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DannyC

Charging laptop question

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Hi All,

 

I have a question about electricity.

 

So I need to charge my laptop quite a bit during the day because of the amount of video calling I do (sometimes 5/6 hours in total!).

 

At full charge, my Lenovo laptop gives about 2.5 hours battery when the camera is on and I am uploading video. This means i will have to charge a fair bit during the day.

 

Is this feasable? Does anyone else here use quite a lot of electricity?

 

Thanks in advance for your comments.

 

Dam

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Yes - you can get small portable inverters to charge laptops or you can get 12V converters which up the voltage to the right one needed by the laptop.

 

 

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When i was working I often worked from the boat, and was on conference calls all day using a powerful Dell laptop. I probably charged it twice a day, just turned the inverter on when I needed it, no big deal.

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I also don't really understand what's being asked...

 

Yes laptops run out of battery fairly quick when running video, even in battery saving mode. Yes you'll need to charge it up from the boats inverter...

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21 minutes ago, DannyC said:

Hi All,

 

I have a question about electricity.

 

So I need to charge my laptop quite a bit during the day because of the amount of video calling I do (sometimes 5/6 hours in total!).

 

At full charge, my Lenovo laptop gives about 2.5 hours battery when the camera is on and I am uploading video. This means i will have to charge a fair bit during the day.

 

Is this feasable? Does anyone else here use quite a lot of electricity?

 

Thanks in advance for your comments.

 

Dam

If your boat is 'set-up' to suit your electrical requirements then it is not a problem.

 

Just remember that all the electricity you use must be replaced (+ a bit extra for 'losses') that is where the 'difficulties' come into play.

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Afaik it a voltage converter uses less power than an inverter. Just got one of these for our 7.5v radio 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/r.html?C=148LYIXGS6DN9&K=3PO9H7SJ54CGR&M=urn:rtn:msg:20180831085953e969b29a7a244ba3bb8416a39250p0eu&R=75D77FEFULZ4&T=C&U=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.co.uk%2Fdp%2FB01KFJHPN0%3Fref_%3Dpe_3187911_248764861_302_E_DDE_dt_1&H=JJDCPOPLQKRFOIT11MIRZAGWKGGA&ref_=pe_3187911_248764861_302_E_DDE_dt_1

I had to wire it up, find an old lead and plug to fit radio, and set the voltage with the adjustment screw on the potentiometer, using a meter. A small switch on the 12v in, I now have a permanently wired feed for the radio. I'm considering getting another for the laptop. 

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4 minutes ago, Jim Riley said:

Afaik it a voltage converter uses less power than an inverter. Just got one of these for our 7.5v radio 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/r.html?C=148LYIXGS6DN9&K=3PO9H7SJ54CGR&M=urn:rtn:msg:20180831085953e969b29a7a244ba3bb8416a39250p0eu&R=75D77FEFULZ4&T=C&U=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.co.uk%2Fdp%2FB01KFJHPN0%3Fref_%3Dpe_3187911_248764861_302_E_DDE_dt_1&H=JJDCPOPLQKRFOIT11MIRZAGWKGGA&ref_=pe_3187911_248764861_302_E_DDE_dt_1

I had to wire it up, find an old lead and plug to fit radio, and set the voltage with the adjustment screw on the potentiometer, using a meter. A small switch on the 12v in, I now have a permanently wired feed for the radio. I'm considering getting another for the laptop. 

We had one with presets for various laptops because they tend to use different voltages. Our Lenovo for example needs 20V at 2.5 amps where as the HP needs 19.5 at 3.3A

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I have a Universal laptop charger which I used to use on my previous boat which didn't have an inverter. The second one worked well after the first 'melted' because I was trying to use the laptop at the same time as charging it.

If you have an inverter then the laptop's power supply is probably the best option if you want to use the laptop while it charges.

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Thanks for the advice!

 

Sorry my question wasn't very clear.

 

I was just interested in other peoples experiences keeping things charged.

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If the question is how to charge your laptop, you've got 2 options: mains charger powered from an inverter, or a 12V car charger (assuming your boat is 12V). My work laptop is a Lenovo, and its input voltage is 20V - not all 'universal' car chargers will step up the voltage plus they've got to have a Lenovo type connector (rectangular on mine).

