OK to plug laptop into inverter? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-26-2014, 12:10 AM   #15
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I also went with a true sine wave inverter. Two computers I've had wouldn't work at all with a modified sine wave inverter, and one of them the "brick" power supply/charger got very hot.
FYI, all external computer power supplies are made with switching power supplies, at as far as I've seen. Doesn't make sense to not use a switching power supply. Some are more sensitive to sine wave actual shape.

I also think the best option is a 12 volt car charger. They're not very expensive. I have car (12 volt) chargers for all my portable computers. Save space, weight, and efficiency. Every time you go from on voltage to another you loose at least 5% in heat. Going from 12 volts DC through an inverter to 120 Volts AC is a 5% loss in power, then going from 120 Volts AC to 19 Volts DC is another 5% or more. So you're using more battery power to heat two devices when going inverter to power supply than when you go through just one.

Another little trick, when you go someplace in the tow, use that travel time to charge your electronics. Saves your house battery for stuff needed in the trailer.
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Old 10-26-2014, 07:32 AM   #16
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Tony,

Here's an example of a 12 volt charger for a Dell computer. This type of charger is available for most computers. If I recall correctly Dells run on 19 volts so these little chargers step the voltage up from 12 to 19 volts. Not expensive and will allow charging in your trailer or tow vehicle.
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Old 10-26-2014, 09:11 AM   #17
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My new Macbook Pro must be 12v. The cigarette adapter I bought for it is just the adapter and a wire to the laptop - no transformer box. A lot of them must be going that way.

As others have said, your power brick for a laptop can take some "dirty" power from a cheap inverter and use it to charge your laptop battery without issue.
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Old 10-26-2014, 09:33 AM   #18
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I just looked around on the interweb and found several 12v to 19.5v converters for under or around $20. Cheap enough and even though I plan on having a pure sine inverter anyway it is a no brainer to go with a $20 DC to DC converter for the efficiency. For one thing, my new pure sin wave inverter will be in the camper, a 12v converter can be used there or in the tug.
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Old 10-27-2014, 11:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Merritt View Post
My new Macbook Pro must be 12v. The cigarette adapter I bought for it is just the adapter and a wire to the laptop - no transformer box. A lot of them must be going that way.



As others have said, your power brick for a laptop can take some "dirty" power from a cheap inverter and use it to charge your laptop battery without issue.

AFAIK all MacBooks are 18V.


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Old 10-28-2014, 05:20 AM   #20
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Don't "assume" because it just has the cigarette lighter plug on the end that it runs on 12 volts.
With modern electronics they can pack enough into the plug to raise or lower the voltage as required.
For instance the adapters with a USB plug on them reduces the voltage to 5 volts. Here's a link to one site explaining just USB charging.
http://www.extremetech.com/computing...our-smartphone
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Old 11-28-2014, 07:41 PM   #21
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My Toshiba Satellite uses a 19V wall wart, but I found online a 12V to 19V car adapter. Works fine. The less you need to convert from DC to AC then back to DC, the better. Reduces the inherent losses all the way around.
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Old 11-29-2014, 04:18 PM   #22
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reinventing the wheel ???

my HP laptops "brick" has a stated output of 19.3 volts...and my meter confirmed that is what it is putting out....

I took the battery out of the laptop and it is a.... 10.8 volt !!!

this tells me that I could get an appropriate size plug for the laptop, wire it directly into my 12V electrical system and it would run the laptop all day/week long like that with no problems (I don't have/use a converter in my trailer...ie no "unfiltered" 12V issues)

I'm assuming the 19.3V is to "top up" the laptops battery (10.9V) as required just like a car charger will put out 14.4V to charge the 12V battery in your car

seems kinda strange to take 12V, turn into 120 then turn it into 19.3 for a product that will work just fine on roughly 10 (????)

Am I crazy or what ?
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Old 11-29-2014, 04:34 PM   #23
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If your laptop is a Dell or HP then you will need an inverter or a 12v to 19v charger from the manufacturer. The center pin on the plug is a "sense" pin which tells the computer that is is a Dell or HP and the watt rating. Without this signal it may run but will not charger and may throttle the cpu to a lower speed.
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Old 11-29-2014, 05:17 PM   #24
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really...

don't that beat all....

so that plug has one negative and TWO positives !!!

I get 19.3 from the "inner ring" positive and 18.3 at the pin (charger/brick output).....

more complicated than I thought.... or could see

for now I'll just keep running/charging it through a small 150W inverter I got.....thanks
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Old 11-29-2014, 05:34 PM   #25
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As Floyd mentioned, RF interference with MSW inverters can be a problem. While it usually isn't a problem for straight charging, if you are running at the same time sometime weird things can happen.
On my 400 MSW inverter my Toshiba and Dell laptops run fine, but when I connect the Acer in the same manner it gets a little crazy in cursor control until it's unplugged from the inverter.
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Old 11-29-2014, 05:36 PM   #26
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I fried an expensive short-wave radio when I got the polarity wrong on one of those 'universal' chargers.
Make sure you really understand the symbols etc.
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Old 12-17-2014, 08:07 PM   #27
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We have used ours for the laptop for five years, no trouble
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