Old 05-10-2008   #1
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What do I need to charge my laptop in my car?

OK, so I want to be able to charge my lappy up in my car - especially as I make many long journeys.

Do I need to buy a whole power lead, or are there such things that go from the lighter socket to the transformer block?

I've got a C5/clover leaf/Mickey Mouse style input to the adaptor which then goes into the lappy you see. I'm guessing I just need a cigarette lighter to C5 plug but

a)I don't want to blow up my laptop
b)I can't seem to find one anywhere!

Can anyone help me out? Is that all I need or would I need to buy a whole power lead from lighter socket to lappy power port?
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Old 05-10-2008   #2
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Re: What do I need to charge my laptop in my car?

Search ebay for "laptop car adapter"
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Old 05-10-2008   #3
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Re: What do I need to charge my laptop in my car?

In the USA i use a power inverter > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_inverter
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Old 05-10-2008   #4
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Re: What do I need to charge my laptop in my car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eric93se View Post
Search ebay for "laptop car adapter"
That results in some very cheap looking stuff from Hong Kong. Will they blow my lappy up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob View Post
In the USA i use a power inverter > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_inverter
Does this eliminate my concern about a cheap adaptor because I'd still use my lappy's power supply? It would also mean that I could boil a kettle without shelling out for an expensive travel kettle (as long as engine is running). WIN!
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Old 05-10-2008   #5
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Re: What do I need to charge my laptop in my car?

I've never had any problems using one similar to the one in the pic. The one i have has 2 ac plugins. It's just like plugging into the wall in my house.

We use 115v ac here in USA so i don't know what they have available in UK sorry.

Edit:
This is exactly what i use > http://www.amazon.com/Sima-STP-150-W.../dp/B0001YFY9C

I bought it for my lappy and for an ac electric pump air mattress for camping. Works great for both.

Keep an eye on the watts you plug into it. You don't to overload it with say plugging in an air conditioner or refrigerator.
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Old 05-10-2008   #6
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Re: What do I need to charge my laptop in my car?

Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by SG View Post
OK, so I want to be able to charge my lappy up in my car - especially as I make many long journeys.
(...)
a)I don't want to blow up my laptop
Most notebook manufacturers offer car adapters for their notebooks as accessory. If you want to play safe, get original accessory, if you don't mind, get something similar from ebay.
Quote:
b)I can't seem to find one anywhere!
Hard to believe.

Michael
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Old 05-10-2008   #7
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Re: What do I need to charge my laptop in my car?

Those power invertors are usually modified sin waves, which is usually like a square wave and I'm surprised to see them list laptops. So its not like the plug in your house.
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Old 05-10-2008   #8
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Re: What do I need to charge my laptop in my car?

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So its not like the plug in your house.
No not exactly. I just used it as a figure of speech. They all use some sort of filtering. I don't know about how the 220v ac ones are. Mine has circuit breakers on it and i feel safe to use it. Like i said i've never had any problems with the one i use.

I've gone war driving a few times from power outages here due to ice storms and check email and of course come here to bug you guys/gals I'm looking for a camp grounds with wifi. I'm sure there are some here.
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Old 06-10-2008   #9
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Re: What do I need to charge my laptop in my car?

I use a power inverter in my Mustang to run a laptop to data log engine operating parameters and have done so for years. Never had a problem and it will run other AC devices that don't exceed its capacity rating.
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Old 06-10-2008   #10
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Re: What do I need to charge my laptop in my car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eric93se View Post
Those power invertors are usually modified sin waves, which is usually like a square wave and I'm surprised to see them list laptops. So its not like the plug in your house.
Most laptops have a switched mode supply which can take most forms of input (they will even work with DC at the right voltage)


As for an adaptor, I have one I picked up from Maplins (http://www.maplin.co.uk/Search.aspx?menuno=12968), its 230v 600W and does alot more than just my laptop but its no longer made. I can just about get away with powering my laptop from the ciggy lighter but if I want to push the power upto the 600W max then i need to provide a dedicated feed from the battery to the unit as it can draw over 80A from the battery at full load.
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Old 06-10-2008   #11
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Re: What do I need to charge my laptop in my car?

Sorry to sound dumb, but... I get an inverter, plug in and all's well?
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Old 06-10-2008   #12
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Re: What do I need to charge my laptop in my car?

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Sorry to sound dumb, but... I get an inverter, plug in and all's well?
Works for me SG. I'd leave the vehicle running when using it.
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Old 14-10-2008   #13
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Re: What do I need to charge my laptop in my car?

Thanks guys. Can I ask opinions on something like this:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/New-12v-DC-to-...d=p3286.c0.m14

vs this:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Top-150W-Car-C...d=p3286.c0.m14

The first one is cheaper and smaller, but I get the feeling it's not as good - looks tacky. But if it is as good, it's cheaper and smaller.

Cheers.
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Old 14-10-2008   #14
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Re: What do I need to charge my laptop in my car?

They dont state a power on the first one, looking at its size I would say it probably has enough power to run a small electric toothbrush and thats about it.

As for the 2nd one, it looks better but you need to see how much power your laptop takes (it will have an output voltage, usually 19v or so, and an output current. Take those, multiply them together and add about 10% to get the lowest power inverter you could use). My laptop PSU used about 300W running flat out which would not work with that last inverter you listed.
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Old 14-10-2008   #15
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Re: What do I need to charge my laptop in my car?

USEFUL! Thanks.
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