Charging/powering on the road

Discussion in 'Lenovo IdeaTab A2109' started by arbarnhart, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. arbarnhart

    arbarnhart Senior Member

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    I have two options for powering in the car. One is a simple USB adapter for the no-longer-a-lighter 12v outlet and the other is powering the wall adapter from an inverter that is plugged into the outlet. On long road trips with the kids, I power an inverter and have a 120v AC power bar so they can charge their various handhelds without fighting over a single USB connection and/or use devices that don't use USB. It is a decent enough inverter to provide enough juice for several DC adapters. But I have heard stories about using a DC adapter on an inverter causing problems. But my experience with the direct USB from 12v adapter is that it tends to charge things quickly but poorly (it charges my phone much faster than a wall adapter, but it will drain much faster also).

    Anyway, I would like to hear others' experiences and am especially interested if you have good working knowledge of power and charging and can explain why various ways are good/bad and whether or not it has a long term effect. I am specifically interested in charging/powering the a2109, but the other devices in play are iPods, 3DSes/DSes, Samsung phone and a generic MP3 player. They are not all being used and/or charging at the same time.
     
  2. leeshor

    leeshor Senior Member

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    Due to differences in the amount of voltage and m-amps that various devices need to do a proper charge your best solution will nearly always be the inverter. Using the factory charger is going to pretty much always to the "proper" job. But you would need to be concerned if using a plug strip that you don't exceed the rating of the inverter. I have 2 inverters I use and both work great, even for my laptop.

    I personally don't trust the USB chargers unless they were being used on a specific device they were made for.
     
  3. arbarnhart

    arbarnhart Senior Member

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    I will have to look and do math, but I am pretty sure I am okay. My inverter is one that has a cord running to a heat sink style box that has a fan. It is toward the lower end of amperage for one of that style, but it is way more than the type that just hangs a plug straight out of the 12v adapter. My kids haven't had trouble with 3 at a time and I did use the a2109 charger in it on a recent trip. It was relating that to someone when I got the warning about adapters on inverters being a bad idea, but te person telling me didn't have info to back it up. Just "heard from an expert" so I think it might be a myth.
     
  4. leeshor

    leeshor Senior Member

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    There certainly may be some el-cheapo inverters out that that "could" be a problem. Sound like you have one of the better ones.
     
  5. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with this. If you have a good inverter I wouldn't expect any problems. Overload or get a less reliable one though and... well I don't see it necessarily causing problems with the devices but you can certainly destroy the inverter.
     
  6. arbarnhart

    arbarnhart Senior Member

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    I checked my model. It is a Tripp Lite rated for 300w continuous 500w surge. Should handle a few wall warts...
     
  7. arbarnhart

    arbarnhart Senior Member

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    Well, you it turns out that the touch problem I had before is caused by powering the tablet with the converter on the inverter. The good news is that JB deals with it better. ICS stayed messed up until I did a factory reset and I was convinced it was just an ICS bug. JB worked fine again as soon as I unplugged the cable. So the info about converters connected to inverters is no myth. Seems to affect capacitive touch.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013

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