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  #1  
Old 11-30-2004
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Charging adapter for phones, laptops,etc

There must be a way to get 12 volts into things aboard that use batteries, either a charger or a direct hook up. I can see having a general hook up buth how do I get 12 vdc to the correct voltage for phones etc.
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Old 11-30-2004
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Charging adapter for phones, laptops,etc

If your question pertains to how boaters provide 12 volts dc to onboard portable accessories, and at the risk of insulting your intellegence, have you tried the proprietary line adapter/charger interface that came with your laptop, cellphone, etc.?

Simply use an adapter plug (cigarette lighter plug) that fits into the accessory 12vdc "accessory socket" on your helm console or nav station. If your boat does not have one, pick one up at any boating supply store. They are very simple to install.

Steve
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Old 11-30-2004
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Charging adapter for phones, laptops,etc

It depends how handy you are...

If the item requires only a small amount of power, and requires an odd voltage, you can make your own pretty easily if you know how to soldier and know a bit about electricity. Do a web search for "passive voltage regulator". The simplest of them are three pinned devices, one for 12V in, one for ground, and one for the regulated voltage out. Many are current regulated so they won''t overload themselves no matter what. Just remember that even if the lower voltage device is not connected, if the regulator is it will still draw some power. Also be CERTAIN to fuse it for the maximum rated current of the device, and provide a radiator for a heat sink, as an integrated circuit is nothing but a box full of smoke. Fail to fuse or cool it and you''ll find out.:-)


PS- the heat sink is normally directly connected to the 12V source, so insulate it with a nylon/mica kit.

Dave
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Old 11-30-2004
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Charging adapter for phones, laptops,etc

Most cellphones have chargers that are made for use in a car. They typically plug into a cigarette lighter type outlet. You can also order computers with an adaptor that directly plugs into a cigarette lighter. Computers actually operate on DC and so these 12 volt DC converters are wildly more efficient than using an inverter.

Jeff
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Charging adapter for phones, laptops,etc

You need to be very careful with connecting any electronic device to your boat or car 12vDC power supply. If your cell phone or GPS operates on a lower voltage, as most do, you will instantly fry it.

Most newer notebook computers are the other side of the extreme. Many operate at higher voltages than 12VDC. Most computers are also quite sensitive to the quality of power supplied. Using anything but a true sine wave inverter (if you use an inverter) can cause damage.

Best route to go is to get THE specific 12VDC adapter for each device. PITA, but better than losing it. Some...not all...but some notebook computers can use some universal power adapters. In this case, you must match the wattage. You can find these power adapter at most office or computer stores. About $100. Must make sure it is compatable with your computer in its plug, wattage and voltage.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 12-01-2004
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Charging adapter for phones, laptops,etc

Oh, my...

Because John''s warning is warranted (and if ignored, sometimes expensive), let''s break this up into categories:

For low-amperage (<1 amp, usually) DC charging needs (shaver, electric tooth brush, AM/FM radio, CD player, etc.), the easy answer is to buy a DC multi-voltage adapter right off the Radio Shack shelf. Only a few bucks, it comes with different size connectors (with adjustable polarity - don''t forget to note polarity when plugging in) for each voltage. 12V in, your V of choice out.

For motors that use 12V DC even if rectified from AC (e.g. hand drill or palm sander; check internal voltage on the equipment), use onboard DC. Motors are forgiving...

For electronics, which can indeed by sensitive to voltage spikes (what happens if you use your house bank to start up your engine?), you have two options:
1. Most of these devices originally come with a power cube/adapter meant to be plugged into an AC outlet and which changes AC to DC of the correct V. Many boats end up collecting a bag of these things, which over time become quite useful for unexpected uses. You can purchase a small, inexpensive inverter either at Best Buy et al. or on the web (I''m coveting a 350VA unit right now that''s only $35 and weighs 2 pounds), wire that in direct to your house bank via a switch/breaker, and then use these power cubes as you need them. And/or...
2. For dedicated non-stop use (a laptop is the best example), you might not want the electrical overhead of running an inverter. E.g. altho'' "my" coveted 350VA unit has an ''on/not used'' amp draw of 100 milliamps, it''s electrical overhead when servicing a device is higher. In this case, you can purchase & use a dedicated DC power adapter, which can indeed provide volatage much higher than the 12V source. But one caution: if you have a SSB aboard, it''s rf output will screw with the adapter''s electronics and bugger the laptop''s (or whatever) performance, so getting a good adapter is important. For laptops, an adapter should either be rated for in-flight airline use or be built with SSB use in mind. (I can recommend an excellent source; cost is about $75).

I''m sure there are many other methods out there; this is one of those areas where folks get REAL creative...

Jack
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Old 12-01-2004
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Charging adapter for phones, laptops,etc

WHOOSH:
Jack can recommend an excellent source (good adaptor); cost is about $75.
Please do.
Thanx,
Gord
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Old 12-02-2004
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Charging adapter for phones, laptops,etc

Gord, I suggest you email Sam Ulbing at n4uau@arrl.net and/or n4uautoo@sprynet.com. Ask him about the self-built and/or fully built laptop power supplies that are RF immune. Sam''s a retired UF Professor, avid ham hobbyist and, now, part-time gadget designer/builder. A lot of his designs have been featured in QST over the years.

I''ve been using two of his power supplies since my laptop & back-up run on different voltages. The older one is now 5+ years old (almost full-time use) and nary a whimper or ''RF Burp''.

Jack
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Old 12-03-2004
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Charging adapter for phones, laptops,etc

My laptop runs on 19 VDC not 12. My cellphone charges on 12, but my MP3 speakers run on 5 VDC. They all adapt to 110V so we have an inverter that very inefficiently takes 12V off the deepcycle 12 V system and converts it to 110VAC, we then plug in the various collection of DC adaptors to the 110V. It works, but. It is my fond hope that laptops, music, dvd players, phones, gps devices and etc. all get down to 12V DC. Either that or someone out there knows of a universal converter
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Old 12-03-2004
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Charging adapter for phones, laptops,etc

The other black hole is charging portable drills from 12v. Would be really smart if Makita, Dewalt or.... offered an auto-type charger for their gear.

It would be enough of a reason to buy one just to keep on the boat
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