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Off-grid recharging power for Dell Inspiron laptop?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by bj nick, Sep 6, 2018.

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  1. bj nick

    bj nick Thread Starter

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    Hi, I have a newer Dell Inspiron laptop.....I like to go off-road for 2-3 days at a time, and I need my laptop to use during that time (I'm a writer.) You can't switch out batteries on it....so I'm wondering the best option for recharging it a few times. I can always charge it off the car battery w/my ac/dc converter, but I hesitate to run the car at idle for 1-2 hours. What's the best option? I'm assuming it will be a powerful portable charger?
     
  2. managed

    managed Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Do you have to run the engine for the ac/dc converter to work ?

    Also there are chargers that plug into a car cigarette lighter socket which could work without running the engine.
     
  3. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Would a small gasoline-powered generator work for you? There are portable "tailgating" generators available for about $150 with a few hundreds of watts outputs. You do have to deal with mixing gas and oil for the 2-stroke engines and they are a bit noisy. If the noise is a problem and depending on your location, a couple of one hundred foot extension cords could solve it.

    https://www.harborfreight.com/900-m...63cc-2-cycle-gas-generator-epacarb-63025.html
     
  4. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
  5. plodr

    plodr

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    I have an earlier version of this (mine is 71486 and this is 71686)
    https://www.acehardware.com/departm...er-cables/automotive-battery-chargers/8292831

    I use it with an inverter similar to this
    DieHard_inverter.jpg
    I plug the inverter into the port on the stand alone battery and plug devices into the inverter.

    The battery says " 750 peak ampere and produces 21 hours of 12 volt DC power".

    My model says up to 20 hours then mentions 15 watt DVD player up to 9.6 hours. My charger says 40Watts so the battery would power it for 3+ hours.
     
  6. bj nick

    bj nick Thread Starter

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    Thanks for these responses.....I don't want a big generator........a small one maybe. This link leads to a battery starter. I already have one. I wouldn't use it to charge the laptop, as I leave it for emergencies. If I left the car lights on or something way in the back country, I need it fresh.

     
  7. bj nick

    bj nick Thread Starter

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    .....................................................
    I like the Aivant model at $200....it has two ac ports. Do you know how many full charges of my laptop I can count on?
     
  8. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Probably 1 or 2 charges.
     
  9. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    You would need to use caution when selecting lead-acid batteries for use as a power source. A typical car battery is designed to provide a high surge of current to run the starter for a few times on avery cold day and then get recharged by the alternator. The typical thin lead plates in such a battery do not handle a long slow discharge very well. You need to use a deep cycle battery that may not have much surge capacity but can come close to a full discharge and still recharge to full capacity over many such cycles.

    https://auto.howstuffworks.com/question219.htm
     
  10. bj nick

    bj nick Thread Starter

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    I don't know that I would use a LED acid battery for this purpose. I'm more inclined to get something like one of those higher-powered Anker-style Chargers. Similar to the ones I use to charge my phone, but more powerful.
     
  11. AmyToo

    AmyToo

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    How about using a lower power device for writing like a phone or tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard?

    Or go old-school and get a Moleskin notebook and nice pen. More energy to focus on the creative process.
     
  12. plodr

    plodr

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    I looked at some of those and they cost $200 and I'm not sure how long (in terms of hours) they'd work to charge a laptop.
    https://www.pcmag.com/review/359114/mophie-powerstation-ac
    https://www.techradar.com/news/top-8-best-portable-laptop-battery-chargers-and-power-banks-in-2017
    though the link says 2017, the article is dated August of 2018 so I assume the products are current this year.

    Yes, as AmyToo mentioned above, take a device that uses less power or write on paper and scan it in when you get home.
     
  13. bj nick

    bj nick Thread Starter

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    Writing on paper is a miserable experience for me, not an option. And it's not practical either, a lot of my work is editing and the like. I could use portable keyboard on my iPad, it's true, that would give me another 2 or 3 hours. On the phone might work. I've thought about that.
     
  14. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    I use an XPAL 18000 on travel. It's powerful enough to power a 15" Lenovo laptop with a i7 processor. I've used it with my Dell XPS 13 without issue. My typical travel setup is to have the XPAL along with a Fujitsu ultraportable PC and a Arub RAP 3. Both of these are powered by the XPAL. XPAL also has a tips for life program. Each year you're entitled to a free tip to power a specific device.

    And which ever vendor you go with make sure their Dell tips really work. Many times the tips will on be enough to power the laptop but not charge and power at the same time.
     
  15. bj nick

    bj nick Thread Starter

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    Thanks for this....sorry, didn't see it when you posted it. I have determined that's not enough for my needs.....I'm talking about being off-road for 3-5 days. I need to power the laptop 3+ times....I found the River portable power unit (~$500-600) which will give 6 hours of laptop charging (and 80+ hours for the phone, GoPro, et al!) so that would be a better solution....and, it can be a great backup in the house during storms, etc.
     
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