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    laptop / Mains Power Converter from the 12v leisure Battery

    Does anyone have experience of powering a laptop from the leisure battery using a mains power converter? Maplins sell mains power converter / outlets at a very reasonable price.

    Having just invested heavily in a macbook I want to use a trustworthy source to power and charge the thing whilst away in the van.

    Do they make a noise? Are they any good / reliable?

    Apple do not do a DC power source for their Notebooks so this looks to be the only option when mains hook up is not available.

    #2
    I have often used an inverter to run my old laptop as it had a battery life of less than an hour. They do make a little noise but are very useful. A couple of years ago I was in between sites and pulled in to a car park to watch the British GP on my laptop/tv. And if you use a dongle it is often the case that you need to use it wherever you can find a good signal which can be in a lay by or, for WiFi, in a MacDonalds car park. Make sure you tell the shop what you want to use it for and have the details handy if you are not sure what power the laptop needs.
    Just a thought, make sure that the cigarette lighter is still powered when the ignition is off, if that is where you were going to plug the inverter.
    Good luck
    Colin

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      #3
      You don't have to buy from Apple.

      Companies like CPC and Maplins sell converters to run laptops from 12v DC. You just have to make sure that the output voltage is the same as that required by your Macbook and that one of the connectors fits the power socket.

      I have an Acer laptop and an Acer netbook and I run them through one of these although Acer do not supply. (Mine came from CPC)

      I used to run it from an inverter (all you are doing is charging the battery) but it is very inefficient because you are converting from 12V to 240V and back to the input voltage of the computer, in my case 19V

      Comment


        #4
        Halfords did a deal a while back with their 'powerpack 300' product which is awesome. I think it was £30 for a 300w invertor with it's own 20Ah battery, built in air compressor, jump starter, dual light strip (v. powerful) and 12v socket. It has a battery level indicator too.

        I keep it in the back of the van, it can do laptops at 240v or run my chargers at 12v without draining van battery. I can hook it up to the van to charge it if needed or charge it at home via a mains charger.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Sloeman View Post
          Halfords did a deal a while back with their 'powerpack 300' product which is awesome. I think it was £30 for a 300w invertor with it's own 20Ah battery, built in air compressor, jump starter, dual light strip (v. powerful) and 12v socket. It has a battery level indicator too.

          I keep it in the back of the van, it can do laptops at 240v or run my chargers at 12v without draining van battery. I can hook it up to the van to charge it if needed or charge it at home via a mains charger.
          Cor that sounds good! let me know if you ever see any more at that price - they are currently nearly £80!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jayjay View Post
            Cor that sounds good! let me know if you ever see any more at that price - they are currently nearly £80!
            I found the reciept, they were 50% off as part of some promotion so I got it for £39.99, not £30. Still a very good deal and i've used it loads since.

            One drawback is it only just has enough juice in it to start the van, if i've used it for something else for even a short while it can't quite start it. I found this out the hard way.

            Comment


              #7
              I use one of these for my netbook - £21.97 with free delivery.

              I also have a large, bulky Belkin model but it's so cumbersome that it rarely sees the light of day. I'd recommend the 'Ex-Pro' model instead.

              Comment


                #8
                We use an inverter for our laptop. It was really cheap a few years ago from Woolies, about £6 in the sale. Plugs into the 12v socket. Works a treat.
                ______________
                Guardian of the Ducks
                2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Quack!

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                  #9
                  I have one from maplin.Not used it yet but hopefully will be useful when I do venture out in my van and do not have lecky at site.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    We just bought a battery charger/jump starter/tyre and pool inflator/inverter from Halfords. It was £89 reduced from £134 and I got another £10 off because the first box had bits missing.

                    We had to get one because I have been naughty and not run the van for ages and it is facing the wrong way to jump start it from the car! We wanted an inverter anyway and we liked the colour and it fits in the van behind driver seat and will be useful for charging the phone, laptop etc if we camp without hook up.

                    I have set my e mail to send me a reminder to drive the van, use my internet dongle and to charge up the inverter every three months. Such a busy life since I retired.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      laptop off grid

                      Hi

                      I want to use my Sony laptop on my travels, but they don't make a connector to let it run from a car/leisure battery, unlike my last one (and you can't buy other makes that will do, either). The salesman gave dire warnings about trying to run it off an inverter. I guess that the newer laptops need much more energy to run their bloated software, although I only have basic stuff on there. I feel deprived without my laptop, and would like to spend some time off-grid, although I wonder how much the laptop would run down the leisure battery. Ideas welcome!

                      Please move this if it's in the wrong place... Thanks

                      TG

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by TG View Post
                        Hi

                        I want to use my Sony laptop on my travels, but they don't make a connector to let it run from a car/leisure battery, unlike my last one (and you can't buy other makes that will do, either). The salesman gave dire warnings about trying to run it off an inverter. I guess that the newer laptops need much more energy to run their bloated software, although I only have basic stuff on there. I feel deprived without my laptop, and would like to spend some time off-grid, although I wonder how much the laptop would run down the leisure battery. Ideas welcome!

                        Please move this if it's in the wrong place... Thanks

                        TG
                        You can get a converter to run off 12V DC from inside your van,try amazon or Ebay.It plugs into the cigar lighter socket thingy. Works fine have seen one in use. They are £14.90 from Amazon,for Sony viaio,take a look.
                        Last edited by Ian.C.S; 09-03-2011, 15:43.
                        Young men sow wild oats.Old men grow sage.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Ian STOCKLEY View Post
                          You can get a converter to run off 12V DC from inside your van,try amazon or Ebay.It plugs into the cigar lighter socket thingy. Works fine have seen one in use.
                          Tesco direct are selling the E-can for £30.00 if anyone is interested,just a matter of choice as to where you buy it from i suppose or waiting for it to arrive by pidgeon post

                          Why wait head down to your local Tesco & collect whilst gathering up your weekly shopping, thats how i got mine



                          Billy

                          Comment


                            #14
                            laptop/mains power converter from a 12 volt leisure battery

                            I think you may have to be careful when buying an inverter. It wil depend on laptop etc as I bought an inverter from Maplins only to find that my Pure digital radios needed a pure sine wave inverter. These are very expensive so it would be worth getting advise before buying something which will not work!

                            Lizzie

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The problem with recent MacBooks was, and probably still is, that Apple won't license the MagSafe power connector and therefore 3rd party manufacturers can't use it.

                              I think your only option is going to be an inverter. I got a cheap one for my Toshiba, which did the trick, and since getting a MacBook Pro a few years ago I bought an extra battery to extend the life between hook-ups. The inverter is now only for emergencies.
                              Neil

                              Comment

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