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Thread: I got a laptop, going in a small car. Is inverter going to be okay?

  1. #1
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    Question I got a laptop, going in a small car. Is inverter going to be okay?

    I've searched a lot and read a lot on these boards. I've heard a few things about the inverter.

    I'm just going to be powering the laptop alone. Should I just get a laptop adapter and possibly hardwire that? I will be having probably a DVD drive and the Xenarc plugged into the USB port into the laptop.

    I was looking into the Xantrex inverter - probably just the 150W would be enough but the problem with that is I had planned on putting the laptop underneath my passenger seat and I had thought I'd put the inverter close by. However, I've heard of problems when the inverter is so close, causing interference. Should I be weary of that problem? Also, with the 150 inverter in my car, will it make a lot of noise? I heard the Xantrex 150 model wouldn't be very loud.

    What are your guys opinions on this and how I should wire it if I just have a laptop?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    MySQL Error Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    Buddy look up a very good thread on powering and turning on/off a laptop. I only have a small car too and was gonna run an invertor but am opting for a Dc-DC (get one from radio shack or ebay or summit but get a decent one). DC-DC is more efficnet and will not need a noisy fan. Xenarc can run right off battery (use a fuse!!!!) but it maybe best to use anothe regulator for it but at 8-10Watts this aint gonna be much trouble (a cheap CD player reg might work). I was usig an invertor to charge my phone the other day in my mates car and the Maccy D's cokes fell over in the foot well and i suddenly thought Sh******t - mains! Not really a big fan of having it in my car to be honest - its french so it will probably leak at some point!

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    Low Bitrate got2liv4him's Avatar
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    you can see how much watts the laptop uses by looking at the label on the power adaptor, there are car adaptors for laptops, but you might want to go the invertor route to give you the option of using home stuff in your car. As far as the noise you can't really hear it when your cars on so I wouldn't worry about it. And if its a modern invertor I don't think you have to worry about interference, I would hardwire it to the battery though and not use the ciggerette lighter adaptor...
    Kimi ga kawareba, Seikaimo kawaru!

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    Thanks guys. This is however the problem I have. I don't quite have the laptop in hand just yet and instead of going out and purchasing an inverter at the store and trying it out, I wanted to get some opinions on others setups.

    I know there's a large debate on Inverters or DC/DC power so I'd rather not turn that into this. I think for my case an inverter makes most sense and I will hardwire it as soon as I get a chance to. I was more concerned about noise since the inverter will probably be sitting behind my seat as well as any interference it may have with the laptop being just a few feet away from it.

    The Xantrex model should be more than enough I'm assuming though - the 150Watt model, correct?

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    Thanks for your suggestion. Do you happen to have a link to that thread. I did try a search for it. As for having any drinks in my car, I have an '04 sports car. My baby wouldnt dare be caught with any sort of spillable liquids in it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Scouse Monkey
    Buddy look up a very good thread on powering and turning on/off a laptop. I only have a small car too and was gonna run an invertor but am opting for a Dc-DC (get one from radio shack or ebay or summit but get a decent one). DC-DC is more efficnet and will not need a noisy fan. Xenarc can run right off battery (use a fuse!!!!) but it maybe best to use anothe regulator for it but at 8-10Watts this aint gonna be much trouble (a cheap CD player reg might work). I was usig an invertor to charge my phone the other day in my mates car and the Maccy D's cokes fell over in the foot well and i suddenly thought Sh******t - mains! Not really a big fan of having it in my car to be honest - its french so it will probably leak at some point!

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    150W should be fine yeah. I have a 300W belkin that i know survives crank - not really an issue with a laptop though unless you use a dock like i was going to (the pci sound card didnt really like being disconnected when the laptp was running!) Make sure it has room to breathe. Say a laptop needs 16V at 5 amp (big one) then this is 80W, + a few watts lost by the ad-dc convertor + safetly margin for invertor then yeah 150W is fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDiddy
    Thanks for your suggestion. Do you happen to have a link to that thread. I did try a search for it. As for having any drinks in my car, I have an '04 sports car. My baby wouldnt dare be caught with any sort of spillable liquids in it.
    is it convertible??????

    this thread involves the use of a dock or port replicator if you dont want to take your laptop apart Remote laptop startup
    but you could alwasy add a small 2 pin connector to your laptop and attach a removable wire for linking to the shut down/startup controller. There are other threads, have a look around.

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    Yeah, there's a power connector I believe on www.frozencpu.com that I can use to move the power button of the laptop to the front of the cabin. No its not a convertible however the back seat is pretty small so not much room to sit at all. Nobody sits in the back, unless I am back there with a girl.

    I guess my main problem is just the interference with the inverter being so close as well as the noise of the 150Watt. I've never really heard an inverter on so I don't know how loud they really are.

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    PDiddy! I am sure you of all people can afford a hotel room! or do you want to get caught like Huge Grant????

    The onyl sound noise from an invertor is a fan (and a bleep when the power drops too low). The interference will also be passed along the power system but as you are using car DC ---> invertor AC ---> psu DC ---> PC powers supply DC then maybe the 2 power supplies after the AC will help. This is one seriously inefficent power circuit though!

    Hang on - you are powering a laptop so why do you have a picture of that circuit board with ATX connectors above???? From experience, laptops can run pretty well on dirty mains so the invertor - AC/DC should be ok.

    EDIT: IGNORE THAT I WAS ANSWERING 2 DIFFERNT BUT SIMILAR THREADS AT THE SAME TIME - GOT CONFUSED

    I would still go with a laptop power supply though - one silent box the size of your laptop power supply - sorry for bringing it up again but if you really don't need to go the DC-AC-DC route then don't. More inneffiiciency = bad design and more load on your alternator (lens law) and for the price of your invertor you could have the dc-dc.

    Couldnt find the laptop power switch cable but it cant really be any more than 2 wires, a connector for detaching it and a normally open switch - make one yourself with a nice button.

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    Thanks. If possible, can you send me to some DC-DC power supply links? You have been a great help and I appreciate it. The inverter route was also so possibly I could hook something else up to that inverter to power.

    P.S. - I can afford a hotel room but sometimes when you're caught in the moment, gotta do what you gotta do.

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