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I have a Dell Inspiron 8200 and I want to be able to power it through the DC outlet in the Pilot. There doesn't seem to be anything available from Dell for the 8200, and I've checked around elsewhere, but I don't know if what I'm finding would work for my computer. Does anyone else have any ideas, and do I really need to spend $100 - $200 to make this happen?
 

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One problem I have running a laptop in the Pilot is that the outlets are off when the car is off. :( If I don't remember to shut the lap top off, I have the scan disk to go back on, bypassing that too often really messes up the computer.

Does anyone know to keep power to the outlets when the car is off?
:confused:

Thanks
Nologic
 

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buy an inverter (about $30.00) that converts 12v into 120 AC and plug your laptop power supply into it. Not elegant, but effective. The invereter enables me to use a laptop as an entertainment system on long trips. Can't complain about hte screen size...
 

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I agree with the inverter idea. They are alot cheaper than the "gadgets" you buy to plug the laptop itself into the power outlet and can be used for any 120 volt accessory. The neat thing about using the laptop for entertainment in the vehicle is that you can also take it with you when you leave the vehicle, and the screen is much bigger than that of the res units.
A sample of a unit available in Canada is posted here. It handles 175 watts and costs $34.95 canadian. You can also get @ 350 watt inverters for @ $60.00.

"Converts 12-volt DC battery power to 120-volt AC household power
Low battery alarm
Automatic shut down in case of overload, short circuit or overheating
Includes DC cable with clips and DC cable with cigarette lighter plug
175-watt unit comes with a single three-prong outlet
Comes with an industry-leading 2-year warranty"
 

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Discussion Starter #6
SOLD!

On my way to Target for an inverter!

We're heading to Jacksonville, FL on Thanksgiving and will use the laptop as a "Bigscreen RES". :cool:

Thanks for the help!
 

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What wattage would you guys recommend???
 

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I'm getting a 300 watt inverter just because I usually like something that will handle more than I'll ever need. The 140/175 watts usually come with only one plug-in whereas the 300 watt units usually have at least two plug-ins. Then again when would I ever have more than one thing plugged in???
 

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carefull. the alternator in your pilot can only generate so much power (anybody know?) . A laptop doesn't draw much so 175 W is more than sufficient.
 

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I agree. That's why I'd never plug in more than one thing at a time. My laptop says it's current rating is 75 watts, 15 volts DC, 5 amps. I also suspect the 175 would be more than enough for the Pilot use but for about $15- 20 more I can get a 300 watt inverter that I can use anywhere, not just in the Pilot. I'm going to look into the issue of the alternator current. I think it was discussed in another forum.
 

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Piloto said:
carefull. the alternator in your pilot can only generate so much power (anybody know?) . A laptop doesn't draw much so 175 W is more than sufficient.
Some do, so be careful.
The Pilot's power outlets are rated at MAX 10 amps (according to the manual). This equates to 120 watts. No they won't power a cigarette lighter (about 30 amps).

Don't under estimate how much power a laptop really uses (input power not output power).
My Dell Inspiron 7500 power supply is rated at 130v 170watts which translates to 120v 180watts (when it's charging it gets pretty hot). I'm sure there is some cushion in the rating but not a whole lot.

To power a similar laptop you need to have a 12v 15amp outlet.
I have a 350watt inverter but haven't tried it in my Pilot yet.
My Mountaineer had a real cigarette lighter socket (no I don't smoke) which worked fine for it.
 

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Just another question. Why is it that my Pilot has 12 volt 10 amp power outlets and my Dodge van has 12 volt 20 amp power outlets ??
 

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Scoobs said:
Just another question. Why is it that my Pilot has 12 volt 10 amp power outlets and my Dodge van has 12 volt 20 amp power outlets ??
Always better to Under Promise and Over Deliver.

In my experience typical "cigarette lighter power sockets" and the supporting hardware (Wires and connectors) are "capable" of conducting loads approaching 20 amps but will be baldy stressed at 20 amps even with a clean and snug fit.

