[ALUG] lappy aboard

Mark Rogers mark at more-solutions.co.uk
Tue May 9 09:12:47 BST 2017

On 8 May 2017 at 19:40, Phil Thane <phil at pthane.co.uk> wrote:
> I have just bought a canal/river boat and want to use my Linux laptop on it.
> The PSU for it is labelled 19v, 4.7 amps. The boat runs on 12v. The simplest
> but quite pricy option is to get an inverter to create 220v AC then use the
> standard PSU but apart from cost it lacks elegance.

Actually, a simpler option is replacing the laptop... If you have an
expensive laptop that's not a good choice, but it could otherwise well
work out cheaper to replace the laptop, maybe with something smaller
that charges from 5v (as so many things do these days). If it's an
expensive new laptop the warranty may be void if the power isn't
supplied by the manufacturer's PSU, for example, and this laptop might
require 19v but your next one (or your guest's one) might need
something different...

Otherwise as others have said stepping the voltage up is easy enough.
You'll probably want an inverter anyway at some point, so if the
laptop is just for occasional use that might still be the best option.
Inverters are relatively wasteful but universally useful.

Personally I'd want to standardise as far as possible on 12v DC
(direct from battery), 5v DC (USB devices like phones) and mains. On
the other hand if it was a decent laptop, critical to my work, and I
planned on staying on the boat using it for months at a time, then I'd
be wanting the most efficient option I could find even if it only
worked for that one device.

> If I connect the two in series I should get 24v then I should be able to
> acquire (or even assemble) a DC-DC voltage regulator to bring it down to 19v.

I think we're fairly universally against that option though :-)

As a fellow (but very novice) boat owner, welcome to the water!
Mark Rogers // More Solutions Ltd (Peterborough Office) // 0844 251 1450
Registered in England (0456 0902) 21 Drakes Mews, Milton Keynes, MK8 0ER

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