MacBook car charger

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Shadow, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. macrumors 68000

    Shadow

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Location:
    Keele, United Kingdom
    #1
    I am going on holiday next month, and I want to be able to use my laptop in the car, plane, ect. Specs are in my siggy. My question is this-what can I use to charge my MacBook in the car? I looked on the Apple UK Store and batteries are £99 :eek:! I found this (link-if the link goes down its a Kensington 70W AC/DC Power Adapter for iPod, iBook & PowerBook).

    Thanks!
     
  2. macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Clemson, SC
    #2
    for long trips we had an adapter that turned our car's cig lighter into an outlet, and just plugged our regular power adapter into that. i don't know how it is in the UK, but perhaps you could look into that kind of solution?
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Shadow

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Location:
    Keele, United Kingdom
    #3
    Yeah, I'm trying to find one of those. The link above seems a good option-but I'm not sure if it'll work:confused: .
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    #4
    The outlet things are called inverters, they convert from DC to AC or vice versa. A decent wattage one will run you around $20 or $30.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    HckySo

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Location:
    turn around
  6. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    #6
    Had the same problem. They are power inverters. You have the car charger plug and it becomes an electrical plug, then you just plug in your MB charger. They have them at the Apple store in the US (forgot which one they probably have them at all of them) the Kingston 150W inverter at $65.00US. I was cheap and I bought the 75W inverter from Radio Shack for $25US. For my MBP.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    HckySo

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2006
    Location:
    turn around
    #7
    I'm most likely going to get a "APC Mobile Power 140W DC/AC Inverter 120V" from CompUSA.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #8
    I was wondering about this too, and i was hoping someone could answer this Question i have...

    What wattage do you need for the Macbook to run on one of these things?
    Like whats the difference if i bought a 75W inverter or a 140W inverter??? Will any wattage do?
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    truz

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Location:
    Florida
    #9
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    #10
    Whoa, I didn't know you could run a notebook off of the cigarette lighter.

    I might have to get one of these for road trips.

    HckySo: Where is that chat from? Looks like it's from an Apple representative but I didn't know the Apple online store did live chat.
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    #11
    I have an iMobile power inverter thing made by this company Vector that i got at best buy... looks pretty cheap and the packaging it comes in suggests that as well, however it works GREAT. It has an airline adapter as well as the standard cigarette adapter, and a USB input for charging your iPod or other USB device. Also is white which looks nice with a macbook. If that matters.
     
  12. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    #12
    ????? Car adapter

    A car dc power is 12 VDC

    Moust flight has 15VDC

    So you can't use the MAC safe airline adapter to your car.

    My macbook need an input of 16VDC, 15VDC is ok, will not charge the battery but it will work.

    To use an DC to AC converter is almoust stupid. Lots of effects loss.
    Not good for your altenator on your car.

    Don't MAC have any other soulutions?
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #13
    I spent several years doing big custom sound/viseo systems in cars, a lot of that included adapting game consoles.

    Since no one makes a direct plug-in solution you will need a power inverter. Get one that it rated for more than your power supply pulls. A lot of inverters are rated for max power at the brink of destruction. Getting something a rated a little higher than you need will improve its life.

    Most cigarette lighters have small, 18-22awg, wire feeding them and the circuit is fused at 10amps. This circuit typically also feeds the dome lights and a few other minor accessories, siometimes even the radio.

    If the wire for the lighter wire is big enough you can upgrade the fuse to the appropriate size, if not you will need another power source. You can get either a cheap amp install kit or the power/ground wire, and fuses/holder from a local stereo shop so you can get power directly off the battery if needed.(highly reccomended)

    As long as you get a decent quality unit you shouldn't have anything strange happen. A properly installed inverter WILL NOT damage the cars charging system as suggested above.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Location:
    nowhere fast
    #14
    Firstly, please, MAC is an acronym for Media Access Control, Mac is Macintosh, while Apple is the company that produces a line of computers named Macintosh. I never thought I'd be so annoyed by this, but it really does get to me.

    For the OP: in my experience, attempts to make direct DC converters always fall short in price and compatibility. A good ~140w converter runs about $35 in the US (got mine at walmart about 3 years ago). All DC options are at least $100, usually more. Converting the power to AC is inefficient, yes, but oh well. It's much cheaper, will run most anything that requires less than 100w AC (phone chargers, battery chargers, printers, you name it), and will run ANY laptop you'll ever own.

    If i had loads of money I'm sure I'd buy the direct dc option, but in my case i'm glad i didn't. 3 years ago i wanted to run my crappy old P4 dell laptop in the car on a very long trip, and looked into direct adapters. Luckily I asked my father who just told me to go to walmart and get a cheapo inverter. my 140w inverter ran my 130w laptop (stupid P4 chips never belonged in laptops) perfectly for days on end, and also charged my camera batteries, phone and more.

    If you don't need to worry about photo gear or some kind of non-mac laptop etc. and can find something for a decent price, it'll probably be smaller and more convenient, but I never found such a unit.

    And no, a reasonably powered inverter will do nothing to harm your alternator.
     
  15. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    #15
    Macbook car adapter


    Check out our Kensington AC/DC adapters for the Macbook and MBP. NO wasted energy like inverters!

    Great for this Holiday season either for yourself on a long trip, or as a gift!

    http://mikegyver.com
     

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