10 amps is a good safe conservative rating, they can probably handle 20 amps intermittently when unworn and clean but damage will likely occur to any manufacturer's socket when used for long durations much above 15 amps. Once damage occurs due to heavy arcing or overheating its likely you will not be able to deliver more than a few amps through one. The socket will need to be replaced.
 

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nologic said:
One problem I have running a laptop in the Pilot is that the outlets are off when the car is off. :( If I don't remember to shut the lap top off, I have the scan disk to go back on, bypassing that too often really messes up the computer.

Does anyone know to keep power to the outlets when the car is off?
:confused:

Thanks
Nologic

Yeah, I guess that kind of sucks, you can't even charge a cell phone in there then?? ahhhhh

even my wifes Jimmy lets you use the outlets when off.. Will have to slap Honda for that

:twak:

naaa, I love Honda too much!!
 

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BillR said:

Some do, so be careful.
The Pilot's power outlets are rated at MAX 10 amps (according to the manual). This equates to 120 watts. No they won't power a cigarette lighter (about 30 amps).

Don't under estimate how much power a laptop really uses (input power not output power).
My Dell Inspiron 7500 power supply is rated at 130v 170watts which translates to 120v 180watts (when it's charging it gets pretty hot). I'm sure there is some cushion in the rating but not a whole lot.

To power a similar laptop you need to have a 12v 15amp outlet.
I have a 350watt inverter but haven't tried it in my Pilot yet.
My Mountaineer had a real cigarette lighter socket (no I don't smoke) which worked fine for it.
Not that I smoke either, but a ciggy lighter is availabe as an INTERIOR OPTION on the Pilot ($73 or $75 -Navi) . Did you mean to say that the amps in the Pilot will not power a lighter or the Pilot lighter just takes fewer amps?

The reason I ask, and please excuse my ignorance, but I am trying to figure out if I want to use a LapTop (no specific brand) as a Portable RES, or buy a mid to high end Portable DVD.

Keep in mind that I can also use the LapTop to load new areas to my Garmin V GPS if I am traveling a long way (500 miles or more).

Any additional input would be great....

SoCalgary .:werd:
 

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BillR said:

Some do, so be careful.
The Pilot's power outlets are rated at MAX 10 amps (according to the manual). This equates to 120 watts. No they won't power a cigarette lighter (about 30 amps).

Don't under estimate how much power a laptop really uses (input power not output power).
My Dell Inspiron 7500 power supply is rated at 130v 170watts which translates to 120v 180watts (when it's charging it gets pretty hot). I'm sure there is some cushion in the rating but not a whole lot.

To power a similar laptop you need to have a 12v 15amp outlet.
I have a 350watt inverter but haven't tried it in my Pilot yet.
My Mountaineer had a real cigarette lighter socket (no I don't smoke) which worked fine for it.
I power my 2 yr old Panasonic toughbook with a Radio Shack 220w inverter . To test this I just ran out and measured 3.5 amp when the screen was brightest and the internal disk drive and wireless modem where active on my laptop.

I'm willing to bet that most Iaptops (especially the newer efficient ones) can be powered with room to spare from a 10 amp source based on the above test I just did. I have two different, Dells, one is 3 yrs old I will try tomorrow but I will bet they will be under 5 amps.

One quick way to judge how much power is needed by the laptop would be to look at the amphour rating on its battery. My panasonic is rated at 3.7 amp hours. The battery runs about an 1.5 hours so I would estimate the current the laptop requires to be about 2.5 amps. The other amp required when using an external supply is lost in the voltage conversion as heat.
A power supply should be rated for at least 1.5 times what the expected power demand will be in commercial service at room temp since it must be derated at elevated temperatures. Unfortunates I know that is not always the case.

BTW When the inverter has no load it still draws about an amp, just enough to drain your battery over the weekend if you forget to turn it off.
 
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