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Old 17-04-2020, 14:10   #1
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Macs and Apple Laptops

Hi guys. Does anyone know whether I can charge a MacBook Air off a standard inverter or do they run off inverters with a different wave?
Much appreciated
Alan
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Old 17-04-2020, 15:03   #2
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Re: Macs and Apple Laptops

They work fine off of modified sine inverters. However, you can hear the power supply making noise, so I assume that is wearing on the electronics a bit. Over all my years living off grid I have never had one fail.

The one good thing you have going is it’s an external power supply. If it goes bad for some reason, you can buy a new one. The computer will be just fine.
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Old 17-04-2020, 15:11   #3
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Re: Macs and Apple Laptops

Why use an inverter? You can charge them on 12 volts.
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Old 17-04-2020, 16:03   #4
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Re: Macs and Apple Laptops

Quote:
Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
Why use an inverter? You can charge them on 12 volts.
This is interesting information! Is there a pin out that you have? Iím looking at my transformer and it says

Output 20.3v @ 3A, 15V @ 3A, 9V @ 3A, or 5.2V @ 3A


None of those specify a nominal 12 V setting.

The laptop itself says it is running at 20.3 V.

So I assume itís using that part of the USB specification. Super curious how you were charging off 12 V with a Mac.
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Old 17-04-2020, 19:45   #5
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Re: Macs and Apple Laptops

charge using a DC accessory plug to USB C adapter. no custom cable needed. Ive charged my macbook pro 13 this way.

Another method is to use a portable battery. Charge the battery using 12v USB C, and then charge your laptop using the battery.
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Old 17-04-2020, 19:57   #6
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Re: Macs and Apple Laptops

I charge my 13-inch MacBook and 15-inch MacBook Pro off of a 400-watt inverter that I plug into the 12-volt cigarette plug. It takes longer than at home but works just fine.

Let me know if you have any questions or need any help

[edit]
Quick search:
https://www.google.com/search?q=400+...+watt+inverter
[/edit]
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Old 17-04-2020, 20:00   #7
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Re: Macs and Apple Laptops

And... welcome to CF Tangarua (Alan)!

You'll love it here
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Old 17-04-2020, 23:43   #8
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Re: Macs and Apple Laptops

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Originally Posted by zemurray View Post
charge using a DC accessory plug to USB C adapter. no custom cable needed. Ive charged my macbook pro 13 this way.

Another method is to use a portable battery. Charge the battery using 12v USB C, and then charge your laptop using the battery.
Nice! Thanks for the information!

The first method sounds great.
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Old 18-04-2020, 08:50   #9
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Re: Macs and Apple Laptops

I use an adapter with a USB plug out of my cigarette/spotlight outlet, no problem for iPhone, iPad or Macbook.
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Old 18-04-2020, 09:04   #10
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Re: Macs and Apple Laptops

Quote:
Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
Why use an inverter? You can charge them on 12 volts.
You can? I'd love to know how when the minimum input voltage on my Apple powerpack states 19V? You could run them direct off a 24V system.

Personally I use a Sterling "Coke Can" inverter from my 12V DC socket to charge my 2013 MacBook Pro up when I need. Doesn't need to be a big inverter or anything overly fancy as the powerpack does a good job of smoothing any irregularities in supply (I know as I've used it happily on some pretty shoddy mains systems (think West Africa)).
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Old 18-04-2020, 09:15   #11
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Re: Macs and Apple Laptops

I just got a newer iPad to replace the older MacBook I was using on the boat. I have a 12v Mac charger that I'll mail to you for $20 (shipping included). It has the older Magsafe connector that is no longer used by Apple. Works fine. PM me if you want it.
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Old 18-04-2020, 09:18   #12
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Re: Macs and Apple Laptops

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangarua View Post
Hi guys. Does anyone know whether I can charge a MacBook Air off a standard inverter or do they run off inverters with a different wave?
Much appreciated
Alan
In short yes. I use a very cheap WestMarine inverter to charge my Macbook Pro when we are on the hook. Macbook Pro is more power hungry than a Macbook Air. My girlfriend uses the same to charge a Macbook Air.

Also, as others said, you have different options as well. There are 12V adaptors for sale for Macbooks, both for USB-C and MagSafe connectors (like this https://www.amazon.com/Mac-Book-Car-.../dp/B07RQKS6H2). I used few of these from different brands as well but they all blew up after a couple of months. They can even be a fire hazard so if you go down this path, pick something that has good reviews.
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Old 18-04-2020, 09:25   #13
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Re: Macs and Apple Laptops

I've been using a 12v car charger for my and my wife's MacBook Pros on the boat for several years without problem. We often have one or two phones plugged in to the charger as well and it has worked great. The one I have is no longer available on Amazon but just search MacBook car charger there and you will turn up some options.

I'm guessing that using a car charger is more efficient than running your inverter and then a regular 120v charger as you don't incur the overhead of the inverter. I know my inverter uses about an amp and a half just because it is turned on.
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Old 18-04-2020, 09:41   #14
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Re: Macs and Apple Laptops

We use MacBook Air and iPads as our primary navigation device in the PNW. We typically plug into a USB if one is available or into a cigaret lighter outlet using a plug with a USB. Works fine (Same as Dougweibel and Greg Mason have suggested)
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Old 18-04-2020, 13:40   #15
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Re: Macs and Apple Laptops

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
Over all my years living off grid I have never had one fail.

Iím curious. Just how far does One live off the grid when you still have an Internet connection?
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