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Old 04-05-2013, 12:43 PM   #1
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Pocket inverters

I have installed navigation software on my laptop nowI need info on the best small inverter to run the computer I was thinking about one that plugs into a cigarette or assessory receptacle.
Suggestions on size Mfg. etc are welcome
Thanks Bert
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:03 PM   #2
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I have installed navigation software on my laptop nowI need info on the best small inverter to run the computer I was thinking about one that plugs into a cigarette or assessory receptacle.
Suggestions on size Mfg. etc are welcome
Thanks Bert
There is a thread on inverters Bert, Inverter sizeing

You may want to rethink about just sizing one for the electronics and think about what other items you may want to run from one without starting the generator eg microwave, tv, kettle etc.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:05 PM   #3
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Targus USA | Cases, Bags and Accessories for Laptops and Tablets

Makes 12volt chargers for many laptops. I use one on my Toughbook and Toshiba Notebook. Pricey but worth it.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:18 PM   #4
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I had a 400 watt that wouldn't power my old IBM laptop - today's laptops are undoubtedly more efficient. The cig plug models only come in limited power and that can be reduced by poor connections or small existing wiring. Personally, I'd opt for a small hardwired unit.
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Old 04-05-2013, 01:40 PM   #5
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$60 at Flying J trucks top. Plugs into a cigarette lighter. 2 outlets plus a USB adapter. Works fine, no complaints.

I wouldn't try running high output appliances with it, but that's not what the OP asked for either.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:38 PM   #6
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Google Powerstream Technologies. They have 12v DC converters for almost everything made-they generally cost around $25-70$ and will power your laptop off your 12V DC supply.

As a side note-many LED TVs (Sharp for one) actually run off 12VDC, the 120VAC-12Vdc converter is in the cabinet. You can rewire TVs to run directly off your 12V DC supply.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:41 PM   #7
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I would start by finding the power (in watts) required by the computer and buying an inverter capable of providing at least 20% more than that. Buy it from a store that will let you return it if your laptop won't run on it.

A better plan - See if the computer manufacturer makes an adapter or power supply for your computer that allows it to run on 12 volts DC.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:41 PM   #8
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I have a small inverter that came with the boat to power the laptop and phone chargers. It's silent (no fan), plugs into my 12V 3-outlet power panel and works great!

I may rewire to provide my main inverter power to that fwd counter, but until then, I wouldn't be without it since my main inverter only powers one counter at the aft port corner of the salon.
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:36 PM   #9
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Forget the inverter, even the small ones are very inefficient for the use you want. Get a DC to DC converter and it will work fine. They can be had for around $30.00 and be used for other items since they can be adjusted for voltage. Chuck

Like these, http://www.powerstream.com/Produz10.htm
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:56 PM   #10
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Many electronic charging devices will only work properly with a true sine wave inverter. Many of the small cheap inverters are modified sine wave and may not work well with your computer.

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Old 04-06-2013, 07:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocean View Post
I have installed navigation software on my laptop nowI need info on the best small inverter to run the computer I was thinking about one that plugs into a cigarette or assessory receptacle.
Suggestions on size Mfg. etc are welcome
Thanks Bert
Having used primarily non-true sine wave inverters now for almost 2 decades...all I can say is almost everything I ever plugged into one worked...maybe not great but good enough.

As the years went by, their performance improved so almost everything worked like it was plugged into the house and any brand inverter seemed to work and last like all the rest.

In the beginning electronics were the most sensitive and some microwave/inverter combinations...now hardly ever a probem.

Laptops run usually have no difficulties with cheap inverters because of the way their battery/power cords are set up.

My laptop and other fairly large ones have worked just fine off my now 10 year old Xantex 300 Watt unit. I would go with a "right sized" unit as some now are not much bigger than the cigarette lighter cord plug or cupholder size and very convenitent. Look to see on your power cord how many AC amps it draws and multiply by 15 or a little higher to get the watts for the inverter.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:26 AM   #12
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We have used both a DC/DC converter and a cheap small cig. lighter inverter to run our laptop for (back-up) navigation underway. Both work fine on 3 different lap tops. The converter avoids the need to have the laptop brick in the circuit.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:01 AM   #13
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Forget the inverter, even the small ones are very inefficient for the use you want. Get a DC to DC converter and it will work fine. They can be had for around $30.00 and be used for other items since they can be adjusted for voltage. Chuck

Like these, High Reliability Auto to Laptop DC/DC Converter, 12 volts nominal input, 16, 18, 19, 20 or 24 volts DC output
Looks like a good solution....are input plugs on the computer common configuration these days (or are there adapters available)? Also, I noticed output is 16V on all the units listed in your link...would that be an issue for the typical computer?
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:21 AM   #14
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They all come with adapters. Most every laptop we have used is 19 volts. Chuck
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:52 PM   #15
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My last ad this Dell is 19.5V at 3.34amps AC. Girlfriends Dell is 19.5V at 4.62 amps.

from what I've read 19 or 20 volt converters would work and some have said (hard to believe) that they will work on 12V but I'm asuming that is just delaying the drawdown of the battery....
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:16 PM   #16
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True Sine converters are the ticket for charging Lithium Ion batteries. Battery technologies are evolving and the battery manufacturers specifically state that true sine is required for proper charging. I am not saying they won't charge, I am just saying the manufacturer won't warranty their batteries if they find out you used a modified sine converter. I really like doing things the right way the first time, it usually cost less in the long run.
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:27 PM   #17
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So then I guess a modified sine would produce a different kind of dc?
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:54 PM   #18
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So then I guess a modified sine would produce a different kind of dc?
Yup...it produces AC.
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:55 PM   #19
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The technical information you are looking for is probably in the information from every manufacturer of Inverters. I would go to a site like Magnum and read... Better from the source :-)
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:33 PM   #20
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I'd like to know what kind of DC power it pumps out that would be incompatible...voltage? amperage? pulsing?

I understand the diff between sine and modified sine..but how is the DC charge different? I went to the Maguim site and read around but never saw anything that was realated..mostly all AC stuff.
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