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Thread: anyone using a docking station? coupla questions

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by meddler View Post
    what wattage is on the wall power adapter?

    The thing you have to be wary about with dells is if they don't get the right signals, they will not charge. Some of them won't even run.

    Try here. LINK This was one of the only guys that sold a DC-DC auto air adapter that worked properly for my inspiron 8600.
    thanks for the link.

    The AC wall adapter states:
    19.5V
    4.62A

    the DC Car adapter that i'm looking at has the following specs:
    Input Voltage............11 to 16 Vdc
    Output Voltage .........20 Vdc
    Output Current..........4.5 amps (max)
    Fuse........................15 amps

    on paper, it should work right?

    but how about w/ docking station and real world use?

  2. #12
    Maximum Bitrate FusionFanatic's Avatar
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    I run a Dell Inspiron 8000 through a docking station...

    the "AC wall adapter" outputs [email protected] I bought a cheap dc-dc laptop adapter on ebay (specifically, this model). it outputs [email protected], which is the exact same rating as the OEM wall adapter. I tested the output voltage and it was dead on 20vdc both with and without a load.

    It works great, I've been using it for months. it charges an almost dead battery in less than 1 hour while using the laptop (in the docking station) so it seems to have plenty of power. it does however get extremely hot (hot enough to burn your hand on, I was surprised the plastic didn't melt). I removed it from the plastic housing and mounted it in an old ATX PSU case instead. this allows it to run much much cooler (the exhaust fan sucks out the heat). I think it will work for years this way, but it probably wouldn't last too long if I left it in the plastic case (the parts inside can only handle that intense heat for so long). plus I don't want to find out what that PSU will do when it finally craps out

    I don't think it really matters whether you're using a docking station or not. I don't think a docking station uses enough power to put a significant drain on the PSU/battery.

    In my case, the car adapter's output specs matched my OEM wall adapter perfectly, but in your case the specs are different, so it may or may not work. the only way to find out is to try it. good luck

  3. #13
    It ain't easy being a green moderator meddler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagwellfive View Post
    thanks for the link.

    The AC wall adapter states:
    19.5V
    4.62A

    the DC Car adapter that i'm looking at has the following specs:
    Input Voltage............11 to 16 Vdc
    Output Voltage .........20 Vdc
    Output Current..........4.5 amps (max)
    Fuse........................15 amps

    on paper, it should work right?

    but how about w/ docking station and real world use?
    just remember that the laptop with a docking station will use more power than just the laptop alone.

    That may not be quite enough current to run the laptop and the docking adapter. It may get hot like ComputerGeek's PSU. The only way to find out for sure is to try it.
    Never let the truth get in the way of a good story

  4. #14
    Maximum Bitrate FusionFanatic's Avatar
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    I should have mentioned in my last post that the car PSU I used got extremely hot both with or without the docking station. again, I don't think a docking station uses much power, at least not enough to make a significant difference.

    I assume the reason it gets so hot is simply because of cheap construction/parts. although to be fair the factory wall adapter from dell gets very hot as well (but not as bad). since I gave it some active [air] cooling, it only gets warm now

  5. #15
    It ain't easy being a green moderator meddler's Avatar
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    I know my docking station takes more power, due to the USB hub and other associated bits that aren't on the laptop. That's why I run into problems with the first DC-DC adapter I bought. All machines are different, with any luck you will be ok with the PSU you chose.
    Never let the truth get in the way of a good story

  6. #16
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    CompGeek, meddler, thanks for the input. I'm now just starting to receive parts for my setup. I think it's just going to come down to hooking it all up and stress testing to see how it all works out.

    Side question - are there any known dangers to opening up the adapter brick? I want to explore some cooling options but I don't wanna die. I know opening PSU's can pose some danger, I'm just curious to know if adapter bricks pose the same risks.

  7. #17
    It ain't easy being a green moderator meddler's Avatar
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    they can do. always make sure the unit is switched off before playing with it same as if it was powered from the wall outlet.
    Never let the truth get in the way of a good story

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