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12v adapter for the netbook

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    12v adapter for the netbook

    Well we are planning our first "off-grid" trip later this month.
    I am confident that we will survive two nights in our R20 without electricity and our first test of the chemical loo.

    But will we manage without the netbook? Could be tricky although in an emergency we can turn to my Android phone (as long as I put my reading glasses on to see the screen!)

    We're set up with chargers for phones & my camera but does anyone know anything about converters for charging the netbook from 12v? Are they safe? And is it best to just use from the car battery whilst on the move?

    Sue
    Geoff

    #2
    12v charger

    Hi Sue,
    I was considering getting a 12v charger for my laptop but decided to use a good quality inverter instead mine's a belkin 300 watt.
    I use an adapter direct from the leisure battery it has 2 crocodile clips that run to a cigar lighter adaptor (£4.95 from Towsure) Its better to use this rather than risk blowing fuses and straining wiring from the vehicle cigar lighter.
    This means you can charge most things using the normal 240v chargers that come with your electrical products. Probably best to charge things while the engine is running but the inverters do have a low voltage cut out which stops you running the battery down too low.
    I also use a Digital Usb twin tuner in my laptop meaning I don't need a separate TV / DVD and I can record films etc to watch when there is nothing else on .
    Cheers
    Peter

    Comment


      #3
      I have a gadget from CPC that plugs into a cigarette lighter socket and converts to 19v to run our netbook. As Peter says you can use an inverter but there are two problems, one you should use a full sine wave inverter which is quite expensive and two it is inefficient as you are converting 12v to 240 then 240v to 19v.

      Peter

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks Peter(s)

        For the sake of two nights in summer we'll just make sure that we leave with a fully charged battery this time and investigate your suggestions for later trips.

        At this moment the indicator is showing 47% charge and says that's good for 3hrs 28mins, which is encouraging, but I imagine our USB powered external DVD drive would reduce that time considerably.

        Still we're not likely to want that until the darker evenings, and then we'll be more likely to have EHU, but it would be good to have some back-up in case that's not available.

        Geoff and Sue
        Geoff

        Comment


          #5
          just a thought had problem the other week i lost my glasses dont ask but had to wait a week for replacement pair could not see my phone bought a cheap pair of readers from pound shop they worked ok for reading phone now got them chucked in tool box in camper for ermergency use ok they not brill but do the job

          Comment


            #6
            Just wondering if a full sine inverter is absolutely essential to power a laptop/ netbook.
            Aren't you actually just charging the lap top battery and does the battery not act as a voltage stabiliser. I would not use a laptop without the battery in on a inverter.
            I haven't had any problems so far using my Belkin inverter in this way. Have I just been lucky ?

            Comment


              #7
              Can't remember where I read it but there was a proper explanation and it was something to do with the way the power supply works

              Peter

              Comment


                #8
                Hi Peter,
                just checked the Belkin web site and there 300w Ac anywhere is actually advertised as ideal for charging laptops, iphones etc. (phew)
                I think some of the cheaper chinese inverters for example might be dodgy for sensitive equiptment.
                Be careful what you buy and what you plug in an inverter is the motto.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by peterholden View Post
                  I have a gadget from CPC that plugs into a cigarette lighter socket and converts to 19v to run our netbook. As Peter says you can use an inverter but there are two problems, one you should use a full sine wave inverter which is quite expensive and two it is inefficient as you are converting 12v to 240 then 240v to 19v.

                  Peter
                  I agree with Peter. Converting electrical energy from one voltage to another and then back again is ludicrous - and expensive.
                  A connector and lead for my laptop was only a few pounds, compared with teens of pounds for a simple inverter and more for a simulated sine wave inverter.
                  All inverters seem to come with cooling fins, because inefficiency in electrical voltage conversion causes heat. Which represents "lost" electricity.
                  You are also converting DC (wanted) to AC (unwanted) and then back again!
                  Nuff sed!
                  Last edited by Twolitre; 11-07-2011, 15:15.
                  Keeping people waiting is stealing a part of their lives.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Artoo0 View Post
                    We're set up with chargers for phones & my camera but does anyone know anything about converters for charging the netbook from 12v? Are they safe? And is it best to just use from the car battery whilst on the move?

                    Sue
                    I've been using a laptop adapter from Maplin (order code A30KC) for the last month or two and it's brilliant. If you plug the laptop into the car socket, you can recharge the netbook whilst driving, AND recharge an MP3 player or your satnav at the same time using the USB socket.

                    If you're really quick you can get it for only £15 as well (it's on offer until tomorrow).

                    I haven't used it on the leisure battery yet, but if my maths is right you should be able to use a typical netbook for at least week before it goes flat:

                    My Toshiba netbook uses about 8 or 9W, which works out to roughly 0.5A @ 19V, so you'd have to do a serious amount of surfing to drain the leisure battery!
                    Schrödinger's cat:
                    Wanted Dead and Alive.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The reason I use a Belkin AC Inverter rather than individual laptop chargers, phone chargers etc etc is that it is convienient .
                      I know that electrically it is not efficient. To me that isn't a problem I charge my laptop etc while driving around. If I was wildcamping or staying on a site without hook up for days on end I would use individual car chargers.
                      When I checked CPS a car laptop charger was £17+ if you add phone chargers, I Pod chargers etc these build up .
                      You can take normal AC products from your home and use it in your motorhome .
                      With bigger inverters you could use a microwave etc (with your engine running) try doing that with a 12v adapter lead

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by peterfowden View Post
                        The reason I use a Belkin AC Inverter rather than individual laptop chargers, phone chargers etc etc is that it is convienient .
                        I know that electrically it is not efficient. To me that isn't a problem I charge my laptop etc while driving around. If I was wildcamping or staying on a site without hook up for days on end I would use individual car chargers.
                        When I checked CPS a car laptop charger was £17+ if you add phone chargers, I Pod chargers etc these build up .
                        You can take normal AC products from your home and use it in your motorhome .
                        With bigger inverters you could use a microwave etc (with your engine running) try doing that with a 12v adapter lead
                        I thought we were talking about laptops etc.?
                        Obviously if you want to use mains equipment, like microwave ovens, without EHU an inverter is essential and beyond value.
                        I don't think anyone will dispute that. But remember you are still paying for electricity with engine fuel and an idling engine consumes more fuel than most people realise. almost as much as when you are driving.
                        Last edited by Twolitre; 11-07-2011, 16:53.
                        Keeping people waiting is stealing a part of their lives.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Sure just pointing out that inverters are conveniant and you don't need loads of different adapters.
                          Look at the price of Gaz now and how quickly you can cook a meal in a microwave.
                          Would not recommend you try cooking on the move though

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions.

                            I'm afraid most of the science and technical stuff is way above my head, but at least we now know there are things we should be taking into consideration.

                            Adyb -the Maplin charger is precisely the gadget we were thinking of when Sue posted the original enquiry! We were just a little wary about reliability and compatibility with our Samsung netbook. We didn't want to risk frying it.
                            Thanks for the reassuring report.

                            AND, I've just noticed it's your first post!

                            So welcome, and double thanks for taking the trouble to register and reply.

                            We're pretty new to this ourselves, about a month or so, and there's lots of useful information to be found. And they're a pretty friendly bunch too!

                            Geoff and Sue
                            Geoff

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The adapters come with a range of connectors and a switch for changing the output voltage. If you look at the brick that comes with your laptop it will have the voltage etc on a label w2hich gives the correct voltage. Our Acers are 19v.

                              YOu can also spend a bit more money and buy the proper thing from your competer's manufacturer

                              Comment

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