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Author: RetiredVermonter Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 5817  
Subject: Technical Question Date: 9/22/2009 3:59 PM
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I have a technical question. This may not be where to post it, but I'm shooting in the dark, anyway!

I have an old Dell 7500 laptop that works fine. I also have two batteries for it and the plug-in AC charger for the unit.

Here's my question:

Has anyone seen any way to use a 12-volt car battery to power the unit, instead of the built-in batteries, which are apparently 10.8 volts? I'm an amateur radio operator, so I have knowledge of electrical circuits, but I also don't want to mess up my laptop or the charger. Obviously, a couple of silicon diodes in series with the 12 volts could drop the voltage down to about that level, depending on the load, but I just wondered if anyone here had done anything like this.

Anyone out there have ideas or an answer?

Vermonter
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Author: CABob Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5805 of 5817
Subject: Re: Technical Question Date: 9/22/2009 6:07 PM
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I have no idea, but, the idea sounds good. Have you tried posting on the Help with this Stupid Computer board at http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?bid=112909
Police cars and fire department vehicles often have onboard computers. I suspect that they are powered off the vehicle battery.

Bob

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Author: RetiredVermonter Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5806 of 5817
Subject: Re: Technical Question Date: 9/23/2009 6:21 AM
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Thanks! Will try it.

Vermonter

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Author: TMFTwitty Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 5807 of 5817
Subject: Re: Technical Question Date: 9/23/2009 9:02 AM
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Vermonter, the computer uses different voltages for motherboard, fans, drives, etc., so it's not just a matter of dropping the 12v a little. I'm guessing you want to use your computer in the field while you are frying the stratosphere ;) For that purpose, I'd either bring along a large UPS with enough capacity, or just use a plug-in inverter to tap the car's electrical and supply the computer's power supply adaptor.

Here's one source, they claim the 300 watt is acceptable for laptops:

http://www.theinverterstore.com/

Richard

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