Using MBP in Car with DC-AC Converter

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by travistaylor, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. travistaylor macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2006
    Hi guys, I recently got a 2.4ghz MacBook Pro, and I was wondering if this device I have would allow me to use it in the car.

    It is a DC to AC converter that plugs directly into a cigarette lighter in a car, and converts it into a standard 3-prong wall outlet. With that said, the label says "200 Watt DC to AC Power Inverter" "350 Watt Peak".

    There is a warning label that says "Caution: When operating inverted from ciagertte lighter plug, do not exceed 150 watts for long periods of times"

    I guess my question is, will this inverter safely operate my MBP in a vehicle, or should I look for something different? I have no idea what kind of wattage the thing consumes...
  2. samh004 macrumors 68020


    Mar 1, 2004
    I want to remind you that checking your e-mail while driving isn't the safest thing to do ;)
  3. mainomega macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    I tried using adapters for my HP ZD7000 and ZD8000 (both 17") but they both drew a lot more power than what the car put out. My car has a 120watt max so it didn't power the inverter... and both those laptops only had about 55 mins battery time.
  4. travistaylor thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2006
    Haha, I am certainly not going to be driving while operating my MBP! My girlfriend and I are going to Florida with her parents next week and I was hoping to watch a DVD or two on the way down there.
  5. furious macrumors 65816


    Aug 7, 2006
    An inverter might be a better solution. It will need to be hard wired into your car though. Much safer.
  6. travistaylor thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2006
    It is an inverter, sorry about the title being a bit misleading. What do you mean hardwire it to the car? Since we are going in my girlfriends car, I sort o doubt that is a possibility. Is it going to be very safe with it just plugged into the cigarette ligter?
  7. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    You should be fine. My MacBook only draws 65W peak so you MBP can't be more than 90W.
  8. keenkreations macrumors regular

    May 20, 2005
    Just make sure that the cigarette lighter fuse is within the proper amperage. If not, it might blow, so have extras, just in case. They are cheap, so it's not an expensive thing. The amperage should be listed on the inverter itself.
  9. toenexx macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2007
    Little off topic, but where in Florida are u going? I live in Sarasota, FL and its really humid!!!
  10. travistaylor thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2006
    Alright, I will be sure to check out the amperage.

    I will be in Destin, by the way.
  11. myke323 macrumors regular

    May 17, 2006
    ha, i visited sarasota for a few weeks in february... awesome, very cool little city, and great skatepark too!

    back to the topic tho:
    can't you just charge your macbook at night and run it on battery during the day?
  12. travistaylor thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2006
    Yes, but it's about 10 hour drive to Florida. I don't think my MBP will run on the battery for 10 hours...
  13. volvoben macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2007
    nowhere fast
    It will work fine.

    I bought a 140w inverter to run my long dead Dell P4 laptop which had a 130w(!) power adapter on the drive to Nova Scotia. The inverter will get warm, but they're supposed to, and you can always unplug it when the battery's full until it's run down again.

    I had originally looked into direct DC adapters, but they're all sorts of expensive, and the inverter can be used to power other things (for instance my girlfriend didn't have a DC cell phone charger, so we just used the inverter to use her ac/dc charger, same thing for my dSLR batteries).

    EDIT: I should also mention that I was concerned my old Camry wouldn't take the load, but it was fine, as was a newer camry, a volvo s80 and an old corolla, so it seems pretty much any car with a healthy alternator will power a laptop without issue, you just need to be sure the inverter can handle the load. Don't worry about amps, just watts. Voltage is standard at 110/120, and amps x volts = watts, so either number will do but watts are a more common standard.

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