters back to the grid and use the grid for storage.

i would love to be able to power my home off the grid using a system such as this.

 The expense of the inverters were my primary concern.



There are companies out there selling DC home appliances, and many many folks rolling their own. AC is good for long-distance transmission, and industrial motors, but for strictly home use, DC is better.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 9:53:11 AM EDT


Originally Posted By NoStockBikes:


Here's my question: Does an AC inverter running a 15v/5a laptop draw any more off the battery than a "direct" DC adapter?


Yes, it will. Some power is wasted in the process of converting 12 volts DC to 120 volts AC, and more power is wasted in the process of converting 120 volts AC to whatever voltage your laptop requires. This isn't much of a concern if you're always running the vehicle's engine while using the laptop (or are only briefly using the laptop with the engine turned off).



DC to DC laptop power supplies aren't terribly expensive -  Here's one from Deal Extreme for under 12 bucks.



 
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 10:10:17 AM EDT
Originally Posted By asknight:
I've used this APC for two years solid with no problems whatsoever. There was one guy who was complaining that his Dell 90w power adapter would shut it off, but I have 90w and 110w Dell adapters and they run flawlessly. It even runs my older HP 150w adapter and 17" notebook just fine. It's only $25, and worth at least twice as much in my opinion. APC knows power.

http://www.amazon.com/APC-PNOTEAC150-150-Watt-Inverter/dp/B000C0MGO6


wow yes that does look good and you are definitely right about APC great price too

Link Posted: 11/20/2008 10:12:11 AM EDT
Originally Posted By anjan9:
cheap walmart inverters work fine for low amp devices like laptops.



agreed.  I have used the 175 watt that plugs into the power outlet to run my laptop.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 10:16:51 AM EDT
I have a Sigma I think is the brand name.

I use it for storm chasing and have for 5 years now. Bought it at Microcenter. It works fine to power my laptop, gps, and charge camcorder batteries all at once. It is about the size of a paperback book and is easy to tote around. If I remember correctly it is 175 watt.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 10:17:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By gunham:
Someone is going to call me a liar, but at one time I had a laptop that I could run directly off of the DC from the car.


My iGo does that.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 10:18:07 AM EDT
Inverters are cheap as dirt, and you can find them all over the place.  Wal-mart, Sam's, Costco, etc.
Link Posted: 11/20/2008 10:51:22 AM EDT
Most of the solutions stated here will work unless you have like a high end Dell XPS or gaming HP type laptop.

Then you'll just need an inverter rated for more juice.

Past about 500w, i think, is when they start needing to be hard wired. The little ones are just cigarette plug affairs.
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