Alienware 150 watt charger in car with power inverter. Easiest way to get this to work? - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 07-30-2012, 07:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Alienware 150 watt charger in car with power inverter. Easiest way to get this to work?

I recently ordered an Alienware m14x laptop from Dell. It comes with a 150 watt charger. Whenever I go on long road trips, it's really really nice to just have a laptop and play games or something the whole way. The vehicle I usually travel in has a thing on it's dc outlet saying 120 watt max. Here is a picture:




I've run a 90 watt Dell Latitude d620 (plugged into a 100w power inverter) along with two 8 watt dvd players and a 3 watt gps before. So 100+8+8+3=119. I've been missing the limit by only 1 watt the whole time and didn't even know it until I checked it just now.

What happens if I go over 120 watts? Will it blow a fuse? I haven't been able to find the exact specs of my alternator but the lowest amps i've ever seen on an alternator's description is 100 amps so I find it hard to believe the alternator I have in there generates only the 10 amps it would take to make 120 watts.



So is the 120 watt thing on there because of a fuse that will blow or is it just a false warning to prevent stupid people from running down the battery while the engine isn't running?

I just want to know if I can lazily plug a big 800 watt power inverter into my dc outlet without anything bad happening or if I have to somehow run some wires directly from the battery to the interior of my car?
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Alienware 150 watt charger in car with power inverter. Easiest way to get this to work?

In short, no, I wouldn't plug in an adapter that takes 150 watts when your port is rated for 120w max. I usually try to stay a few watts under that, if possible. I'm no car electrician, but I would guess it would cause some problems.
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Alienware 150 watt charger in car with power inverter. Easiest way to get this to work?

Or carry a big battery charger. :P

AFAIK, no, that won't work.
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Alienware 150 watt charger in car with power inverter. Easiest way to get this to work?

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Originally Posted by Veraster View Post
What happens if I go over 120 watts? Will it blow a fuse? I haven't been able to find the exact specs of my alternator but the lowest amps i've ever seen on an alternator's description is 100 amps so I find it hard to believe the alternator I have in there generates only the 10 amps it would take to make 120 watts.
Would either blow a fuse, or cause your battery to die faster because it would drain faster than it would be able to keep charged from the alternator because you're overdrawing from the outlet. If the wires are only rated for a certain wattage / amperage... then they could melt / short and cause a fire too.

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I just want to know if I can lazily plug a big 800 watt power inverter into my dc outlet without anything bad happening or if I have to somehow run some wires directly from the battery to the interior of my car?
You'd have to run wires directly from your car. I know I've seen larger inverters that have the cables / clamps with them so you can run it from your battery to the interior.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Alienware 150 watt charger in car with power inverter. Easiest way to get this to work?

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Would either blow a fuse, or cause your battery to die faster because it would drain faster than it would be able to keep charged from the alternator because you're overdrawing from the outlet. If the wires are only rated for a certain wattage / amperage... then they could melt / short and cause a fire too.



You'd have to run wires directly from your car. I know I've seen larger inverters that have the cables / clamps with them so you can run it from your battery to the interior.
OK so I have an 800 watt power inverter now. What is the best way to get the wires from my car's battery to the interior? Drill a hole in the firewall? Run wires out the top of the hood and in through the window or what?
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Alienware 150 watt charger in car with power inverter. Easiest way to get this to work?

What kind if car do you drive?
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Alienware 150 watt charger in car with power inverter. Easiest way to get this to work?

Usually going through the firewall is the best option. See if there's already a hole or port there where wires are going already so you don't have to drill your own hole.
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