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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm thinking to myself....what can I use the power outlet for?

Laugh all you want, but I'm thinking of brewing a nice pot of coffee while camping this summer. I need a good cup every morning.

Other than that, maybe an electric shaver or laptop.


Any other creative uses for this thing?
 

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Definately a great idea for a laptop...they are all two prong right??, because that is what it is in the Caliber...(sure you knew that though):)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Xtreme Thunder said:
Definately a great idea for a laptop...they are all two prong right??, because that is what it is in the Caliber...(sure you knew that though):)
Yep...two prong. On a trip...why run out the battery?...plug it in.:)
 

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so it's not a good idea to get one of those 3-prong to 2-prong adapters and plug something in there, right? My laptop has a 3-prong plug, i might have to use the 12V cig lighter adapter instead.
 

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RadioDude said:
so it's not a good idea to get one of those 3-prong to 2-prong adapters and plug something in there, right? My laptop has a 3-prong plug, i might have to use the 12V cig lighter adapter instead.

I would not put an adaptor it.
 

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I would not run any electronics off of the built-in power supply. Most electronics, i.e. laptops, portable CD's players, etc. require a steady sine wave. Without the proper ground cable as built into the three prong plugs, any little spike or valley produced by the car could fry anything pluged in, if it wants. If you're looking to run a laptop, or even a microwave (I did out of my Neon) get an aftermarket converter, and hook it directly up to battery power.
 

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ok..i might sound really stupid here i'm not sure, but here goes

so..i was wondering..when you have your car turned off and you want to use that plug..the power is taken directly from the battery, right? so that would drain the batter like crazy. but while you're driving, the engine powers the alternator, which, in turn, would power the outlet right? or am i being totally stupid and using my 14 yr. old logic wrong??
 

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Unless you configure differently, I believe that the power outlet doesn't work unless the car is running.... same as the power/cigarette lighter.
 

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Things I've used it for: Laptop, mobile ham radio, weather radio,honeywell digital compass (for industrial stuff), cell phone charger.

Froom storm chasingI know lots of people that have run laptops without issues. Still not the best current (signal), but haven't heard of any fried laptops yet.
 

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a ham radio? cooked or is that why you plugged it in to listen to the news?
 

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RadioDude said:
so it's not a good idea to get one of those 3-prong to 2-prong adapters and plug something in there, right? My laptop has a 3-prong plug, i might have to use the 12V cig lighter adapter instead.
Most if not all laptop computers have an AC-DC converter built-in to the cord for AC (It's that big black box thingie :) ). You should not have any problem if you are using a two prong adaptor, since the ac/dc conversion gets rid on any electrical noise on the AC side. I would not stand in a puddle of water when using anything with a two prong adaptor though, since you then become an earth ground source.
 

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I believe the reason for the outlet is to power low powered devices like iPods, electric shavers, cell phones, etc... I wouldn't power a notebook or anything sensitive to power off something like that without having some kind of surge protector in between.

I'm thinking that the iPod/cell phone would be the biggest 2 things plugged in to this. Thats what I plan on using mine for.
 

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Portable DVD player, Nintendo DS charger and a cell phone charger are all we have used ours for.

But wouldn't fresh Margarita's on a long summer trip be great!
 

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The ac power in the car is limited to 150 watts, so whatever you can run off of that feel free. All this talk about spikes and valley's is nonsense though. It's already a power converter so you do not need to get some other one to feel comfortable about using it. It's not going to fry anything. It already has a fuse attached to it, so there's your surge protection right there.

Don't worry about it, but don't run a coffee maker off of it either. Those things draw hundreds of watts through them.
 

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Amandyke said:
The ac power in the car is limited to 150 watts, so whatever you can run off of that feel free. All this talk about spikes and valley's is nonsense though. It's already a power converter so you do not need to get some other one to feel comfortable about using it. It's not going to fry anything. It already has a fuse attached to it, so there's your surge protection right there.

Don't worry about it, but don't run a coffee maker off of it either. Those things draw hundreds of watts through them.
I'm not about to test a $1500 notebook on it either....
 

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I was thinking about using it for the compressor to inflate an air mattress, but wondered why DCX didn't use a 3-pronged receptacle like almost all converters (Matrix and Vibe too?).:confused:
 

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Amandyke said:
The ac power in the car is limited to 150 watts, so whatever you can run off of that feel free. All this talk about spikes and valley's is nonsense though. It's already a power converter so you do not need to get some other one to feel comfortable about using it. It's not going to fry anything. It already has a fuse attached to it, so there's your surge protection right there.

Don't worry about it, but don't run a coffee maker off of it either. Those things draw hundreds of watts through them.
I'm just speaking from my experience with electricity conversion in RV's, where I saw problems. Not saying anything could ever happen, but just something to keep in back of one's mind. But if you have something that has the ground prong, I would just find an aftermarket converter. Better spend $50 at AutoZone than go back to wherever for another laptop. :eek:
 

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RobMR3 said:
I'm just speaking from my experience with electricity conversion in RV's, where I saw problems. Not saying anything could ever happen, but just something to keep in back of one's mind. But if you have something that has the ground prong, I would just find an aftermarket converter. Better spend $50 at AutoZone than go back to wherever for another laptop. :eek:
Well just keep in mind that most RV ac converters are in the killowatt range. So there's A LOT of overhead to fry most electronics. 150 watts @ 115 volts is only 1.3 amps AC. That's hardly anything. Your main concern will be in not overloading the converter not if the converter will fry something.

But also, the ac converter is simply a hard wired version of that $50 one you'd buy at autozone. There's only 1 kind of dc-ac converter. And they ALL use modified sine waves. You'd have to get a UPS with some form of signal cleaning in order to correct that. I'd have no problem plugging my Inspiron 6000 into the caliber. I've already run one of my laptops off of it. My only complaint is that the power doesn't stay on when you turn the engine off.

Not to mention that you go and spend the $50 at autozone for the converter and then you gotta run a wire into the car somewhere to power the converter itself and then ground it etc etc. It's a bit hassle and unless you spend some good time in working on it, it'll never really look very stock.
 

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So far I've used it to charge my cell phone which is great because I always forget to charge it at home, but I know it won't handle a small vacuum, it would run for a couple of seconds and then shut off.
 
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