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Old 01-09-2006, 13:54   #1
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LCD monitors

I have a dell 17" flat panel. although it uses 120V AC the adapter for it converts it to 14V 3Amp DC. Does anyone know if fluctuating voltage 12-14.5 on the boat will damage the monitor if I wire it directly to 12V DC system onboard? Anyone has any experience with LCD monitors and how steady does the voltage need to be to avoid damage?
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Old 01-09-2006, 14:29   #2
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Originally Posted by phorvati
I have a dell 17" flat panel. although it uses 120V AC the adapter for it converts it to 14V 3Amp DC. Does anyone know if fluctuating voltage 12-14.5 on the boat will damage the monitor if I wire it directly to 12V DC system onboard? Anyone has any experience with LCD monitors and how steady does the voltage need to be to avoid damage?
Petar
Get a DC-DC converter (easily available in maplin in UK) that will cope with the power fluctuations and provide the power required. I use one for my laptop, both in the car and in the boat. Make sure that it can provide more power than is actually required, then it wont overheat.
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Old 01-09-2006, 15:38   #3
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Talbot by more power do you mean it can provide more that 3 Amps at 14V DC, or more than 14V DC. Either one is more power but I probably want DC-DC converter that can deliver more than 3 amps at 14V output.
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Old 01-09-2006, 18:24   #4
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The DC to DC converter is going to cost you half the power on the battery bank and in the end less dollars or euros what ever. With an inverter you pay the penalty to convert from DC to AC then Back to DC. DC to DC should be far more stable too and at a higher quality. Not all inverters are that great and the less than great ones will hurt the gear and cost you more battery amp hours. As a general rule never make AC when you really need DC. Changing types costs you a lot of power that is released as heat. There is no free lunch.
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Old 02-09-2006, 07:37   #5
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My DC/DC converter will provide up to 8 amps at 15 volts - this particular one doesnt go any lower than that, but they are available, especially as you need a lower amp rating.
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Old 03-09-2006, 14:44   #6
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The best thing I found in the US so far is 12V to 13.8V DC -DC supply and its pricy because it can provide higher power. This was from powerstream. Any other ideas where in the US I might be able to get 12V to 14V 3 Amp DC-DC converter. And would 15V fry the monitor?
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Old 04-09-2006, 06:33   #7
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I've run an LCD panel directly off of the boat's 12v with no problem. It is the computer that is usually sensitive to voltage fluctuations. For the computer I purchased one of the DC-DC adaptors designed for laptops for use in cars (cigarette lighter). No problems there.
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:41   #8
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Powerstream are probably the only company making them in the US although there are a couple of one-man shops selling similar products for the ham radio market.

I'd check with Dell directly about the power requirement of the display, I suspect it is really 12V and the converter they supply is putting out 14V under no load but dropping closer to 12 when connected.

If you tried to build a 12->14 VDC buckbooster yourself, it would cost more in component parts than the powerstream unit. I have heard one complaint from one user that the Powerstream created a lot of RFI, which might affect navigation equipment underway, but I don't know if that was one defective unit or a larger problem. The folks at Powerstream are good at answering the phone though, they could probably tell you.

The voltage for an LCD monitor has to be your typical "electronics quality" DC. If your GPS, radio, computer, etc. are happy with it, it is good enough. If it runs too high or too low, or has a lot of AC mixed in, that's the only real problem.
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