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iPod Hardware and Accessories All iPod hardware discussions.

charging with car's AC - how many devices can be charged


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wrightm

 
Member Since: May 02, 2005
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Hello,
I am going on a road trip through NZ and I will be driving a lot and be out in the wild for extended periods of time doing photography work. I have a number of devices that need to be recharged by USB and it looks like my car's cigarette lighter may be the only option at times.

I have an inverter that changes the lighter into a 3 pronged standard plug and I also have a power strip. How many devices can I plug into this power strip to be charged by the car's AC port? Is there any danger there? Obviously I need to be cautious when the car is not running and not kill battery, but while driving; would I risk damage to devices or would it just not charge at all or charge very very slowly?

With the engine off would the power drain from car battery be the same regardless of the amount of items that I am charging?

Sadly these days, we are so dependent on rechargeable batteries. I will need to charge and power these items:

Necessary:
Batteries for Canon DSLR's
AA battery chargers for flash
macbook pro battery (4 yrs old so very little battery life as is...mostly just to keep running while downloading mem cards and backing up on external HD's)

Not completely necessary:
Ipod
Iphone
backup iphone battery

Ideally, at the same time while driving; I'd like to charge an iPod, charge DSLR camera batteries, and power a laptop while backing up onto an ext. HD.

thanks so much for the help and advice!
Cheers,
Micah
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chscag

 
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I really don't have a good answer for you but wanted to warn you about using an inverter which attaches thru the cigarette lighter port. They get hot and can easily blow the fuse of the circuit your lighter is on. Make sure you carry spare fuses along with you.

As for the devices you mentioned, the MacBook Pro and iPhone will likely draw the most current from the charger USB port.
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wrightm

 
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thanks so much! So with the AC port, I am better off using that mainly for charging AA's and DSLR batteries? And if it get's too hot the fuse will blow before any damage is done to devices?
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chscag

 
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The AC port should be OK to charge the batteries for your DSLR camera and the AAs. If any over current occurs or the inverter gets too hot, it may blow your auto circuit fuse that the cigarette lighter is on, but there is no danger of overloading or damaging your MacBook Pro or iPhone.
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You could try solar USB chargers. Without my mate hughvane finding out I said this ~ they don't get that much sun in NZ!


http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=MB3593

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chas_m

 
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all this VERY MUCH depends on how much power the inverter puts out and how much ampage the items you want to charge draw.
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Do yourself a favor, only charge when the engine's running. Unless you like being stuck in the middle of nowhere with no battery.
And don't exceed the wattage rating of the inverter by plugging too many things in at a time.

Craig Domingue - resident redneck.
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