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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
well, i'm preparing my caliber for it's 1st major road trip (2000 miles) and this past weeked, during a test run with my laptop/gps i noticed something weird.

plugging my laptop into the inverter and the inverter into the lighter socket, after about 30 seconds the inverter tells me "Low Battery"

this same inverter ran an xbox and lcd screen for the last 2000 mile trip in the wifes caliber.

off the top of my head, i know it's a 400w inverter, and i know my laptop isn't maxing that out.... and the battery tests as good, so does anyone have any ideas as to what this could be?
 

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Why arn't you using the power plug in the Caliber? I plug my laptop directly in and it works great. I have never had a problem and the kids love watching moveis while we drive.
 

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mistermario said:
Why arn't you using the power plug in the Caliber? I plug my laptop directly in and it works great. I have never had a problem and the kids love watching moveis while we drive.
How are you plugging in the laptop when its only two prong? All my laptops hav eneeded the grounding prong and the Caliber does not have that.

Besides, I am pretty sure my laptop would bring the Caliber's inverter to its knees.
 

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ashram said:
well, i'm preparing my caliber for it's 1st major road trip (2000 miles) and this past weeked, during a test run with my laptop/gps i noticed something weird.

plugging my laptop into the inverter and the inverter into the lighter socket, after about 30 seconds the inverter tells me "Low Battery"

this same inverter ran an xbox and lcd screen for the last 2000 mile trip in the wifes caliber.

off the top of my head, i know it's a 400w inverter, and i know my laptop isn't maxing that out.... and the battery tests as good, so does anyone have any ideas as to what this could be?
It is a 400W inverter, right, but you are not going to get 400 Watts from the cig lighter in the car.

If you read the instructions for the inverter, the inverter will do 400 Watts if you hook it to the battery using the supplied clips (it should have come with them anyway). Then you have another connector which is for hooking into the cig lighter, like what you have been doing. Doing this you only get about 130 Watts or something like that, I am just making up a number because I don't remember it exactly, but it is not much.

My old laptop, a Dell 5100, worked just fine like this. But my new Dell XPS M170 makes my inverter cry when hooked through the cig lighter. It beeps and whines and throws out low battery lights and overall just throws a power inverter tantrum.

I don't know what laptop you have, but check the rating on the power brick, if its over 100 Watts, then you are most likely overloading the inverter since even if an inverter is rated for 400Watts, or 130 Watts, or whatever, that is usually a peak output, and not a sustained output, and you can usually expect only to get within 20-30 Watts of that continuously.

Also, I would not hook it up again if you are getting these problems, because it can burn out your power brick for your laptop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
VulnoX said:
It is a 400W inverter, right, but you are not going to get 400 Watts from the cig lighter in the car.

If you read the instructions for the inverter, the inverter will do 400 Watts if you hook it to the battery using the supplied clips (it should have come with them anyway). Then you have another connector which is for hooking into the cig lighter, like what you have been doing. Doing this you only get about 130 Watts or something like that, I am just making up a number because I don't remember it exactly, but it is not much.

My old laptop, a Dell 5100, worked just fine like this. But my new Dell XPS M170 makes my inverter cry when hooked through the cig lighter. It beeps and whines and throws out low battery lights and overall just throws a power inverter tantrum.

I don't know what laptop you have, but check the rating on the power brick, if its over 100 Watts, then you are most likely overloading the inverter since even if an inverter is rated for 400Watts, or 130 Watts, or whatever, that is usually a peak output, and not a sustained output, and you can usually expect only to get within 20-30 Watts of that continuously.

Also, I would not hook it up again if you are getting these problems, because it can burn out your power brick for your laptop.
you have thoroughly answered my question. i knew it wan't getting 400W (that's its peak performance, which doesn't mean much to me, i wish it would show constant wattage used), but wow, my laptop's not even high end.... i'll check the power brick when i get home, as i forgot it today :(
 

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You had better read Dodge specs again fellows,the inverter
in the North American version of the Caliber is only rated to
150 watts average.
If your using seperate unit then straight to the battery
is best way to go,but check it's input specs first as it still may not
be a good solution.
 

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must be a powerful laptop, all of the charger cables i've seen are around 75 watts


on a side note, i have a 3000 watt inverter in my truck i use every day and that thing is a power hungry piece of equipment
 

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Get a three-prong adapter, hack off the grounding plug, bingo, you're in business. Your laptop will charge/run fine. I'm running Map Point, great GPS software.
 

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As for the two-prong plug in the Caliber you can always get a ground lift adaptor. In the isolated environment of the Caliber interior lifting the ground shouldn't cause problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ib2loud said:
must be a powerful laptop, all of the charger cables i've seen are around 75 watts
just looked at mine.... 95 watts...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
bought a 3-to-2 plug/converter and it works! thanks

also...is there a suggested time limit for using the caliber's built-in inverter?
 

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ashram said:
bought a 3-to-2 plug/converter and it works! thanks

also...is there a suggested time limit for using the caliber's built-in inverter?
Until the car battery dies. If the motor is runnin, no time limit. With the motor turned off, it wil all dpend on the power demand of whatever is plugged in. Should think it would be good for hours at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
cool, since the drive is 30 hours, and the laptop needs about 30 min to an hour to charge every 2 hours... so that works....
 

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ashram said:
cool, since the drive is 30 hours, and the laptop needs about 30 min to an hour to charge every 2 hours... so that works....
If you are driving, just lave it plugged in the whole time.
 
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