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Old 11-21-2013, 12:22 PM   #1
Dia
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12V to three-prong inverter doodad - looks useful

I came across this lil thingamajig and thought it might be useful to some folks here. In addition to two standard three-prong sockets, it's also got USB.

I don't have it (yet), so I can't vouch for it personally, but odds are high I'll be trying it out soon.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_332285-11994-PC ... Id=3387106

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Old 11-21-2013, 01:38 PM   #2
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Re: 12V to three-prong inverter doodad - looks useful

Strange they don't supply the wattage but most of these are great for charging light load items like phones and the like. The design is nice looking being. made like a traditional outlet. Velcro it up next to a 12vDC outlet
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:07 PM   #3
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Re: 12V to three-prong inverter doodad - looks useful

Re: wattage - yeah, I was disappointed that there wasn't more info in the specs section. If I grab one, I'll check the packaging and report in.

I don't have my van yet, but I've wished for a standard outlet loads of times while car camping in my Prius.
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:33 PM   #4
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Re: 12V to three-prong inverter doodad - looks useful

I have a small, single-outlet inverter that I use when I just want to charge my laptop or something similar. Beats turning on the big 1500 watt inverter and using up extra battery juice unnecessarily.

For USB charging, I have one of those USB outlets that installs in a standard 12v outlet. It has two USB ports, one for Apple devices and one standard USB.

That's a cool-looking little doodad you pictured, but I'm surprised they have two 110v outlets in it. Big chance of overloading it if the user isn't aware of power draws.

@Dia, with your Prius you can set up a killer inverter system! Google "Prius Inverter" and you'll find people who have set up their Prius as backup power systems for their house! Or see http://editorial.autos.msn.com/blogs/po ... -an-outage
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:08 PM   #5
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Re: 12V to three-prong inverter doodad - looks useful

What a cool article! Thank you.

I'm a writer, so laptop power is what I'm after. We have a two-banger USB doohickey in the cigarette lighter, so that works for cell phones, Kindles and my tablet, but the laptop needs a real outlet.

That said, tablets have come far enough that I might get by with a Nexus 10 instead of a full laptop. I already have a solar keyboard that works just fine, but the screen on my Nexus 7 is hard on the eyes for long writing stints.

I'm just under 5'7" so I can sleep in the Prius, too. Yes, it can't hold a candle to SMB, but hey, it's paid for, and me being not wanting to give up my Prius is why we're going with a campervan instead of a TV+TT arrangement.

If I'm by myself, give me a sleeping bag, a camp chair, my JetBoil and a laptop, and I'm good to go.
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:10 PM   #6
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Re: 12V to three-prong inverter doodad - looks useful

We use a car charger for our laptop that plugs directly into a 12-volt outlet. No need for the brick charger nor an inverter. This is the most efficient way to go as you are not inverting 12 VDC to 120 VAC only then to convert it back to 12 VDC for the laptop. I don't know if there are universal adapters that do this as the one we have I got from Dell (have a Dell laptop).
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Old 11-23-2013, 08:02 AM   #7
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Re: 12V to three-prong inverter doodad - looks useful

Laptops can run on unconverted 12VDC? I'll have to check that out - thanks!
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Old 11-23-2013, 08:44 AM   #8
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Re: 12V to three-prong inverter doodad - looks useful

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dia
Laptops can run on unconverted 12VDC? I'll have to check that out - thanks!
The DC laptop adapter likely steps down (or possibly steps up) the DC voltage from the vehicle's 12v.
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Old 11-23-2013, 08:56 AM   #9
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Re: 12V to three-prong inverter doodad - looks useful

So has anyone found a quality 12V inverter/USB converter? I had one that lasted about 6 months and am looking for a replacement. A lot of them have a huge number of USB outputs, but the total current available doesn't change so all you end up with are a bunch of USB outlets that don't provide enough power to charge your devices. More and more USB devices need 2.1Amps to charge.

A cigarette lighter provides something like 7A-8A total, in a best case scenario?


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Old 11-23-2013, 10:47 AM   #10
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Re: 12V to three-prong inverter doodad - looks useful

I just bought a 14 watt, folding solar panel and an external 15,000 mAh external battery pack. Allegedly, the solar panel charges the battery pack, and the battery pack holds enough juice to charge several cell phones / GPS / Kindles / tablets before it needs a recharge. I'll let you know how well those claims hold up in the real world.

We'll eventually want more power, but this should handle our most immediate camping needs. We don't watch TV, but we read a lot of (digital) books, and I'm testing a tablet set-up to see if it will replace my laptop for writing.

I know we could do all of this with a bigger solar system integrated into the van, but the portability factor is a bonus in the meantime.
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