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The 'Universal' charger I have (sorry don't know the name and its on the boat at the moment) came with a full set of connectors for all laptops/cameras/etc. It had a digital display for settings (always impresses me) and cost about £70 from Argos about 5 years ago. They no longer appear to stock it but there a lot of similar items on Amazon. I'd worry about the safety of my laptop if I used something too cheap to charge or power it.

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On SA, the first job for the crew when underway in the morning is making sure that everything that needs charging is hooked up, so as to take advantage of the power from the running engine. We have one 12V socket with which an iPad or iPhone can be charged via a USB car charger. All else is plugged into mains sockets via their ordinary 230V chargers.

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3 hours ago, StephenA said:

Yes - you can get small portable inverters to charge laptops or you can get 12V converters which up the voltage to the right one needed by the laptop.

 

 

Check the requirement of your charger. You may find it requires something more than a small portable.

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9 hours ago, Ex Brummie said:

Check the requirement of your charger. You may find it requires something more than a small portable.

By small portable I meant somewhere round the 300 to 600 W range.

10 hours ago, BruceinSanity said:

On SA, the first job for the crew when underway in the morning is making sure that everything that needs charging is hooked up, so as to take advantage of the power from the running engine. We have one 12V socket with which an iPad or iPhone can be charged via a USB car charger. All else is plugged into mains sockets via their ordinary 230V chargers.

We've got 3 or 4 double USB sockets plus a couple of "lighter" sockets... we try to charge mobiles, tablets, camera batteries from 12V rather than use the inverter. We use the regular laptop chargers into the inverter for laptops.

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19 hours ago, BruceinSanity said:

On SA, the first job for the crew when underway in the morning is making sure that everything that needs charging is hooked up, so as to take advantage of the power from the running engine. We have one 12V socket with which an iPad or iPhone can be charged via a USB car charger. All else is plugged into mains sockets via their ordinary 230V chargers.

I think the OP is asking "is there enough electricity on the boat" rather than how to charge it. Bruce answered that. If say a laptop takes a couple of hours to charge at say 2A then you need about 5AHrs to put back in. Do this Twice a day and you need 10Ahrs. We typically use 100Ahrs overnight and use the engine and 4 solar panels to put the power in. The OP should have no problem if he has the right charging sources and if he keeps his batteries in tip top shape which is another whole can of worms. Get the batteries back to full charge everyday and the batteries will last a lot better........but make sure they are full.

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19 hours ago, DannyC said:

Thanks for the advice!

 

Sorry my question wasn't very clear.

 

I was just interested in other peoples experiences keeping things charged.

 

Keeping your boat batteries charged is basic and well understood (but also commonly misunderstood) technology. There are loads of threads on here about it so plenty for you to read about other people’s experiences.   

 

Your batteries neither know nor care if the electricity is being used to run a laptop, a fridge, or whatever so all threads about batteries should be of interest to you. Start off with doing yourself an energy audit. 

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Your difficulty may be finding enough hours to charge the boat batteries if you are sat video calling for a large portion of the day and using the boats battery power to keep your laptop going. Depending on your engine you may find there is too much background noise to run the engine whilst you are on a call.  Solar panels would help you out during the summer summer months but not in the darker winter months.

You need to look at you total power requirements and think about how you will put that back in to the batteries of the boat, will you be working every day, could you do 8-10 hours charging every few days for example and have sufficient batteries to supply demand for a couple of days. As MTB says there has sent plenty of discussions on here over charging patterns so just need to have a setup that fits your needs.

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8 minutes ago, Rob-M said:

Your difficulty may be finding enough hours to charge the boat batteries if you are sat video calling for a large portion of the day and using the boats battery power to keep your laptop going.

 

This is rather similar to the charging problems I had. Being away from the boat for most of the allowable times for engine running I could simply not find enough hours necessary for the engine or generator running needed to keep the batts charged adequately. The OP may well be finding running the engine during his working hours simply too intrusive noise-wise. 

 

My solution was solar in the summer and a Whispergen which I can run quietly after 8pm in winter. The OP might need to get a cocooned (silent) genny but these are expensive.

 

 

Edited by Mike the Boilerman

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Put an alternator on an exercise bike and get fit as you work. Spending so much time just sitting at a computer day after day will turn you into couch potato.

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2 hours ago, Boater Sam said:

Put an alternator on an exercise bike and get fit as you work. Spending so much time just sitting at a computer day after day will turn you into couch potato.

Allow me to demonstrate :

 

 

Pedal generator.jpg

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