Personal computing discussed

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HowardDrake
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Freaky Solution

Mon Dec 08, 2003 4:14 am

OK, as some of you might know I am currently without any power whatsoever. However I do have a laptop and a car adapter for said laptop. I mean direct DC-DC not an inverter. I have the wacky idea of grabbing a car battery cheap and using it with this adapter to provide me with much longer usage at my home. Now i have a trickle charger and wouldn't mind letting it sit overnight next door to charge now and again.

So how long would a car battery last, is this nuts, and should I even consider it. For the record the power will be off here another 3 weeks.
No wonder television's a medium. It's so seldom rare or well done. -Mighty Mouse
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YBK
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Mon Dec 08, 2003 4:33 am

You will screw up the car's battery i believe if u keep using it. So logically a new battery makes a lot of sense. Ouch no power for 3 weeks. This explains why ur not online 24/7 anymore. :wink:

Do u have to live by candle light? I feel for u buddy.
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HowardDrake
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Mon Dec 08, 2003 5:36 pm

Yes YBK, I was refering to a battery that isn't currently being used in a car. It sucks so bad. Only saving grace is that my next-door neighbor has DSL and wireless. At least I'm not completely cut off from the internet. And for the record, it's my uncle, and I was the one who set up the connections to begin with, so it's perfectly above-board :D
No wonder television's a medium. It's so seldom rare or well done. -Mighty Mouse

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Ragnar Dan
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Mon Dec 08, 2003 5:48 pm

Why is your power off for 3 weeks? I would become unemployed, or at least have to move immediately if my power died. The very thought gives me a chill. :o
 
HowardDrake
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Mon Dec 08, 2003 11:57 pm

Moronic roommate who is roommate no longer. I was hoping for more practical advice, otherwise this topic will devolve into a BP topic ;)
No wonder television's a medium. It's so seldom rare or well done. -Mighty Mouse

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leor
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Tue Dec 09, 2003 12:04 am

what's a BP topic?

[edit] ah back proch, duh . . .
 
Generic Ninja
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Tue Dec 09, 2003 12:22 am

Your best bet is to charge the car battery every night. Lead acid batteries don't like going all the way flat. As long as you keep a charge in it running the laptop off the car battery shouldn't hurt it.

BTW Stupid question but if your uncle is right next door have you considered running an extension cord across?
 
HowardDrake
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Tue Dec 09, 2003 12:25 am

Considered and rejected already, I thought of it too :) And my friends are calling this a cross between geek and redneck technology. :D
No wonder television's a medium. It's so seldom rare or well done. -Mighty Mouse

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Rakhmaninov3
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Tue Dec 09, 2003 1:06 am

HowardDrake wrote:
Considered and rejected already, I thought of it too :) And my friends are calling this a cross between geek and redneck technology. :D


Indeed! I never would have thought of it, I'm not much of either.
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just brew it!
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Tue Dec 09, 2003 9:18 am

Hmph. For some reason it is very difficult to find the Amp-Hour ratings for automotive batteries online. I'm gonna say 150 Amp-Hours, but take it with a grain of salt, as it is only a rough guesstimate.

If you assume 100 watts for the laptop (including losses in the inverter), 150 Amp-Hours would give you about 18 hours of runtime. However, deep-cycling a cheap car battery is going to ruin it eventually. I suppose if you only need it to last 3 weeks, that doesn't really matter.

Depending on how much you use the computer, you may need to drag it across the way to your uncle's every couple of days to charge it. And you'll be without power while it charges, so you'll need two (so that you can have one always hooked up to the charger, and swap them when the one you're using dies).

The extension cord idea is sounding better all the time. :wink:
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LicketySplit
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Tue Dec 09, 2003 9:36 am

Do i hear the words DIE HARD...hehe...for want you want it for and will not be needing it long..it will suffice...a trickle charger even for a couple of hours will keep it running like the energizer bunny :roll:
 
Captain Ned
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Tue Dec 09, 2003 9:38 am

If you're commited to the lead-acid 12v battery idea, a marine or deep-cycle battery will be a far superior solution. It'll cost more, but you can suck it flat and it'll come back.
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HowardDrake
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Tue Dec 09, 2003 4:55 pm

Thanks for all the help. My losses shouldn't be that bad given that I'm not using an inverter. Just a DC-DC adapter. It's stepping up the voltage but not incurring the loss of a DC-AC-DC circuit would. I'll be out of town next 2 days, and will grab the battery when I return. In some way, I'm curious as heck to try this, just to see how well it works.
No wonder television's a medium. It's so seldom rare or well done. -Mighty Mouse

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