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Old 11-01-2019, 21:32   #1
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Charging laptop, camera, monitor etc. W/O an inverter?

I understand it’s more efficient to charge these items directly from the battery bank. Buck transformer? It would also help to keep a tidier “charging station” if I could splice everything into 19v source.
Anyone have experience with this?
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Old 11-01-2019, 21:52   #2
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Re: Charging laptop, camera, monitor etc. W/O an inverter?

Yes, I installed a generic dc/dc converter (you feed it some volts and dial up how many you want out), on which I run a usb-c hub. I can't remember whether it was 19 or 20v it needed. It was about 5 nz dollars delivered, and is tucked behind the nav station. Most other things run from USB ports nowadays, so I've put a lot of those all over the place, including inside cupboards to charge cameras and the like. Double USB ports to fit in a 30mm hole are a couple of dollars each.
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Old 11-01-2019, 21:56   #3
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Re: Charging laptop, camera, monitor etc. W/O an inverter?

It is more efficient to use a dc to dc converter but, at the some time, using an AC inverter is not necessarily inefficient to the point that it's use should be discounted. Using a small, efficient inverter might not subtract that much from the power budget. And this makes sense because if you have enough devices they will all operate at different voltage levels, it becomes a PITA to cobble together all the voltage levels required.



On my boat, I favour devices that run either of 12 volts dc directly (the computer and monitor I'm using right now run directly of the house DC supply) or 5V (via USB) voltage. The latter because these devices tend to be pretty efficient. For the laptop I have a 12 to 19VDC buck converter. I'm also going to knock up a 10VDC supply for some walkie-talkies that I have onboard. As for the camera and drone batteries, they are charged up using the inverter AC supply from a small inverter. I do this because the chargers are complicated and to build or buy a DC powered version may be difficult and/or expensive. I also keep an eye out for devices that use regular batteries too. For these I use rechargeable niMH and LI batteries that are charged from a charger that uses USB power for it's power source.


So I guess the answer is, it depends!
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Old 12-01-2019, 00:41   #4
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Re: Charging laptop, camera, monitor etc. W/O an inverter?

Would check the voltage range your items can accept. My iphone and ipad charge directly from a 12v double usb point, see the link below

blue-sea-12v-dual-usb-charger-socket

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Old 12-01-2019, 04:21   #5
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Re: Charging laptop, camera, monitor etc. W/O an inverter?

Cameras, phones, tablets can be charged off a USB connection. If you have a stand-alone monitor of TV, it should be 12VDC. The only issue is laptops that require a higher voltage. Amazon has several 12VDC “gang boxes” that allow 4 USB connections and 3 12VDC connections. You just need to watch the total load. Mine has overload protection built in.

IMHO, instead of re-engineering, just buy the 12VDC adapter for your brand of laptop.
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Old 12-01-2019, 04:36   #6
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Re: Charging laptop, camera, monitor etc. W/O an inverter?

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Originally Posted by Snore View Post
Cameras, phones, tablets can be charged off a USB connection. If you have a stand-alone monitor of TV, it should be 12VDC. The only issue is laptops that require a higher voltage. Amazon has several 12VDC “gang boxes” that allow 4 USB connections and 3 12VDC connections. You just need to watch the total load. Mine has overload protection built in.

IMHO, instead of re-engineering, just buy the 12VDC adapter for your brand of laptop.
This is the easiest off the shelf solution. You can buy USB gang chargers which accept 12V input (for automotive use)...then just plug that into a 12V outlet.

Given the ubiquitous use of USB for charging we have a 6 port USB charger with a variety of cables/adaptors on board....especially handy when we have guests aboard.
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Old 12-01-2019, 04:39   #7
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Re: Charging laptop, camera, monitor etc. W/O an inverter?

I have an old Dell latitude e6410 running 19v 4.2 amps DCFrom it's converter 230v ac--can't find an adapter from anywhere for it -- for my 12-14v dc asystem. Any suggestions? Apart from using my 300 watt inverter !!!
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Old 12-01-2019, 05:34   #8
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Re: Charging laptop, camera, monitor etc. W/O an inverter?

