12 v Charging

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by whingyraindrop, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. whingyraindrop

    whingyraindrop Funster

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    The solar panel and two batteries worked fabulously last summer. The only time EHU was required was for charging the 'toys'. i pod, i pad, Mac Book, Kindle and Camera.
    I have now sourced 12 v chargers for the kindle, i pod and i pad.

    May be a daft question, but that won't stop me asking it... Is there a way to charge the camera (Panasonic Lumix, if that matters) battery and the Mac Book without EHU?
    A generator is out of the question.

    Technical talk causes panic attacks, :shout: so keep it VERY simple please!:Smile:

    thank you,

    Lorraine x
     
  2. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    yes get an inverter then you can plug in your mains charger. i do it all the time when away in the truck. my fridge works constantly throiugh an inverter. yes it could waste some power but it doesnt matter i have plenty.
    if need be get another solar panel ,they are cheap enough now.
     
  3. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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  4. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Yes.. 12v Panasonic chargers are readily available :thumb:

    Just google 'panasonic camera 12v charger' and there are LOADS out there :thumb:
     
  5. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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    We use a 150W inverter to charge all our toys-either when stationary or whilst travelling.
    If stationary it is a good idea to have some idea how much power is being used and to know if solar panels are keeping up with charging. To this end I find a Nasa BM1 battery monitor is invaluable-or summat similar.

    Mike.
     
  6. Addie

    Addie Trader - Motorhome Wifi

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  7. whingyraindrop

    whingyraindrop Funster

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    Thank you!

    I had googled Mac Book 12v and Panasonic Lumix 12v but must have been doing something wrong as I didn't get any useful results...now I have added the words 'car charger' and there are tons! :BigGrin:

    Looks like I can avoid going down the inverter route at the moment.

    Thank you,

    Lorraine x
     
  8. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    The inverter will probably be cheaper and will charge all your stuff. A 75w one will be adequate (around £15)
     
  9. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    An inverter is not as efficient and wastes battery power.

    12v DC -> 240vAC -> 12V/5V DC. Messy as well.

    A straight foward DC/DC converter is more much more efficient
     
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  10. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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    Could you clarify 'Messy as well' and be a tads more explicit with regard to cost etc of the other option.

    Mike.
     
  11. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    the use of an inverter does use a little more power but opens up a lot of other uses if need be. you could keep buying adaptors for 12v charging and still not have the right one.
     
  12. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    Messy? Well it's an extra device....

    I have 2 laptops, a mobile phone, 2 ipods, a sony ereader.

    Currently I have 2 x 12v chargers and 2 12v/Usb adapters.
    The 12v USB adapter charges my phone and my two ipods.

    So I have 3 units in total...

    If I was to go down the inverter route. I would need an inverter, 2 mains chargers for the laptops and 2 usb charger one for the ipods and one for the phone. Then I could only charge one ipod at a time. The cable mess would be a pain. (I know i used to do it this way.)

    On the losses front....
    You have the losses of the inverter itself. Even if the inverter is not actually powering anything it is using power just to run itself.
    Then there are the losses incurred by converting the 12v to 240V.
    Then there are the losses of converting back down from 240v to the required voltage.

    The only losses in my 12v adapters are those in the direct conversion.

    For most of us with limited solar panels the more we waste the less benefit the solar panels are. For my laptop the difference between the inverter method and the 12v adapter is about 1.1amps in normal usage. Over a normal working day this would mean 11AH of extra power I need to find from the solar panels.

    I cannot think of any situation where the inverter is a preferable option unless you actually have 240V devices such as a toothbrush charger.

    For small electronics the DC-DC converters are always the better option.:thumb:
     
  13. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    you can turn the investor off when not needed

    I have a 1500 watt Sterling pure sin wave inverter and it is in use all the time. yes it draws power if it is not being used. But that is a simple fix.. turn the switch off.

    I power my Macbrook Pro from the investor, my iPad and my Iphone4 I also run a domestic 26" flat screen TV and a domestic DVD player.. the Sterling unit is also a battery charger as well as an inverter that works off the ehu or the generator.. and if no EHU.. I can use all the above from the 200 amps of battery power I have.

    You do not need a big inverter to do everything... a sensible size with built in sockets (13 amp) type will allow you lots of use for different bits of kit.

    Bob:thumb:
     
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