[amsat-bb] Re: Mobile Computer / Radio Installations

n3tl@bellsouth.net n3tl at bellsouth.net
Wed Apr 29 13:25:17 PDT 2009

This is definitely one of the areas I need to investigate further in light of multiple requests to expand my original post and submit it to the Journal for possible publication.

There are a couple of other areas I need to do more work on, too. 
-------------- Original message from Clint Bradford <clintbrad4d at earthlink.net>: -------------- 

> >> ... Most cigarette lighters circuits have a 15 to 20 amp fuse on 
> them. That ought to work fine for charging/using with your computer ... 
> That amount of current can/will destroy sensitive electronic devices. 
> (20A??? That's more than what an Icom IC-706MKIIG uses at 100W TX 
> power ... ) 
> Personally, I would never run my laptop off a vehicle's charging 
> system while the vehicle is running. You won't find many reputable 
> laptop manufacturers recommending this. 
> And all power feeds to my radio gear are properly conditioned and 
> filtered. 
> If I needed to run my laptop for extended periods on a 12VDC system, I 
> would use nothing less than a ... 
> Tripp Lite PVINT375 
> (although this model comes with a cigarette lighter plug, that 
> connection has to be one of the electrically most UNreliable for what 
> we are doing - so the plug gets whacked off and the unit is wired 
> directly) ... or 
> Astron Pi-250W 
> 12VDC-to-120VAC inverter made for such circumstances. Wire it in to 
> your vehicle's 12VDC system, and simply use your existing AC power 
> supply. Immediate benefit is the ability to power/ charge other 
> electronic items you may have using regular AC chargers. 
> There's no need to know the voltage/current/connectors of the laptop. 
> The laptop's manufacturer already did all that work for you when they 
> supplied the AC adapter. 
> Another downfall of using the cig lighter circuit for comms: very 
> rarely is that line filtered for noise and such. I mean, who needs 
> that line filtered to heat up a cig lighter? More intelligent cars do 
> have filtered/conditioned "power ports." But I do not leave anything 
> to chance, and make sure my equipment is properly protected. 
> Then there are folks who run their 100W HF rigs through a cig lighter 
> plug and swear that all's well with the world ... 
> And so it goes. 
> Clint Bradford, K6LCS 
> http://www.clintbradford.com 
> 909-241-7666 
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