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Originally Posted by andyful20 View Post
I have an old Dell latitude e6410 running 19v 4.2 amps DCFrom it's converter 230v ac--can't find an adapter from anywhere for it -- for my 12-14v dc asystem. Any suggestions? Apart from using my 300 watt inverter !!!
EBAY lists DC supply 90w chargers for that model. That's the easiest solution!
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Old 12-01-2019, 07:49   #9
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Re: Charging laptop, camera, monitor etc. W/O an inverter?

look for an auto charger. Works fine.
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:08   #10
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Re: Charging laptop, camera, monitor etc. W/O an inverter?

Yes more energy efficient, but that is often not critical, depends on your usage patterns.

BTW converting up is BOOST, down is BUCK.

If you have multiple devices that need say 19V, the converter can be shared, just check enough watts power.

Each may need their own separate plug size, the "universal" kits off eBay are good value,

DC5521: O.D. 5.5mm, I.D. 2.1mm

is a common "base" size to work from.

Be careful to match polarity, whether tip or ring is positive.
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:32   #11
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Re: Charging laptop, camera, monitor etc. W/O an inverter?

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Originally Posted by Tillsbury View Post
Yes, I installed a generic dc/dc converter (you feed it some volts and dial up how many you want out), on which I run a usb-c hub. I can't remember whether it was 19 or 20v it needed. It was about 5 nz dollars delivered, and is tucked behind the nav station. Most other things run from USB ports nowadays, so I've put a lot of those all over the place, including inside cupboards to charge cameras and the like. Double USB ports to fit in a 30mm hole are a couple of dollars each.
Yup.

If you're willing to brave some Chinese sellers, here's something capable of powering a 19v laptop, and here's something that will efficiently step down 12v to 5v for USB jacks. I've been ordering from this vendor for 4 years, without any problems... orther than waiting up to a month or more sometimes.

Disclaimer - I have not myself yet tried the linked booster though I have tried similar ones. I have used a few of the step-down buck converters, including on our boat where one powers 4 USB jacks.

I love that so much stuff is powered or charged by USB and I seek that out when selecting new stuff. We even have some lovely IKEA gooseneck LED lights that plug into USB.
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Old 12-01-2019, 10:23   #12
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Re: Charging laptop, camera, monitor etc. W/O an inverter?

Once you get over a certain power level 5V stops making sense.

Some gaming laptops are hundreds of watts.

But efficient sleek units do work off USB-C.

Not sure if all the incompatibility glitches worked out on that standard yet.

Once you have a 19V circuit going and can control polarity as needed, that works as a good defacto standard to filter subsequent gear purchases for.

Lots of cordless power tools work off that too.

Also many lithium jumpstarter power packs do the conversions for you, 120/240Vac or 12V in, 19V out.

Note DC voltage going into battery-powered gadgets can vary a fair bit, no need to get too precise.
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Old 12-01-2019, 10:42   #13
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Re: Charging laptop, camera, monitor etc. W/O an inverter?

I've been using a powered hub for 4 years and it is excellent. 4 usb type A and
1 type B.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004C3W25M/ref=dp_cerb_2

Charges anything I have with a usb charger.

I can also use it as a sharing device to connect to 3 portable drives.
That saves having a portable drive hanging by a short cable to my laptop.

I've tried a 12v to 19v converter but the Dell laptops we had would not accept it.
We've since changed laptops but the car type chargers are easy to use and work well.
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Old 12-01-2019, 10:48   #14
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Re: Charging laptop, camera, monitor etc. W/O an inverter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by andyful20 View Post
I have an old Dell latitude e6410 running 19v 4.2 amps DCFrom it's converter 230v ac--can't find an adapter from anywhere for it -- for my 12-14v dc asystem. Any suggestions? Apart from using my 300 watt inverter !!!
Whilst we try to keep everything to 12v, we do use a small 350w inverter for things like the dremel, dewalt battery drill charger, elec razor etc, finally my new laptop. The actual current draw is a couple of amps though the inverter so not really worth worrying about, keep it simple.
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Old 12-01-2019, 11:06   #15
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Re: Charging laptop, camera, monitor etc. W/O an inverter?

Going DC-AC-DC can't really be called "simpler" IMO.

As I said
Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Yes more energy efficient, but that is often not critical, depends on your usage patterns.
For someone using their computer a lot, can easily make a 30+% difference, significant if you're living on the hook with a small solar-only setup.

A big boat with a lots of AC powered appliances on board, or

if only cruising a few days at a time away from mains, sure hardly worth the trouble.
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