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post #6 of Old 09-01-2008
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I am completely unimpressed with the DC power supplies I have seen. They are very expensive, and the universal ones are cheaply made (in spite of their costs!) Cigarette lighter plugs are notoriously unreliable and can be a fire hazard. To make matters worse, in the process of stepping up the DC voltage (very similar to how a inverter works) a very large amount of RF noise is generated. Don't waste your money unless you can verify a specific model works in the marine environment or the store has a good return policy. I find that a quality marine hard-wired inverter with a standard laptop AC adapter is the most reliable. The inverter should have a bonding lug so that it's chassis can be appropriately grounded. It should also be shielded to prevent RF noise. My inverter draws 2-3 amps when powering my laptop. This seems quite reasonable and is certainly no more, maybe even .5amps less than the $90 DC DC adapter that I ended up donating to the dumpster after it almost caught on fire offshore.
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