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Old 10-01-2014, 16:29   #1
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12 volt and inverter

I liveaboard full time and at anchor not dockside on the BC coast. I would like to get set up to watch movies and have (2) 12 volt batteries and 1000 watt xantrex inverter. I have a laptop which I would like to plug into a decent sized monitor about 27 inches would be nice. Just wondering what others are using to watch movies with the view to getting the least amount of battery run down. I have solar panels but at this time of year sunshine can not be counted on continually.... Many thanks
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Old 10-01-2014, 16:32   #2
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Re: 12 volt and inverter

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Originally Posted by bcguy View Post
I liveaboard full time and at anchor not dockside on the BC coast. I would like to get set up to watch movies and have (2) 12 volt batteries and 1000 watt xantrex inverter. I have a laptop which I would like to plug into a decent sized monitor about 27 inches would be nice. Just wondering what others are using to watch movies with the view to getting the least amount of battery run down. I have solar panels but at this time of year sunshine can not be counted on continually.... Many thanks
You have the right idea. You can get an LED monitor which will suck a lot less juice.

You can also get a 12V plug for your laptop to avoid using the inverter, but I doubt you can find one of those for the monitor, so it might not be worth the effort.

By the way, have you converted all your lights to LED yet, especially the anchor light? That's one of the biggest and easiest things to do if you're living on the hook.
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Old 10-01-2014, 16:35   #3
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Re: 12 volt and inverter

How many amp hours do you have? What are your recharge capabilities? What type of TV?

We have 630 AH with a 1500 watt inverter. We can watch our 25" led TV using our media player running a hard drive with an amplified sound system including a sub woofer. At anchor, we would watch a movie or two then be done.

So I guess it depends on what you are running and how many amps it is drawing you down along with what you have for battery capacity and recharge ability.
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Old 10-01-2014, 16:41   #4
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Re: 12 volt and inverter

read through Handy Bob Solar. You will likely find a gem or two. Long read - be patient.

https://www.google.com/search?q=hand...sm=93&ie=UTF-8

You will want a reliable inverter with minimum parasitic losses. Alternatively, if you can power your devices directly from DC without converters that will be more efficient.

Monitor should be LED with LED backlight. Standard monitors are often LED with fluorescent back light - uses more power. Smaller screen is less power - but you knew that.

You can get a dedicated CD/DVD player instead of running a computer. That is probably less power. Can you get your movies on a storage media that doesn't use a motor drive? (no disk).

Go somewhere warm with sunshine.
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Old 10-01-2014, 17:00   #5
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Re: 12 volt and inverter

Are you using the inverter for anything else? If not, skip the inverter. Most monitors take your AC power and convert it anyway. You can still find monitors with external power supplies, and most of them are 12V. It can be a real pain to determine which ones because they only list the AC input on their specifications, but if they have an external brick chances are that it goes to 12V.

For movies, if you're using DVDs then get a portable unit with a car charger. Again, no inverter needed and already designed for 12V use. If you're using a laptop because you have the movies there you can either get a little 100W inverter or get a 12V power supply for the laptop (my preference). I would make the choice based on which is more efficient; the 12V to 19V (assuming the laptop is 19V) or the little inverter to standard laptop power supply.

Only reason to throw a big inverter into the mix is if you will be using it for something else, but even then the direct 12V monitor and DC-DC laptop brick will probably be far more efficient.

Edit:

For instance, here's a 22" on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Planar-PLL2210.../dp/B00A8U9WDI

and the spec sheet:

http://www.planar.com/pdfgen/2368/pll2210mw-bk-2368.pdf

clearly shows it uses a 12VDC brick (see page 2).

No recommendation as to quality/value, just that a quick search for monitors with external power supply will give you options.

Or check here, where many options have been posted:

LCD screen with external power supply
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Old 10-01-2014, 17:31   #6
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Re: 12 volt and inverter

You could simply get a 12V TV

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Old 10-01-2014, 18:53   #7
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Re: 12 volt and inverter

an led monitor connected to your laptop will be far more power efficient than an lcd. this time of year in bc coast not much for solar power myself i run a little yamaha 1000 watt invertor genny cheap to run fairly quiet and connected to my battery chargers keeps my computer and batteries happy
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Old 10-01-2014, 19:45   #8
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Re: 12 volt and inverter

Good advice on the wall worts. Look at the fine print on your AC chargers. Most can be bypassed if you have the correct DC on board. Otherwise, you are using an inverter to make AC, plugging into the AC and converting it to DC for your device. Each conversion comes with a parasitic loss. The bigger the inverter, the greater the loss. Many of these devices may even need true sine AC output. I bought a 600W true sine high efficiency inverter just for these.
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Old 10-01-2014, 19:49   #9
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Re: 12 volt and inverter

Google DC to DC converters. Find the one with the right output nominal 12V DC voltage for your application.
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Old 10-01-2014, 20:55   #10
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Re: 12 volt and inverter

I have not bought one of these yet but it looks like they have a large variety at different ratings.

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Old 10-01-2014, 21:19   #11
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Re: 12 volt and inverter

I run my 21" LCD/LED monitor and my 'on board' PC with one of these ... M2-ATX (160w) Intelligent DC-DC Car PC Power Supply as they only want regulated 12.8 vdc

At one time many monitors had inbuilt power supplies dropping the 110/220vac down to 12 volt DC but now it seems about 50% have external bricks.... all seem to run on 12v input as there is no battery charging requirement.

I run my macbook pro on one of these DCDC-USB, Intelligent DC-DC converter with USB interface as it wants 16.5vdc for battery charging.

Hope this helps
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Old 11-01-2014, 19:26   #12
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Re: 12 volt and inverter

Thanks everyone... some very good suggestions.....

Gary
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