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post #1 of 10 Old 07-26-2011, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
Yak
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Inverters?

How do I calculate what size (wattage) inverter I need to charge my Netbook on the bike? Is charging the battery (with computer off) a lower draw than running the computer while plugged into the inverter (I don't plan to do this but that would be the max load, I assume).

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post #2 of 10 Old 07-26-2011, 06:51 PM
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They make chargers for netbooks that plug into 12v lighter sockets. It's likely to be less money than an inverter.

If you do want to calculate power requirements, you need to know how much power the charger (+ the inverter) draws, then use Ohm's law: P=IE

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post #3 of 10 Old 07-26-2011, 07:00 PM
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Yak, on your charger or on the netbook it will list amperage or wattage. The rule mcgee quotes can be turned around:
watts = volts x amps
amps = watts volts

Also to be considered is the parasitic loss of the inverter. It will consume some power just making itself hum and get warm. Probably an inverter 50% higher capacity than the netbook charger is wise; no less than 20% greater is probably minimum. A car charger remains the best bet.

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post #4 of 10 Old 07-26-2011, 07:02 PM
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I have this 70 watt inverter that I charge my survey instruments with


Amazon.com: Schumacher PI-70 70 Watt Power Inverter: Automotive



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post #5 of 10 Old 07-26-2011, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. so the charger output (what it sends to the computer) is 19 volts at 2.15 amps, giving a draw of 40.85 watts. I have a 75 watt inverter, so even with parasitic power loss, it should do fine. Someone (salesman) suggested I needed a 400 watt inverter.

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post #6 of 10 Old 07-26-2011, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yak View Post
Thanks guys. so the charger output (what it sends to the computer) is 19 volts at 2.15 amps, giving a draw of 40.85 watts. I have a 75 watt inverter, so even with parasitic power loss, it should do fine. Someone (salesman) suggested I needed a 400 watt inverter.
Yeah, you should be fine assuming the rating is calculated properly and the 75 watts is output rather than input. Nothing wrong with the 400 watt suggestion though. Higher capacity means things run cooler.

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post #7 of 10 Old 07-27-2011, 12:43 AM
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Advice

Cheap inverters give you a Square Wave output. A square wave output will NORMALLY not cause any problems on the device to which it is attached. However, some computers are sensitive and require the normal sine wave output.

I decided to purchase a sine wave inverter just to be save. Unfortunately, pure sine wave inverters are about 50% more expensive than an equal capacity square wave inverter.

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post #8 of 10 Old 07-27-2011, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valentine View Post
Cheap inverters give you a Square Wave output. A square wave output will NORMALLY not cause any problems on the device to which it is attached. However, some computers are sensitive and require the normal sine wave output.

I decided to purchase a sine wave inverter just to be save. Unfortunately, pure sine wave inverters are about 50% more expensive than an equal capacity square wave inverter.


like myself, the op is just charging batteries



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post #9 of 10 Old 07-27-2011, 07:00 AM
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I picked up this last week to use on the drive home from vacation. Worked fine and was on sale for $15. Not sure if it still is but worth looking into.

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post #10 of 10 Old 07-27-2011, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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That's the same one I have. I got it on sale for $9.95.

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