Are these any good?

  Diodorus Siculus 10:26 18 Oct 2005

click here

Seems to be good value, if it works.

Power your notebook, digital camera etc from your car cigarette lighter

* 300W AC/DC power inverter (converts 12V DC to 220/240V AC)

* Provides a standard 3 pin plug socket from your car cigarette lighter

* Suitable for a notebook, camcorder, digital camera, portable DVD etc

* Power LED indicator, overload protection and replaceable fuse

  Jackcoms 10:59 18 Oct 2005

I would think that the power drain on your car battery would be unacceptably high.

I'll pass, thanks.

  spuds 12:21 18 Oct 2005

A well known make with a two year warranty and a cheap price, worth an experiment. I think Maplin's have sold something very similar for quite some time, but at an higher price.

Leave you engine running, and there will be very little or no drain on the system.

  Starfox 12:42 18 Oct 2005

Certainly worth a try,I have seen similar power inverters in my local caravan accessory shop for £45 and more.Jackcoms does have a point though your battery must be in good condition or you will flatten it fairly quickly but with a good battery fully charged you will be o.k as long as you don't use it for hours at a time without running the engine as spuds suggests.

  Jackcoms 15:50 18 Oct 2005

"Leave you engine running, and there will be very little or no drain on the system"

Whilst wasting petrol at £1.00 per litre and adding yet more pollution to the environment.

As I said earlier - I'll pass, thanks.

  Sans le Sou 16:53 18 Oct 2005

Presumably you can charge your laptop up whilst the car is being driven to wherever it is you are going thus avoiding any extra pollution, in doing so reducing your power consumption at home and thus helping to cut down on global warming by not very much - but it all helps I suppose.

  spuds 17:22 18 Oct 2005

Sans le Sou as hit the nail on the head re engine running:o)

  bremner 17:40 18 Oct 2005

A guy I work with has one and it has proved to be very useful for laptops and mobile phones.

A good buy.

  Diodorus Siculus 17:59 18 Oct 2005

Thanks for those replies; I've often found that my laptop battery gives up after a couple of hours so it will be great to charge it in the car on the move. There is a cigarette lighter / power outlet outlet in the back so it can do its work there.

An added advantage would be the chance to let the kids play a DVD on the laptop on a long drive.

Going to give it a go and post back.

As for running it when the car is not running, that will not be possible; the power outlets are not live when the ignition is turned off.

  Diodorus Siculus 14:02 10 Dec 2005

Works great - keeps the kid quiet on a 2 hour drive - and I've even did a bit of work with it too!

  wherty 14:34 10 Dec 2005

Glad you have found it ok - you might be interested in the following information regarding power drain on your alternator/battery:

For a Toshiba A30 laptop with 15inch screen the "mains" parameters with the H/D active are voltage = 229v, current = 0.39a and PF = 0.8
This gives a power consumption of 71.5 watts.
If you add a little for efficency loss and assume 84 watts then @ 12v nominal you have a current of 7 amps which is not too bad.
Hope this helps.

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