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Old 02-27-2014, 08:31 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Finger Lakes of NY
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Running laptop in truck.

I am going to start out by professing my 100% ignorance on this topic. Please limit your answer to what a 3yr old would understand.
My wife wants to run her computer while we are traveling, I also have MS Streets and trips that I will want to consult from time to time.
The truck is new so frying something and voiding the warranty is not an option.
The computer is a Toshiba satellite. The block is labelled Input 100-240v ~ 1.5 A
Output 19v - 3.95 A
Can I do this with a plug in converter? I know converters should be hard wired, but I am not going to do that on a truck this new. Truck has many power ports, are they wired heavy enough for this continuous load?

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Old 02-27-2014, 08:37 AM   #2
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I use a small inverter plugged into a 12V outlet in my 2013 regularly and have had no issues. I use my laptop in my truck constantly for work. The inverter I bought does not have the hardwire option, it only has one 120V outlet also.

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Old 02-27-2014, 08:41 AM   #3
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Our new TV has a 110 outlet built in. My PC (a Dell) has a 12V adapter as well which I've used a couple of times. Take a look at small inverters to see how many amps they will pull and check your owners manual for the fuse supporting the 12v outlet.

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Old 02-27-2014, 09:09 AM   #4
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You should have no trouble, to be extra cautious do not charge and run a dead laptop. Charging a dead battery pulls the most amps. Running laptop not near as much. Charge it first then run or if you need to you can pull the battery and run. All that said I do not think any of that would be required. Amazon has a Wagner 400 watt Pure Sine I would recommend.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:20 AM   #5
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This inverter from Harborfright should to the trick.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:25 AM   #6
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A 400 watt inverter plugged into the power plug(cig lighter) should provide more than enough power. BEWARE a 3 year old may know more about it than all of us...
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:00 AM   #7
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I ran my laptop in my vehicle with both the vehicle provided inverter and battery. There are 12V adapters you can buy for them as well as small inverters that will plug into the 12V plug in most vehicles to keep them charged. This also required a hot spot which provided the internet connection while traveling if you need that as well.

Converters change 120V to 12v. Inverters change 12V to 120V.

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Old 02-27-2014, 10:01 AM   #8
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The 12v outlets in vehicles are sometimes fused at 7.5 amps. That works out to about 80 to 90 watts of power available.
The numbers you gave for the laptop power rating works out to about 200 watts. This is an absolute max rating, and typical power consumption would likely be less than 100 watts. As another post indicated, charging of the laptop battery may exceed what you might get out of the 12 socket. When selecting a power rating for an inverter, it's good to have some "headroom", so I think this is why Seann45 is suggesting one rated for 400 watts. The draw from the laptop will determine how much power is actually consumed, as long as the inverter and 12v outlet can handle that amount.

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