Inverter Powering Laptop - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 50 Old 08-26-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsingtao View Post
brak,
I think you have the solution. I'm using the cheapo now, and charging laptop, and it is working fine. Still would like to know why the better unit will not work with my system yet is fine with others.
It may just be the case of two devices too smart for their own good. Some sort of autoadjustment on the "smart" inverter and, at the same time, automatic laptop power adapter that also adjusts (for voltage between 90 and 220V and for frequency of 50-65hz).
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post #22 of 50 Old 08-26-2008
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I'm sitting here..

I'm sitting here typing this anchored off a very remote Maine Island on my Mac Book Pro using an inexpensive Cobra 400 Watt inverter. I've been using this set up for about four years and my Mac is no worse for the wear.

I even start and stop my engine while it's pugged in and have had ZERO issues with using a "cheap" inverter. Of course I'm running a reliable Mac but using a PC should also be no problem. Oh and I also charge my camera & video cam batteries as well as various other devices at my nav station. I save the big inverter for big loads as even in stand by it draws well over 1 amp and the little Cobra draws .2 amps per hour in stby mode..

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post #23 of 50 Old 08-26-2008 Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the input. Gave up on the Aims 300 "pure sine wave". I also think it was just to "smart" for my system. Appreciate the input from all
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post #24 of 50 Old 08-27-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluewaterBruce View Post
Most often, you can buy a 12V cigarette lighter adapter for your laptop, save a lot of juice going from 12v D/C to 120V A/C to 12V D/C or what ever voltage it needs...

Do a search on "car charger hp laptop" I hit a few that would work.
Which will get you the worst RF interference imaginable... But not a big deal if you aren't using weatherfax or SSB.

The laptop inverter things has plagued me for a while. My Toughbook smoked the Xantrex 120 Watt inverter. A Walmart 300 Watt inverter performed well, however it was bad for RF noise and the cheap factor eventually caught up with it. I tried the DC to DC converter and as mentioned the RF noise was intolerable. They are also far more expensive than the cheaper inverters. I am now on a hardwired Xantrex Pro 1000 which is remarkable RF quiet and seems to do well with my laptops. Only thing I have noticed is a high pitched audible hum from the laptop power supply on occasion. Your problem defiantly sounds like a faulty inverter. Not hard to imagine with the shear amount of China junk on the market, but a PSW inverter seems like it would be somewhat more upscale . My recommendation would be to ask everyone you know that owns an inverter if you could plug your laptop in for a few minutes. Sounds wired but hey.. cheaper than trial and error.
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post #25 of 50 Old 09-01-2008
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Bad Inverter

While I agree that your inverter may be bad, I noted that it works fine on your friends machine. Run the current checks with it as the load. It is entirely possible that your brick is to blame. The bricks have built in limiting circuitry for overvoltage and noise rejection. If your brick was exposed to a big surge, this circuitry can be damaged (lightening is a common cause) although the brick may still work fine on good AC power. Your inverter may have just enough ripple that is being passed through to your computer (Not Good!). If your friend's machine works fine and has similar or higher power requirements, then I would bet against the brick and not the inverter. Test you computer on another brick if you can find one (not easy on old portables, I know).

Fair Winds,
Chip

P.S> A "Good" surge suppressor strip plugged in between your brick and the inverter might also help verify this cause.

Last edited by SelkirkGrace; 09-01-2008 at 07:29 PM.
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post #26 of 50 Old 09-01-2008
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I agree with Sailing Dog. Yor inverter is probably junk! Try using it from a vehicle first and or just try a different inverter.
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post #27 of 50 Old 09-01-2008
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wire guage

I had problems charging my Dell Laptop with a 400 Watt inverter. The solution involved increasing to 8 the guage of the wire carrying power to the interter.
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post #28 of 50 Old 09-01-2008
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My own experience involve a 700 Watts Xantrex and an Apple PowerBook. I connected the inverter directly on a breaker with #10 gage wiring and it works well. The power supply runs very hot though.
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post #29 of 50 Old 09-01-2008
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I'd recommend a voltage converter. They are much more efficient than inverters and you don't have to worry about wave rectification (square, sine). They usually have a 12v input and multiple outputs ranging from 13v to 21v or so.
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post #30 of 50 Old 09-02-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galliard View Post
I'd recommend a voltage converter. They are much more efficient than inverters and you don't have to worry about wave rectification (square, sine). They usually have a 12v input and multiple outputs ranging from 13v to 21v or so.
Do you have numbers to back up that claim? If so please let us know! I tried to find them but I could not. My reckoning based on current consumption is that DC-DC supplies probably come in at 60-70% efficiency, significantly lower than the better inverters but I haven't found any numbers from the manufacturers or otherwise. They really are not DC-DC converters but rather a rectified low power square wave inverter. I can't imagine there is any gained "efficiency" in that process above and beyond a 120 inverter with a stock laptop power supply.
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