Strange Question - Charging off a generator?

Discussion in 'Acer Iconia Tab A500 Forum' started by dan776, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. dan776

    dan776 Member

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    Hey all,

    I am going on a trip to a cabin, and want to bring my Tablet. It has all my books on it.

    The cabin is powered with a propane generator. I know that there are voltage fluctuations, because there is a volt meter and it hangs around 120 but sometimes dips and moves about.

    Is it safe to plug my Acer into the wall socket, that is powered by this propane generator which has voltage fluctuations?
     
  2. rickio

    rickio Member

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    Go buy a surge protector. I got a small portable one for my laptap a few years ago which i would use if you want to feel safe.

    Sent from my Full Android on S5PV210 using Android Tablet Forum
     
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  3. dan776

    dan776 Member

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    Do you think a surge protector would completely protect the tablet? Throughout any random generator fluctuation? Or does it just lessen the risk?
     
  4. pbrauer

    pbrauer Administrator Staff Member

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    I used to live in hurricane country and spent a lot of time running things on generators. For the most part you should be ok due to the fact that your charger is already changing the current down to what your tablet needs. Use a surge suppressor to protect the charger and I think you will be fine.
     
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  5. dan776

    dan776 Member

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    Thanks. After looking at the transformer on the charger, it does accept a large range of voltages up to 240, and outputs only 12. I will bring a surge protector and not worry.Thanks for all of your inputs, this was helpful.
     
  6. Icebike

    Icebike Senior Member

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    The Charger IS A SURGE PROTECTOR. You don't need another one. That's what transformers do. Its also what the voltage controller chips being used to replace transformers in modern chargers do as well. If the cabin is struck by lightning, you might blow the charger, but surges out of a generator won't hurt it.

    By the way, low voltage (like 50% or lower) is usually more harmful to electronics than over voltage, and a surge protector won't help that.

    Since you will be able to turn Airplane mode on, your battery usage will be much less than at home anyway.
     
  7. Mike02z

    Mike02z Member

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    I agree 100%. You'll blow up the charger before it gets to the device. Buying a 20 dollar surge protector wouldn't be a terrible idea even if it is just for piece-of-mind.
     
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  8. dan776

    dan776 Member

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    Awesome you guys. Thanks!
     
  9. strider_mt2k

    strider_mt2k Member

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    On a strictly technical level, transformers do not act as surge suppressors at all, unless you count the little bit of inductive lag at a rapidly changing voltage.
    On another strictly technical level, these adapters use switching circuits, which eliminates the big transformer found on older linear adapters.

    The fact that it's an international charger and can deal with different voltages doesn't imply that it will account for fluctuations in the line voltage "on the fly", nor should they be assumed to do so.

    A UPS would be the best, even a very small one.
     
  10. wolfganggold

    wolfganggold Member

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    +1 on getting a small, inexpensive UPS.
     
  11. dan776

    dan776 Member

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    Any specific recommendations? Honestly, I'm not sure what a UPS is, do you mean an external battery pack of some kind?
     
  12. Spider

    Spider Administrator Staff Member

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    A UPS is an Uninteruptible Power Supply such as those found at apc.com. It's basically a battery backup power supply that takes over if the power goes out. It's a "floating" battery arrangement, when there's power you're running off the battery while the battery is being charged. A very basic one runs about $50 USD.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
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  13. dan776

    dan776 Member

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    That sounds pretty handy. So you could avoid even plugging the tab into the wall?

    How many charges do you think you could get off of a ups?

    EDIT oh nevermind... I get it. Thanks for the tips, I think I will get one!
     
  14. Icebike

    Icebike Senior Member

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    Jeeze, these timid timothy types have stampeded you into doing exactly the least necessary thing.

    You don't need a surge protector (they are largely scams anyway) and you don't need a UPS.

    Just take your tablet and enjoy it. There are a lot more sensitive things connected to Generators all over the world
    with no ill effect. A tiny voltage fluctuation seems very obvious on an incandescent light but its nothing to
    electronics.

    Seriously, look at the Adaptor. 100 to 240 volts. Its not going to hurt it.
     
  15. strider_mt2k

    strider_mt2k Member

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    Icebike does make a point here, in that any real threat would be to your adapter unless something catastrophic happened.

    Spider: Thanks for the save with the UPS description that I did not think to provide...doh!
    I'm around this kind of stuff quite a bit and don't always remember to add the additional descriptions for new players. -my oversight there.
     

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